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  • Carmel

    Located 120 miles south of San Francisco on the Pacific coast in Monterey County, Carmel is known for its quaint cottages and shops, restaurants and artsy boutiques.

    • Carmel Beach


    • Sea Views From La Playa, Carmel


    • Big Sur


    The quaint seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, is filled with picture postcard cottages dating back to 1902 and cypress trees, planted at the turn of the 20th century to enhance the landscape. Once a bohemian haven, a mecca for artists and a refuge for writers its inspirational attraction is still clearly evident today.

    Visit Ocean Avenue, the heart of Carmel’s shopping district, lined with speciality shops, restaurants, art galleries and antique stores.

    Lying 12 miles away from the coast is Carmel Valley, lovingly known as the sun belt of the Monterey Peninsula for averaging 283 sunny days each year. Its rolling ranch land, bordered by the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, offer the perfect climate for its lush vineyards and encourage hiking, biking and picnicking by those who visit. A range of resort-style hotels specialise in golfing and exceptional spa treatments.

    Just for your information.... Clint Eastwood was the former Mayor of Carmel!


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    • Top Tip 1

      Everyone should drive Highway 1 - the Pacific Coast Highway, but our tip is to do it from north to south. Whichever direction you take the scenery is stunning but you get a better view going south because you're on the ocean side of the road.

    • Top Tip 2

      Hearst Castle is a must-see stop as you drive along the coast, taking you back to the early days of Hollywood.

    • Top Tip 3

      Wine tasting tours are plentiful in Napa and Sonoma. Our favourites are Jordan's and Chalk Hill. Try the Library Tasting tour, a wine and cheese pairing at Jordan's and the Culinary Tour at Chalk Hill, a wine and food pairing prepared by Chef Didier. Both are exceptional experiences and amazing value.

    • Top Tip 4

      Visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. On Thursdays, from 6pm, enjoy music, cocktails and entertainment whist experiencing world class exhibits and star gazing on the living roof.

    • Top Tip 5

      San Francisco - where do you start? Visit North Beach for the cafe culture, take a tour to Alcatraz (we recommend you pre-book it), see Lombard Street, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, take a sightseeing tour of the city on a fire engine, shop in Union Square.

    • Top Tip 6

      For spectacular scenery, and to escape from the desert heat, take a ride on the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway. If you're in downtown Palm Springs on Thursdays, you'll enjoy VillageFest, offering live entertainment and an array of stalls selling food and gifts.

    • Top Tip 7

      Yosemite National Park is one of California's great natural wonders. Stay for a couple of nights and include a guided horseback ride for a tour with a difference.

    • Top Tip 8

      Follow the scenic 17-Mile Drive coastal route between Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove for stunning views of the Monterey Peninsula. There's a small fee to drive this route but it's worth it.

    • Top Tip 9

      Rent a bike or rollerblades and enjoy people watching along the boardwalk at Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

    • Top Tip 10

      When visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, book the VIP ticket which allows you to jump the queues and includes behind-the-scenes access.

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