We took a quick trip up the coast to Carmel and I thought I’d share a few of our favorite places with you. When I’m planning a trip, I always love reading other people’s travel lists and find them handy in making my preparations. Hope you do as well. If you have another can’t miss spot in Carmel, please leave it in the comments for others!
1. Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo – An active parish since 1771, the Carmel Mission has five museums that share the legacy of one of California’s most historical sites. There is a beautiful collection of Spanish colonial art and artifacts, and lovely grounds to enjoy a peaceful afternoon. They offer group tours and are open to the public daily.
2. The Cypress Grove Trail at Point Lobos – There are only two naturally growing cypress groves remaining on earth! This very easy hiking trail takes you through the groves up to the cliffs edge, where you are able to take in panoramic views of the coast and hear sea lions frolicking in the ocean below. This is truly an amazing place not to be missed.
3. The 17 Mile Drive – Said to be one of the most scenic drives in the world, it leads you through the most beautiful vistas of Pebble Beach. There are many places to stop along the way to take in the views or walk along the shoreline. For golf enthusiasts, it offers a ring side seat to the world famous course. Of note, the cost is $10 per vehicle, and it will bring you through residential areas as well. Very pretty, but still, if you’re not expecting to see houses, it can be a bit surprising.
4. The Tasting Room of Caraccioli Cellars – Located in the village, this family run winery and tasting room offers a flight of four wines from their still and sparkling varieties for ten dollars. The relaxed atmosphere is beautifully designed making it the perfect place to wind down after a long day of activities or driving.
5. Cantinetta Luca – Pull a stool up at the pizza bar and watch the chefs prepare your meal in their classic Italian wood burning oven. I can’t stop thinking about the Cornetto filled with mozzarella and fontina. After it is pulled from the oven, they layer it with thin slices of prosciutto and add a fresh arugula salad with shaved parmesan and a drizzle of lemon olive oil. Divine!
After dinner, you can stroll along all the charming shops and galleries located in the village.
6. The Cheese Shop – Head on over to Carmel Plaza to visit the shops and be sure to stop in The Cheese Shop to gather supplies for a picnic spread. If you’re unsure of what to buy, their very friendly staff is more than helpful…handing out free samples to assist you in making those really tough decisions. Don’t forget their Everything crackers!
7. Carmel Beach and Garrapata State Beach – It was too hard to pick just one. The idea here is make sure to visit the beach at sunset. Carmel Beach allows campfires which is such a wonderful way to end your day visiting Carmel. A little piece of heaven on earth.