Elegant Inns in Downtown Carmel
In the center of picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea, two private B&Bs—Monte Verde Inn and Casa de Carmel—are just a few minutes away from the Pacific Ocean. Located about four blocks from the beach and surrounded by quaint shops and restaurants of downtown Carmel, the neighboring inns welcome guests with a glass of local wine. Both properties are upscale yet share a homey atmosphere. You’ll find fireplaces, expansive patios, and quiet, shaded courtyards on the premises.
Whether you settle in at Monte Verde Inn or Casa de Carmel, you’re ensured individually decorated accommodations. The serene guest rooms feature white and red toile linens and white pine furniture. Some rooms have honey-colored wood floors, electric fireplaces, and exposed wooden beams, whereas others have vintage French paintings on the walls and views of the courtyard. You can have a drink from the included decanter of sherry as you look out the window at the gardens below, or head outside to lounge on cushioned seats in front of the fire pit. In the morning, a complimentary breakfast basket filled with juice and pastries is brought up to your room.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: Bohemian Outpost with Boutique Shops and Wineries
Located on the California coast just a few hours south of San Francisco, Carmel-by-the-Sea is surrounded by colorful scenes, from green meadows to the blue Pacific Ocean. “If you’ve never been to Carmel-by-the-Sea,” writes Coastal Living, “picture a quiet English village along a rugged Pacific coastline.” Once an outpost for artsy types such as Jack London, the 1-mile-square town remains true to its relaxed roots—streetlights, numbered addresses, and hovercrafts are nonexistent.
Bistro-style restaurants, valley vineyards, and boutiques have recently joined the mix. In addition to the offerings at the town's live theater and 40 art galleries, several outdoor activities take place in the area, including whale watching and kayaking in the Pacific and hiking among the redwoods at Big Sur, located 45 minutes up scenic Highway 1. Golfers can make the 10-minute drive to Pebble Beach Golf Links, which has hosted five US Open tournaments and was named one of the world’s Top 10 Golf Courses by National Geographic.