Carmel by the Sea, California – a Romantic Weekend Get a Way Spot

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Carmel, California, officially known as Carmel- by- the Sea is one of the loveliest spots in the US and perfect choice for a romantic weekend getaway or as a launching spot for a trip to Northern California or the California Wine County.

My husband and I recently spent a weekend in Carmel, and met up with my sister-in-law and her husband. Carmel is located in Monterrey County and is known for its beautiful scenery with a rugged coastline. The area is a photographers dream with fairy tale cottages with window boxes spilling with flowers, white pristine beaches, amazing sunsets, and a town that looks and feels like a Disney movie.

carmel cottage

Wear good walking shoes and dress in layers. Three out of the four of us had to spring for the tourist windbreakers. The jackets we brought were not warm enough and this was in the summer time! You can spend a lovely day or two browsing in shops, looking in galleries, wine tasting and dining in some great restaurants with regional cuisine. You won’t find chain restaurants here. The town closes up early which was a little surprising.

The locals we met as well as the shop keepers and restaurant workers were very friendly and accommodating . I also noticed that almost everyone in downtown Carmel, was walking a dog or two. I have never seen such a dog friendly city! Almost all the shop have a dog bowl with water outside. I left wanting a little white dog to tote around dressed in a cute outfit.

17 mile drive

If you are in town for a weekend, I recommend the 17 mile drive and Pt. Lobos State Park. The 17 mile drive is a scenic road that runs through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. You will pay a small toll but it is worth every cent.  The scenic road hugs the spectacular coastline and in addition to ocean vistas you will see famous attractions including the Lone Cypress Tree, Bird Rock, a forest of cypress trees, beautiful mansions and at the end The Pebble Beach Lodge and golf course. take your time and stop at the scenic turn outs along the way and take photographs. At the end of the drive, walk around the beautiful Pebble Beach Lodge and perhaps by a souvenir golf shirt or hat to impress the golfers back home.

pt lobos

I also recommend making time to Pt. Lobos State Reserve. It reminds me of the New England coastline. Again dress in layers and wear comfortable walking shoes. You should also bring water, sunscreen and snacks as you can spend hours exploring here. Parking is $10 and you can purchase a map for $2. Arrive early in the day to avoid crowds.

The trails are clearly marked and accessible for everyone. With waves crashing against the cliffs and the sounds of sea lions barking, you will feel transported to another world. Many visitors spot whales spouting off in the distance. We saw sea lions, dolphins, pelican, herons, and all types of birds. Go to China Beach and explore the tide pools full of mussels, crabs, sea anemones, and other sea life.

We stayed at the Lobos Lodge and we loved it. It was very clean, had a separate sitting area for TV and a lovely fireplace and a balcony. They bring you a small continental breakfast in the morning and offer turn down service (with chocolate mints) at night. For about $150 a night, it was a great value in the perfect location to just head outside and explore the town. The front desk staff is so pleasant and helpful. My sister-in-law and husband stayed in a much more expensive hotel away from town and although they had an ocean view, the Lobos Lodge was a perfect for a romantic weekend.

If you are looking for a romantic weekend getaway in a picturesque coastal town, I highly recommend Carmel-by-the-Sea!



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