How to Plan a Long Weekend in California’s Fairytale Carmel-by-the-Sea
Carmel-by-the-Sea will cost a pretty dime to visit, but we promise its storybook setting is well worth the price.
We all love a good fairy tale, right? Also, huzzah for the weekends – because when you combine the two, you get a town called Carmel-by-the-Sea, and it’s located on the California coast not far from Big Sur. This great state may be known for its bustling cities, Hollywood lifestyle, and classic San Fran skylines, but one city is about to change everything you think you know about it. Vacationing in Carmel-by-the-Sea is more than a getaway, it’s a chance to feel like you’ve fallen into a storybook setting.
Perched on a hill along the coast, this town gives way to moss-covered thatched roofs, cobbled streets and charming restaurants. It’s a unique corner of California that many people don’t know despite its reputation as a true fairy tale coming to life, looking more like a medieval European town than one that can be found on the Pacific coast. . From sea views to shopping, there’s nothing visitors don’t like about this city – and the best part is you can see all of its best features in a weekend.
Where to stay
A long weekend should be enough time to see all the best things about Carmel-by-the-Sea, and an important part of the planning is deciding where to stay. Since a long weekend only consists of three nights, this is the perfect time to take advantage of hotels that are right in the city center. Their prices might be higher than you would expect, but trust us, it’s worth being within walking or biking distance of downtown, which is the most fairytale part of Carmel. -by-the-Sea.
Some hotels to consider are Cypress Inn, La Playa Carmel, and L’Auberge Carmel. Each is within a ten-minute walk of Carmel Beach (which means a beautiful sunset is guaranteed every night) and a short walk into town, with a short drive to 17-Mile Drive . While rates can reach $ 499 / night during peak season, they drop during off-peak hours, so if you’d rather save money, consider booking before or after the summer months.
Airbnb rates are pretty mixed when it comes to booking at Carmel-by-the-Sea, but a few great deals can be found if you don’t mind staying a bit further from the main points of interest. While prices per night can range from $ 85 for a guesthouse to $ 1,443 for an entire house in a prime location with a fairytale exterior, it might be worth doing your research here. The median rental price in Carmel is between $ 250 and $ 500 per night, so if you don’t mind a short drive, this is something to consider – just be sure to book early.
What to do and when
There is a lot to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea but there are things that matter like must do activities, and one of them is 17-Mile Drive. It costs just $ 10.75 to drive along this scenic route or $ 5.25 for the tour bus, and for its vistas, it’s well worth the price of admission.
It is hailed as one of the most scenic drives in the world and takes visitors through even more fairy-tale forests, spectacular clifftop views, and pristine beaches. Some of the most notable points to stop and explore along the way are Lone Cypress, Crocker Grove for its massive trees, Fanshell Beach for a virtually untouched shoreline, Point Joe for seeing the rough seas and the Spanish Bay promenade. Since the ride is off Pebble Beach, start the day early and explore Pebble Beach Market and explore its restaurants for dinner later. The journey itself should only take a few hours if visitors choose to see all points along the way.
Point Lobos State Park is a great way to explore the nature that surrounds Carmel-by-the-Sea. It is one of the state’s most scenic parks and offers stunning views of the Pacific Coast, and many of its hiking trails are well suited for novice hikers. It is best to arrive early otherwise it can get a bit crowded, especially during the summer months. Start the morning with a hike, then head into town to explore the shops and grab a bite to eat.
If biking is your thing, renting a bike to explore downtown Carmel-by-the-Beach is a must. It’s also a great way to explore its side streets and immediate surroundings, as many of the area’s homes were built with the same storybook construction in mind.
The town center is also easily accessible on foot and has outdoor seating on the patios attached to the restaurants, an English-style candy store that looks like something Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and many shops devoted to unique gifts and products, many of which are made locally.
End the day at Carmel Beach, known for its incredible sunsets and being uncrowded most of the time. It’s romantic and intimate and known as one of the best beaches in the country.
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