Carmel Travel Guide
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A couple weekends ago, Nick had the pleasure of visiting Carmel-By-The-Sea and all of its surrounding glory. One of my favorite parts was that Dino got to come with us! Hosfas House is dog friendly, so he had a place to sleep, but he also could romp around with us, as the area is super dog friendly! He got to go to his first dog beach (Carmel Beach) and tasted gourmet cheeses along side us at The Cheese Shop.
We got in town late Friday evening. We didn’t take the PCH the whole way from LA, but on the part we did, we saw dolphins at sunset from the highway. Talk about a dream!! Saturday morning we woke up early to go to Point Lobos State Park and it was worth it! So beautiful and raw. We hurried back to Hofas House to grab some complimentary breakfast and plan out the rest of our day. We did 17 mile drive, wine tasting,
Selfie at Point Lobos
Beach lunch c/o 5th Avenue Deli at Carmel Beach
WHY CARMEL IS GREAT TO VISIT
Family Friendly. Seriously great for all ages!
Walkable. I mentioned this in my review of Hofsas House, but you can walk so many places! We obviously drove to 17 mile drive and point lobos, but you can get so many places without a car. We preferred to leave ours parked at the hotel,
So much to do. Carmel is so close to Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey, Big Sur, etc. You will not run out of things to occupy your time! Plus it is great to relax in too ;)
Dog Friendly. It is seriously the most pup friendly place in America. Dogs are welcome most places and some restaurants even have dog menus!!
Carmel-By-The-Sea App. They have an app! You can book hotels, see what to do, and make reservations on it. So cool!
Road Trip-able. We drove from LA, which is 5+ hours, but you can also fly into SF and drive 2+ hours. HELLO PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY. If you drive from LA, you can also stop in cool places like Santa Barbara and Paso Robles!
17 Mile Drive Scenic Stop
WHERE TO STAY:
WHERE TO EAT:
5th Avenue Deli (We grabbed sandwiches here c/o and brought them to the beach for lunch! So good and offers a lot more than just sandwiches, and even have picnic lunch boxes.)
Alta Coffee (Monterey)
Brophy’s Tavern (This is right across from Hosfas House if you stay there. A good local bar with easy eats.)
Captain and Stoker Coffee (Monterey)
Casanova (We ate dinner here. Has a ton of history and was very yummy. Make sure to get a res.)
Stationaery (We ate breakfast here and it was great! Get the potato pancakes!!)
The Cheese Shop (In Carmel plaza! Hofsas House gave us some and we haaaad to go to the store to take some home! They let you taste them before you buy and have SO MANY. They are all divine.)
Yeast of Eden (This is a newer restaurant in Carmel plaza. We had happy hour here! We got the fries and Nick got beer - they make them in house! We also got the harvest salad and it was so freaking good.)
Ghost Trees of Pescadero Point on 17 Mile Drive
Dinner at Casanova
Tasting c/o at Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room
WHAT TO DO:
17 Mile Drive (We drove it and it was great. There are so many scenic stops. I would have loved to bike it! You can also see the iconic Pebble Beach, go for a drink, grab some food and more! It costs $10.50 per car to enter, but worth it! We received tips to start by turning left first, instead of turning right, as it is prettier. You are essentially following the numbers backwards, but honestly, I think it’d be fine either way!)
Bixby Bridge (This is on the PCH about 25 minutes from Carmel-By-The-Sea. We went on our way back to LA!)
Carmel Beach (Also walkable from Hofsas House! Parking is available too. Also dogs are allowed!!
Garland Ranch Regional Park
Lovers Point Beach
Mcway Falls (Waterfall in Big Sur)
Carmel Mission Basilica Museum (We went here, but didn’t go inside. It was stunning just looking on from outside the gate though. To be honest, I didn’t feel like paying to go in, plus we were on a bit of a time crunch. Was beautiful, though!)
Point Lobos State Park (Known as the “Crown Jewel” of the state parks system in California, because there is so much to do and see here. From hiking, to scuba diving, to even looking at seals and listening to the sea lions, it is a must! Get there early, so you can grab a parking spot. There are only 150 spots and they fill up in the first hour. It costs $10 to park, but if you park outside, you can just give a dollar donation. Just know that you’ll be in for a looooot of walking. We spent a couple hours here, but could have spent way more time!!)
Scheid Tasting Room (We went here c/o and Dino go to have his first tasting room experience! Good wine too!)
Vista Point (This is in San Luis Obispo County, so chances are if you are driving from SF, you won’t make it out this way; however, if you do, you need to stop! The seals literally just lay on the beach, scoot around, and such. It is so neat just to watch them in their natural habitat!
Walk around Carmel-By-The-Sea Villages, Carmel Plaza, and Downtown Carmel (It’s beautiful and there are so many shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, and more! Don’t forget the secret passageways ;) )
Wall at The Cheese Shop
Snacks at Yeast of Eden
Get a Map. Carmel-By-The Sea doesn’t have addresses, only relative locations, ie between this street and this street, by this place. Hosfas House gave us a map and we are so thankful! They make them similar to red maps in New York City if you a familiar with those.
Make Reservations. Most restaurants close by 9:00 and the popular ones are packed! You’ll be happier with reservations, I promise. We made a last minute res for Casanova and they couldn’t get us in until 8:30 pm. Not a deal break, just saying… if you get hangry, make a res! We tried to go to Brophy’s Tavern for a drink. They were short staffed and we couldn’t get our drinks in the 30 minutes we were waiting! Still go! I’m just saying, be prepared!
Carmel is not Carmel-By-The-Sea. They are different! Carmel-By-The-Sea is its own little beach city. Carmel-By-The-Sea has its own rules and ordinances. Clint Eastwood was also the mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea for a brief time too!
No Chains. Carmel-By-The Sea doesn’t allow chain grocery stores or restaurants. This allows their own stores and restaurants to flourish. Just wanted you to keep this in mind! They do have chain clothing stores though.
Outside the mission
Breakfast at Stationaery
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