Greetings from Pebble Beach (wedged in somewhere along the coast between Carmel (by the Sea) and Pacific Grove, actually. We have Carmel BTS, and Carmel Valley. And Caramel candy available at Fisherman's wharf in Monterey which has 3 wharves. Fisherman's is the tourist wharf. Just to the south is the Coast Guard wharf and boatyard with the Monterey Marina. To the North is the commercial wharf which to me, is much more interesting to photograph than the other 2.
B&B Places to stay. A few good ones adjacent to Lovers Point in Pacific Grove which is only about 7 minutes from downtown Carmel. Green Gables Inn, I hear is quite nice and reasonable with ocean views. The Andril Fireplace Cottages in Asilomar is great. Family owned, individual cottages with fireplaces, kitchens and cooking utensils, free firewood, in the forest with hot and cold running deer, about a half mile from the beach (and Pebble Beach). Reasonable weekly rates. (I shot their brochure a while ago). Remember you're planning to visit in our "off-season". Bring a jacket , sweater, and rain gear btw. It's been raining quite a lot the last several weeks.
Carmel has a lot of quaintness happening, but a bit too touristy for my wife and I. During the week, parking isn't too bad. Weston gallery has a lot of their stuff and Ansel Adams work. There's also the Carmel Center for photographic Art next to the Sunset Center. For restaurants, it depends on what you'd like to eat. Seafood?? You want tourist or non-tourist places? Italian, California, burgers? Or fast food. Drop me an e-mail and I'll give you my list of locals hangouts. Mateo's list I think is ok, but the Factory is really off the charts price wise, lotsa fish, pasta, rich sauces, huge wine collection. Katies is good for breakfast in Carmel but they've raised their prices out the roof. I prefer Breakers Cafe in pacific Grove on Forest. Local constructions guys hangout. Whaling Station is ok, steaks and prime rib. Fishwife is excellent, but the Monterey Fishouse is just the best. Reservations for that one are helpful as at Fishwife and the Sardine Factory.
The Carmel Mission is nice, historic, behind Mission Beach which is nice this time of year. NO CAMERA !!!! HOW COULD YOU !!!!!!!!! When the surf gets rolling you can get some wonderful dynamic ocean shots along the beaches in Pacific Grove, Asilomar, and of course, Pebble Beach along 17 mile drive. You might avoid the $8.75 gate fee by telling them you're going to the grill at the lodge for lunch or Spanish Bay.
If you want a spectacular coastal view, drive south on highway 1 to the Point Sur lighthouse. The California Park Service on Garden Road can give you the hours when they're giving free tours. The view from the rock is incredible. And, there are lots of turnouts on the way to take in views. Stop at Highlands Inn in Carmel highlands for lunch, formal dinner or just a beer. nice views too. The other lighthouse here is a Pacific Grove on Sunset in the middle of the PG municipal golf course. Oldest working lighthouse on the west coast. Tours are given there too. North of Santa Cruz is Pigeon Point lighthouse on highway 1. Nice to photograph.
Oh, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium is remodeled with a lot of new exhibits. At the end of Cannery Row and David Avenue. Camera stores near the Row? I can't think of any anymore. Camera West? I prefer B&H or KEH. (Russ Levin is a friend of mine). Myricks on Fremont street if you decide to bring a camera and run low on film. Gassers in San Francisco.
Anything else I can suggest just drop me an e-mail. Take it light.