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Carmel’s white sand beaches resemble those of Hawaii and other exotic destinations, but this town in Northern California holds all the charms of a town on the Monterey Bay Peninsula. Located about fifteen minutes from Monterey and a short drive to Big Basin, Carmel offers visitors fantastic scenery, a vibrant art scene, and is known for having especially pet-friendly accommodations. Ocean Avenue, the main downtown in Carmel by the Sea, is a trail of high end boutiques and art galleries which lead down to the ocean. For scuba divers, Monterey has the best kelp forest diving in the world — as long as you are prepared for the cold water temperature. Whether you pack a wetsuit, paintbrush, dog leash, or suit, Carmel is a prime destination for any activity.
Things to Do in Carmel
Carmel offers opportunities for outdoor activities as well as casual perusing. If you are looking to get out in the crisp air, the beaches that line Carmel are the best option for activity. Take a jog on the beach with your dog (unleashed!) from one tide pool to the other, or wait until dusk to see spectacular red sunsets over the ocean. Big Sur is just south of Carmel for those who prefer to hike sprawling mountains. The beach is ideal for surfing (wetsuit strongly recommended), sailing, kayaking, or flying a kite. Monterey, just north, has some of the world’s top kelp forest scuba diving and is home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
A stroll down Ocean Avenue provides a break from the sand. The Cottage of Sweets, Flaherty’s Seafood, Coach Store, and Paloosh are only a few of the popular places downtown complemented by a variety of cafes and art galleries. Stop at the Carmel Plaza to find more shopping. Visit the San Carlos Borromeo Mission to explore California’s missionary history. Those interested in golf can play at the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course which hosted the US Open in 2010.
Accommodations in Carmel
Carmel, especially Carmel by the Sea, is full of accommodations from small cottages to bed and breakfasts to large estates and villas. Many houses are just blocks from the ocean and many have ocean views even if they are not directly on the beach. Carmel is extremely pet friendly so finding pet friendly hotels and rentals is very easy. Insider tip: Carmel is a top destination to buy second homes so homeowners often rent out their homes as vacation rentals and short term rentals. Therefore, the selection here tends to be better than many California beachside towns. Find your dream Carmel cottage on Tripping today!