Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the loveliest stops on Pacific Coast Highway (or California Route 1) and a great weekend getaway destination for both locals and road trippers. Carmel immediately takes you away from the metropolitan rush of this century.
The small town is also known for one of its famous mayors: Clint Eastwood, who served from 1986 to 1988.
Where is Carmel-by-the-Sea?
The town lies on the Pacific coast of California, within a 2.5-hour drive from San Francisco to the south.
Where to Stay
I stayed at Hofsas House on San Carlos Street. The European style hotel has beautifully decorated rooms, many of them with an ocean view.
Taking a walk along the beach at the end of Ocean Avenue is one of the things you really shouldn’t miss in Carmel.
While walking down Ocean Avenue you will be surprised by the number of galleries you see. Here, you can find galleries with original themes, such as Turkish Ceramics or Italian Sculpture, as well as the ones that only have paintings or photographs on display.
The First Murphy House
The First Murphy House, constructed in 1902, was the first of more than 300 houses that Michael J. Murphy would build in Carmel. At that time, he was 17 years old. His designs are known to form the architectural structure of the town.
The house, which is now home to Carmel Heritage Society, was moved from its original place to Lincoln Avenue because of another construction project.
You can try local (Monterey Country) wines at the tasting rooms in Carmel.
14 of these tasting rooms in the town participate in Carmel Wine Walk, which offers a self-guided wine tasting tour around the town center with a Wine Tasting Passport. The tour costs around $100, and it can be extended over a weekend or even several weeks.
Where to Eat
Thanks to its cultural diversity, the town has become a European culinary heaven.
Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel
Since January 2011, Aubergine has been directed by Justin Cogley, who uses local ingredients to create innovative menus. Cogley has an interesting career that started with professional figure skating. Though he is not involved in professional sports anymore, he has become a triathlete and a long-distance runner.
The restaurant has an 8-course tasting menu that changes daily.
Little Napoli is a traditional Italian restaurant, which I ran across while looking for somewhere to have lunch around Dolores Street.
It’s worth a visit if you are planning eat at an Italian restaurant.