winter vacation guide: carmel-by-the-sea

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My parents and I while hit the road on Christmas Eve to spend the two most magical days of the year in the quaintest little town of Carmel-By-The-Sea, an idyllic place on the coast of California, just south of Monterey.

Where to Stay

We booked a night at Wayside Inn, a gorgeous little inn offering complimentary full-service breakfast delivered to your room in the mornings as well as the softest bedding I could have hoped for to sleep in on Christmas Eve while waiting for Santa to arrive. Wayside is conveniently located right in town, in walking distance from all the shopping, dining, and beauty of Carmel that you could ask for.

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Where to Dine

For our Christmas Eve dinner, we booked a reservation on the opposite corner of our hotel (very convenient!) at the beautiful Anton & Michel Restaurant. An exquisite Christmas menu was on offer, with delicious appetizer and entree options to properly ring in the season.

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What to See

We spent a lot of time just wandering the little streets of Carmel, enjoying the boutiques, art galleries and quaint shops that are dotted throughout, each beautifully decorated to reflect the season.

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You must stop by the beach at the end of Ocean Avenue, where the sun kisses the water as it dips below the horizon. A popular surfing spot, it is beautiful year-round (even if the “cold” of the Californian winter!).

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Just a little ways out of town is the larger neighbour Monterey. Stop here on your way to Carmel for the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, complete with idyllic sailboat views, world-famous clam chowder and creperies.

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*Including photos by Mum & Dad

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