Located four miles south of Carmel on a coastal stretch known as the Gateway to Big Sur, the Hyatt Carmel Highlands feels like a true retreat, one that’s in easy reach of both civilization and wilderness. The 48 rooms (including 11 suites) all have wood-burning fireplaces and views of either the property’s gardens or the craggy coastline. Known since its beginnings in 1917 as the Highlands Inn, the boutique hideaway has been a repeat destination for generations of Californians, as well as legendary celebrities like Ansel Adams, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Julia Child, and Robert Redford. California Market at Pacific’s Edge sits overlooking the ocean (locals prefer the outdoor seating for lunch, especially after a hike at nearby Point Lobos), and its local, seasonal ingredients are featured in dishes like ceviche, fish tacos, and Dungeness crab cakes. Take one of the complimentary mountain bikes on a local adventure or relax at the heated outdoor swimming pool. In-room spa services and a fitness center keep wellness top of mind, although a workout may be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re enjoying a cocktail at the Sunset Lounge as the sun sinks into the Pacific Ocean.

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