“A village among the trees,” is how Carmel-by-the-Sea was described to me by Carrie Theis, long-time resident and owner of Hofsas House, a family-run boutique inn that was started by her grandmother in the heart of Carmel. Hofsas House, with its European elegance and rich family history is just one example of the unique and familial style of this town that fills only one square mile. In Carmel, the houses are named, not numbered, and every restaurant, art gallery, and wine tasting room is within walking distance.
Carmel by the Sea, A Sense of Community
When I spoke to the business owners, residents, and visitors of Carmel by the Sea one thing was apparent: everyone has a role. It is this sense of community that keeps this seaside town at its best. You won’t find a lot of big chain stores in Carmel. What you will find are thriving family owned businesses and friendly employees. Take Dan at The Cheese Shop for example. He was not only knowledgeable about all things cheese, but he took great pride in describing the origin of each sample to me and charmingly cracked more jokes about cheese than I have ever heard. He also knew just about everyone I told him I had interacted with. This business of “knowing” may also be why Carmel is one of the safest places I have visited.
The Food Tour
Food is big in Carmel. The Carmel Food Tour is a must when visiting. Staci Giovino, our phenomenal tour guide, not only led us on a delicious journey, but gave us great bits of history about the city and reasons why she too loves Carmel. Staci also made sure everyone felt included and truly personalized the tour which involved tasting olive oil at Trio, a perfect stop for those who love to find new flavors to cook with, and trying gnocchi at Casanovas, famous for “Van Gogh’s Room” where guests may dine at the very table where the famous artist dined himself. The Carmel Food Tour was truly the highlight of my stay.
Activities in Carmel by the Sea
When I wasn’t eating, I was visiting Carmel’s pristine white sand beach. Dogs are allowed off their leashes and, past 10th street, drinking alcohol and building fires are permitted. For more breathtaking views of California’s Coastline, Big Sur is only a 45 minute drive away. Other activities include theatre, wine tasting, and of course, shopping.
I highly recommend visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea to anyone who seeks comfort and relaxation in the form of a European style seaside town. I like to think of it as a beautiful place with friendly people and a must-see when visiting California.
For more information on Carmel by the Sea visit www.carmelcalifornia.com
Click here to read my article on Hofsas House.
Thank you for reading. Now you’re In the Know about why Carmel by the Sea is a great vacation spot in the USA.