Check out a few of Carmel-by-the-Sea's finest stops for art

It might feel like a gallery tour just to walk around quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea, admiring its cottages and cypress-lined lanes. Head over to Ocean Avenue, though, and you’ll be rewarded with fine art galleries everywhere you turn. With different venues specializing in photography, sculpture, plein air painting, and more, there’s something for every interest. Exploring Carmel’s galleries is also a great way to learn about your surroundings on California’s central coast, with many featuring art by locals or depicting the local landscape. Plan your stops with this list of galleries, but make sure to check out whatever catches your eye along the way.   

Chapman Gallery and Frame Shop

7th Avenue and San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

This gallery focuses on California artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. In addition to paintings, it houses a frame shop, art restoration, and a used art book store. 

Dawson Cole Fine Art

Corner of Lincoln & 6th Ave Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

With locations in Carmel, Laguna Beach, and Palm Desert, this gallery features a wide variety of styles and media, showing artists from Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to Chuck Close and Wayne Thiebaud. You’ll find sculpture, drawing, and prints with a focus on contemporary, early modern, and West Coast regionalist work.  

(Photo courtesy of Dawson Cole Fine Art)

Edward Montgomery Fine Art

Dolores Street 4SW Ocean Avenue, Carmel, CA

Painting is the focus here, including works by both emerging and established artists. While the medium is traditional, the gallery works to showcase innovative themes. Edward Montgomery features international and local artists and has been a part of the Carmel art scene since 1993. 

Gallery Elite 

San Carlos between 5th and 6th Avenue, Carmel, CA

At Gallery Elite you’ll find not only paintings but also a collection of antique furniture. The style here is ornate, with landscapes, portraits, and large imported armoires and chandeliers.  

Gallery Sur

Sixth Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln, Carmel, CA

Golf enthusiasts might be drawn to Gallery Sur, which features golf photography in addition to its collection of large-format nature photography and stone sculpture. While much of the photographic work here depicts local landscapes, it’s sculpture collection hails from Zimbabwe.

(Photo courtesy of carmelcalifornia.com)

Jones & Terwilliger Gallery

6th Avenue between San Carlos & Dolores, Carmel, CA

Head to Jones and Terqwilliger for traditional painting and sculpture. Landscapes, figurative studies, still life, and seascapes from the United States, Europe, and China are the focus here. 

Nancy Dodds Gallery

Nancy Dodds Gallery, San Carlos Street & 7th Avenue, Carmel, CA

Nancy Dodds Gallery features plein air painting, a style that is widely celebrated on the peninsula. You’ll recognize the beauty of the area in many of the bright and cheerful paintings here. 

New Masters Gallery

Dolores St & 7th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Find painting and sculpture at this family-run gallery, started by Bill and Jennifer Hill in 1974. Inspired by their love for Carmel, the Hills uprooted their lives in Illinois to move to the peninsula and open the gallery. Originally featuring the work of emerging artists, the gallery now hosts artists from a range of backgrounds. 

Oficino Uno

Ocean Ave between Dolores & San Carlos, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Oficino Uno specializes in silver gelatin photographic prints. Stop here for expertise in photography if you’re looking to add to a collection or learn more about the medium. 

(Photo courtesy of oficinouno.com)

Park Gallery

Mission between 5th and 6th, Carmel, CA

Park Gallery represents international sculptors and oil painters in a variety of styles. Stop here for fresh, contemporary work. 

Steven Whyte 

Steven Whyte Gallery, Dolores St, Carmel, CA

See the work of sculptor Steven Whyte at his own studio and gallery. Whyte works in bronze and has created memorials and installations for sites around the country. 

(Photo courtesy of stark insider.com)

Weston Gallery

Weston Gallery, 6th Avenue & Dolores, Carmel, CA

Weston Gallery spans the history of photography with works from the nineteenth century to present. Featuring some of the most famous names in photography, this gallery has been in operation since 1975. 

Zantman Galleries

San Carlos between Ocean Ave. and 7th Ave., Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Zantman has been in Carmel since 1962, when Dutch entrepreneurs Johan and Gertrude Zantman chose to make the peninsula their home. Painting and sculpture in a variety of styles are available here, and with a long list of artists, there’s a lot to explore.