Art famously abounds at galleries scattered throughout the streets and shops of Carmel.
Spend a day visiting galleries starting with the oldest gallery in town, the Carmel Art Association. This non-profit artists’ collective shows the works of local artists. Other galleries include traditional and contemporary genres, sculpture, photography and art for every taste.
The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission (Carmel Mission) was founded by Fr. Junipero Serra in 1770, making it the second oldest of the 21 California missions. The museum at the Carmel Mission Basilica gives the visitor a glimpse into California mission life with displays of church vestments and other artifacts from the past.
The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is dedicated to interpreting the natural history of Monterey County with its permanent exhibits that display local plants, animals, geology, and native human populations, as well as a temporary exhibit that changes every few months.. Children can often be found playing on the life-sized whale sculpture located outside its doors.
The National Steinbeck Center has an interactive exhibit that explores The Grapes of Wrath and the journey of poverty-stricken families to California’s Central Valley during the Great Depression.
Dubbed the “best small town museum in the United States,” the Monterey Museum of Art is home to works by famed artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and fêted photographer Ansel Adams.
Music performances at the Sunset Center include Carmel Bach Festival, Carmel Music Society, Chamber Music Monterey Bay and the Monterey Symphony. There are cultural events such as the Carmel Art & Film Festival, the Carmel Art Festival.
Three theatre groups, Pacific Repertory Theater, The Forest Theater Guild and the Cherry Center for the Performing Arts all put on year-round productions.
At the Monterey Fairgrounds, there are annual world-famous music festivals including world’s longest continuously running jazz festival, Monterey Jazz Festival and Monterey Bay Reggaefest.