Photograph courtesy flickr/vtsr
Even if you find Carmel-by-the-Sea a wee twee, it’s futile to resist the beauty that turned this village into a bayside bohemia in the early 1900s. Meander through streets of vintage cottages to white-sand Carmel City Beach, where you can see from the greens of Pebble Beach to the untamed headlands at Point Lobos. It’s clear why Carmel attracted so many artists. Weston Gallery offers works by the Westons (Edward, Brett, and Cole) as well as by longtime local Ansel Adams, while tours at Tor House take you inside the stone compound hand built by poet Robinson Jeffers. Located near the heart of downtown, Tradewinds Carmel lets you escape from the village’s storybook excesses in spacious rooms with Balinese and Asian furnishings and design details. A few blocks away along Ocean Avenue, the main drag, Dametra Café’s menu spans the Mediterranean—and comes with spontaneous sides of loud music and dancing.