Monterey & Carmel

Carmel-by-the-Sea's Fairytale Houses: A Self-Guided Walking Tour

Carmel-by-the-Sea, United States

From $7.99

Select Date and Travelers

You will not receive a refund if you cancel.
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Sophisticated and glamorous, Carmel-By-The-Sea sits on the Pacific just two hours south of San Francisco. The town isn’t all ritz, though—11 fairytale cottages line the hilly streets like something from a children’s book. On this self-guided audio tour, you’ll escape the crowds and explore the houses at your pace, led by a knowledgeable guide right in your pocket.
  • Download the app via your smartphone to begin—whenever you like
  • Take the 40-minute tour at your pace, lingering as you want
  • Learn about Hugh Comstock, the man behind the fairytale architecture
  • Receive lifetime and virtual access to the tour when you're back home

What's Included

  • Lifetime access to Fairy Tale Houses of Carmel-by-the-Sea tour
  • VoiceMap Application
  • Offline access to audio, maps, and geodata
  • Smartphone
  • Transportation
  • Food/Drink
  • Tickets or entrance fees to any museums or other attractions en route

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • The Getaway
    Junipero Street &, Ocean Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA

    Before arrival, please install the VoiceMap mobile app and use the code provided on your confirmation ticket. This is a self-guided audio tour that you can start, pause, or restart at any time and complete at your own pace. Detailed starting point instructions are available after downloading.

Start time

Confirm time with the local provider in advance of your experience.

Opening hours

  • 7/26/2019 - 3/24/2024

    Monday - Sunday : 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

End point

  • Hedi's Shoes
    Ocean Ave & Mission St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation Policy

This experience is non-refundable and cannot be changed for any reason. If you cancel or ask for an amendment, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

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      49 reviews
      Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
      Reviews by Viator travelers.
      Showing 1-10 of 49 reviews
      The tour was really well...
      elrupley, Nov 2022
      The tour was really well done and easy to navigate. There were turn by turn directions and it would tell you exactly where to look with signs on each house that matched. There was also a nice map that showed where we would be walking. It was really interesting to hear all the information and see things we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
      Julie_W, Nov 2022
      Couldnt find whete on map i was. When i did it had steep hills, no sidewalks. Didnt feel safe trying to walk the area
      Response from Host, Nov 2022
      Hi Julie We do display your location on the map. The red pinpoints are the audio files and the blue dot is your location. Once you've downloaded the tour, there is a note on the tour's cover page about the hills and lack of sidewalks. We're sorry you didn't feel safe and weren't able to enjoy the tour. Keep well, Alicia
      A walk through a bit of Carmel’s history.
      judyartist, Aug 2022
      It was a fun way to see and hear some of Carmel homes history! Exercise and colorful history in beautiful Carmel!
      Nancy_L, May 2022
      A delightful and brisk walk up and down the streets. A little hard to see several of the structures but I managed. Enjoyed the tour.
      Jacqueline_C, May 2022
      Always a wonderful experience! Had problems with our room on this visit and staff handled it immediately! We will always return to our favorite place to stay in Carmel!
      Such a ripoff!
      Sandy_T, Apr 2022
      This is a ripoff, we paid over $20 to walk around a neighborhood. You can do it for free. Also, they don’t give the addresses to those house, so we basically had to search for them ourselves. It was terrible!!!
      Response from Host, May 2022
      I'm sorry you didn't enjoy yourself Sandy, but I'm not sure from this review that you actually did the tour. If you had, using the VoiceMap app, you should have received turn-by-turn directions with GPS autoplay guiding you from one Comstock cottage to the next. You wouldn't have needed any addresses! You can obviously walk around the neighbourhood for free – like any other neighbourhood – but the tour provides you with over 30 minutes of audio sharing stories from the history of Carmel-by-the-Sea and information about the unique architecture of these fairytale houses.
      Carmel By the Sea Fairy Tales Houses
      BillE_S, Apr 2022
      The app was confusing from start to finish. We weren't clear to as where the starting point was! Directions were confusing & need deeper explanation they were to vague. We liked the houses & tour once we finally found the houses!
      Everyone should try this tour
      ARELONDE_R, Mar 2022
      We really enjoyed walking around Carmel.. It was an experience we will never forget.. Looking at the cottages and learning the history behind each one was awesome!!
      voicemapl wouldn't work. Tried five times.
      Robert_H, Sep 2021
      Spent 20 minutes trying to get loaded on voicemail. SAME thing happened in Zion. I'm supposed to call for help on my vacation??? Maybe it should just work
      Chadia_S, Jul 2021
      Sorry to say that I was looking forward to this experience but it wasn’t as we didn’t know where to go, and directions were not clear at all. I wish it was more clear directed as all other tours we have experienced at Monterey and Carmel where they guide you to a starting point and lead you after.
      Response from Host, Aug 2021
      Hi Chadia, We're sorry the directions weren't clear. Did you download the tour before reaching the starting point? The screen you see after you do that has: 1. Detailed directions to the starting point 2. The option to get directions to the starting point in Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze 3. A photo of the starting point, and the option to open this up in Google Street View The detailed directions are as follows: "The starting point is The Getaway hotel sign at the northeast corner of Junipero and Ocean Avenue. If you arrived by bus at the Carmel Plaza you will be near the southwest corner of Junipero and Ocean Avenue directly across from Devendorf Park. Carefully cross Ocean Avenue to Devendorf Park and then turn right and cross Junipero Street. You will be in front of the blue and white 'The Getaway' hotel sign where you will start your tour." Once you've started the tour, there is turn-by-turn navigation telling you where to go next, but you need to give the app access to your location. If you disable this, the directions don't work. We make this as clear as possible when you install the app. There are also text directions as a back up included with every location. Plus there's the on-screen map. We'd really love the opportunity to understand why this didn't make sense to you, and we'll gladly give you a free tour in exchange for your feedback. Could you please send me an email at
      Informative but a couple of warnings would be nice to see
      Gonzalo_V, Jul 2021
      This informative walk had two major flaws / one is not warning that most of the streets had no sidewalks which made it very unnerving with three young children as cars drove by.. there was a section where we had to cross a busy street with no cross walk. So we opted to skip that section because it was too dangerous. Unfortunately that caused a second flaw on that there was no control to skip and get back on track. I got off track and could never get back to the correct house. I also found it took a little work to have to download the app and signup to Viator after buying the ticket and it not working the first time. Patience is the key . This is not something that quick and easy to set-up when kids are waiting for you to get going!
      Needs work
      Carol_S, Jul 2021
      Your instructions need work, the interface is klugy, the experience was comical. Kept hearing about houses we were not near. Never again
      Response from Host, Jul 2021
      Hi Carol, We're sorry you had a disappointing experience! It looks like you started the tour in the wrong place. We've tried to make this as clear as possible, with a dedicated screen that has clear directions to the starting point – at The Getaway hotel sign at the northeast corner of Junipero and Ocean Avenue – along with a photo of the location, and options to get directions to it in Google Maps and view it in Google Streetview. It even tells you how far you are from the starting point. Can you let us know why you didn't know to start the tour there please, and how we could make this more clear? It also looks like after starting at location 15 you turned and went the wrong way, towards the beginning of the tour. This would definitely make it seem like things were playing in the wrong place, because when the app says "look over to your right" and you are going in the opposite direction, it's now on the other side of you, over to your left. But there's a map on the screen and text directions to help you go from one location to the next, as well as an audio alert to let you know you're off track. Can you tell us more about how this went so wrong for you? You can reach email me at We'd appreciate the feedback. Our tours have an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 from almost 10,000 ratings because we take feedback like yours seriously. Thanks, Iain
      Imebel_M, Jul 2021
      It was fun and a beautiful tour, we enjoyed and will definitely recommend to anyone visiting Carmel.
      Fun house tour
      Linda_F, Jun 2021
      Really enjoyed the audio tour. So good that the recording was paced to my walking. Easy to understand and clearly explained the houses and surrounding area plus the history. Excellent. Highly recommend. It was hilly walking however !! Huff puff.
      A Fun tour
      Rose_S, Jun 2021
      I enjoyed the tour. Seeing the houses and learning about them was interesting. The price was very reasonable too.
      So Happy I Did This!
      Mummerpop, May 2021
      Really enjoyed this walking tour! The GOD tracking was spot on even to the point of telling me to duck under a low hanging branch hahaha.
      Enchanting walk
      Naomi_R, May 2021
      Wonderful little walk through the neighborhood to see these enchanting little homes! I loved it!! I enjoyed hearing the history and making of the homes.
      Very well done!
      Devorah_L, Dec 2020
      Extremely user friendly app. The audio tour was so well done and easy to follow. It was even updated and let us know that one home was under construction. It pointed out a restaurant to pick up food and a public bathroom along the way. It was a loop and took us back to where we began.