Carmel-by-the-Sea & Beyond
Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea multiple times due to my boyfriend's family residing there. With each visit, the town has become increasingly familiar and comforting, resembling a home away from home. Now, I am passionate about encouraging and supporting others who wish to discover the beauty and charm of this enchanting coastal destination.
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Where to stay in Caramel-by-the-Sea, California
Villa Mara Carmel
Small boutique hotel with warmly decorated rooms and a complimentary wine hour located less than a mile from Carmel Sunset Beach.
The Lodge at Pebble Beach
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Continental Breakfast Basket Delivered to room daily
$100 USD Resort credit, to be utilized during stay which can be used on retail, spa, food & beverage and golf at The Links at Spanish Bay or Del Monte Golf Course
A romantic, French chateau–inspired inn with an award-winning restaurant located just a stroll away from Carmel's notable shops and art galleries.
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Things to do in Caramel-by-the-Sea, California
Whale watching in Monterey: Embark on an exhilarating adventure by joining a whale watching tour in Monterey, where you can witness majestic marine creatures in their natural habitat.
Visit the Cottage of Sweets: Explore the delightful Cottage of Sweets, a charming candy shop filled with an array of delectable treats, perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
Enjoy lunch at The Bench in Pebble Beach: Indulge in a culinary delight at The Bench, a renowned restaurant in Pebble Beach, where you can savor delicious dishes while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean.
Rent bikes and ride along the 17-Mile Drive: Experience the scenic beauty of Carmel by renting bikes and embarking on a leisurely ride along the iconic 17-Mile Drive, which showcases stunning coastal vistas and iconic landmarks.
Stroll through the Carmel Mission: Immerse yourself in history by taking a leisurely stroll through the Carmel Mission, a historic Spanish mission founded in 1771, boasting beautiful architecture and serene gardens.
Explore Point Lobos State Natural Reserve: Discover the wonders of nature at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, where you can hike along picturesque trails, admire breathtaking coastal views, and encounter diverse wildlife.
Discover the Carmel Beach: Spend a relaxing day at the picturesque Carmel Beach, known for its pristine white sands, tranquil atmosphere, and mesmerizing sunsets—ideal for leisurely walks or picnics.
Visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History: Expand your knowledge of the local flora and fauna by visiting the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, which features captivating exhibits and educational displays about the region's natural wonders.
Big Sur: Embark on a scenic day trip to Big Sur, located just south of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Marvel at the breathtaking coastal views along Highway 1, explore hiking trails in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and visit iconic landmarks like Bixby Creek Bridge and McWay Falls.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve: Spend a day exploring the stunning Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, located just a short drive from Carmel. Discover picturesque coastal landscapes, hike along scenic trails, and spot wildlife such as seals, sea lions, and various bird species.
Monterey: Take a trip to the neighboring city of Monterey and enjoy its rich history and vibrant marine life. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, stroll along Cannery Row, explore the historic Fisherman's Wharf, and indulge in fresh seafood at local restaurants.
Carmel Valley: Venture into the serene Carmel Valley and immerse yourself in its picturesque vineyards and charming wineries. Enjoy wine tastings, take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, and savor the tranquility of this idyllic wine country setting.
Santa Cruz: Take a day trip to the lively beach town of Santa Cruz, known for its vibrant boardwalk, scenic beaches, and laid-back atmosphere. Enjoy thrilling rides at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, explore the Santa Cruz Wharf, and soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches.
Places to eat & drink in Caramel-by-the-Sea, California
La Bicyclette (Carmel-by-the-Sea): Enjoy a cozy and charming atmosphere while indulging in delicious French cuisine, including wood-fired pizzas and delectable pastries.
Mission Ranch (Carmel-by-the-Sea): Experience a taste of rustic elegance at Mission Ranch, offering farm-to-table dining with panoramic views of meadows and grazing sheep, along with a menu featuring seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Grasing's Coastal Cuisine (Carmel-by-the-Sea): Treat your taste buds to a culinary journey of fresh, coastal-inspired dishes crafted with the finest local ingredients, served in an intimate and inviting setting.
Dametra Café (Carmel-by-the-Sea): Savor the flavors of the Mediterranean at Dametra Café, where you can enjoy mouthwatering Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine, lively music, and a warm, friendly ambiance.
The Bench (Pebble Beach): Dine in style while taking in stunning views of the Pebble Beach Golf Links at The Bench, offering a diverse menu of delicious fare with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and a wide selection of wines
Stillwater Bar & Grill (Pebble Beach): Delight in a memorable dining experience at Stillwater Bar & Grill, situated by the water's edge and serving delectable seafood, steaks, and seasonal dishes in an elegant and relaxed setting
The Tap Room (Pebble Beach): Enjoy a classic pub atmosphere at The Tap Room, located at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, offering a selection of craft beers, signature cocktails, and a menu featuring gourmet pub-style dishes.
Seventh and Dolores (Carmel-by-the-Sea): Unwind after your whale watching adventure at Seventh and Dolores, a charming restaurant offering a cozy atmosphere and a menu that showcases seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.
Paluca Trattoria (Carmel-by-the-Sea): Indulge in authentic Italian flavors at Paluca Trattoria, known for its warm and inviting ambiance, homemade pasta, and a variety of traditional Italian dishes that will transport your taste buds to Italy.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspo? Check out Fora Advisor Amy Shamus' guide, A Guide to the Marvelous Montecito.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.