Monday, September 28, 2015

Carmel-by-the-Sea

By: The Food Hunter

Known as: "A village in a forest overlooking a white sand beach," Carmel-by-the-Sea is located on the Pacific Coast just a short 90 minute drive south of San Jose.



This quaint village is only 1 square mile, most of which is residential tree-lined streets. Adding to its charm is the lack of street lights, parking meters and house numbers.



Shops, restaurants, wine tasting rooms, gourmet food shops and art galleries line the main thoroughfare of Ocean Ave. where locals and tourist can find just about anything they need.



Keeping with the village feel hotels are boutique style and small. On a recent visit to this sea-side town I stayed at the Bavarian inspired Hofsas House Hotel. Built in 1957 Hofsas House is a family owned and operated property that strives to provide guests with exceptional hospitality and service. Personal touches like free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, in room fireplaces and lovely views add to the charm of this establishment.



I was greeted upon arrival by owner Carrie Theis and treated to a delicious wine and cheese selection picked specially for me from the local Cheese Shop. Carrie's love for the area was evident in our conversations with her as she helped us plan our stay.


Though everyone thinks of Napa or Sonoma when they think of California wine, there are a lot of vineyards scattered throughout the valleys of Monterey County. Unlike Napa & Sonoma Carmel makes wine tasting more accessible by offering people an opportunity to savor without ever having to think about transportation. As part of the "Wine Walk by-the-Sea" program you can purchase a Wine Tasting Passport ($65) that allows you to walk to 9 of the 14 tasting rooms all located within blocks of each other. You could easily spend an entire afternoon sipping wines on this self-paced, self-guided stroll around town.



If wine isn't your thing I suggest heading to Point Lobos State Reserve for some hiking and possible wildlife sightings. Grab a picnic lunch from 5th Ave. deli, located a few blocks from Hofsas House, to enjoy at this picturesque state park.



Save time for a quick visit to the Carmel Mission either before or after Point Lobos. The historic mission is still a working parish and the only California Mission to still have its bell tower dome.



Known as a food destination Carmel has a number of dining options at every price level. From casual coffee shops and gourmet markets to charming bistros and fine dining establishments, everything you'd want to eat is within walking distance. (Look for full dining report coming soon)



Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a fun filled girls wine weekend or a family vacation Carmel-by-the-sea has something for everyone.

This experience was provided complimentary. However, all opinions and comments are my own.

20 comments:

  1. One of my favorite places. It's simply gorgeous.

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  2. I just love Carmel! It's so beautiful! Looks like an amazing time!

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  3. This looks lovely-- and familiar from my childhood. Thanks for the sweet photos and review!

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  4. Carmel is such a beautiful place! I love it there but haven't been in many years. Thanks for sharing your travels with us.

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  5. That looks like a fun little hotel! And Carmel looks like a great place to visit.

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  6. Carmel is so beautiful! We honeymooned there 35 years ago!

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  7. I've actually been to Carmel - what a coincidence (seeing that I'm fairly new to the US and haven't traveled much) - I recognize some of the places in your photos. How lovely!!

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  8. You had me at cheese shop. Okay, well really you had me at get away but I am a sucker for checking out new cheeses. This entire place looks great!

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  9. Oh how I wish to return to Carmel by the Sea. We were there this past April and simply fell in love with the quaint town!

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  10. Carmel is really such a treasure - restaurant, shops, quaint hotels. How wonderful that you were able to spend some time there!

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  11. Wow! This looks so beautiful! Next time I'm on the west coast I will have to try and stay in Carmel.

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  12. Oh, the photos of the scenery and historical architecture!

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  13. My hubby and I are thinking of traveling up that way and now we have a place to explore. It looks beautiful!

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  14. Carmel was one of our honeymoon stops and we loved it! Love the architecture and you really can't beat the setting. We're looking forward to going back!

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  15. I'm dreaming of a vacation exploring the west coast. On my bucket list! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  16. One of my favorite romantic destinations!

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  17. I loved reading this! I have never visited this area but you certainly have made me want to! Thanks for sharing at #OMHGWW.

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  18. Such a beautiful slice of the west coast!

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