One of the best trips that we’ve ever undertaken was when we drove the Pacific Coast Highway in California from Santa Monica to San Francisco. Not only did it offer some of the most spectacular coastal views for us to enjoy it also offered the opportunity to visit numerous coastal towns including the beautiful Carmel by the Sea.
Carmel by the Sea is an interesting town as it resembles no other town along the west coast, or at least no others that we saw. The design of Carmel is a little like a traditional English village with lots of properties displaying floral window boxes and roses. For us our visit was a little bit like a home from home!
The beach at Carmel is certainly one of the better ones along the Pacific coast with long stretching lengths of golden sand. Wandering along here allows you to forget your troubles and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Throughout the town there are the usual assortment of shops offering groceries but what’s great about Carmel is that for the best part it’s not been hit heavily by tourism. There aren’t those tacky tourist shops through the town that you would usually see in the types of places but instead there’s an array of shops selling painted artworks and sculptures. It felt a little, well, premium if anything.
There are of course ice cream and cake shops here and on a 30+ degrees C day like during our visit it would have been rude not to get one!
Exploring the small town of Carmel is definitely a nice way to break up the Pacific coast drive. It offers something a little different with its unique style whilst also giving you the opportunity to enjoy a beach walk or a if you prefer, a walk along the promenade.
If you’re heading to the Pacific Coast Highway this year, be sure to add Carmel by the Sea to you itinerary!
Are you heading to the Pacific Coast this year and already planning to stop in at Carmel? Let us know your plans in the comments!