Carmel Weekend Recap

David and I had a fantastic time in Carmel this past weekend. Friday am to Sunday afternoon, flew to Monterey on American, great food, fantastic scenic views, we could have gone wine tasting if i wasn’t 8 months preggers, but there was shopping, spa, you name it. Here are my highlights for anyone’s next visit:

To Stay: We stayed at the fantastic Carmel Valley Ranch. I loved it because it was out of town and sunny (where it was foggy every single time we were in town), it’s newly renovated, great pool (they have adult and kids), small intimate spa, golf, 2 gyms and the restaurant was really good. Free wi-fi and all the rooms are suites with fireplaces and we had an endless view of the valley. If I were to have stayed in town, the only places that looked decent to me were the Cypress Inn or La Playa Hotel. But that’s just my (snotty) opinion. Big Sur was gorgeous, woodsy but isolated, only hotels there were super high end, Ventana Inn and Post Ranch Inn. I’m not sure there were that many dinner options and certainly no where to shop. The Carmel Highlands also didn’t appeal to me because of the fog and the general location was just ok.

To Do: We shopped around Carmel by the Sea and ended up going to the beach just down Ocean Blvd. We did the 17 Mile Drive one morning and then drove down the 1 to Big Sur. Another day we picnicked at Point Lobos and walked around the seacliffs. And of course we made use of our gorgeous pool and just simply relaxed at the hotel.

To Eat: For the most part we ate all of our meals in the town of Carmel. For lunch the first day we ate at Demetra Cafe for a delicious Greek spread. For dinner that night we ate at Grasings. Great, corner intimate restaurant with real American cuisine-my crab cakes were heavenly.  We opted for fresh made ice cream from Carmel Bakery and Coffee Co. with a TO DIE FOR window display luring us in. Saturday we had lunch at Nepenthe in Big Sur. We drove all the way here and they told us it was a 50 minute wait since they don’t take reservations, but they do have view counter tables that are first come first serve, and after stalking it we got a table in 10 minutes. I would say you go there for the unbelievable view, not the food.  Dinner Saturday night was at Christopher’s and it was delicious. A small, intimate setting off the beaten bath, great service, cozy fireplace, very substantial wine list and they made me a fabulous risotto off the menu. Hearty portions…we were way too full to even have dessert. We also found the most amazing little stand on Carmel Valley Road on the way to the hotel called The Farm Stand a part of the Earthbound Farm Organic family. Fresh produce, amazing ice cream and home made sandwiches.  We stopped here twice and brought this with us to Pt Lobos for our picnic.  How could you not stop at a place like this?

Our trip was sponsored by Ken and Judy Ravitz as a wedding gift that took us only 5 short years to use, David’s parents frequent visits steered us in the right direction for our hotel and of course Yelp for some of the meals.



  1. You seem to go somewhere every weekend. 🙂 Glad you had fun.

  2. What a great trip! We’re road tripping this summer so I’ll call you for some direction. But, when don’t I call you for direction?!?! 🙂 So glad you’re my friend!

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