Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Life's a beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea...

You'll find Carmel, or Carmel-by-the-Sea as it's also known, in Monterey County about 330 miles north of Los Angeles and 120 miles south of San Francisco.
Carmel shore
It's a picturesque small town along the scenic Pacific Coast and it's notorious for being a haven for artists, photographers and literary figures, famously once having Clint Eastwood as Mayor for one term in the late 1980's and for being very dog-friendly.
Carmel CaliforniaPicturesque Carmel
I'd say its residents are a slightly older clientele and the streets are lined with pretty tea and coffee shops, galleries and antiques stores.
Carmel bird sculptureCarmel Art AssociationBird sculpture in Carmel
Carmel is also famous for the golf crowd and it's proximity to Pebble Beach and the scenic 17-mile drive there.
Carmel Pebble Beach viewCarmel beach
There are lots of restaurants around the town, we dined at Casanova and Il Fornaio, but everything tends to close quite early.
Carmel arts and antiques stores
Obviously as well as the dining and shops, there's also the wine tasting opportunities in Carmel Valley as we experienced firsthand.
Svendsgaards Inn Carmel
We had fond memories of visiting Carmel on our previous trip up Highway 1 so we were delighted to be able to stay at the same hotel again, Svendgaards Inn. It's such a sweet, friendly place and walking distance from most things (which is a novelty after needing a car to go anywhere in L.A.).
Jason at Carmel Beach
I think people like Carmel for the beautiful beaches there and I was especially excited to see so many dogs off-leash along the shore.
Carmel Pebble Beach sunset
Whilst we drove up the coast, our pup Cooper was having his own holiday in Burbank, but we'll know for next time that Carmel is super dog-friendly.
Carmel evening clouds
The friend we were traveling with is a little afraid of dogs, so she did well to stay with us and our bounding 70lb Labrador in L.A. the week before, but we felt we couldn't subject her to a 400 or so mile journey in the back seat with Cooper.
Misty Carmel sunset
Whenever I'm near the ocean I always think how great it would be to live there, but with coastal living you never know when a fog will roll in.
Carmel September evening sky
Regardless of the weather it's still refreshing change of pace to have the sand beneath your feet (and between your toes) and spectacular Pacific Ocean views.
Carmel beach tree
After two nights in Carmel it was off further up the coast to the City by the Bay, San Francisco...

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