Carmel-by-the-Sea is notoriously cozy. The town, known for its seaside allure paired with old English-style architecture concepts, quaint shops and a refreshingly small community, has garnered a reputation for being the West Coast’s answer to Europe’s historic charm. Whether you’re traveling through on your way up the coast or hoping to stay a little longer, there are plenty of cozy, can’t-miss spots to prioritize on your visit. Here are a few of the coziest places to visit in Carmel.
Stroll through the shops on Ocean Avenue.
Indulge your fantasy of adventuring through the towns of the English countryside here in the states with a visit to the shops on Ocean Avenue. Each of the stores boasts a unique charm not only through their rustic build, but also via quirky, cozy storefront displays. While there are plenty to peruse through, the Cottage of Sweets is a particular favorite—and provides a great excuse to satisfy your sweet tooth, as well.
Visit the Hugh Comstock Fairytale Cottage.
If you’re big on the cottage-core trend currently taking over TikTok (who isn’t?) then you’re probably looking for any excuse to cozy up inside a cottage and live out all of your fairytale dreams. Fortunately, in Carmel, that’s actually pretty doable. Thanks to a handful of old-style cottages—complete with rose bush gardens and tattered brick builds, no less—Carmel is abundant in lots that make you completely forget you’re in California.
Wander through Garland Ranch Regional Park.
This public recreation area is as inviting as it is enchanting—with accessible hiking trails that make it possible to immerse yourself in a new side of Carmel’s nature scene. Best of all, the area is ridden with lush willow covered banks that cultivate romantic byways—as picturesque as a scene straight out of a Nicholas Sparks film. For more information, visit www.mprpd.org.
Take in the beauty at Point Lobos State Natural Preserve.
Point Lobos State Natural Preserve is by no means a “hidden gem.” In fact, you’ve probably seen a handful of photos of the natural area all across social media—but it’s for good reason. Point Lobos is a colorfully quaint corner of the Carmel-by-the-Sea region that’s made up of vibrant hues, crystal blue water, flourishing surrounding trees and natural wildlife, and unmissable views of the Pacific Ocean. Cozy up on the shore with a seaside picnic or romantic evening excursion—gorgeous any time of the year.