15. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Perched on California’s scenic Central Coast, Carmel has a white-sand beach backed by windswept trees and a charming village with English-style cottages. Great for shoppers but so sweet to just walk through the narrow streets, dip into tiny alcoves of book stores and hidden Zen gardens, and walk up toward the playground and smell the pines.
And don’t overlook the art scene — in just one square mile, Carmel has nearly 75 galleries.