Carmel-by-the-Sea is the epitome of a town that is not only quaint and charming but also stylish and affluent. Carmel, a tiny town with art galleries, boutiques, and inns, is situated on the Monterey peninsula south of San Francisco and is surrounded by golf grounds. For the rest of us, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a beautiful getaway location in California for anyone seeking beauty, culture, leisure, and relaxation along the coast. However, only the wealthy can afford to truly live in Carmel.

Several weekends ago, we stayed here for two days and nights. Today, I’ll share a few pictures from our brief visit. The fact that downtown Carmel is filled with hidden passageways, alleys, and courtyards, as well as an abundance of blooming flowers, is my favorite feature of the area. They flourish in the sunlight and salty air, climbing up walls, blossoming in pots, and pouring out of window boxes.

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zen fountain

There are a few upscale hotels in Carmel, but I like the many inns in the downtown area. These are the cutest (and most reasonably priced) around, and when you stay downtown, you’re right in the midst of everything, close to the best eateries, stores, and the beach.

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Carmel has some of the best shopping around, with everything from clothes boutiques and jewelry stores to antique shops and home furnishing businesses.
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When I went to Carmel for the first time eight years ago, I fell in love with brick wall and bouganvillia4. It still carries the most stunning French antiques and embroidered linens.

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Another opulent find of mine was brick wall and bouganvillia7, which included everything French-inspired for the house and garden.
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Then there was Dolores Street off of Ocean Avenue, where one building was exquisitely decorated with tile and white stucco.
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Beautiful tiling patterns—wouldn’t these look gorgeous in fabric?
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And, of course, there is real estate. Let’s not even discuss it.
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But here’s an odd tidbit from the town’s website: Outside of Carmel’s main business district, there are still no addresses, parking meters, street lights, or sidewalks.

Residents who pick up their mail from post office boxes continue to gather at the neighborhood post office as a gathering place. The fifth house on the east side of Torres Street, blue trim, a fence made of driftwood, or the legendary names that most houses bear, such as Periwinkle or Sea Urchin, might all be helpful suggestions to anyone looking for their location.

? Hungry? There are several options for outdoor dining in the picturesque downtown, including upscale eateries and cozy bistros.
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I was impressed by the turquoise beams of window boxes carmel5 at our breakfast stop, but my little one did everything in his might to steal the spotlight.

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I later fell in love with the row of scroll lanterns along the outdoor pergola during our lunch at window boxes carmel7.

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If you ever travel to Carmel-by-the-Sea, you must take a stroll along the beach at Carmel Beach to make the most of your trip.
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Additionally, the recognizable cypress trees that border much of the shoreline and the renowned 17 Mile Drive hang precariously over the edge are impossible to miss.

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Read secret garden trio2 to find out more about everything Carmel. If you’re thinking about visiting California, I strongly advise adding Carmel-by-the-Sea to your itinerary!

One of my favorite vacation spots is Carmel. Which one of yours is that?
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