As many of you already know, for Christmas, Joey planned a little road trip getaway for me to a city I’ve been dying to visit; Carmel by the Sea.
It was the absolute best trip ever. We had the best time exploring every nook and cranny of the Hansel & Gretel-esque beachside town. I referred to the town the entire time as a real life Disneyland; and you’ll see exactly what I mean when you see the photos of the cute little cottages and homes!
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey Bay, which was only a 10 minute drive from the city. Scroll below to see some of our photos (probably too many, sorry) and read my list of must sees for Carmel by the Sea, CA.
Must: Visit Pebble Beach.
- Pebble Beach is an esteemed and very famous golf course. It’ll cost you a whopping $400 JUST to golf one round of 18 holes. And that doesn’t include a golf cart of any of the gear. As a guest, you can roam the Lodge and eat at a variety of the different resturants and shop their pro-shop. We ate at the Stillwater Bar & Grill within the Lodge and had the absolute best view of the coastline and the golf course.
Must: 17- Mile Drive.
- This is one of the most famous scenic drives in THE WORLD. For good reason too! The drive is absolutely stunning. You enter the highway at the gate for the Pebble Beach golf course, where they give you a map with different markers along the route to places where you can get out and take in the scenery. It is $10.50 to get in but if you eat at any of the restaurants in Pebble Beach and spend at least $35, they’ll put your $10.50 towards your bill. Which is a pretty good deal, seeing as a single entree anywhere within the resort is about $20 for one person anyways.
Must: Walk through Carmel Village & try to find the city’s famed fairy-tale cottages.
- The downtown is to die for. It’s so cute and unique and lined with special courtyards and secret passageways. We had so much fun following our little city map trying to find each and every one of the secret passageways. Throughout the downtown you’ll also see and feel the magic that gives this place that “happily ever after,” Disneyland feeling.
- If you visit the visitors center, you can grab a brochure to the fairy-tale cottages all built by a man named Hugh Comstock. Carmel is filled with these tiny cottages and each have their own name, they don’t use addresses! He began in 1924 when he decided to build a cottage for his wife to use as a studio for her doll-making hobby. With that, he began to buy land for extremely cheap and built the tiny cottages just as cheap. Of course now, these famed homes, although tiny, are worth MILLIONS! We grabbed a brochure and drove up and down the tilted streets but honestly had some trouble finding/seeing most of the homes. People do live in them and most of the homes have been painted in different colors than they originally were and almost all of them have big gates and fences built around the property. I’m sure home owners were just sick of all the tourists, but honestly, I feel like if you buy one of these unique homes you should own that and realize that your house is a part of what makes this city a destination town.
Must: Walk along the beach and take in the clear blue water that you’re highly unlikely to get anywhere else along the West Coast.
Must: Visit the Carmel Mission.
- The Mission was founded in June of 1770 and stands as a monument to Padre Junipero Serra. While smaller than the San Juan Capistrano Mission that we previously visited; it made up for in it’s beauty and location! It is also still a functioning school and church.
Must: Visit Mission Ranch.
- Mission Ranch is currently a restaurant, tennis club, and place where guests can stay in one of their 6 buildings on the property. The property is now owned by Clint Eastwood, who was actually Mayor of Carmel for 2 years in the 1980’s. The Ranch was originally owned by a Native American who sold the land to a Monterey storekeeper for $300 in 1852. The land is absolutely beautiful and you can enjoy the scenery while eating a meal or come just to tour the grounds and watch the sheep graze, which is free!
- The Ranch is also conveniently located down the street from the Carmel Mission.
Must: Watch the sunset along the coast.
- Basically anywhere you go along the coast in Carmel will give you the most beautiful sunset.
Hope you enjoyed reading about our trip! Happy Saturday!
ps: you can watch a video of our trip below!