Our PhotowalksTV journey on California's Central Coast jewel, the awesome road trip that is Highway 1, continues to the idyllic small town of Carmel-By-The-Sea, population, just under 4,000 people.

Carmel, just north of Big Sur and south of Monterey, is known for its fairytale gingerbread cottages, cute, walkable downtown with cobblestone streets, massive waves on the rocky coast (by the sea, remember?), multiple art galleries, beautiful cypress trees and some of the most coveted real estate anywhere.

Carmel is a rich town, with stores from Tiffany, Rolex and estate jewelers in downtown, men’s pants that could set you back $300 (a pair was really shown to me at that rate!) and meals that could be pretty pricey.

But with the surrounding scenery, what would you expect?

It’s a place any of us would want to live in, and the good news, despite the wealth, the people there couldn’t be nicer.

I didn’t witness snobbery like I might in a Beverly Hills or other ultra-wealthy community, not at all. I met a lot of really interesting people in Carmel, newfound friends I hope to remain in contact with for years. (I'm talking to you Manny and Lynne.)

In fact, I'll hand over this space to Lynne Allenspach for the following quote. She's the director of tourism for the Carmel Chamber, and she did a great job of summing up the town when I met her at the tourist office.

First, she told me that she had come out for a months long visit from the midwest, and decided not to return.

That was a few years ago.

Then I asked her to describe Carmel.

"We have one little square mile here, but it's such a fairytale European village, just plopped on the coast of California...We have 20 wineries, 50 restaurants and over 80 art galleries..."

And no stoplights or street addresses!

"Everybody has to go to the post office to get their mail. It keeps that little community feel." Exactly.

Our original plan was to spend two days in Carmel and two more in nearby Monterey, but that didn't work out. We just fell in love with Carmel and didn't want to leave. (We gave a day to Monterey, which probably wasn't enough. The good news: we can always go back.)

So why did we fall in love with CBTS, as they call it? Several reasons: I like a good walking town, and Carmel, with its mix of gingerbread buildings, and just ultra-cute stores, was very inviting for strolls. I didn’t have to drive anywhere.

That's why I love visiting New York, Paris, Catalina Island, Lisbon and other great places. Walking is king. And photo wise, there was so much to see and photograph. Let me point out five photo highlights in the Carmel village.

But first, please start at the Visitor Center for maps and tips. Because as you know, I always recommend checking in with the people who know their towns better than you do. The center is in a shopping center at the top of Ocean Avenue in Carmel Plaza. (Remember, they don't have street addresses in Carmel. It's listed as between Junipero & Mission, on the second floor of Carmel Plaza.)

The places you can't miss: Ribera Beach, Scenic Road, the Carmel-by-the-sea mural, the gingerbread homes and the Mission.

For more, check out the video above! 



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