Airbnb Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: Apartments, Studios, Glmaping, Beach Houses, & Villas

6 Incredible Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Located on California‘s picturesque Monterey Bay Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the US’s most unique towns. It has long been a mecca for artists, writers, and poets who were among the first to build the area’s distinct English-style cottages starting in the early-1900s. To this day, residents fight to retain Carmel’s historic charm. You won’t find any chain restaurants, street lights, or parking meters in this town!

The one-square-mile village is chock full of vine-covered homes, artsy boutiques, romantic eateries, wine tasting rooms, and funky galleries. Pick any street to walk down and you’ll feel like you’re living in a fairytale. For being a tiny town, there are plenty of things to do in and around Carmel-by-the Sea. Spend a day at one of the area’s beautiful beaches, take a scenic hike at a state park, go on a road trip to nearby Monterey or Big Sur, or spend a day wine tasting in Carmel’s Wine Country. The options are endless!

Whether you’re planning a family trip to the beach, a romantic retreat in the heart of wine country, or a much-needed weekend getaway with friends, there’s no doubt that you will find a unique Airbnb in Carmel-by-the-Sea that’s perfect for you. From oceanfront estates to picture-perfect cottages and luxury tents, there’s something for everyone!

With so many options, finding the perfect vacation rental might seem like a daunting task, so we have picked out 6 of the best Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea to make your decision just a little bit easier! 

Top 10 Things To Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea Airbnb: Apartments, Studios, Glmaping, Beach Houses, & Villas
  1. Get a history lesson at the Carmel Mission. Founded in 1770, this important heritage site has been authentically restored and offers guided tours. 
  2. Take a road trip along the famous 17-Mile Drive where you’ll glimpse famous golf courses, extravagant mansions, and natural attractions along the way!
  3. Sip on some of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s best wines in a French chateau at Folktale Winery & Vineyard.
  4. Go hiking, whale watching, or scuba diving at the stunning Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
  5. Enjoy a gourmet 8-course dinner at the Michelin starred restaurant, Aubergine.
  6. Golf with a view at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the most famous golf course in the US. 
  7. Take a day trip to nearby Monterey Bay, and visit Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Old Fisherman’s Wharf.
  8. Go art gallery hopping. Carmel-by-the-Sea is home to over 100 art galleries all packed within one square mile – it’s sure to be a highlight of your trip to California!
  9. Soak up the sun and frolic in the unbelievably blue waters at Carmel Beach
  10. Take a stroll along Ocean Avenue which is lined with restaurants, wine tasting rooms, boutiques, and galleries. Not to mention all of the cute cottages!
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Why Stay in an Airbnb in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Why Stay in an Airbnb in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Staying in an Airbnb in Carmel-by-the-Sea has plenty of advantages. First of all, you’ll have the chance to live like a local instead of staying in a touristy hotel. People in Carmel-by-the-Sea are extremely friendly and welcoming, which means you are likely going to get a lot of insider information from your Airbnb host. Many go the extra mile and offer a complimentary bottle of local wine and a cheese platter upon arrival!  

The selection of unique Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea is extensive. You can opt for a romantic retreat in the heart of wine country, an art-filled home right on the ocean, or an adorable cottage home with beautiful gardens.

By choosing to stay in an Airbnb you are likely to get far more value compared to staying at a hotel. Most of Carmel’s vacation homes are much nicer and more spacious than your average hotel room. Plus you’ll likely have a kitchen so you can save on costs by dining at home!

If you are traveling as a large group, Airbnbs will likely cost less per person than paying for multiple hotel rooms. This is especially true during holidays, annual festivals, and sporting events when tourism in Carmel-by-the-Sea is at its height.   

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The 6 Best Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Best Carmel-by-the-Sea Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers

1. Luxury Tent with Private Hiking Trail and Heated Pool

Best Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: Luxury Tent Glamping
Images courtesy of Airbnb

If you’re looking for a truly unique Airbnb in Carmel-by-the-Sea, this luxury tent is a really cool option! This glamping experience is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway and solo travelers who want to get away from it all. The tent is set in the middle of a scenic forest and is just steps away from a private hiking trail.

The “bedroom” comes with all the basics: a comfy queen bed, two small nightstands, and a settee bench. While the tent is not heated, there is an electric blanket to ensure a warm night’s sleep. 

There is also a covered patio – adorably framed with tree branches – with two Adirondack chairs and a gas fire pit. While there isn’t a kitchen, there is a barbeque just outside of the tent in case you feel like grilling. You’ll have a kitchen sink with a counter so you can prep meals and wash dishes.   

The campsite has a shared bathroom with rain showers and hot water. You’ll have access to the heated pool (open May through October), a playground, a ping pong table, board games, and more. 

Although it feels like you’re worlds away, Carmel is a mere 15-minute drive from this Airbnb.

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2. Charming Rooftop Apartment in the Heart of Carmel

Best Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: Artists Way Apartment
Images courtesy of The Artist’s Way

This adorable apartment is located right in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Restaurants, art galleries, and shops are literally right outside your door! 

This intimate 525-square-foot space is located on the upper level of a quaint courtyard. With vintage trimmings and colorful paintings, every aspect of this Airbnb completely captures the bohemian spirit of Carmel. This stylish vacation home has hardwood floors, whitewashed vaulted ceilings, and handcrafted plaster walls. The use of white, gray, and blue color tones create a soothing atmosphere. 

The living room has a 50-inch TV, a large sofa (with a pullout bed), and a shabby chic coffee table. The bedroom has a queen bed and an en-suite bathroom. And the kitchen is outfitted with everything you need to cook at home, although we do recommend sampling as many of Carmel’s fantastic restaurants as possible! 

The Airbnb owners go above and beyond and include complimentary wine and cheese, which you can enjoy on your private balcony overlooking the cute courtyard!

Check Price & Availability on vrbo

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3. Fairytale Cottage with Private Gardens

Best Carmel-by-the-Sea Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Fairytale Cottage
Images courtesy of Fairytale Cottage

With its exquisite gardens and stone courtyard, this picture-perfect vacation rental looks like it was ripped straight from a magazine cover. This 2-bedroom cottage can sleep up to five people so it’s ideal for families or a small group of friends. Plus, it’s right downtown so the location can’t be beat!

The inside is as charming as the outside. The living room is filled with natural light and has comfy chairs, a couch (with a pullout bed), a stone fireplace, and a sitting area perfect for curling up with a good book. The chef’s kitchen features top of the line appliances – including a Nespresso, a Vitamix, and a Cuisinart – and a cozy breakfast nook. Both bedrooms are tastefully decorated and beds are piled with soft blankets and pillows. They also have smart TVs with Netflix, Roku, and more. 

The property is massive and one of its standout features are the impeccably maintained gardens. You’ll find plenty of hidden gems around the yard including a ping pong table, multiple sitting and dining areas, a grill, and two fire pits. 

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4. Cozy Apartment in Central Carmel-by-the-Sea

Best Carmel-by-the-Sea Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Madden Suite
Images courtesy of The Madden Suite

With its wood walls, exposed wood ceilings, and stone fireplace, The Madden Suite gives off rustic cabin vibes. This cozy 2-bedroom Airbnb was renovated in June 2020, so everything is sparkling clean and brand new. 

Large windows in the living room let in plenty of natural light. The space is filled with soft couches, colorful paintings, and a large TV. The kitchenette has a small sink, mini-fridge, and a stove with an oven in case you want to prepare basic meals. There is also a small dining area just off the kitchen.

Both bedrooms have flat-screens and king-size beds, although one of the beds has a foam topper and can be separated into two twin beds. The shared bathroom has a tiled shower and tub and a large vanity with two sinks. 

Located right in the center of town, the space can fit five people so it’s great for two couples or small families who want to explore everything Carmel-by-the-Sea has to offer on foot. 

Check Price & Availability on vrbo

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5. Historic Artists’ Villa with Ocean Views

Best Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: Historic Artists' Villa
Images courtesy of LX41: Ocean View Historic Villa

This 100-year-old estate was once a popular spot for some of the area’s most famous artists. Expect to find all sorts of artwork around the home and property including funky outdoor fountains and sculptures. If you’re looking for a truly unique Airbnb in Carmel-by-the Sea, this is a great pick.

This lavish vacation rental is located on the coast of the Carmel Highlands, a short and scenic drive from town. The 4,100-square-foot home boasts a whopping seven bedrooms and can sleep 14, so it’s great for large groups looking for a beautiful and somewhat offbeat place to stay!

The living room features high ceilings, wood beams, and skylights along with a huge couch, large flat-screen, and stone fireplace. Each of the colorful bedrooms is completely unique and some even offer unreal ocean views.

The massive deck overlooks the private vineyard and the rugged coastline below. Gather around the fire pit and enjoy the view! If you manage to tear yourself away from this Airbnb, Carmel-by-the-Sea is roughly five miles up the coast. 

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6. Luxurious Hacienda on Vineyard with Pool and Hot Tub

Best Carmel-by-the-Sea Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Hacienda House
Images courtesy of Airbnb

If you’re looking for a luxurious and unique retreat, this Airbnb can’t be beat. This expansive villa is set on 20 acres of land on a boutique organic vineyard and olive orchard.

This luxurious and ultra-private hacienda is perfect for creating a memorable vacation for large groups of family and friends. With five bedrooms, this 5,000-square-foot home can accommodate up to 14 people. 

This vacation rental has it all – you can take a dip in the pool, relax in the hot tub or sauna, explore the incredible grounds, or whip up a gourmet meal in the chef’s kitchen or at one of two grilling areas. There is also a beautiful living room perfect for a movie night, a library with plenty of books, and a newly outfitted game room with ping-pong, foosball, a giant Jenga, and more! 

We doubt you’ll ever want to leave this Airbnb, but if you do Carmel-by-the-Sea is a 30-minute drive away.

That’s it – 6 of the best Airbnbs in Carmel-by-the-Sea! Do you have a favorite vacation rental in Carmel-by-the-Sea? Let us know in the comments below.


About the Author:

  • Valerie Wheatley

    Val grew up in Portland, Oregon but moved to Oahu on a whim back in 2013. She sold her house and all of her belongings and bought a one-way ticket. Since then she’s taken two around-the-world trips and has visited 60-ish countries while living out of a duffel bag.

    Val started documenting the Wandering Wheatleys travels back in 2013 as a way to update friends and family about her whereabouts and to relay humorous daily interactions. The only readers were her mom and her mother-in-law but that didn’t stop her!

    These days you’ll find Val dreaming up future trips, creating new travel content, managing a team of amazing travel enthusiasts, and chasing around her two adorable but naughty kids.

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