Carmel Mission

Monterey, CA

Carmel Mission, built in 1771, is rich with beauty. It is made of rustic caramel-colored stone, adorned with Moorish accents and has a rounded tower. Because it is a basilica, the architecture is gorgeous and the pope has visited it! It was the first mission built in California.
Most memorable are its gardens, which are chock full of roses and giant dahlias. They are a feast for the eyes and a photographer's dream! I arrived after a rain and the flowers looked so wonderful covered in clear raindrops.
There are three sections to the grounds so make sure you see all three. There's the entrance courtyard with a Spanish fountain, rose garden, and statues. There's a side area with a graveyard and ivy growing over weather-stained sandstone walls. And there's the back courtyard which is also a school. Here you will find such lovely little gardens and fountains, and one grand Spanish fountain.
The neighborhood around the mission is lovely with its hilly streets, lush vegetation, and stone houses.
While in Carmel, don't miss out on the absolutely gorgeous Carmel River State Beach, with its yellow sand and ink blue sea. If you're hungry, there's a new Safeway store right by the mission. Go back on Rio Rd towards Highway 1, but continue past Highway 1, and turn right into the parking area for the shopping center. Grab yourself a yummy deli sandwich and have a seaside picnic.
Also very nearby is Carmel-By-The-Sea, with a posh main strip along Ocean Avenue where you can rest at a coffee shop or bakery. From there, walk down to Carmel-By-The-Sea Beach with its bright white soft sand and marvel at the beauty around you!
Each mission is a little different and some people make a tour out of seeing them all! Santa Barbara Mission has a stunning location with views of the sea. Views from the rose garden are heaven. La Purisma Mission is a wonderful pink color and each room is set up like it would have been when it was a working mission. Mission Santa Ines is a yellow mission amongst the Solvang countryside. Mission San Buenaventura has a fountain with a blue Spanish tiled rivulet that leads down from it for hundreds of meters.

Continue to pictures...

Old-style California courtyard at the Carmel Mission.

Entrance gate.

Flowers in the front courtyard.

Spanish fountain in the school courtyard.

Giant dahlia in the school gardens.

What precious roses!

Stop and enjoy the incredible huge flowers!

Lilac rose.

Some flowers look almost tie-dyed!

Dahlias in the school gardens.

Amazing blue flowers.

Roses are red, violets are blue...

Rustic-looking fountain and buildings in front courtyard.

Spectacular architecture.

Rose, with mission in background.

Peaceful grotto in school courtyard.

The Carmel Mission is located at 3080 Rio Rd, on the corner of Lasuen Dr. Click "satellite" to see it from the air. From Monterey, head south on Hwy 1. Turn right on Rio Rd and you will soon have the mission on your left. From the street all you see is a long parking lot and no sign so it's very easy to miss.



Zeev

2012-06-26 11:59:00

Serene little spot, wonderful!)

Julie

2010-07-07 19:02:00

Stayed in Carmel last week ...it was aaaaawesome :-D...miss it :-()

tarielle

2010-02-10 21:41:00

peaceful... went with my school and wish i could have stayed longer :0))

carlo delmia

2010-01-10 17:19:00

i did a report and san carlos borromeo del rio carmelo mission and it sounds great!!!!!!!!)

Tim

2009-10-09 20:34:00

the grounds will blow you away with all the plants and color. tall flowers, fountains. We really had a great time spending the morning reading some history of california )

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