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Sensi Magazine

Carmel-by-the-Sea Is Sweeter Than Sweet

Mar 13, 2019 07:37PM ● By Dawn Garcia
Carmel is full of romance and history. The story begins in 1771, when the Carmel Mission was founded, but Carmel-by-the-Sea wouldn’t find its place as a charming village along California’s central coast until the twentieth century. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, this village of fairytale cottages, small shops, and awe-inspiring views is referred to by some as “the most charming village in the world.” Once governed by Mayor Clint Eastwood, it may not be the world’s only charming village, but it certainly is one of the most loved.

You can get to Carmel by air, car, or sea. Situated along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Pacific Ocean, Carmel-by-the-Sea is nestled between Monterey Bay and Big Sur along Highway 101, near San Luis Obispo. The region is so picturesque, literary legends like Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac flocked here for inspiration.

When you enter Carmel, you’re transported to a land of romance, wine, family fun, delicious food, and a surprising amount of art. With around 40 hotels and bed and break-fasts, accommodations range from quaint to luxurious. From the Bavarian-themed Hofsas House (HOFSASHOUSE.COM), a charming, salmon-colored family hotel that’s been a fixture in the area for 70 years, to the Zen inspired Tradewinds Carmel (TRADEWINDSCARMEL.COM), which melds antique Asian décor and French cuisine, to the Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn (HYATT.COM), with cliffside views and a restaurant that serves some of the best farm-to-table, organic cuisine in the area, you have choices.

As you wander the town, you’ll notice none of the buildings or homes have physical addresses. They are simply fixtures of the region and their identity lies more in their design and offerings than in marked numbers. The streets are the same way, which can present a challenge but if you find yourself lost, pop into any store and they’ll hand you a map of the town that has every shop, restaurant, tasting room, and the like designated with cute little drawings adding to the sweetness and allure.

With a local grocer, fresh seafood, local wineries, breweries, and distilleries, and restaurants serving cuisine that span the globe, you will be able to find just about anything you’re looking for. From breakfast to dinner, the one subtle downside of Carmel-by-the-Sea is that everything closes relatively early. You won’t find a roaring bar with copious amounts of loud patrons anywhere and that may be because this is a family-friendly town that also believes in the art of romance. Something else you won’t find in the city of Carmel are high heels! It has been said to be an urban myth but it’s not. Heels more than two-inches in height require a permit in this city, so those of us who love a sexy heel will have to stick to a wedge, boot, or succumb to a pair of your favorite tennis shoes.

Carmel-by-the-Sea does emit Old World romanticism, steadying our busy lives with exquisite reasons to visit if for no other reason than to pause, breathe in nature, bask in turquoise waters, take leisurely strolls, and find your center in an all-too-chaotic world.