Carmel is Mediterranean-cool all year long, with an average temperature of 57 degrees. High tourist season runs from July through early September, when the weather ranges from overcast and sometimes drizzly in July to Indian-summer warmth and blue skies by fall. Average highs top out at 66 degrees in July, when musicians from around the world descend for the annual Carmel Bach Festival, a 15-day event with venues from the Carmel Mission Basilica to Pebble Beach. In August, the entire Monterey Peninsula goes all-out for Monterey’s Classic Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show. September is the warmest month, with an average high of 70 degrees. Locals celebrate the Carmel Mission Fiesta on the fourth Sunday of the month, and the Monterey Jazz Festival brings hundreds of artists from around the world.
Indian summer extends into October in Carmel, and savvy travelers take advantage of shoulder-season rates and lighter crowds, not to mention a sweep of the best local restaurants at the annual Taste of Carmel. More off-peak deals come April through typically overcast June. April is a gem, and not for the fickle spring weather: Top events include the world-famous Pebble Beach Food & Wine event and the Big Sur International Marathon, arguably the best destination running race in the country.
For the very best deals to Carmel, travel during low season from November through March, when sites are crowd-free, hotels have deals, and temperatures remain cool—down to an average of 43 degrees in December.
When planning your trip, keep in mind that events in neighboring towns like Pebble Beach, Monterey, and Big Sur can bring crowds and peak-season rates to the entire peninsula, even Carmel.