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Pristine beaches and immaculate streets. Quaint art galleries, cozy gastropubs, and fairytale cottages. Welcome to Carmel (or Carmel-by-the-Sea), an enigmatic coastal getaway with a rich history and richer residents. This dog-friendly enclave is densely packed and easy to explore: you can walk across the village in five minutes. Discover white sand beaches, phenomenal views, and a friendly small-town vibe.
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Situated on the south of side of the Monterey Bay Peninsula, this picturesque retreat occupies a prime position overlooking the glistening waters of Carmel Bay. The celebrated 17-Mile Drive stretches along the coast in either direction. Travel north to reach the world-famous Pebble Beach golf course; drive south to find sea animals and scenery at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
Carmel’s cobblestone streets and Comstock cottages add to its massive appeal. Built in the 1920s, these charming cottages evoke the English countryside with storybook stone chimneys and pitched gable roofs. Artists and writers like Jack London and Sinclair Lewis once flocked to the Carmel. Although they’ve been replaced by celebrities and tourists, the artistic spirit lives on in over 100 galleries downtown. Stroll the village-like neighborhood and stumble across high-end restaurants, cafes, and boutiques on Ocean Avenue.
Step inside graceful Carmel Mission to glimpse one of the most beautiful churches in California. Follow leafy paths away from here through Mission Trail Park, a nature preserve filled with pine trees and redwoods. Watch surfers on Carmel Beach City Park and spot birds at Carmel River State Beach. Follow bluff-top trails along the shore and find a comfy spot to watch one of Carmel’s famous sunsets-by-the-sea.