Artists, writers and poets have been migrating to Carmel, a quaint, scenic seaside town, for too many years to count. It's a natural wonder in central California that famously once was led by local and movie-star mayor Clint Eastwood.
Only minutes from the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur, Carmel is the quiet, creative escape at the heart of this region, a seaside destination if there ever was one.
A road trip to Carmel and the Monterey Bay area is within a shade more than two hours down US-101. For the slow ride, take US-1, that bends with the natural contours of the California coast. Soak up the sunshine, waves and sea breezes. This scenic route is only a few minutes longer, and is unforgettably worth getting off the beaten Interstate path.
The Happy Landing Inn is a bed & breakfast only a few minutes' walk from the beach. Three Tudor-style houses, dating from 1926, offer cathedral ceilings and stained glass windows. Pebble Beach Golf Links are three miles away, putting early tee times easily within reach. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a 15-minute drive away. Scenic Big Sur is only 25 miles down the coast.
The Comfort Inn in Carmel is your budget-minded opportunity in what can be a ritzy location, and it's only 12 minutes' walk to the beach. The Comfort Inn places you near the downtown area known as Carmel Village, featuring boutique shops, a variety of restaurants and one-of-a-kind art galleries.
Once a luxurious mansion built in 1905 by an artist as a gift to his wife, a member of the Ghirardelli family, for over 100 years La Playa Carmel resort has been known as the “Grande Dame of Carmel.” Newly restored, this 75-room historic hotel is located just steps from the sands of Carmel Beach and the renowned shops, galleries and restaurants of charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Often called a "destination restaurant," the Dametra Cafe is the kind of place people plan a vacation around. The Greek cuisine near the world-famous central California seaside collects unheard of piles of rave reviews. It is a go-to when in Carmel.
La Bicyclette collects endless praise from reviewers near and far. La Bicyclette features handcrafted, European country cuisine. The menu is updated weekly, on local, seasonal ingredients that get the thumbs up from the chef. And if you're called by the vine, ask to see the amazing wine list.
The Treehouse Cafe is known for its amazing sea bass and fresh pasta, among a list of incredible fare, like beef stroganoff, burgers, desserts and on and on. This is a spot locals cherish, and you don't want to miss. The ambience is quiet and comfortable, the service noted for its friendliness. Enjoy outside dining and take in the fresh salt air with a sip of wine or chilled brew.
Seventeen-Mile Drive is one of the most luxurious and scenic drives anywhere, with world-class golf clubs sprawling on both sides of the road. Enviable homes perched just above the sea line the driive, as well, with unobstructed views of the rocky shoreline and ocean that makes it a many-million dollar stretch of coast.
The Carmel Mission should be high on your list of to-dos when visiting this decidedly Spanish-influenced area. It's a remarkably well-preserved and flat-out gorgeous haven of history. The Mission highlights the story of the early Spanish missions in the late 18th century. So worth the visit.
Stroll the fairways of the famed Pebble Beach golf links, where sea air and ocean views will tempt you with distractions on the tee boxes and greens. Walk in the footsteps of some of the game's greatest players in history, and of the movie and rock star celebrities who drop in each year for the famous and entertaining pro-am tournament.
Carmel Plaza in Carmel is a picture-perfect beachside town steeped in history, culture, art and sea air. Enjoy meandering through the shops and cafes within reach of the beach and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.
The sloping sands that bring you down from quaint Carmel into the invigorating Pacific waters are the stuff of romance novels. Soak up the sun and sea breezes on the quiet Carmel Beach that sits adjacent to the famous Pebble Beach golf links. Dust off your feet and tuck into a quaint Carmel cafe for lunch. Everything you need for a relaxing day in beach paradise is here.