Top 10 Reasons to Tie the Knot in Carmel-by-the-Sea

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The Carmel Hospitality Improvement District – a joint organization of the City of Carmel, Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Innkeepers Association – is working to promote the village’s abundant attractions, events, and stunning seaside location. From its incomparable white-sand beach to many choices of distinctive meeting venues and lodging properties, Carmel-by-the-Sea has it all.

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When brides and grooms search for California wedding destinations, the usual suspects pop up. But couples-to-be from New York to Texas to the Golden State are increasingly discovering a hidden weddings gem that offers all the attributes of more well-known destinations without the crowds and venue conflicts. It’s Carmel, what Condé Nast Traveler calls, the “No. 2 Best Small City in the U.S.”

Nestled on California’s Central Coast, and located two hours south of San Francisco, Carmel-by-the-Sea offers something to fulfill every bride’s dream: A wedding on Carmel Beach? Or perhaps on a ranch? Maybe a reception at a local winery? Or take advantage of the fact that Carmel has long been a famous artists’ colony? Carmel is all that and much more, especially when you include its neighboring towns of Carmel Valley, Pebble Beach, Big Sur, Monterey, and Pacific Grove.

With a drum roll (courtesy of the town’s former mayor Clint Eastwood, perhaps?), here are the Top 10 reasons to plan a Carmel destination wedding:

1. Beauty
Anyone who was visited Carmel, or seen a blimp shot during annual television coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, knows the unparalleled, natural beauty of this area.

2. Quaintness
“Quaint” has long been linked to Carmel and maybe it’s overused. But look up the word in the dictionary and the synonyms are “picturesque,” “charming,” “sweet,” “attractive,” and “old-world.” Are we not talking Carmel?

3. Romance
Travel + Leisure magazine’s readers recently named Carmel-by-the-Sea the third best city on its list of the “World’s Best Cities for Romance.” Need we say more?

4. Uniqueness
Many brides find Carmel appealing because they don’t want to have a “cookie-cutter” wedding and the area offers so many diverse options but isn’t overly crowded like other popular California destinations.

5. Diversity
Clearly, there’s something for everyone. Consider the Carmel’s Mission San Carlos de Borromeo as a backdrop. Or how about the brand-new, high-end events center in downtown Carmel, called “Seventh & Dolores,” that features an outdoor patio and is a convenient 10-minute walk from more than 800 of the town’s hotel rooms? Or, for those couples who desire scenic and truly special, there’s no better fit than a wedding on Carmel Beach. (Note: A permit is required, a release of liability and about 90 days to put it in place.)

6. Activities
The women in the wedding party want to shop? Two words: Downtown Carmel. The men in the wedding party want to play golf? Two words: Pebble Beach.

7. Culinary
With its array of first-class restaurants, acclaimed executive chefs and award winning wineries, as well as available tours, classes and cooking vacations for visitors, Carmel-by-the-Sea is clearly emerging as one of the West Coast’s top destinations for food and wine discoveries. Condé Nast Traveler recently included it as No. 7 on its list of “Best Restaurants for U.S. Cities.” Understandably, when it comes to selecting a site for the rehearsal dinner, there is seemingly no end to the great choices in downtown Carmel.

8. Lodging
Downtown Carmel’s 45 hotels and inns offer unique and charming accommodations, most within close walking distance of downtown Carmel.

9. Weather
Carmel’s moderate climate offers very few surprises. It sure makes the wedding planner’s job a lot easier when there are no worries about it being too hot, too cold or, even, too wet.

10. Access
If you’re flying, San Jose International Airport (SJC) is just 75 miles to the north. Monterey Regional Airport (MRY), meanwhile, is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Carmel, and has recently added San Diego to its direct-flight list. Other direct flight routes arriving into and departing from MRY include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, and Phoenix.

The Carmel Hospitality Improvement District – a joint organization of the City of Carmel, Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Innkeepers Association – is working to promote the village’s abundant attractions, events, and stunning seaside location. From its incomparable white-sand beach to many choices of distinctive meeting venues and lodging properties, Carmel-by-the-Sea has it all.

For more information, visit http://www.carmelcalifornia.com.

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Karen Moraghan
@hunterpublic
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