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Carmel-by-the-Sea & Pebble Beach {Travel}

I love this place too much to condense it into one post!  Yesterday I shared what is probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen – Highway 1 and the Big Sur area, and I’m so happy to finally get these images out there to share!  Check it out – that first picture is – hands down – my most favorite picture I’ve ever taken.  

Like I mentioned in that last post – I’m lucky that I have family in Carmel, so I get to go there fairly often {though it’s never often enough!}, and during this last trip, I ventured out into a new place – Pebble Beach.  I’m not a golfer, but like anyone I’ve heard of golfing at Pebble Beach, but I had no idea that it was actually a whole area between Monterey and Carmel, and that 17 Mile Drive is really something spectacular.  There are woods, beaches, beautiful homes, open spaces, and – of course – that lone cypress.

I don’t golf, but if I did – I’d certainly be saving up for tee time at this place…my goodness!!  It’s really so so beautiful here.  And I have to say – the people were so lovely.  From the gate attendant to the waiter {of course I had lunch overlooking the course!} and the attendants in the shops – everyone was just so so nice and welcoming…and I wasn’t even there to play golf {or – let’s be honest – nearly as fancy as the people they must see come through there on a daily basis}!  

Carmel is linked to Pebble Beach by a gate at the far end of the town, so after driving around aimlessly in the prettiest place possible for a while, I eventually made my way back and was right there.  The town of Carmel-by-the-Sea couldn’t possibly be more charming; the winding, tree covered streets and houses often behind overgrown trees and bushes have a very ‘secret-garden-like’ quality.  Carmel houses have no street numbers or mailboxes {residents have P.O. Boxes} and there are no chain restaurants permitted, allowing the focus to be on local restaurants.  The town has long been a gathering for artists, and streets upon streets of art galleries provide endless places to roam through.  The town is bustling, business and restaurants are very dog-friendly, and everyone in this little town is really welcoming, overall.

The Carmel Mission is an old catholic mission church, built in this site in the late 1700s by Junipero Serra – often known as the ‘father of California.’  This church is beautiful in it’s old-world style, and with a museum, tour, shop, and courtyard with a fountain – it’s a great place to spend an afternoon.  

At the heart of the town is the beach.  Though it’s different from what I’m used to as an Ocean City, NJ beach goer {lots of ‘packing, beach towels, sunbathing, lifeguards, and kids jumping waves} the water is really cold, and people tend to walk, sit and read, and put their feet in the water throughout the day.  

Speaking to the lovely-ness of the people in Carmel, the past few times I’ve visited I’ve stayed at the cottage next door to my aunt and uncle’s, and it is just the most quaint place ever.  I visited during some stressful times for me, and this cottage was like a little refuge, and I still think about being in that place and how comforting it was.

I love a good sunset anywhere, and getting to see this in Carmel is something extra special.  As with a lot of places on the California coast, watching the sun slip away over the ocean is a highlight of the day, and Carmel is no different.  The beach at dusk is idyllic, and people gather on the sand, and on the street-side path to watch the sun go down.  To be in this beautiful place, with the hills and wide expanse of ocean in front of you is one of the most peaceful and serene things possible, and I’ll always treasure the sunsets I’ve seen at the Carmel beach.  

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