Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA: Central Coast Classic & Cool

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    Carmel-by-the-Sea's Famous Beach Draws Visitors from Around the World

    Carmel-by-the-Sea's expansive white sandy beach, winner of countless "best beach" awards, is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, a romantic rendezvous, or a walk with your pooch. Watch the golfers  in competition above the cliffs at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, five-time host of the U.S. Open. Playful dolphins often surf the waves close to shore, and whales can easily be spotted during their seasonal migration.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Commune with Nature at Point Lobas State Reserve

    Point Lobos is located just 3 miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Enjoy a hike through dense groves of cypress trees, leading to the dramatic coastline with views on spectacular coves and hidden beaches from the paths above. The clear water with its intense greenish blue hue almost seems unreal. Watch sea lions cavort before your eyes, or bird watch to your heart's content. This heavenly stretch of coastline was home to photographer Ansel Adams the last 20 years of his life.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Step Back to the 18th Century at the Historic Carmel Mission

    Founded in 1771, the Carmel Mission was second in a chain of 21 missions built in California by Franciscan priests. Serene gardens and courtyards surround the basilica, the interior of which is renowned for its original statues, paintings and other artifacts. An adjacent wing houses California's first library, built by the "Father of the California Missions," Junipero Serra, whose remains are buried in the sanctuary.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Going to the Dogs

    In 1980, actress Doris Day, a dedicated animal rights advocate, purchased the historic Cypress Inn hotel in the heart of Carmel. She declared the hotel "pet-friendly" which at the time was quite unprecedented. During "Yappy Hour" at the hotel bar, dogs of every variety can watch their humans sip the hotel's signature "Barktinis" or a glass of local wine. Dogs rule in Carmel--and are said to outnumber the residents to make it perhaps the most pet-friendly town in the nation.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Admire Fairytale Houses of Yesteryear

    While strolling through Carmel-by-the-Sea, you can't help but notice the many charming "Hansel and Gretel" cottages that dot the streets of the village, which is a mere one square mile in size. These whimsical houses are the legacy of designer-builder Hugh Comstock, who created his first cottage to house his wife's rag doll collection, and went on to construct 21 enchanting cottages in his "Dollhouse Tudor" style.  

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Walk Your Way Through Central Valley's Famous Wineries

    Casual wine drinkers as well as dedicated oenophiles will delight at the availability of ten wine tasting rooms featured on the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea. Experience it on your own for $10 a flight, or buy a $65 Wine Tasting Passport to spread the tastings over a day, week-end, or longer. This is a perfect opportunity to taste as much as you want....and walk back to your hotel room!

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    From Schoolhouse to Performing Arts Center

    Thanks to the vision of former celebrity mayor Clint Eastwood, an old schoolhouse was transformed into the Sunset Center for the Performing Arts, the cultural hub of Carmel-by-the Sea. The 718-seat theater, with its Gothic-inspired architecture and outstanding acoustics, hosts an eclectic mix of world-class artists from around the world. What is extraordinary is that such a first-class performing arts center is supported by a town of a mere 3,800 inhabitants. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    From Rustic to Luxury, Take Your Pick of Accommodations

    Quaint, historical, rustic, and luxury hotels and B & B's offer the visitor to Carmel-by-the-Sea a variety of overnight options. The town boasts 945 guest rooms at all price levels, and several historic hotels. The L'Auberge Carmel was constructed in 1929 by Carmel builder Allen Knight, who based his design on architecture he had seen while traveling in Prague. The hotel's restaurant, Aubergine, has won countless numbers of culinary awards over the years for its innovative cuisine.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    An Incredible Variety of Fine Dining Awaits the Visitor

    No fast-food restaurants, neon signs or parking meters clutter the landscape of Carmel-by-the-Sea. What does pervade the scene is a mind-boggling variety of outstanding restaurants, bistros, and cafes that dish up some incredible cuisine that has put Carmel on the map as a formidable culinary destination. Whether you are looking for authentic Scottish scones, traditional Spanish tapas, farm-to-table creations, or a full-scale culinary extravaganza of any variety, you will find it here.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    End Your Perfect Day on a Perfect Beach

    The wide, scenic beach that frames Carmel-by-the-Sea is the perfect spot to watch the setting sun over the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can enjoy a romantic beach fire while they roast marshmallows and sip local wine. Carmel-by-the-Sea has been a favorite wedding and honeymoon destination for decades....and with scenes like this one awaiting lovers, it's no wonder.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

About Joanne DiBona

Joanne held the position of Director of Communications for many years at the San Diego Tourism Authority.  During her long tenure with the bureau, she wore many hats, but her favorite was as creative writer and scenic photographer for the destination.
 
Her faithful camera always in hand, Joanne never tires of unearthing new and exciting adventures in her own backyard, as well as in some of her favorite travel destinations around the world. Her travel photography has appeared in hundreds of prestigious publications worldwide. She is a member of the esteemed Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).
 
 
 

Read more about Joanne DiBona here.

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