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Things to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea

26 contributors

The top 10 attractions in Carmel-By-the-Sea

Nature Reserves in Carmel-By-the-Sea
Big Sur
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Big Sur refers to a stretch of 150 km of rugged coastline between Carmel and strikingly beautiful, north and San Simeon (Hearst Castle) to the south. The Highway One (Highway One) passes along this place and is bounded on one side by the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains and on the other by the rocky Pacific Coast. The scenic features and the natural grandeur of the coast are the result of an impressive geography, rich vegetation composition and dramatic meeting of land and sea, which represent the biggest attraction in the area. Big Sur has maintained a worldwide reputation for its spectacular beauty. Walking tours or car tours are the best ways to see it. Be sure to be extremely careful while driving along the 1 because while it is extremely well maintained, it is curvy, with many sharp curves and steep hills. So don't go very fast. Along the route you can see the sea lions and whales. Source: http://www.usatourist.com/espanol/destinations/california/bigsur/big-sur-main.html
Roads in Carmel-By-the-Sea
Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway)
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Going away from San Francisco you will not regret leaving when you see the stunning scenery of Big Sur along Highway 1. This is the coastal road stretching from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Obviously it is much slower than the highway but it is really worth it. There are many towns along the way to stop for a bite to eat, and the most beautiful beach is definitely the Piedras Blancas, famous for its hundreds of elephant seals.
Beaches in Carmel-By-the-Sea
Carmel Beach
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Located below the charming seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, this huge sandy beach is one of the main tourist attractions and is one of the reasons why the town is regularly stormed by tourists, especially during summer. I must say that it's a lovely beach, clean and well-maintained, with excellent waves for lovers of water-sports and a stunning view of the cliffs in the distance.
Of Touristic Interest in Carmel-By-the-Sea
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We travelled to San Francisco and we made a stop in Monterey. By chance us arriving coincided with the celebration of this contest, which fills the streets of Carmel with amazing vintage cars. There is a lively atmosphere and its a unique experience. If you are going to travel in summer, check your dates because its worth seeing. The exhibition is on the street, so of course, it's free.
Historical Monuments in Carmel-By-the-Sea
Bixby Bridge
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I had never seen anything like the fog and the green against the ocean that you see when you stop to look at this beautiful vintage bridge!
Unusual Places in Carmel-By-the-Sea
Piernas Blancas
Just a short distance from the famous Highway One, which runs along the Californian coast offering spectacular views, Piernas Blancas is a completely unique place that deserves a stop if you're in the neighborhood. It is a gathering place for the study and observation of sea lions, and you can see hundreds of them here basking in the sun, doing nothing except swimming and splashing the sand with their fins ... delightful!
Shops in Carmel-By-the-Sea
Lush
I discovered Lush while I was living in Italy but I later found it in several cities, including the mini-city of Carmel in the United States. The store is huge and full of bar soaps with different smells. What caught my attention were the shampoos. In addition to the bath products, there are several other beauty products including hair sprays, masks (cream shampoos too), body and face creams. The smell of the store can be a bit strong as all the products are very fragrant and mixed together.
Shops in Carmel-By-the-Sea
The Tea Rose Collection
The name of this shop says it all. This is a store for those who like tea or coffee in the afternoons, and the decor is very charming and girly. Two friendly housewives run the store, which is on the verge of kitsch, but just on the right side of tasteful. You'll find porcelain wares, napkins, classic teapots, and of course an enormous selection of teas hidden away at the back of the store.
Shops in Carmel-By-the-Sea
The Carmel Hat Company
I've never seen so many hat stores in my life as I did in California. Each city we passed had at least one store dedicated to hats. This one is in a small gallery on Ocean Avenue, the busiest street in town - in fact, the only street in Carmel crammed with shops and restaurants. It's a very large store, and it's just crammed entirely with hats. It's beautiful, but quite expensive, about $80 for a hat. If you're a hat wearer, this is the place to go.
Gardens in Carmel-By-the-Sea
McWay Canyon
Located directly on Highway One, just a few meters from the beautiful road that winds between sea and mountains along the California coast, the Mac Way Canyon, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a great spot to stop for a picnic. There are all amenities (very useful, because you'll find few stops on this road) and lovely scenery, with forest greenery and waterfalls everywhere.