Thinking about a summer weekend getaway, the California Coast offers some wonderful escapes. If you are looking for that idyllic locale with charm and quaintness that lives up to its name, Carmel by the Sea is the place to go.
Around every nook and cranny, there is something to be found. From its fairytale cottages to its art galleries and wineries tasting rooms, the town with its European flair beckons you. For those with a dog in tow, Carmel by the Sea is considered one of the most dog-friendly cities. Almost every shop provides a water bowl, and one finds doggie treats looming nearby.
The old-world charm of Carmel by the Sea is graced by the Monterey Coastline that sits at the western edge of the town. Just south of the city lies the Mission San Carlos, which dates back to 1770. Beyond lies Carmel Valley and the Point Lobos State Reserve, a beautiful place to hike and take in the sea air.
For the wine buff, the Carmel Wine Walk is a must. Currently, 15 tasting rooms located in Carmel by the Sea participate, and the Wine Walk Passport allows one the opportunity to visit and taste four flights at your choice of 9 tasting rooms.
Favorite Tasting Rooms
Caraccioli Cellars offers a fantastic selection of sparkling wines in addition to a variety of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As one of the only wineries creating sparkling wine; what better way to begin a wine tasting than with a sparkler. Carraccioli produces a very sophisticated sparkling wine, specific to the Santa Lucia Highlands.
Wrath Wines also represents the Santa Lucia Highlands, and the exuberance and passion of winemaker, Sabrine Rodems shines through her wines. Known for their site driven Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah, you will thoroughly enjoy tasting through their portfolio of wines. Sabrine, one of the entrepreneuring women coming forth in the wine industry today, makes her pioneering spirit quite evident in the Wrath Wines.
The Cheese Shop
While visiting Wrath, one must stop in and visit The Cheese Shop. This shop, a fixture in Carmel since 1973, offers a fantastic selection of cheeses and wine. It is virtually next door to Wrath Wines in the Carmel Plaza shopping center.
Carmel by the Sea Restaurants
Tantalize your palate with the diversity of restaurants located in Carmel by the Sea. If you enjoy Spanish Tapas, the Mundaka Restaurant is something a little different to try while visiting Carmel by the Sea.
An old-time favorite that has been around since 1983 is Rio Grill. Known for its local cuisine with an added southwestern flair, you cannot go wrong dining at this Carmel Valley restaurant.
Consider driving 10 minutes to Monterey, to Restaurant 1833, an establishment worth the distance. The restaurant’s fascinating history, excellent food,and an extensive wine list enhances the dining experience. If you are a connoisseur of unusual aperitifs and cocktails, there is an eclectic variety.
The restaurant’s name comes from the year it was built. One of the earliest adobe homes in California, the house was owned by John Stokes, who deserted from the British Navy and charaded as a doctor during his years in this home. One wonders whether the house is haunted. Rumor says that Hattie Gragg, who resided in the home in 1948, haunts the dining area, which was originally her bedroom. Patrons often comment that it seems like something moved in the dining area or someone salted their drink.
Each dining room represents one part of the ownership history of this Monterey adobe home. One of two bars, the Apothecary, pays homage to the original pharmacy John Stokes created in this house.
The history of Restaurant 1833 gives one a glimpse of what one can discover exploring the marvels of Monterey’s past and present. You definitely step back into another time as you enjoy your meal in 1833.
Carmel by the Sea Hotels
The hotels of Carmel by the Sea exude a charm that dates back to anywhere from the 1950s on up to the 1970s. One such hotel is the Hofsas House on 4th and San Carlos.
Hofsas House has been a family-run hotel since the main hotel building was constructed in 1957 by then-owner Donna Hofsas. Today, Donna’s granddaughter Carrie Theis runs the hotel. The hotel has 38 rooms and a swimming pool. Many suites include fireplaces and balconies. This quaint hotel is adorned with a Bavarian-themed mural by artist Maxine Albro.
The rooms are decorated in a European style and are very comfortable. Each room features a Dutch door adding to the old world charm and making you feel as if you were in Switzerland or Germany. For those with a dog in tow, the Hofsas House is pet-friendly. The location of the Hofsas House is ideal for strolling almost anywhere in Carmel by the Sea.
One can never go wrong with a weekend escape to Carmel by the Sea so take a step into Europe while staying on California’s picturesque Central Coast. It is one place everyone enjoys no matter what age you are.