I love to drive or walk along the tree lined streets of the Village of Carmel. There are so many charming cottages nestled among twisited Cypress and towering Monterey Pines. There are no sidewalks or streetlights in the residential areas and the houses are identified by name rather than by numbers. Many of the beautiful homes have rustic stonework and whimsical architecture.
Walk down to the beach in the early evening (there is plenty of parking once the day beach people are gone) and watch the sunset. The clouds make it look as though the sun is making the ocean steam. The sun sets quickly, so watch carefully.
It's quite romantic to watch the sunset and take a walk along the sand. There were a lot of people out walking their dogs (it was fun to watch the dogs play in the water) and couples just sitting on the dunes enjoying the view.
If I were to make a list of things everyone HAD TO DO when on the Monterey Peninsula, this would be very high.
The 17-Mile Scenic Drive is a picturesque route in between Pacific Grove and Carmel. Of course very famous are the Lone Cypress and the legendary golf courses. The brochure says that there is more to the 17-Mile Drive than the spectacular meeting of land and sea, although there is plenty of that, too.
Of course there were a few attractions to go to like Fanshell Beach which is a popular place to stop for a picnic and catch a few rays. The 200- to 300-year-old Lone Cypress is among the most popular photo opportunies along the tour. The legendary tree, official symbol of Pebble Beach Company, is a California Landmark and has been immortalized by Robert Louis Stevenson and captured by countless artists and photographers
Of course there were a few attractions to go to like Fanshell Beach which is a popular place to stop for a picnic and catch a few rays. The 200- to 300-year-old Lone Cypress is among the most popular photo opportunies along the tour. The legendary tree, official symbol of Pebble Beach Company, is a California Landmark and has been immortalized by Robert Louis Stevenson and captured by countless artists and photographers.
Last but not least there are the obvious attractions like the golf courses Cypress Point, Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Link; a handful of castles scattered along the 17 miles of splendor through the Del Monte Forest; and, of course, nature.
To be honest we were a bit disappointed driving through it. The entry fee of 7.50 dollars included this illustrated brochure, but during the drive it never lived up to it!
Carmel's rural setting and leisurely pace help you relax and it's small elegant inns, restaurants, art galleries and shops make sure of a nice stay. It's fun to straw through the narrow streets and do some window shopping. But to be honest...it's quite expensive!
But you're definately better off visiting Mission San Carlos de Rio Carmelo. The Franciscan frair Junipero Serra was the founder of the Californian mission post. Untill his death in 1784 the mission post of Carmel was his homebase. The block, which contains Moorish elements, has a very artistic design and is build by untrained people! It's a great and beautiful place to wonder off...
Take a scenic drive on Highway 1 to Monterey and the charming seaside village of Pacific Grove. Monterey is home to lots of sealife (like the cute otters) which can be seen in it's natural bay and Aquarium. Also situated on the bay is Cannery Row with it's many shops and restaurants. Between Monterey and Del Monte Forest sits the lesser known Pacific Grove. It's a rural seaside town with a rocky coastline and many well preserved Victorian homes. The web site below has more pictures and information about this lovely coastal location which rivals it's more expensive neighbor, Pebble Beach.
On the way to Monterey and Carmel we stopped at Hearst Castel. This time we made reservations. (highly recommended because sometimes they are booked a few days in advance). Currently this is a state park and open to the public but it used to be the private home of W.R. Hearst. When he was a young child his mom took him on a year long trip through Europe and he designed his home based on the the architechture that enspired him during that trip. The house is amazing and there are walking tours for the different areas throughout the compound.
After I visited the mission I took the road along the coastline towards the south (highway 1). The views here were magnificent and I stopped a lot of times to take pictures.
When I see this picture, I think back to this sunny day along the Californian coast, the bright-orange coloured flowers waving in the wind, so high above the sea. The light of the sun is glittering on the sea, and the waves are thundering against the high cliffs. Hmmm, wish I was there right now.... I can feel the sunshine on my face, the fresh seabreeze going through my hair and smell the sweet perfume of the flowers.... hmmm, think I am dreaming away....
If you've made your base in Carmel-by-the-Sea, another place you MUST explore is the Point Lobos State Reserve. For more details on this state park, would you like to surf straight to my MONTEREY travel page? Thanks!
It's the main street of the city. Its sidewalks have old non loped trees which provide shadow to the pedestrians who roam along the streets, looking at the frontwindows of the shops.
I like the place because of its charmant atmosphere and could not realise I had second thoughs whether visiting it or not!