By Heather Turk
Situated on the southern bend of the Monterey Peninsula in Central California, Carmel-by-the-Sea is the quintessential vacation destination. This charming, dog-friendly getaway offers an array of activities for guests to enjoy, most within walking distance from one another. With an average high temperature of 72 degrees in September and October, there’s no better time for Allegiant passengers flying into Monterey Regional Airport to soak up all Carmel has to offer.
A mecca for artists, Carmel is home to nearly 80 art studios, galleries and antique stores showcasing works from around the world. While the sheer number of venues can be a bit overwhelming, art aficionados will definitely want to stop by the fairytale-like Thomas Kinkade Studio in the Garden, which is tucked away on Ocean Avenue between Lincoln and Dolores streets.
Shoppers will find an assortment of one-of-a-kind boutiques centered on Ocean Avenue, too, such as The White Rabbit, a large “Alice in Wonderland”-themed store located between Lincoln and Monte Verde streets. Fans of the beloved children’s tale can purchase a variety of curious items inside the quaint gift shop, including backward clocks.
Carmel has more than 60 delectable dining options for guests to choose from, like celebrity-favorite Forge in the Forest. Located on the corner of Junipero Street and 5th Avenue, guests can dine on the restaurant’s lushly landscaped patio while feasting upon a menu of flavorful salads (try the popular 3 Beet Salad), fresh-caught, sustainable seafood and organic, grass-fed steaks.
Naturally, visitors will want to get out onto the water while in Carmel, whether they’re surfing at Carmel Beach or embarking on a nearby kayaking excursion with Adventures by the Sea. Offered daily with advance reservations, guests can spot dolphins, sea otters, sea lions and even whales on occasion as they paddle out onto Stillwater Cove and past the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links in a one- or two-person kayaks.
With so much to experience, visitors will want to spend at least one night in Carmel. The Hideaway, a recently rebranded 24-room inn at Junipero Street and 8th Avenue, is located just steps away from Ocean Avenue and Carmel Beach. With free breakfast in the morning, a complimentary wine and cheese hour in the afternoon and a picturesque cobblestone courtyard in which to socialize, guests will find it hard to leave this cozy, comfortably appointed establishment.
For more on Carmel-by-the-Sea, visit carmelcalifornia.com.