Monterey & Carmel By The Sea

One could write endlessly on all the wonderful places tucked away in the central to northern coast of California, but rather then ramble on forever, here is a list my (Sara) favorite activities and places to eat.

The “Do Not Miss List” of Monterey & Carmel by the Sea

Sleep . Explore . Eat & Drink

Places to Sleep

Let’s just be upfront. If you are on a budget, head down the road to Monterey, the average hotels and restaurants are cheaper. If you are looking for a romantic weekend away, then nestle yourself within the charm of Carmel.

La Playa, If you want a classic hotel, tucked away between the ocean and downtown Carmel, this is the place. It offers a beautiful garden, bar and restaurant, and classic rooms.
Camino Real at Eighth Ave., Carmel, CA 93921

Hyatt Regency, This larger hotel is wonderful and still a little cheaper due to its Monterey location. I spent one weekend here and was thrilled, the fireplace in the lobby is a wonderful touch.

Travelodge, It is a basic motel. I have stayed here twice and it was fine and clean. Nothing to write home about, but does offer a great location within Monterey to walk around.
675 Munras Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940


Things to see and do

Monterey Bay Aquarium, home to all the sea creatures you can imagine this is the place to go and be amazed. From sea otters, to sharks, to jelly fish, to ancient sea turtles – you will once again feel like an astonished kid.
886 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940
Hours: 10:00AM – 5:00PM daily

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Rent Kayaks, with a gorgious shoreline the perfect place to spend an hour or two in the morning or afternoon is out on the water, where you can watch the seals swim about.
Adventures by the Sea: kayak rentals are usually around $30 per person, per a day. They also offer kayak tours and more elaborate programs. This shop also rents bikes and other gear for some fun activities.
Monterey Bay Kayaks: also around $30-40 per person, per a day. They also offer tours, etc.

Downtown Monterey, the classic, smalltown California downtown with locally owned shops and coffee houses aplenty.

Places to eat & drink

East Village, With a wonderful choice of coffee drinks, smoothies, and everything else imaginable this lounge is ready for you. The seating area is divided into smaller rooms and corners with plenty of places to sit. Don’t fret about outlet plugs, there are plenty! And be sure to check out their local live music at night.
489 Washington St., Monterey, CA, 93940

Carmel by the Sea

Things to see and do

The Carmel Beach, head out of downtown along Ocean Avenue and you will walk right into the sand. Either direction makes for a good walk, however if you take a right and head north, you will  see the gorgeous moss covered rocks along the grassy coastline. Also note that this beach is dog friendly!
This is the perfect sunset activity, to be followed by dinner at Basil.

Carmel Beach

Carmel Beach

17 Mile Drive, The road costs a small fee to enter, since it is owned privately, but driving these seven miles of coastline will allow you to see the prestine coastline and stunning views that attracked such wealth. Be sure to check out Pebble Beach Lodge, a favorite for those whom get hungry along the way.
Enter through the gate, located at Highway 1 at Highway 68.

Places to eat & drink

Basil, a small Italian restaurant tucked away inside a small courtyard, this restaurant always offers wonderful, local and seasonal food. My advice, take a few appetizers and main courses and share, but be sure to save room for dessert!
Do not fret, while there are amazing restaurants in Carmel, this one does not have the price tag usually associated with fine dinning.
San Carlos Between Ocean & 7th. Carmel By The Sea 93921

The Cheese Shop, Every great little town needs a local horde of treasure, and for any cheese lover, this is it. With a knowledgable staff and a plethora of domestic and international cheeses, this is the place to come to explore.
Carmel Plaza, Carmel, CA 93921  .  831-625-2272  .  Mon – Sat. 10:00AM – 6:00PM  .  Sun 11:00AM – 5:30PM

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