Thursday, April 30, 2015

My review of Carmel California - get 80% off The Art of Travel Photography with our The Great Courses coupon

Get 80% off The Art of Travel Photography with our The Great Courses coupon.

Traveling is so much fun, I love to go see all types of places, from beaches, to world historic sites, and even cities in our own country. You don't have to travel far to see something spectacular.

Places like Carmel California.

I love Carmel. It is one of my favorite places on Earth. The whole town surrounds itself with a cool vibe. It has a fantastic beach, with fantastic restaurants, and amazing hotels.

Dog-friendly restaurants, Carmel
The best part? It is a huge dog-loving town.

Some places say they love dogs, but really, they don't. It's often proven by the vast restrictions the town and its establishments place on dogs.

Carmel though is a dog-lovers paradise.

This is how my day looks in Carmel.

I wake up in my gorgeous bed and breakfast. The one I like in particular is Cypress Inn. Honestly, there is no other hotel to stay at in Carmel. Well, there are lots, but I highly recommend this one.

I wrangle up the dogs and walk to the beach through an idyllic part of town. Dogs can be off leash at the beach and I immediately unlock them and watch them barrel down the sand hill toward the water. We usually spend a good two to three hours there, walking the length of the beach, splashing in the water, and laying down in the sand enjoying the beautiful scenery and warm sun.

Hog's Breath Inn, dining at its best
Now it's time for lunch. I know what you are thinking, what about the dogs? Do you have to leave them in the car (a big no-no) or take them back to the hotel?


Most all restaurants in Carmel have outdoor seating that will also accommodate dogs. My favorite is the Hog's Breath Inn, owned by Clint Eastwood. Not only does the guy make great movies, but he has one of my favorite places to dine in all the world -- mostly because of how advantageous it is to have dogs there.

There is plenty of outdoor seating in a lovely setting. If you feel a bit of a chill, you can sit by the fire. Great drink selections, great bar food, and a great atmosphere. I like the fact the tables are spaced far enough apart that dogs can have a little bit of space. No shoving your dog under a table, wedged between your feet for protection.

Your dog will love the restaurant as much as you do.

Cottage of Sweets, Carmel
Once done with lunch, it's time to wander the streets. The downtown/main street area is very cute. There are some chain stores, but mostly, it is independent shops. Nothing worse than going on vacation and the shopping is the same Gap/Anthropologie that is everywhere else. Cute art stores, trinket shops, and my favorite -- a great candy store on the way to the beach from Cypress Inn.

The candy store looks like a little cottage. It is as cute as a button. They carry all kinds of sweets here. The fudge is on par with Mackinaw Island, Michigan fudge. In fact, Cottage of Sweets has been making their own fudge since 1981. That's pretty fantastic. No wonder it is on par with Mackinaw Island! One of their other specialities is licorice. They get it from all over the world, including Australia, Finland, Germany, Holland, England and Italy. All I'm saying is you definitely need to stop here as you wander around with your pups.

After you eat all that candy, you will need a nap. Time to go back to the inn with your pups. Take a nice long shower, crawl into bed, and enjoy and amazing nap. When you wake, all you have to do is trounce down the stairs with your dogs and get cozy in Cypress Inn's restaurant or lounge area and enjoy a cocktail -- with your dogs! I know I keep saying this, but the town really is dog friendly.

As you can see, you are really going to want to take your time on this vacation. There are so many great chances for photos. Make sure you take the best ones possible thanks to The Great Courses. Learn from a National Geographic photographer on how to capture the best light, the right frame, and what camera to use. Never take a bad photo again. Make sure your travel photos are as good as your vacation was!

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