Carmel-by-the-Sea is the most picturesque small (one square mile) town we visited in California. This coastal town has numerous restaurants, art galleries, quaint inns, fancy (and pricey) boutique shops, cool coffee shops, manicured front gardens, beautiful trees and stunning natural scenery. As scenic as the picture-postcard villages in the Cotswolds with charming little cottages with sloped roofs. And that name ‘Carmel-by-the-Sea’ is just lovely.
This quirky town was founded as an artist’s colony, probably the most dog friendly town in California, there are no street addresses, no chain restaurants, Clint Eastwood is the former mayor of Carmel, Doris Day owned a hotel, and you need permits to wear high heels.
We spent a couple of days there relaxing, walking from restaurant to coffee shop, watching sunsets, exploring small (secret) passageways and then headed to Carmel Valley to drink wine. Lots of wine.