Carmel-by-the-Sea: A Fairy Tale City

October 22, 2014

carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming town vacation roadtrip
UPDATED AUGUST 2019
Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle are two of my favorite places in California. Its cute little houses make you feel as if you were in a fairy tale. Carmel has inspired artists, sparked romances, and attracted celebrities for decades. Rated a top-10 destination in the U.S. year after year, Carmel is an amazing, European-style village nestled above a picturesque white-sand beach.

Carmel is a great place for a weekend getaway if you are in California or a must-stop on a road trip. Words like rest, relax, unwind and happiness come to mind when I think of this coastal town. Every time I've been to California, I have visited Carmel, I'll never be tired of it.

This guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea is perfect for first-time visitors. You can get an overall idea of what to find, things you have to do, trips to nearby cities, some hotels to stay and restaurants worth trying out.
carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming townThere are some interesting facts that make this city unique:
  • There are no street addresses.
  • Selling and eating ice-cream in the streets is prohibited.
  • You need a permit to wear high heels.
  • There are no fast food or chain restaurants.
carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming town
WHERE TO STAY
There are few places with more charming hotels than Carmel. Picture yourself staying in one of these fairytale houses, sounds wonderful, right? 


carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming town
carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming town
THINGS TO DO
Apart from wandering the streets of Carmel in search of the prettiest houses you can do the following:

  • In downtown Carmel you will find many local stores with treasures to take back home from your trip. 
  • Shop at Carmel Plaza and grab a bite at one of their restaurants.
  • Get some Vitamin Sea at Carmel beach.
  • Take a scenic drive down 17 Mile Drive and see mansions such as the ones on Big Little Lies or view points like Pebble Beach.
  • Visit the Carmel Mission to learn more about the town's history.

More charming towns:

  • Monterey city is nearby and well worth a visit. Stroll on Cannery Row to get a full experience of the city. I also recommend the Monterey Aquarium if you have time. 
  • Pacific Grove  has been called “Butterfly Town U.S.A.”, “The Most Romantic City in the U.S.”, “A Dreamy California Destination”. I think that sums up pretty well what this place is like.

carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming town
carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming town
RESTAURANTS
From 1986 to 1988 Clint Eastwood was the major of this town. He owns a restaurant called Hog's Breath Inn which is a must if you are visiting the city. If you are a fun of the actor you'll find tons of memorabilia decorating the walls. From the menu, I recommend you try the burgers, they are scrumptious.

Other restaurants and cafes worth trying:
Portabella: local fresh cuisine in a charming environment. 
Brophy's Tavern: one of Carmels’ iconic restaurants serves your all-America favorites.
La Bicyclette: features European Country Cuisine using local ingredients.
carmel downtown houses fairytale california seaside charming town
Need more? Read the following to help you plan your trip:
California 1
Christmas in San Francisco

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21 comments

  1. This place looks so cute!!
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  2. wow, nice place, and that dog so cute. I am Royal Wang, i would like to invite you to my blog and maybe we can follow each other,please me know]

    http://www.fashionculturediary.blogspot.it/

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  3. Lovely post! I visited there a few years ago and would love to go back. I didn't know any of those laws, how funny!

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  4. Nice post!

    XX
    www.floortjeloves.com
    www.facebook.com/floortjeloves

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  5. Beautiful pictures. xx

    http://ninasstyleblog.blogspot.com

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  6. This place looks perfect!

    xx Nicola

    www.morning-elegance.com

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  7. Looks like a great fairytale place!

    xx,
    Marie

    http://www.LivRiot.com
    http://www.LivRiot.com

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  8. Those houses are so pretty

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  9. Beautiful!
    Kisses from Miami,
    Borka
    www.chicfashionworld.com

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  10. Carmel is one of my favorite travel spots - I love the Pacific coast, wildlife, and the beautiful architecture. Lovely post!

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  11. Oh my! This does look like a fairytale place!


    Thank you for joining us at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/08/pass-jelly.html

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  12. Kelleyn RothaermelAugust 27, 2019 at 4:01 PM

    I have always wanted to carmel, but just never made it. It looks totally charming.
    http://travelingbugwiththreeboys-kelleyn.blogspot.com/

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  13. It's a very cute little town. It's been a while. Time to visit, again.
    Love your pictures!

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  14. I love the whimsical feel of this charming town. Everyone should have a Carmel experience.








    Worth a Thousand Words

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  15. Beautiful images! Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of my favorite destinations in California. It's so pretty. I had no idea there were no street addresses though! Fun fact! Your post has me thinking a return trip may be necessary. :)

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  16. Thanks, Carol! It's one of my favorites as well :)

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  17. It's a must! I hope you can go some day

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  18. Thank you! It's very cute indeed.

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  19. Thanks, Mandy! Carmel is one of my favorites as well

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