Out and about in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Susan B. wears a rust Madewell jacket and jeans, leaning against a flyer box in Carmel-by-the-Sea

It’s been over a decade since I’ve spent any time in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It’s just as charming as I remembered.

Wearing: jacket | tee (similar) | necklace | bag (similar) | jeans (similar) | sandals (similar)

The weather has been even cooler than forecast, so I’m glad I packed a jacket and sweaters. As my “wild cards” I threw in my Uniqlo down vest and a camel lightweight merino crewneck sweater. (Merino wool is great for travel: it’s lightweight, comfortable in a range of temperatures, and doesn’t pick up odors.)

We arrived in the afternoon and after getting settled in our lodgings, took a stroll down to the beach and around town.

Cypress tree and beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

This photo is deceiving…the town and the beach are PACKED. Most businesses are not requiring masks indoors for fully-vaccinated folks, but we’re wearing ours in public indoor spaces and outdoors when we can’t maintain distancing. (A lot of other people are too.)

The next morning we set out to do some exploring around town and grab a late breakfast. The sun hadn’t come out yet and it was still quite chilly, so I doubled up on the sweaters. And added a bandana to keep my neck warm…

Susan wears a camel cardigan, bandana, jeans and raffia oxfords.

Wearing: bandana | cardigan | sweater | jeans | shoes (similar)

We happened to stumble onto an outstanding spot for breakfast, Carmel Belle. Two thumbs up!

Carmel was founded in 1916 as an artists’ colony, and has always been known for its charm. You see a lot of “storybook” architecture here. (Though many of the older cottages have been replaced by more modern styles.)

"Storybook" architecture in Carmel-by-the-sea.
Storybook cottage style in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Charming "storybook" cottage in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

We took a long walk along the beach early in the afternoon to enjoy the stunning seascapes before the afternoon fog rolled back in. I’d swapped out my cardigan for a lighter (but needed!) windbreaker.

Susan leans on a tree at the beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea wearing an orange windbreaker and jeans.

I absolutely love the stunning coastline and cypress trees in this little corner of the earth!

Beach walk in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
Walking along the beach in Carmel.
Seascape in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Clear coastal waters in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
View from the beach walk in Carmel.

Hope you enjoyed this little scenic tour! We’ll be moving on to the next stop in our itinerary today. (And none too soon; Car Week has started and it’s about to get very noisy and crowded in town. 😬 🚘)

Programming note…

Tomorrow at 10am PT / 1pm ET, I’ll be going LIVE on Instagram with Manina Weldon of Red Leopard. We’ll be comparing our summer travel wardrobes and sharing tips. Follow me on Instagram to watch…

Stay in touch.

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27 Comments

  1. Ginger
    August 9, 2021 / 4:06 am

    Thank you taking me down memory lane this morning. One of the most beautiful places in California and I miss it terribly. You look fabulous!

  2. Tina O.
    August 9, 2021 / 4:13 am

    I enjoyed the photos! I love Carmel and my last visit there was about four years ago.

  3. August 9, 2021 / 4:31 am

    Looks so lovely, Susan. Your colorful outerwear is perfect!

  4. Joan
    August 9, 2021 / 4:44 am

    Hey, that’s some travel brochure quality photography there! Well done. Gorgeous cypress trees. And YOU in those yummy colors! Outstanding! What a difference from those days of wearing black and navy….wow. Great post!

    • Elle
      August 9, 2021 / 7:23 pm

      Totally agree that you now own your color palette. The transformation is amazing. Your outfit choices are feeling effortless and very chic. We are living vicariously through the stunning scenery you are sharing. Please keep the photos coming!

  5. Susan
    August 9, 2021 / 5:28 am

    I am happy that you can enjoy this beautiful spot. And, thank you for wearing a mask.

  6. Diane B
    August 9, 2021 / 6:48 am

    Thanks for the gorgeous shots of your scenery. You looks so great, and relaxed, that statement, stroll for a late breakfast says it all. Enjoy the rest of your trip and do send pictures.

  7. Willette
    August 9, 2021 / 7:00 am

    Susan,
    Carmel is wonderful and my husband and I visit every November for our anniversary. We are originally from the East coast and first visited about three years ago. You look wonderful and I’ve been filling your packing guide when I travel. I also starting using packing cube and not do they keep you organize. The pictures are beautiful and thank you for sharing.

  8. Willette
    August 9, 2021 / 7:02 am

    * hate auto correct
    It should read and boy do they keep you organize.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 9, 2021 / 7:04 am

      LOL, I hate it too! 😉

  9. Susan D.
    August 9, 2021 / 7:36 am

    We love Carmel. We also love Pacific Grove which is close by. And then of course, Big Sur! Have fun on your trip.

    • Ann
      August 9, 2021 / 9:20 am

      Big Sur, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel. I think one of the most beautiful places on earth. The area compares with the French Riviera but less crowded.

  10. Julie
    August 9, 2021 / 7:42 am

    Your pictures are wonderful! You captured the beauty of that coast. You look so cute and comfortable also.

  11. Kathy
    August 9, 2021 / 8:06 am

    I especially loved your post today. The pictures are beautiful. Makes me want to visit . Your travel wardrobe is perfect.

  12. Sarah
    August 9, 2021 / 8:48 am

    Beautiful photos! As a fellow Spring I appreciate your travel wardrobe in those lovely warm colors. As a fellow Californian (and concerned human) I appreciate that you’re masking up. Safe travels, and have a wonderful trip!

  13. August 9, 2021 / 8:55 am

    I really enjoyed today’s post. The photos of Carmel remind me of past trips and also make me want to plan a future visit.

  14. Elizabeth
    August 9, 2021 / 9:21 am

    Susan, you look wonderful in those colours & love the handbag. We were in Carmel 5 years ago and just loved this town. We did the scenic 17 mile drive connecting Carmel & Monterey and enjoyed the stops along the way.

  15. Eve
    August 9, 2021 / 9:43 am

    An artist could get a lot of inspiration from that town. Maybe try a little painting or photography myself. I love your photos. Since you changed your colors, you just glow. I missed red leopard but I think I can go and watch it from your Instagram. I am loving the way you style this wardrobe. This scarf was a special touch.

  16. Karen
    August 9, 2021 / 10:49 am

    Susan, I loved seeing your pictures. It was like being there without having to be there. A nice respite.

  17. Ruth
    August 9, 2021 / 1:58 pm

    Loved the photos Susan. It looks like such a beautiful part of the country! We haven’t been on a trip for a while so living vicariously. Although I am planning a girls trip with my daughters and granddaughters to the Canadian Rockies in September so following your travel wardrobe with interest. I appreciate that you are still masking up as it’s about 50/50 here but I will continue to do so until I feel comfortable!!

  18. Kay
    August 9, 2021 / 2:11 pm

    I wondered how that part of the coast was faring after the no-tourist year. Happy to hear they are thriving. You left us down here in southern California with the heat, so my love of that jacket you’re wearing is tampered a bit by the idea that I will never, ever, wear a coat again!

  19. Lee Rosenthall
    August 10, 2021 / 11:00 am

    How beautiful to see Carmel-by-the-Sea again! My husband and I did a weeklong trip along the coast there about 30 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten the beauty of the region. It’s just magical, especially if you’re from the east coat. Seeing you in your orange jacket reminded me that I wore a similarly colored all-cotton barn coat (with a mustard yellow lining and a brown suede collar) on that trip. It was perfect for the summer weather.

    I also remember the Coach Outlet in Carmel, back when outlet stores carried regular merchandise. I still have my belts and bags from that trip (although one has gone missing somewhere in the house) and am feeling surprisingly on trend as Coach has recently started offering restored vintage bags on their website. (Couldn’t afford one today!)

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  20. Nancy
    August 10, 2021 / 1:06 pm

    Thank you, thank you for the beautiful pictures of Carmel. I have very fond memories of that place from over 30 years ago! It’s just beautiful there and the air…I remember the smell! Hope it’s still like that with all the climate changes that have occurred over the past 30 years.
    Your outfits seem just perfect and very cute!

  21. Suz
    August 10, 2021 / 3:26 pm

    I loved this walk down memory lane; my husband and I hired a left hand drive car (eeek!) and drove the Big Sur from San Fran to Santa Barbara about 8 years ago. We had the wonderful opportunity to stay in Carmel and visited with a NZ girlfriend who lives there. Whilst I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful spot here in New Zealand, the scenery on our Big Sur trip including Carmel ‘blew us away’. What a special part of the world. Thank you Susan. and keep on enjoying!

  22. Susan
    August 10, 2021 / 3:59 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures of Carmel! You look great in the outfits you have chosen for your trip! Keep the pictures coming!

  23. August 12, 2021 / 11:38 am

    I did love the scenic tour. That breakfast place is indeed like a storybook. Add wonderful food and I can imagine you gave it two thumbs up.
    You always pack so well for travelling.
    Greetje

  24. Kathleen OBrien
    August 14, 2021 / 12:12 pm

    I used to live and work in Pacific Grove and Monterey (right next door to Carmel) Still have many friends there – Gosh, this post reminds how much I miss the area. I probably went to Carmel more than a two, three times a week. So many, many good memories – thank you!

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