A Favorite Of:House Beautiful, Travel Channel
Just above California's famed Big Sur is the beyond-words-gorgeous Monterey Peninsula. Home to Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, it offers no shortage of pleasant seaside towns, each offering a different taste of the area.
The favorite, though, is Carmel-by-the-Sea, a tiny — one square mile! — charmer with upscale shopping and dining amid gingerbread-like houses. Monterey is no slouch either, though, landing in the top 10 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best small towns.
Why not check out both?