I spent 3 days in Carmel By The Sea and here is everything I learned and did. Simply known as Carmel, it is “a village in a forest overlooking a white sand beach”. All of the signs are made of wood, there are no neon signs and no numeric street addresses. New buildings must be built around existing trees and new trees are required on lots that are deemed to have an inadequate number. Buildings can’t be more than 2 stories above street level. Fun fact, Carmel has some strange laws including one saying that you are not allowed to wear high heeled shoes without a permit. This is to avoid lawsuits from tripping accidents caused by the irregular pavement and tree roots growing along the sidewalks.
We technically did not have a planned itinerary. Once we landed we hit the ground running. We had some hiccups at the airport with trying to get on the right shuttle to get our car but eventually made it. I used Turo for the first time to book our car. It was super convenient and most importantly affordable. The first stop we made was to get food because at this point we were starving. When in Cali you must do as the Californians do, so we made our way to In-N-Out. After filling our bellies we made our trip to the hotel.
What was supposed to be an hour and forty minute drive turned into almost three hours….gotta love that Cali traffic. We finally made it to our hotel in literally the cutest place I’ve ever been to. We were greeted with wine and cheese in our room. I did a little room tour and then went to turn on the air condition because it was very hot when we arrived. Once I didn’t see air condition on the thermostat we called the front desk. Fun fact: there is no air condition at the property. Apparently it was usually warm the day we arrived. We simply opened our windows and top barn door in our room.
Where To Stay
My mom and I had the fortunate experience of being hosted at Hofsas House Hotel. Hofsas house was started 72 years ago by our host Carrie’s Grandmom. There are 37 rooms and no two rooms are alike. The great thing about the town is that it’s full of inns and bed and breakfast style accommodations. There was at least one inn on each block.
The pool was located right outside of our room and down 2 flights of stairs. Even though we had a super long travel day we decided let’s take a dip. I took 2 photos and I kid you not, the sun went down and it got so cold out! Back to the room we went and we fell asleep….like 9p west coast time. Secretly we never adjusted to the time change since the trip was short.
Continental breakfast was served in the lobby each morning so that was the first thing on our agenda. I feel like I shouldn’t even call it a lobby because it literally looked like someone’s living room. We met the hotel owner, Carrie, and she gave us some history about the town and Hofsas House. We were also given wine tasting vouchers and a gift certificate for lunch. Now it was time to do all the touristy things.
My mom made a quick shoe switch since she was wearing heeled booties and we made our way to a gallery. Fun fact: everything in the town is in walking distance. After visiting the gallery we stumbled into a most chic boutique I’ve ever laid my eyes on, Foxy Couture. After drooling over all of the Chanel items and crying over the Hermes Kelly bag that I will never have, we made it to our first stop of the day.
Stop 1: Wine Tasting at Scheid Vineyards
Our first scheduled stop of the day was for wine tasting at Scheid Vineyards. The vineyard was located within a 10 minute walk of the hotel. Part of the wine tasting consisted of trying 4 wines of your choice. I always start with a white and then work my way to the reds. My picks were the Grenache Blanc, Pinot Noir Rose, 50/50 blend and Pinot Noir. My favorites…the Grenache Blanc and the 50/50 with the 50/50 coming in first. Next stop, to the beach!
Stop 2: The Beach
This was probably my quickest trip to the beach ever. The weather was “back to normal” so it was chilly and the beach was freezing. Nonetheless it was beautiful. The water is so ridiculously blue it’s not even fair. Carmel’s ocean gets it’s water from Alaska which makes the water more blue but also very cold. I did manage to get a couple of photos though. Thank God for liquid courage because I didn’t mind setting up my tripod and shooting in front of a bunch of strangers lol.
Stop 3: Lunch at 5th Avenue Deli
5th Avenue Deli was conveniently right around the corner from our hotel. It was exactly as it sounds, a deli shop. I got a teriyaki salmon sandwich on multi grain bread (yes it was delicious) and Lays potato chips. My mom and I also got a mini bottle of wine for her and a mini champagne for me. We took our food to go and went back to the room. After eating lunch we were pooped! I took a nap at like 4:30 since we were going to dinner around 6:30-7.
Stop 4: Dinner at Luganos Swiss Bistro
We made our way to dinner around 7p. Secretly my mom and I were not super hungry but we had a gift card so why not!? We had already been eyeing up the restaurant menu online so we kind of knew what we wanted to order. Luganos is a traditional Swiss eatery specializing in fondue. Since we weren’t terribly hungry, we decided to pass on the fondue. Plus I don’t eat cheese all like that. Instead I opted for a Swiss Onion Soup and my mom got the veggie soup.
I will say that to drink I got an Oktoberfest beer and it was amazing! For dinner I ordered Grilled Jumbo Shrimp which is served over spaghetti, roasted tomatoes, garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese. It was amazing! The owner was hilarious, he kept walking over to the tables and playing jokes. He pranked my mom with a fake wine glass that had jelly in it to make it look like wine. He pretended to spill it on her….hilarious. Our server and the service was next level by the way. Back to the room we went and straight to bed.
Remember when I said we didn’t get adjusted to west coast time? Needless to say I woke up at 5:15a west coast time aka 8:15 east coast time which is when I would normally get up. I called Sheldon and he was like “Why are you awak!?” Haha, anyway I got up, reheated my food from the night before and had some champagne! My mom got up with me too and we watched episodes of “Martin”. At an acceptable hour we decided to go and grab breakfast.
After breakfast we checked out and packed up the car. We had so much time to kill so we did the one thing everyone told us to….go on the 17 Mile Drive.
17 Mile Drive
Until next time Carmel. I truly enjoyed myself and am making plans to come back with Sheldon. I’ll probably extend my trip next time too so I can really enjoy all that’s around. What did you think about my trip? Sound off in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!
*This media trip was made possible thanks to ChatterboxPR. All opinions are my own.*