Two weekends ago, I went on a couples’ trip to Carmel-By-The-Sea, which is about two hours by car from San Francisco. Carmel has been on my list of places to visit in Northern California since moving out here last July and it didn’t disappoint! Below I’ve rounded up some of my recommendations based on our visit.
For breakfast, we stopped at Patisserie Bechler, which is actually located in Pacific Grove. Even if you’re staying in Carmel, it’s worth the 15 minute drive! The owner is from Alsace and the interior of the cafe reflects that. The Nutella croissant was a highlight for me. For lunch, we tried Basil Seasonal Dining, which featured locally sourced fare and Dametra Cafe, which is a Mediterranean cafe, both located in Carmel. At both restaurants, some dishes were winners and others unmemorable. For dinner, we ate at Passionfish in Pacific Grove, which we all agreed was delicious. I also appreciated that they value sustainable fishing practices.
Point Lobos is a state reserve where you can hike, or if you choose, just drive around. We saw a lot of wildlife here: sea birds, seals, sea lions, otters, and so forth. I recommend paying the $10 to drive and park there; not only are you supporting the park, but it also makes it easy to go from point-to-point, which is clutch if the weather takes a turn as it did for us! We also did 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach, but I think Point Lobos was a much better spent $10; we saw a lot more wildlife and saw better views… although the real estate porn along 17 Mile Drive was mind-blowing. In the town of Carmel, we meandered with no real agenda, but two boutiques stood out: GIRL BOY GIRL (trendier – IRO, ALC, rag & bone) and its sister store, Paloosh (more casual – Equipment, Joie, Bailey 44). And although we didn’t hit it on this trip, the Monterey Bay Aquarium makes for an awesome afternoon, too.
Finding a place to stay was a challenge for this trip. Many of the B&Bs or hotels in Carmel either had a two-night minimum on weekends or were beyond our budget. Airbnb featured just a few selections, but they were either too expensive or too small for two couples. That’s how we wound up staying in Pacific Grove, at the Gosby House Inn. The town is only a 15 minute drive from Carmel and is on the ocean. The Gosby House Inn has some nice features: large rooms with a sitting area and fire place, complimentary snacks and wine, and breakfast.
To see some of the pictures I took on our trip, follow me on Instagram, at lindsay.jill.