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Carmel is well known as one of the most romantic cities in the world. Tucked away in a one square mile radius, you can find a wide variety of romantic restaurants, charming cafes, picnic spots and Carmel beach.
Many people chose to book a room right in the downtown area at one of the more romantic inns, bed and breakfast or botique style hotels. Due to limited parking, you can just walk from the hotel and be within a 10-15 minutes walk from almost any activity or business that you want to visit. Using trip advisor, you can find a lot of great places to stay and read user reviews to get a good feel for the place. You can also trust the Carmel Chamber of Commerce to offer good advice.
For the true romantic, there are companies to assist you in pulling off the perfect romantic getaway including limousine companies, wedding planners and even someone who can craft the perfect romantic sentiment for you. One company called Romantic Room Designs decorates your hotel room to turn it into a romantic's paradise with rose petals, flowers, candles etc.. so that when you check in you can make an extra special impression. They also do a sunset bonfire package (and sunset bonfire proposal package) on Carmel Beach.
If you are looking to propose, check out cityitinerary.com. This local visitors guide has a listing of proposal ideas that are ideal for the Monterey Peninsula. When you get into town, make sure to check out the local Coast Weekly newspaper for listings on the best places to go for music (e.g. listening to live piano music at the Park Hyatt Higlands Inn while sitting in front of a roaring fire). Again, if you go to the Carmel Visitors Center in town you can ask your questions and get a good idea of the right places to go.
Other romantic activities to consider include enjoying a specialty coffee at one of Carmel's charming cafe's, dinner in a fine restaurant, picnic at Devendorf Park, massage at one of several day spa's, an evening or two in a romantic B&B, viewing beautiful artwork and photography at one of over 100 local galleries, viewing the sunset on Carmel Beach, or just holding hands and walking up and down Ocean Avenue.