Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of our favorite stops along the California coast. The Bavarian-style architecture and the small-town charm of the village are a nice change of pace from the busier cities, and there is so much to offer kids, from a Dr. Seuss gallery and a shady town park to outdoor cafes and courtyards galore.
With views across the bay to Pebble Beach, a romp along the shoreline is a must for all families visiting in the area. Carmel is one of the most pet-friendly towns around, and the beach is filled with dogs of all sizes — chances are, the owners will let animal-loving little ones play catch for a while. Be sure to bring along a Frisbee or a bucket and shovel for a morning of sandy fun.
When it’s time to get out of the sun, families can fit in a history lesson with a visit to the Carmel Mission, one of 21 missions built by Spaniards in the late 1700s. For more outdoor excitement, pick up a picnic lunch in town and spend the day on the trails at the beautiful Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
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Editor’s Note: Photo by Tamara Gruber.