If you have been to Carmel By The Sea, the chances are good that you are yet to find a place that can “follow in its footsteps.” Carmel By The Sea is like a paradise we only see in the movies, created by talented cinematographers. It is picturesque and breathtakingly beautiful.
A real oasis!
Well, this may surprise you, but other similar towns come pretty close to their high standards, and we have selected 20 of our favorites. 20 Towns similar to Carmel By The Sea include;
- Laguna Beach
- Pismo Beach
- La Jolla
- San Simeon
- Avila Beach
- Lake Placid
- Skaneateles, Onondaga County, NY
- Alexandria Bay
- Sitka, AK
- Augustine, FL
- Watkins Glen
- Cape May, NJ
- Bandon, Oregon
If you want to explore these wonderful, magical towns and see what they have to offer, please continue reading. This article provides all the information you need to decide where you should visit next.
A Quick Overview Of Carmel By The Sea
Population: Around 4000
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming little beach town on California’s picturesque Monterey Peninsula. It is a one-square-mile village that offers one-of-a-kind California Central Coast experiences around every corner.
From bird-rich Carmel River State Beach to the amazing surf spot at Carmel Beach, this small village is a destination like no other. The sea animals and whaling museum of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve lie South of the town.
Attractions & Things To Do In Carmel By The Sea
- Carmel Mission Basilica Museum
- Carmel River State Beach
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Kayak With Otters At Monterey Bay Kayaks
- Sunset Center
- Stillwater Cove Adventures By The Sea
Accommodation In Carmel By The Sea
- Carmel Valley Ranch
- Pine Inn
- Carmel Mission Inn & Fuse Lounge Cafe
- Hyatt Residence Club Carmel Highlands Inn
- Cypress Inn
- L’Alberge Carmel
20 Towns Similar To Carmel By The Sea
Population: Less Than 1000
Mendocino is a beautiful, quaint little coastal town situated three hours north of San Francisco. The picturesque destination offers an array of hiking trails, stellar vistas, and it is also home to some interesting museums and wonderful cafes.
The general area of the town has breath-taking beaches, relaxing hot springs, and North of Mendocino lies the dramatic coastline of Russian Gulch State Park and the 1909 Point Cabrillo Light Station State History Park.
The town has been hosting the Mendocino Music Festival since 1986 with various performances, including contemporary, blues, jazz, and more. The nineteenth-century Ford House doubles as a local history museum and visitor’s center for Mendocino Headlands State Park.
Attractions In Mendocino
Accommodation In Mendocino
Population: 7116 (2019)
From San Francisco, all the way across the Golden Gate Strait to Marin County, you will find beautiful Sausalito. The town has a Mediterranean fishing village vibe, especially on a clear-cast, sunny day.
Sausalito is well-known for its houseboats along Richardson Bay, built after WWII by artist squatters. This charming seaside town has many fun attractions, including a scenic waterfront walk, upscale art galleries, marinas, and quaint boutiques.
There is always something to do in Sausalito, and it has been a widely popular holiday retreat for San Franciscans, even though it is situated only a few miles from home.
Attractions & Things To Do In Sausalito
- Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point
- Alcatraz With Muir Woods & Sausalito Tour
- The Ultimate Day In The Bay & Muir Woods
- Taj Mahal Houseboat
- Helicopter Tour & Lunch In Sausalito
- Galilee Harbor
Accommodation in Sausalito
- Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa
- Cavallo Point Lodge
- Hotel Sausalito
- The Gables Inn Sausalito
- Water’s Edge Hotel
- The Inn Above Tide
Population: 28 352 (2019)
Monterey is situated on the rugged central coast of California. Back in the day, the town’s sardine-packing industry in Cannery Row was immortalized by a novelist named John Steinbeck.
Since then, it has become a very popular strip of factory-converted bars, seafood restaurants, and lovely gift shops. Many visitors come to Monterey especially to see the town’s famous Monterey Bay Aquarium that boasts thousands of plants and animals in interactive and underwater exhibits.
Attractions & Things To Do In Monterey
- Monterey State History Park
- Lovers Point Park
- Monterey Museum Of Art
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Old Fisherman’s Wharf
- Cannery Row
Accommodation In Monterey
- Hotel 1110
- The Monterey Hotel
- Ramada By Wyndham Monterey
- Hotel Pacific
- Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa
- Portola Hotel & Spa
- Hilton Garden Inn Monterey
4. Laguna Beach
Population: 23 036 (2019)
Laguna Beach in Orange County, California, is a small coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, impressive coves, and abundance of art galleries. If you are into surfing, Aliso Beach Park is the place to be.
If you enjoy walks in nature and tidal pools, Main Beach near Heisler is the perfect spot to visit or scenic trails through the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park’s coastal canyons. Laguna Beach’s artist colony is a hidden gem of Orange County and is situated halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles.
The town’s topography offers seven miles of beaches and coves where you can explore natural tide pools, mountain biking trails, marine sanctuaries, verdant hills, sea caves, dramatic vistas, ocean side buffs, and beautiful white sandy beaches.
Top Attractions & Things To Do In Laguna Beach
- VIP Hollywood & Beverly Hills Day Tour
- Laguna Beach Kayak Tour With Sea Lion Viewing
- What Watching & Fishing Combination Excursions
- Private Tour: The Beaches Of Orange County
- Best Bites Of Laguna Beach Food Tour
- Laguna Beach Art & History Walk
- 5 Hour Laguna Beach Surfing Lessons
Top Accommodation In Laguna Beach
- Capri Laguna
- Montage Laguna Beach
- Pacific Edge Hotel
- The Inn At Laguna Beach
- Laguna Riviera
- Surf & Sand Resort
- Laguna Beach Lodge
- Manzanita Cottages
5. Pismo Beach
Population: 8180 (2019)
Pismo Beach is a picturesque coastal town situated halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California’s beautiful and famous central coast. This lovely beach town offers wonderful weather, spectacular views, white beaches, and plenty of fantastic outdoor activities.
If an adventure is what you seek on your holiday, you can go surfing, horseback riding, four-wheel ATV dune riding, fishing, bodyboarding, and golfing.
If you want to have a relaxing time, you can take leisurely strolls along gorgeous white beaches, the award-winning boardwalk next to the Pismo pier, or enjoy wine tasting at our fabulous area wineries.
Top Attractions & Things To Do In Pismo Beach
- Los Angeles Go City All-Inclusive Pass With 40+ Attractions
- Warner Bros. Studio Hollywood Tours
- Pismo Beach Farmer’s Market
- Sans Liege Wines
- Monarch Butterfly Grove
Top Accommodation In Pismo Beach
- Vespera Resort On Pismo Beach
- Sandcastle Hotel On The Beach
- The Inn At The Pier
- SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel Pismo Beach
- The Tides Oceanview Inn & Cottages
- Spyglass Inn
- Sea Venture Beach Hotel & Restaurant
6. La Jolla
Population: 38 168 (2020)
La Jolla is a lovely town about a twenty-five-minute drive north of San Diego. This beautiful town offers wonderful attractions such as the La Jolla Cove, perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling, viewing sea lions, and the La Jolla Tide Pools open for everyone to enjoy.
If you are daring and adventurous, you can experience hand-gliding at the Torrey Pine Gilderport. You can visit the Birch Aquarium, interesting museums, and marvelous restaurants with award-winning culinary creations for a relaxed time.
Attractions & Things To Do At La Jolla
- La Jolla Underwater Park
- La Jolla Tide Pools
- La Jolla Children’s Pool
- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
- La Jolla Coast Walk Trail
- Blue Ocean Sushi Bar
- Herringbone La Jolla
Accommodation In La Jolla
- Cormorant Boutique Hotel
- Empress Hotel La Jolla
- La Jolla Cove Hotel
- Grande Colonial Hotel
- Inn By The Sea La Jolla
- La Jolla Shores Hotel
Population: 7534 (2019)
Northwest of Los Angeles, in Ventura County, California, nestled in a beautiful valley in the Topatopa Mountains, you will find the charming town of Ojai. The city is rich in New Age shops and lovely art galleries.
For the hikers, Los Padres Nation Forest boasts stunning trails, and if you are looking for a recreational experience, Lake Casitas is the place for you. Ojai also hosts the annual Ojai Music Festival, where you get to listen to famous classical artists.
Attractions & Things To Do At Ojai
- The Day Spa Of Ojai
- The Ojai Art Center
- Ojai Valley Museum
- Casitas Water Adventure
- Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours
- Trails By Potter
Accommodation In Ojai
8. San Simeon
Population: 658 (2019)
San Simeon is a secluded retreat situated on Highway 1’s most gorgeous stretches, on San Luis Obispo County’s Pacific Coast.
This breathtakingly beautiful paradise is abundant with scenic wonders, endless outdoor adventures, treasured historic landmarks, and natural splendor. San Simeon village is also home to the famous Hearst Castle and offers beautiful white sandy beaches, boating, hiking, and sightseeing.
Attractions & Things To Do In San Simeon
- California Coastal National Monument
- Getaway To Big Sur
- San Simeon Activity Map
- Hiking Trails
- Piedras Blancas Light Station
- Hearst Castle
Accommodation In San Simeon
Population: 5647 (2019)
Cambria is a beautiful seaside village situated midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in San Luis Obispo County, CA, United States, amidst the Monterey pines.
Known for its dramatic coastal landscapes and forests, Cambria has something to offer anyone who visits. Enjoy gourmet foods, luxurious wines, hiking trails, horseback riding, leisurely walks on Moonstone Beach, and so much more.
Attractions & Things To Do In Cambria
- Artifacts Gallery
- Bronze, Silver & Gold
- Amphora Gallery
- Surfing In Cambria
- Cayucos Picnic Co.
- Discover The Whale Trail
- Hearst Castle
- Greenspace Reserve Chinese Temple
- Piedras Blancas Light Station Fresnel Lens
- Pinedorado Grounds The Jailhouse
Accommodation In Cambria
- Cambria Shores Inn
- Blue Sea Castle
- Cambridge View
- Bridge Street Inn
- Daydreams By The Sea
- Cambria Landing Inn & Suites
10. Avila Beach
Population: 1311 (2019)
Avila Beach is situated on California’s Central Coast, next to Pismo Beach, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. This small, quaint beach town offers a beautiful and colorful waterfront, stunning walking trails, piers, rejuvenating spas in the form of natural mineral hot springs, and lush oak valleys.
The paradise that is Avila Beach is only a five-minute walk away from most parts of the town. The town also boasts a collection of decadent local wines, plenty of sights to see, and charming, welcoming oceanfront restaurants.
Attractions & Things To Do In Avila Beach
- Bob Jones Trail
- Point San Luis Lighthouse
- Secret Garden
- Avila Beach Farmer’s Market
- Avila Valley Barn
- Avila Beach Central Coast Aquarium
Accommodation In Avila Beach
- Avila La Fonda Hotel
- Sycamore Mineral Springs
- San Luis Bay Inn
- Avila Hot Springs
- Avila Village Inn
- Avila Lighthouse Suites
11. Lake Placid
Population: 2346 (2019)
Lake placid is situated in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains near a lake of the same name. It is the ultimate hub for snow sports and is well known as a venue for the Winter Olympics.
For avid hikers, Mirror Lake, located in the center of the town, offers a spectacular trail along the shoreline. The Historical Society Depot and Lake Placid Olympic Museums will not disappoint the sentimentalists or historians.
Attractions & Things To Do In Lake Placid
- Hiking In The Adirondacks
- John Brown Farm State Historic Site
- Paddling On Lake Placid
- Mirror Lake
- Rock Climbing
- Scenic Drives
- Mountain Biking
- Ski Whiteface Mountain
Accommodation In Lake Placid
- Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort
- Saranac Waterfront Lodge
- Hampton Inn & Suites
- Lake Placid Lodge
- Whiteface Lodge Resort & Spa
- The Haus Lodging On Mirror Lake
12. Skaneateles, Onondaga County, New York
Population: 7176 (2018)
The beautiful town of Skaneateles is situated on the county’s western border, with the clear blue Skaneateles Lake nestled perfectly alongside the city.
Skaneateles village offers unique restaurants and shops, nature trails, distilleries and vineyards, art galleries, Lockwood Lavender Farm, gift shops, boutiques, and so much more for a vacation you can be sure to remember.
Attractions & Things To Do In Skaneateles
- Lake Skaneateles
- Anyela’s Vineyards
- Charlie Major Nature Trail
- Last Shot Distillery
- John D. Barrow Art Gallery
- Gallery 54
Accommodation In Skaneateles
- Arbor House Inn & Suites
- Mirbeau Inn & Spa Skaneateles
- The Sherwood Inn
- Skaneateles Suites
- Del Lago Resort & Casino
- Packwood House
13. Alexandria Bay
Population: 927 (2019)
Alexandria Bay is a small town in Jefferson County, in northern New York, in the Thousand Islands region. The city is situated on the banks of the St. Lawrence River and is referred to as the heart of the Thousand Islands.
Here visitors can enjoy fine dining, unique gift shops, recreational opportunities, lodging, the river, State Parks, Inland Lakes, and the friendliest, most welcoming hospitality from the community.
Attractions & Things To Do In Alexandria Bay
- Boldt Castle & Yacht House
- Wellesley Island
- Uncle Sam Boat Tours
- Bay Drive-In Theatre
- Alex Bay 500 Go-Karts
- Heart Island
- Dark Island Spirits Distillery & Winery
- Cornwall Brothers Store & Museum
Accommodation In Alexandria Bay
14. Sitka, Alaska
Population: 8640 (2019)
Considered part of Russia until 1867, Sitka is a borough and Alaskan city near Juneau’s state capital. It spreads over a portion of Chichagof, Baranof, and other islands.
The town offers plenty of historical sights and attractions, such as the Sitka National Historian Park and the 1842 Russian Bishop’s House. Enjoy Sitka’s endless adventures with exciting activities like boating, vehicle tours, fishing, hiking, and visiting museums.
Attractions & Things To Do In Sitka, AK
- All-Terrain Vehicle Tours
- Boat Rentals
- Cruising Southeast Alaska
- Walking & Hiking Tours
- Sitka History Museum
Accommodation In Sitka, AK
15. St Augustine, Florida
Population: 14 515 (2019)
Along the northeast coast of Florida, you will find the beautiful town of St. Augustine. Known for its Atlantic Ocean beaches such as Crescent Beach and sandy St. Augustine Beach, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States and is rich in Spanish colonial architecture.
There is plenty to do in this wonderful town like visiting museums, distilleries, and the wild reserve, and the luxurious accommodation will make you want to stay forever.
Attractions & Things To Do In St Augustine, FL
- St Augustine Wild Reserve
- St Augustine Lighthouse Maritime Museum
- St Augustine Distillery
- St George Street
- St Augustine Pirate Treasure Museum
Accommodation In St Augustine, FL
- Castillo Real, Ascend Hotel Collection
- Southern Oaks Inn
- Marker 8 Hotel & Marina
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Augustine Historic District
- The Ponce St. Augustine Hotel
- Voco St. Augustine – Historic Area, An IHG Hotel
16. Watkins Glen
Population: 2000 (2019)
Between the towns of Reading and Dix, you will find a charming village in Schuyler County, NY, called Watkins Glen. This great town also happens to be the county seat of Schuyler County.
The village is situated right in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, at Seneca Lake’s south end, about 20 miles north of Elmira. The town was first called Jefferson in 1842, but in 1852, in honor of an early promoter, Dr. Samuel Watkins, it was renamed “Watkins.”
It wasn’t until 1926 that the name “Glen” was added. In the center of the village is a magnificent gorge that was set aside in 1906 as “Watkins Glen State Park.” A creek descends about 600ft through the 1 ½ mile-long valley, forming impressive cascades, pools, and rapids.
Attractions & Things To Do In Watkins Glen
Accommodation In Watkins Glen
- Idlewild Inn
- Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
- Anchor Inn & Marina
- Longhouse Manor Bed & Bedroom
- Lakeside Resort 3812 Bistro
Population: 10 287 (2019)
Canandaigua, a scenic community also referred to as “The Chosen Spot,” is situated about 25 miles southeast of Rochester. This beautiful and historic town has much to offer its residents and visitors.
Everything from galleries, charming little shops, stunning accommodation, and restaurants to an abundance of outdoor spaces perfect for relaxation. The breathtakingly gorgeous Canandaigua Lake provides a wonderful place to fish, boat, and swim.
Attractions & Things To Do In Canandaigua
- Kayaking & Paddleboarding
- Finger Lakes Boat Rentals & Tours
- Canandaigua Lake Water Trail
- Roseland Waterpark
- Roseland Wake Park
Accommodation In Canandaigua
- 1795 Acorn Inn
- Chalet Of Canandaigua
- The Lake House On Canandaigua
- Bella Rose Bed & Breakfast
18. Cape May, New Jersey
Population: 3463 (2019)
At the tip of Southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula, you will find the gorgeous seaside resort, Cape May. The town is well-known for its Victorian-style houses like Emlen Physick Estate Museum with its preserved interior from the Victorian era.
The town is also known for the Cape May Lighthouse, which provides beautiful views across the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware.
Attractions & Things To Do In Cape May, NJ
- Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center
- Cape May Winery
- Cape May County Park & Zoo
- Dallas 5 & 10
- Cheese Shop Cape May Creamery
Accommodation In Cape May, NJ
- The Grand Hotel Cape May
- The Southern Mansion
- Madison Avenue Beach Club
- The Mason Cottage
19. Bandon, Oregon
Population: 3100 (2019)
Bandon is a town on the Oregon Coast shaped by nature and visited by many over the holidays or simply for a weekend getaway. The city offers beautiful attractions like gorgeous ocean vistas, streams, wild woods, and activities such as golf, cycling, fishing, going to the beach, storm watching, hiking, and much more!
Attractions & Things To Do In Bandon, Oregon
- Bullards Beach State Park
- Floras Lake Kite & Windsurf
- Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
- New River Hiking Trail
- Facerock Creamery
- Bandon Bay Jets
Accommodation In Bandon, Oregon
- Bandon Inn
- Bandon Marina Inn
- Sunset Oceanfront Lodging
- Lighthouse Cove Inn
- Wild Spring Guest Habitat
Population: 2029 (2019)
Clayton village is situated in Jefferson County, New York, U.S. This lovely, quaint town is home to the Clayton Opera House and the famous Antique Boat Museum. Considered a summer resort, Clayton offers sightseeing boat tours, art galleries and studios, museums, and beautiful accommodation spots with tons of character.
Attractions & Things To Do In Clayton
- The Ultimate Heart of 1000 Islands Sightseeing Boat Tour
- Boldt Castle & 2 Nation Tour
- River Muse Art Gallery & Studio
- Antique Boat Museum
- Thousand Islands Museum
- Fibonacci 321 Art Gallery
Accommodation In Clayton