By Kelly Ryoo
The salty smell of the sea washes over me as I walk down the beach. Standing at the edge of the ocean, I wiggle my toes in the sand and enjoy the warm sunlight. Located in the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of my favorite summer destinations for a classic beach day trip in California.
My family and I frequently enjoy day trips to Carmel. Our drive to Carmel takes about two hours — and every time, our first destination is the beach. The sand shines with a yellow and white hue under the bright sun, and pieces of seaweed washed ashore are sparsely littered across the beach. The ocean occasionally glitters a bright turquoise as rays of sunlight shine upon the deep blue waters. Children are laughing and running around the beach; dogs are panting as they run after rolling tennis balls; families are conversing and relaxing under beach parasols.
My family and I usually bring a beach blanket and two chairs, along with a bag of snacks and a box of my younger sister’s plastic buckets and shovels. My sister immediately grabs a bucket and runs off to the waters, eager to collect seashells and stones. I roll up my pants to my knees before following her into the sea. Standing ankle-deep in the ocean, I enjoy the cool waters as waves splash against my legs.
After a few more hours of relaxing and conversing at the beach, my family packs up our things and heads to the Golden Rectangle (Carmel’s downtown area) for lunch. The Golden Rectangle is a beautiful neighborhood with fairytale-like cottages, museums, art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. We walk through the main street, stopping at Carmel Bakery to purchase some warm pretzels and cookies. Happily munching on our baked goods, my family and I continue our stroll around downtown. After a few blocks, we make an obligatory stop at the Cottage of Sweets, a British candy shop inside a quaint little cottage. I admire the shelves stocked with all kinds of candy — chocolate boxes, bags of gummy bears, bundles of lollipops, and so much more. After a few minutes of ogling at all the sweets, I pick a small box of chocolates to share with my family.
After wandering around downtown, we make our way back to the beach to catch the sunset before driving back home. Carmel is truly one of the most beautiful beaches and neighborhoods in California: it’s perfect for a short trip of relaxation, delicious food, and amazing views.
About the Author: Kelly Ryoo is a sophomore from Cupertino, California, majoring in Computer Science and English. One of her favorite travel destinations is Rome because of its rich history and delicious pizzas.