…Or why Carmel just happens to be the best place on Earth. Period. Carmel appears to be like a movie set, with gentle weather year round, rolling hills, and powdery white sand beaches. It’s no wonder I ultimately decided I want to move here. At least for part of the year, as a summer home A girl can dream, right?! We stopped in San Francisco on our way to Hawaii to visit some family, and were generously offered to stay in a friends house in Carmel by the Sea. While I love the city of San Fran (I mean, who doesn’t?), it was nice to relax a bit in this much quieter area and escape from the brutal heat for a few days. This summer, NY experienced a harsh heat wave. And after just a few nights in this small, charming area, It was decided. I want to move here. I NEED to move here. Basically anything to get me away from the congestion and foul-smelling air of my current place of residence, NYC. And here’s why: 1) The town has so much character. The houses have no numbers, and each is called something fun and unique. We stayed at ‘The House of Sand and Frogs’, and you guessed it, I counted over 200 frogs (not live) in the house, all presented in a fashionable way. Other houses we came across were: The Cracker Box, Sea Castle, and The Tree House. How fun are those?! Imagine having one of those for a house name! When ordering in a pizza, the correct way to tell the restaurant your address is by using cross streets and then just describing your house. More fun than saying 55 Andrew Lane any day. 2) The dog friendly beaches. Besides the fact that the beach is only a 10 minute walk from the middle of town (yay!), these beaches are basically made for dogs! (Do you all remember the puppy photography series? Proves just how much I love these furry little creatures!) We saw plenty and plenty of dogs at the beach, free to roam around and play, no collar or leash needed. Dogs were chasing each other, having fun, and their owners all understood the importance of play fighting. If you don’t have a dog, or don’t like dogs, you don’t belong at the beach. And that’s that. 3) Sea otters play in the water. Right near the shore of the beach!!! For one, there are NO sea otters back in New York, and two, they are just so damn cute! We saw one floating on his back in the water just playing with his hands. Wish I could see that everyday- made my afternoon I’m a sucker for encountering animals in their natural habitats. Guess that’s why I want to go to Costa Rica so badly. 4) The stars are just SO incredibly visible. Back in New York City, I hardly see any stars. There is just too much light and pollution. However, here in Carmel, you look up, and the whole sky is twinkling right back down at you. I was truly fascinated- I completely forgot what it’s like to see stars (besides seeing them out the airplane window on a night flight). We were cleaning up from our s’more fest by the fire on the Fourth of July, a star caught my eye, and from then on out, my eyes didn’t leave the sky. 5) Carmel is so close to Monterey. And other scenic spots. A 20 minute drive and you’re in the town of Monterey, with the aquarium, Cannery row, and my favorite, Nestle Toll House. I’ll share a little secret with you- I love cookies. And these were to die for. The aquarium, albeit quite crowded, was a fun spot to spend a few hours. Next time we have the opportunity to spend some time in Carmel, I’d love to hike to Point Lobos. We unfortunately didn’t have enough time, and being only 15-20 minutes as well, I regret not enjoying the coastline. We all have regrets, right? I have plenty. 6) Pebble Beach. My husband would be the happiest man in the world playing golf at this course right down the road, overlooking the ocean. Pebble beach is actually the last stop on the 17-mile drive, one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the nation. What golf-loving man wouldn’t want to play here? *Need to find a friend who can sponsor him, haha. 7) The Mild Weather, Year Round. Carmel never gets too chilly or too hot. You need to pack and wear layers, since the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. Fog rolls in around the Summer, and the Winter months are cooler and bring the occasional shower. Okay, so the weather isn’t all that perfect, but it sure beats heavy snow and 90+ temperatures. Unfortunately, all this comes at a pretty hefty price tag. While we were fortunate enough to be guests at the House of Sand and Frogs, there is no way we’d ever be able to afford such a place. This charming little town will steal many hearts. It’s won me over. Did you enjoy this post? If so, please consider sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or via Email. Also, I’d love to keep sending you updates about my adventures around the world, so please subscribe to A Passion and A Passport via RSS or by email! // *THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. 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