Carmel-By-The-Sea, or simply Carmen, is a true hidden gem of California. This enchanting European-style town by the sea isn’t something that many people might have heard of but actually has so many exciting offerings for its visitors.
Carmel is a picturesque beach destination popular for its dramatic sceneries, battered bluffs, white sand beaches, village charm, and cottages that look like they came straight out of a fairytale. In an effort to retain its unique small-town appeal, you won’t see any street addresses, streetlights, parking meters, and chain restaurants in Carmel.
If you have always wanted to visit Carmel and discover its charms, here are some of the top things to do in this hidden Californian gem:
Experience Your Life’s Most Scenic Drive
Jaws have been dropping since this drive that stretches for 17 miles in a gated community in Pebble Beach first opened in 1881 to horse-drawn carriages. Spend half of your day driving by the coast where you will pass photo-worthy sights that you won’t see in a day in other destinations.
Grab a Meal at Clint Eastwood’s Ranch
For a couple of years during the 80s, Clint Eastwood served as Carmel’s major, and during that time, he legalized eating ice cream on the city streets. He now owns a working ranch just outside Carmel with a restaurant that offers sumptuous meals while giving you fairytale-like views of grazing sheep.
Play Pinball and Enjoy a Pint
A small-batch brewery famous for its Mad Otter Pale Ale, Carmel Craft Brewing Company has a brewpub where you can try 12 beers on tap, enjoy a pizzetta and a pin, play pinball, and listen to live music during the weekends. This is a real slice of heaven not far from the coast.
Ride a Kayak and Explore the Enchanted Protected Reserve
Dubbed as the crown jewel of the 280 state parks of California, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is regarded by many as among the Golden State’s most beautiful places. Dramatic cliffs, white sand beaches, sparkling emerald waters, tide pools, wildflowers, Monarch butterflies, and sea lions are only some of the enchanting attractions of the California coast that can all be found in this park.
If hiking sounds too ordinary, an open coast kayak tour will let you explore the crystal-clear water, see the hidden caves and coves, and be up close and personal with the sea otters, sea lions, and more.
Play a Round at a Celebrated Golf Course
Pebble Beach Golf Links is the United States’ leading public course not just because of its stunning views, greens hugging oceanside cliffs, and the world’s most popular 18th hole but also because this course requires skill and strategy and a greens fee worth $575. Playing a round here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is not like other golf games you have played in the past.
There are still so many things to do at Carmel by the Sea, and it is up to you what you will do first the moment you set foot in this hidden only known to a few lucky folks.
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