When you’re looking for anniversary ideas or valentines getaway, Carmel by the Sea on the central coast of California is a wonderful option.  If you have a November anniversary like I do, you know that in most of North America, November can sometimes be rainy, chilly, or even snowing – so your options may be limited for domestic trips that time of year.  Therefore, this year we wanted to do something mellow and fun, so we took a drive down to Carmel by the Sea for the weekend.  It did not disappoint!

Why Carmel by the sea

Carmel by the Sea is a small, charming town with a mind-blowing signature Carmel Style, reminiscent of European villages of old.  If you’re running out of ideas of good places to go for an anniversary or special occasion, I strongly recommend you check it out. We are lucky to have Carmel very close by – and grandparents available to baby-sit. Carmel by the Sea is a town that has so much for all your senses.  Yes, the beautiful artwork, clothing, and baubles in the shops are expensive but you don’t need to buy anything – just enjoy window shopping!





What to visit

Our first memorable stop was for lunch at Hog’s Breath Inn, a bar/restaurant that used to be owned by the legendary Client Eastwood. Its atmosphere and food is good, and it isn’t a tourist trap.  Most importantly, the drinks didn’t disappoint us. 🙂

Carmel by the Sea is a seaside jewel and is close to a lot of other great things to see.  One of the famous sights in the immediate vicinity is the beautiful Carmel Mission.  You can also get to Big Sur in few hours. Actually we ran into many many people who wanted to run the Big Sur Marathon 2018, but couldn’t because it was canceled due to the air quality, due to all the wild fires that affecting California that month.

Our next stop, was the Cheese Shop located in Carmel Plaza (lower level). They are savvy merchants, offering free tastings of a wide variety of cheeses they have from around the world. They also have wine tasting there too to go with the cheese, but the wine isn’t free alas. It is a heavenly experience, so long as you are not a vegan or lactose intolerant!


A great selection of cheese to choose from


Their employer were super helpful


We stayed at the La Playa Hotel. Just standing outside, I was sold on the place even before we walked in the door.  Being in the heart of Carmel’s shopping district, we visited tons of different shops, and we found this great little sea glass jewelry shop, Robin’s Jewelry, located inside the “Doud Craft Studios” on Ocean and San Carlos. Her pieces are stunning and since I’m a big fan of sea glass I was excited to find out that Robin does custom jewelry. With her little workshop upstairs from her shop, she let me design the dolphin for my necklace and pick the sea glass. The final piece was beautiful and it’s a great memory of the trip.

Robi’s pieces


Robi’s pieces
We got magic wands as an extra present from Robin’s

Where to stay

After that, we left our stuff at the La Playa Hotel. I was so impressed with the mediterranean style of the hotel and gorgeous ocean views, located few blocks from Carmel beach. We dropped our bags and went to Carmel beach and enjoyed the amazing sunset on its pristine white sand. The sunset was enhance due to the smoke from all the wildfires and it was dramatic.

Happy Campers





Carmel Beach



Where to eat

We had dinner at Seventh and Dolores – what amazing food, everything there was good!  Our  favorite was beef tartar with foie gras – such a delicacy! We ate so fast sorry pic is not pic but we highly recommend it. 🙂

Locals recommended this restaurant and it was a totally scored
waiting area
bar area





It was a truly wonderful and memorable weekend.  I highly recommend you give Carmel by the Sea a try for your next weekend get-away!

Carmel California
What to do in a 48 visit to Carmel

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  1. I love visiting Carmel. It is so close to so many beautiful places and just like you pictured here in your post. It is so quaint and beautiful. I am going to look up that hotel. It looks gorgeous!

  2. This place looks absolutely wonderful and inviting, especially for a romantic, relaxing weekend getaway. The only thing I’m not sure of is exactly where Carmel is at? Did I miss it? Hubby and I need to find this place right away!

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