2. Immerse Yourself in Art: Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey Peninsula, California

Carmel-by-the-Sea has long been a Mecca for art lovers and artists alike, who come to the Monterey Peninsula for inspiration, stunning scenery and a bohemian lifestyle few other artist colonies can match. There are more than 100 galleries, not to mention the double delights of the Pacific Repertory Theatre and the historic Golden Bough Playhouse, responsible for hosting more than 175 performances per year. Carmel Art Association is the second-oldest art co-operative in the country, having been established some 81 years ago. The Association showcases works from more than 120 local artists, allowing visitors a fascinating and comprehensive glimpse into the Monterey Peninsula's art scene as a whole. For more information, visit carmelcalifornia.com.