24 Hours in Carmel


24 Hours in Carmel

It’s hard to believe that our Babymoon was already a month ago. What a wonderful adventure that quick, five day trip was for both of us. It was one of the first vacations during which we both disconnected from work, focused on us and just relaxed together. The entire trip was so amazing that when we discussed it, in preparation for the upcoming posts, there wasn’t one thing that either of us would change. 

As you review our ititinerary, keep a few things in mind:

  • We had limited vacation time since I am saving for maternity leave. If we could have made it a longer trip, we would have preferred to extend it by at least one or two nights.
  • However, since I’m pregnant and the Big Sur Highway was closed, we are hard pressed to think of places we would have stayed longer. Instead, if I wasn’t pregnant and Big Sur wasn’t closed, we would have done one night in Big Sur and a night in Sonoma.

A number of people have emailed me asking for specifics regarding the places we stayed, dined and explored during our trip. Today’s post is focused on the one for which I’ve received the most requests – Carmel or Carmel-By-The-Sea. 

Where We Stayed: We absolutely loved our choice to stay on the coast at Tickle Pink at Carmel Highlands. The inn is located just a quick, ten minute drive from downtown Carmel but it felt a world away with the gorgeous views, large room, ocean waves and service. While we looked at many of the inns located in Carmel, we wanted to enjoy the ocean setting since we knew we’d spend plenty of time exploring Carmel. There are 35 rooms at this small inn and when we booked, our only request was to have a view of the ocean and one of the rooms with a wood burning fireplace.  It was such a treat to sit on our balcony, listening to the waves crashing and watch the sunset, then walk a few steps into our room and enjoy a small cheeseplate and roaring fireplace.


What We Did:

  • Seventeen Mile Drive – We loved leisurely driving the historic 17-mile drive which takes you through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove while passing famous golf courses, stunning views and mansions. We stopped to have lunch and explore Pebble Beach Golf Club and would recommend having lunch outside at The Bench, their casual terrace restaurant.  
  • Carmel-By-The-Sea –  I would recommend exploring the downtown shops early, before the tourists arrive. We spent an hour meandering through small shops, sipping coffee and enjoying breakfast sandwiches. Check the website to see what time the shops open, depending on the day of the week, to ensure that you’re able to shop as well as meander. Don’t hesitate to make a few wrong turns, get lost and explore as I promise the small alleyways and courtyards are where the magic comes to life.
  • Enjoyed the Beach – We went on two wonderful adventures along the Carmel-By-the-Sea beachfront including an hour beach walk from 4-5pm before sunset and then a 5 mile run along the footpath.  The footpath provided the perfect way to take in the beach’s natural beauty as well as the incredible homes, including the famous Frank Lloyd Wright home, The Della Walker House.


Where We Dined: Luckily, a few weeks before our trip, we took time to do some research and make reservations as it seems like the top restaurants book quickly. We opted to enjoy seafood while we were there versus one of the many French or European restaurants. Other than dinner, we didn’t worry about any other reservations and just stopped in the small restaurants and coffee shops while we explored.

  • Flying Fish Grill – This cozy, inventive restaurant serves a menu of Asian-Seafood infused dishes that have been delighting locals and toursits alike for years. Known as one of the institutions in Carmel-By-The-Sea, this spot books quickly and even a few weeks out we were only able to snag a late reservation. We loved the California Tower, artichokes and almond encursted sea bass. 
  • Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co – This spot opens early so is a perfect place to grab a to-go cup of coffee before exploring town and a bite to eat. Their miniature cinnamon rolls are amazing!
  • Salumeria Luca – This Italian bakery and sandiwch shop is also home to the Big Sur Bakery Pop Up until the bakery is able to reopen. Therefore, the lines were long while we were in town but well worth the wait and moved quickly.  There are plenty of benches, shady spots and parks in the downtown area, so I would recommend getting your order to go. We enjoyed two of their signature sandwiches as well as a Big Sur Bakery chocolate chip cookie.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me an email as I’m happy to help!

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