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Enchanting Carmel-by-the-Sea exudes romance, from its cobblestone streets to its storybook architecture. Already a beneficiary of the Monterey Peninsula’s dramatic coastal scenery, the forest-set village doubles down with secret gardens and window boxes brimming with picture perfect blooms. It’s so exceedingly charming, we’re just glad Charmel never became a thing. Here, cozy inns are the lodging of choice with warming fireplaces and comforting breakfasts. Thankfully, innkeepers have recently begun modernizing interiors, upping thread counts, and assembling a quality spread that’s worth getting out of bed for in the morning.