If you were to ask me what would make a perfect 24 hour getaway that includes wine, the beach, and romance I’d say “take me to Carmel by the Sea!” That’s exactly what my husband did for our 19th wedding anniversary this summer, he knows me very well. With a busy schedule, three kids and their activities, and only a day here and there to get away as a couple, in less than an hour we can be in one of the most beautiful places in California. Here are a few of my favorite things about Carmel that have us going back again and again!
Favorite Beach: Carmel Beach
With views of the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and often just outside the fog zone on the Monterey Bay, Carmel has a beautiful white sand beach to relax with your blanket and favorite book. When we arrived in Carmel around 11am, we had the beach to ourselves minus a few dog walkers. I spent an hour reading and listening to the waves with my best friend, perfection!
Favorite Place to Stay: Hofsas House Hotel
I’ve written about this hotel before, and for good reason. If you’re looking for a cozy and charming place to stay with all the necessary amenities and the best hospitality in town, the Hofsas House should be your first choice! We booked a room and mentioned our anniversary and here’s what showed up! Carrie Theis, the owner of the hotel (and granddaughter to the founder), hand wrote us a note along with an offering of local Monterey wine and Carmel chocolates from Lula’s to make our stay just that much more enjoyable! She is such a gem!
The rooms are spacious, and our reservation this weekend included a kitchenette, fireplace, outdoor seating, and those fun Dutch doors to let in some of the fresh ocean air. Although we were staying for one night, we could have been set up easily for a week. Considering I didn’t bring my wetsuit for the 55 degree water at the beach, enjoy the 82 degree pool year-round at Hofsas, or try the traditional European dry sauna at no additional cost. Our evening had us lighting the fire, opening the wine and devouring the chocolate, a perfect ending to a wonderful day! The prices at this hotel are so reasonable for Carmel, plus you get a great continental breakfast each morning to top it all off. Visit Hofsas House Hotel to reserve your room!
Favorite Appetizers: Vino Napoli Wine Bar
A wonderful spot to check out that’s included on the Carmel Wine Walk, the owner of Vino Napoli owns a few restaurants (one adjacent to the wine bar) and a bakery in Carmel by the Sea. Whether you want a red, white, or mixed wine flight, make sure you pair it with some of the most delicious appetizers in town! Flavorful Meatball Lollipops, french bread, charcuterie (including chorizo–YUM), cheese, nuts, and olives was our lunch and dinner!
I can’t help but drool a little just writing this. The tasting room is a fun atmosphere with televisions, a fireplace, very attentive servers, and lots of tables for socializing. For more, visit Vino Napoli.
Favorite Wine Tasting Room: DeTierra Vineyards
My hubby and I both agree on this spot being the best in town! He loves it because there are a handful of books on the shelf that have caught his eye. One of those a Steinbeck novel he hasn’t read and now reads it specifically when we’re there, he’ll finish it our next visit I’m sure! I love the wine, the 2013 Vindegard Chardonnay and the 2012 Late Harvest Zinfandel especially. Also included on the Carmel Wine Walk, you can sit at the bar or if you’re lucky grab the open window seat where we could stay for hours!Grab a cheese platter to snack on, or remember those Lula’s Chocolates I mentioned earlier? They offer them as a chocolate pairing that you can’t miss! No matter how full this location gets, you’re treated like a VIP here and that’s what makes DeTierra Vineyards really stand out!
Favorite Night Spot: Carmel Beach
Yes, I’m repeating myself. The beach is awesome in Carmel and especially at night, so grab a bottle of wine and enjoy the sunset! Alcohol is allowed on the beach which in itself is something you don’t see many other locations. To top off a wonderful day, pair that wine with a bonfire (allowed south of 10th Avenue) and warm up with your loved one. Don’t forget the s’mores kit!
I hope I’ve sold you on planning a romantic trip, I have many articles on the area, but these are my absolute favorite things in Carmel. Though we enjoyed appetizers, drank, and snacked a lot, I am still searching for our favorite restaurant. Suggestions are welcome, let me know what you love most about Carmel by the Sea!
I received a media rate for my hotel stay, all other activities were on our own. Opinions are 100% our honest views.