Where to Shop in Monterey, California

Cheese parlours, streets choc-a-block with fiercely independent galleries and zen-like homewares stores stocking everything from blissed-out botanicals to hand-thrown ceramics. With its growing artistic enclaves and flocks of burnout city types seeking respite on its shores, here's where we're shopping in Monterey.

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Lilify

Hidden under a black-and-white-striped awning on Lighthouse Avenue, Lilify has made a name for itself as Monterey’s finest purveyor of calm. Carefully chosen homeware, a luxurious larder selection and handmade bath products are all overseen by owner Hanni Liliedahl, who has lived everywhere from Alaska to Guyana, before settling in Monterey Bay. In this softly lit oasis, peruse the artfully arranged tables for ivory ceramics that mimic natural forms, hand-blended botanical teas and aromatic candles scented with local flora. If the Big Little Lies ladies were shopping for their homes, they’d be browsing these shelves.

Address

281 Lighthouse Ave, CA 93940

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The Cheese Shop

No refrigeration in your road-trip ride? No problem. The dairy delights on offer at Carmel’s cheese cavern won’t be around long enough for you to need a fridge. With wheels stacked up to the ceiling, The Cheese Shop stocks over 300 varieties of cheese from all over the world. Canadian cheddar, Greek manouri – you name it, you’ll find it. And with over 800 bottles on sale, there’s no problem finding the perfect wine pairing for a beachside cheeseboard, either. Pick up some Monterey Jack and a bottle of pinot noir and head to the sweeping shores of Del Monte, picnic rug in hand.

Address

Carmel Plaza, Ocean and Junipero St, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

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Explore Carmel-by-the-Sea’s art galleries

It’s not unexpected that a well-heeled seaside resort is choc-a-block full of art galleries, but before you back away nervously, hear us out: there’s not a vapid watercolour or watery beach scene in sight in Carmel. Zigzag through the cobbled streets alongside the fairy-tale houses of this off-beat village and you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of artistry in over 80 galleries, from 19th-century paintings to rock ’n’ roll photography. Make an appointment at Weston Gallery if you’re serious about finding an original Ansel Adams or Chip Hooper print, head to Gallery Exposed for small shows from local snappers or pop by Kathy Sharpe’s eponymous gallery to browse her blousy and bright oil paintings.