I have always been a big proponent of a staycation or getting out of town for just a night. This past weekend, Daniel and I woke up early and drove down to Carmel for my birthday. Carmel has always been one of my favorite weekend getaways because it is so incredibly relaxing. The town itself is beautiful and filled with unique homes and shops, but I also love just driving around this part of the coast. Carmel and the surrounding areas offer plenty of things to do, so it’s hard to have a bad time, but I have complied some of my favorite stops to make and places to eat.
EAT: One of the best things about Carmel? The food! I feel like every time I go there we don’t stop eating. This time we found a place I had never been to for lunch, tucked away on 6th Ave. Affina has such good farm to table selections including my all time favorite, burrata. Everything tasted so fresh and the service was the best I’ve seen in a long time.
It isn’t a trip to Carmel without a stop at Carmel Bakery their assortment of fresh Italian pastries make this a good stop at any time of day. I like to go first thing in the morning when they bring everything out and you can’t go wrong with the giant cinnamon rolls or bear claw.
A few of my other favorite spots for dining are Portabella, Little Napoli and Grill on Ocean Ave. If you are willing to make the drive down towards Big Sur, there is an incredible restaurant perched on a the cliffside with sprawling ocean views. Rocky Point Restaurant is a nice place to stop just to take in the views even if you don’t plan on eating.
SHOP: Carmel has the quintessential cute downtown with plenty of stores to pop into. Most of them are situated right on Ocean Ave, but there are a couple that I make sure I hit up before I leave. The Elizabeth W store is always a good spot for small gifts or candles. I like to walk around this store and look at the different coffee table books and small trinkets.
Beachwood Home is another great place for cool coffee table book and home accents. I left feeling like I desperately needed a beach house. Tancredi & Morgen requires a drive out of downtown, but it is located in a cute shopping center. This famed Carmel shop almost feels like an antique store in the French countryside and is a great stop for unique home accessories.
STAY: This was the first time we stayed at The Carriage House Inn and I could not have been more pleased. We stayed in the Deluxe suite with large windows, tall peaked ceilings and a giant fireplace. This was such a cozy room on a crisp Carmel day and when the fog rolled in, it was so nice to hang by the fireplace in our room and enjoy some wine. I love that the hotel is a collection of thirteen individual rooms, making each one feel very private and quiet.