Carmel by the Sea
Carmel by the Sea Overview
Imagine basking beneath the warm California sky, a sea breeze blowing sweet ocean mist across your hair as you take your honey’s hand and absorb the embrace of another sunny honeymoon day.
You’re in Carmel by the Sea, a European-style, Spanish influenced beach village on the California coast where a song of serenity sings gently into love-struck honeymoon hearts.
Start your day at a charming local cafe sipping hot coffee and nibbling a fresh breakfast overlooking the gentle surf, savoring every moment of the morning. Then head over to the tree-lined streets of the village and browse the shops and galleries where fine jewelry, trendy clothing, and beautiful antiques and art await, just begging for attention from browsing eyes.
Of course, nature-loving couples can just walk hand-in-hand along the smooth sand and look out over the rocky coast, enjoying the peaceful sound of rolling waves. Or you can venture into the forests and groves where honeymoon hikers can discover fresh romance in the hidden coves and lookouts, all with magical views to enchant loving hearts.
Romantic dining is in high supply for your honeymoon in Carmel, where a variety of local and international cuisines can be enjoyed by the peace of the coastline or the charm of the quaint, old-fashioned village. From beach picnics to French bistros and old-fashioned fine Italian dining, the restaurants in Carmel are a honeymoon dream.
So come experience true romance at Carmel by the Sea, a honeymoon playground where stress is caressed away until all that’s left is the light of love.
- BURGEOIS BOUTIQUES: At Carmel by the Sea, shopping becomes a daylong experience. With hundreds of shops and boutiques to explore, Carmel is a shopper’s paradise. Visit downtown Carmel’s Ocean Avenue for a charming walk where you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale, strolling along cobblestone pathways and exploring Tudor-style cottages converted into shops. For more traditional shopping, the east end’s Carmel Plaza is an outdoor mall comprised of over fifty brand-name shops and restaurants. After shopping 'till you drop for jewelry, fashions and honeymoon keepsakes, end the picture-perfect day at one of the village’s bistros or cafes.
- I DREAM OF VINO: Treat your palettes to the exceptional California wines and spirits at Carmel by the Sea’s wine bars and bottle shops. One of the village’s greatest attractions is the Carmel Wine Walk-by-the-Sea. Grab your Wine Walk Passports for a wine tasting adventure where you don't have to worry about driving when you're done. For $65 a “passport”, you can enjoy wine tastings at seven tasting rooms, all within walking distance. Meet the winemakers, and even get dinner recommendations from each of the tasting rooms. The best part? The Wine Walk Passports never expire, so you don’t feel rushed to use them all at once! Make it a full day of tastings, or spread them throughout your entire honeymoon.
- NATURAL BEAUTY: Just a few miles south of Carmel, Point Lobos State Reserve offers scenic trails for nature-loving couples. Check out the Cypress Grove Trail to pass a cove filled with otters and seals. If you visit between the months of December and May, you’ll have the chance to view migrating whales. Bring along a camera to capture amazing shots of the scenery.
- BEACH PARADISE: Known for its gorgeous beaches, a honeymoon to Carmel by the Sea isn’t complete without a day by the water. The village offers two beaches to its visitors. Carmel Beach has everything your standard beach goer would want: an amazing sunset, surfing in the Pacific and soft white sand. Guests can hold bonfires in designated areas. Take advantage and snuggle up next to a warm fire on the beach for an evening of s’mores and star gazing. The less crowded but equally stunning Carmel River State Beach spans 106 acres of Carmel Bay, and is right next door to a bird sanctuary. Animal lovers will love watching the bird life, with everything from pelicans to sandpipers.
- CARMEL CULTURE: Learn the rich history of Carmel by the Sea at local missions, galleries and museums. Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, better known as The Carmel Mission, was founded in 1771 and preserves the religious roots of the village. Be transported to another era viewing the early kitchen and sleeping quarters of the old mission. Beside the stone church lies a beautiful garden, perfect for a peaceful stroll surrounded by California poppies. This artist town is also filled with homes of famous writers, photographers, poets and painters. Visit Tor House, the former home of early twentieth century poet Robinson Jeffers. Overlooking the sea, Tor House is a charming stone cottage Jeffers built by hand in 1919. The tour discusses the life and times of Jeffers, and the history of his home. History-lovers won’t want to miss this inside look at one of Carmel’s most famous dwellings.
Tips and Advice
- GETTING THERE: The closest major airport is San Jose International Airport, which is about an hour and a half away by car. The Monterey Peninsula Airport is only seven miles northeast of Carmel. Smaller nearby airports include Salina Municipal Airport and Watsonville Municipal Airport. If driving, head to Highway 1 to get to Carmel. It runs north-south along the California coast.
- GETTING AROUND: While many key locations are easy to get to by foot, scenic drives along the coast are encouraged. For local travel, bikes are a great way to get through the village and around the country. Just be wary of hills and winding roads.
- TIME ZONE: Carmel by the Sea is in the Pacific Time Zone.
- AREA CODE: The area code in Carmel, California is 831.
- CLIMATE: Carmel by the Sea has a pleasant climate, with great weather most days of the year. The wet season is roughly from November to April. For the best local weather visit between September and October, when Carmel’s average high temperature is 72 °F.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- NUMBER THE STREETS: Stroll through town and admire the diverse architecture that draws from Mediterranean influences. Oddly enough, there are no street numbers on houses or businesses in Carmel, which means no mail! Locals go to the Post Office to get their mail, and the lack of street numbers means lots of quirky names to make everything memorable and easier to find.
- MAKE IT A MOVIE NIGHT: Make the most of the pleasant weather with a couple's movie night courtesy of Carmel's Forest Theater Guild. Though once held at the outdoor Forest Theater, the city is now renovating this venue, and will announce the new venues on the Forest Theater Guild website. Regardless, movies are screened for a “Films in the Forest” series throughout the summer. Grab a blanket and prepare for a cozy movie night with screenings of new releases, time-tested classics and even documentaries.
- MAKE IT A DOGGIE-MOON: Animal lovers will appreciate Carmel by the Sea’s dog-friendly policy. Most hotels allow guests to bring their dogs, and many restaurants that offer outdoor dining allow dogs to feast with their owners! Plenty of retailers let your dogs into their stores, and if your furry pal is lucky, they might even get a tasty treat!