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Three quirky things you never knew about Carmel-by-the-Sea

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Set on California’s Pacific coast south of San Francisco, Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for romantic getaways, strolling on the beach and gourmet dining. Everyone seems to know Clint Eastwood once served as mayor, but did you know there are rules about wearing high heels? Honest!

Fashionistas beware.

You need a permit to wear heels higher than two inches. This 1930’s ruling came about to help keep women from stumbling on the cobblestones and filing lawsuits. It’s still on the books. You can, however, get a permit at the courthouse allowing you to wear your fashion-statement shoes. Your certificate makes a unique, only in Carmel-by-the-Sea souvenir.

Think you’ve gone to the dogs?

This is one dog-friendly town. Dogs can play on the beach. They dine like celebs beside their owners and even have their own Yappy Hour at the Cypress Inn. You can buy doggy perfume at Ajne or visit the Fountain of Woof in the Carmel Plaza shopping center. And you’re more likely to find a jar of dog biscuits in your hotel lobby than you are to see cookies for regular guests. Fortunately, at the Coachman’s Inn, we had treats for both man and pooch.

Seek and you will find.

Venture off the main streets into roughly 45 charming passageways for glimpses of outdoor cafes, shops, gardens and art galleries you could easily miss. Make a game of following these semi-secret paths. Your kids will love it, and you’ll discover a whole new view of town.

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