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Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

idyllic setting

This charming town allows you to unwind in a relaxing environment before you continue your travel along the Californian Coastline. The cuisine offers a vast array of unique treats, chain restaurants lacking from the streets that, peculiarly, withhold no address. Explore the community where Clint Eastwood served as a mayor, covered by beautiful beaches that stretch all the way to Big Sur and the wonderful Point Lobos.

PRICES FROM JUST £1599 pp - includes flights, hotels, car hire & a fab road trip pack

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a quaint little town in Monterey County, full of kitsch buildings like something straight out of a fairytale.

Where is Carmel?

You will reach Carmel-by-the-Sea as you drive along Highway 1. Located just 15 minutes away from Monterey, or two hours south of San Francisco. Celebrity favourites in the town include Doris Day and Clint Eastwood who each have properties here.

What to do in Carmel?

Whether you’re passing through or staying to relax for a few nights, Carmel will reward you with some of the most beautiful, whimsical scenery, historic sights, galleries, shops, and gorgeous restaurants.

The Carmel Mission is a cultural gem. Originally built in 1770 by Spanish settlers, the mission was brought back to life in the 1940s.

Carmels’ streets are lined with heavenly bakeries and popular restaurants next to fancy home stores selling flashy furnishings. There is a mix of shops for every traveller in the area, each with a unique and personal feel to them.

Carmel is a walkable little town, with each road winding into the next and all leading down to the pristine beach.

10 minutes driving along the coast will bring you to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. For just $10 you can enter and park up before walking along the rocky shore and admiring the turquoise waters crashing against your feet. Remember to take appropriate footwear as there are gorgeous hiking trails to be explored here!

Where to stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

With so many beautiful little inns and charming properties, you will struggle to choose where to stay. One of our particular favourites is The Lamp Lighter Inn. There’s a beautiful, cosy courtyard in the centre of the comfy rooms with fire pits and decorative birdhouses. Here you are sure to meet lovely, likeminded travellers whilst you enjoy some local wine.

Where to next…

As you drive south along Highway 1 you will reach Bixby Bridge. This marks the beginning of The Big Sur, which, as you head south, will lead you to San Simeon and Cambria then onwards to Santa Barbara. If you are heading north you will drive through Pebble Beach, near the 17-Mile drive and onto Monterey. From here you can carry on north to San Francisco or to Yosemite National Park.

A little known fact about Carmel…

Generally, there are no street addresses here. The residents made this decision in the early days as they wanted to encourage people to know their neighbours, which residents still encourage to date as they collect post from the post office. Additionally, there are also no street lights since residents wanted to keep light pollution to a minimum. Great for a night under the stars, of course! 

explore the road trips that visit Carmel, California below...

Drive along the Big Sur, Highway 1, California

Classic Highway 1

San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Point Lobos, Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway, Cambria, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Los Angeles & more

Las Vegas - View of Paris Hotel, Las Vegas California Coast Road Trip

Cali Coast & Vegas

San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree NP & Las Vegas!

Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas Sign. The Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle

San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Death Valley NP, Yosemite NP, Napa Valley & more

Visit California to see Sunsets in Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Classic California

San Francisco, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway, Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles & more

Pacific Coast Highway. The Big Sur, Bixby Bridge

Pacific Coast Highway

San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway, Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, San Diego & more

The Painted Ladies, colourful Houses in San Francisco, Visit Northern California

Northern California

San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Yosemite NP, Lake Tahoe, Lassen Volcanic NP, Redwoods NP, Napa Valley & more

Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, Northern Cali Loop in California

Northern Cali Loop

San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley & more

Skyline reflections from Portland to Los Angeles

Portland to LA

Portland, Oregon Coast, Redwood NP, Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles & more

Reflections on the Lake in Yosemite National Park, Californias west coast Road Trip

Best Of The West

Laguna Beach, Palm Springs, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Monterey, Big Sur, LA & more

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, West Coast America

Ultimate West Coast

Seattle, Olympic NP, Oregon Coast, Portland, Crater Lake NP, Redwood NP, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Monterey Bay, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles & more

Route 66 road signs in the Route 66 and Highway 1

The Big Two

Chicago, St Louis, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Grand Canyon NP, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara,Big Sur, Monterey, San Francisco & more

Cacti in the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix Arizona, Southwest Road Trip

Ultimate Southwest

Scottsdale, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Las Vegas, Yosemite, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Big Sur, Los Angeles, San Diego & more

Bright colours of the Grand Canyon ON OUR Grand Tour America

Grand Tour America

San Fran, Big Sur, LA, Las Vegas, Zion NP, Grand Canyon, Texas, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Blue Ridge Parkway, Washington DC, NYC & more

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