Everyone loves the charming town of Carmel but few find its’ hidden treasures. This town has quaint storybook cottages, shops and restaurants that are fun to discover. Often a visit to Carmel includes golf, shopping and dining and there is no time to just relax and enjoy the magnificent setting. It’s location in a forest at the edge of the Pacific Ocean provide access to enjoying the outdoors.
The Beach is just a few short blocks down the hill. It looks as if it was created by an artist, as does all of Carmel. Majestic Cypress trees dot the bluffs overlooking the beach with white sand, the texture of powdered sugar. Regardless of the weather the beach is picturesque and worth a visit and a few photos. Wander a few blocks to the North or South and you are likely to see the locals enjoying the beach and their good fortune to live in Carmel.
On the way for morning coffee, take a few minutes to walk either direction from Ocean Avenue where you will find parks, gardens, churches and historic landmarks. Carmel is best explored on foot where you can easily find everything that you need within a few blocks. Try your own walking tour of the historic buildings and hidden courtyards of Carmel.
Accommodations are plentiful, but make an advance reservation since this is a popular destination for leisure and business travelers. Read Carmel-by-the-Sea for suggestions on places to stay.
Carmel’s famed La Playa Hotel has hosted a century of celebrations and distinguished guests. As of November 1, 2011, it will be closing for renovations. This lovely property will be refreshing their facilities in order to continue serving guests for another century. If you have a chance to stay before then, you should do so. The spa, restaurant and hotel are the perfect place to be indulged and to relax. Enjoy the landscaped grounds or the swimming pool and the last rays of sunshine while you can.
Restaurants range from Zagat-rated and small establishments frequented by the locals. You can find nearly every type of cuisine that you are craving. With Carmel’s close proximity to Monterey Bay, fresh caught seafood is readily available and produce grown in the nearby Salinas Valley is featured on all of the menus. See here for a listing of restaurants and bars.
Watch the sunset with a cocktail. Curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book. Book a massage or Spa treatment. Rent bicycles and enjoy the scenery. Drive along the scenic 17-Mile Drive and stop to take photographs and enjoy the marvelous sights.
Shopping is plentiful in Carmel with one-of-a-kind boutiques and a few national brands.
Art Galleries are scattered throughout Carmel. This has been a popular artist enclave for decades.
In Carmel, you will run out of time before you exhaust all of the things to do, which means that you will be back!
Getting there: Carmel is a two hour drive from San Francisco.
Take the scenic route along the Pacific Ocean stopping in the coastal towns of Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and Moss Landing. In this case, the journey is as important as the destination.
See my Slideshow: Discovering Carmel
©Karla Erovick 2011 article
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