Exploring Carmel-by-the-Sea

After departing San Francisco to begin our California Coast roadtrip, our first major stop on our way down south was Carmel by the Sea and the surrounding Monterey area.

Today I'll be sharing a bit about our short and sweet getaway in this quaintly charming little town, and the beautiful new Hotel Carmel that we got to experience.

Carmel-by-the-Sea is an adorable little area with the perfect small-town feel. Driving through, it was not what I had anticipated- I thought it was going to be more like the East Coast beachy towns I was accustomed to. The mix of foresty trees, winding hilly streets, little main town, and oceanside was a pleasantly new departure from what I've been used to!

We first stopped by Hotel Carmel to drop off our bags, as we wanted to do the famous 17-Mile drive through Pebble Beach before the sun went down. 

When you drive up to the entrance of 17-Mile drive, you must pay a $10 entrance fee. You are then handed a map of all the iconic highlights and stop points throughout the scenic drive. 

It is just a beautiful drive with such changes in scenery. You get greenery and a mountaintop feel, then moments later you arrive at a pebbly beach with beautiful blue waters. Such interesting vegetation too at the California coastline beaches- it's succulent heaven! 

When in proper season, you can see the sea lions resting atop the rocks out in the sea, and the views of the Pacific Ocean blue crashing against the giant rocks are breathtaking. The waves crashing form an icy-blue color unlike what I've seen before.

Pebble Beach truly lived up to its name, and it was so cool to see the iconic Lone Cypress tree. The lineup of cars to get there though was insane. You have to earn those views!

At each of the iconic stops, you'll have to pull over to the side of the road to hop out and see the views, and naturally take photos of everything. Seeing the lineup of cars parked is kind of crazy.

After completing the 17-mile drive, we headed back to the beautiful Hotel Carmel to get settled in before heading out for dinner.

I adore the outdoors feel of this small boutique hotel, and how secluded it manages to feel while still being in the middle of town. Hotel Carmel just re-opened up in May, so it is newly renovated, and the decor is so perfect for a beachside town in Northern California. Lots of shrubbery, succulents, and florals throughout the entire property, and it was so beautiful.

The patio area had a firepit and a fireplace for guests to cozy up around at night, and a jacuzzi. We made sure to get in our bathing suits and robes to enjoy some wine, fireside under the beautiful stars. It felt so relaxing and like the ultimate oasis-- those are the little details that totally add to a lodging experience!

I also have to give mention to the wonderful hospitality we experienced here. It really made our stay seamlessly effortless, and so comfortable.

We checked into our room, and the folks at Hotel Carmel kindly booked us a large room, featuring two separate bedrooms and bathrooms. I imagine that would be so ideal for a family coming on vacation! It even had it's very own gas fireplace, which was so convenient for how surprisingly chilly Northern California gets in the evenings.

Our rooms had Nespresso machines and adorably branded mugs, which was a very welcome mid-afternoon pick-me-up. The room overall was spacious, clean, and the recent renovations and upgrades were obvious and well-done. 

The next morning was one of my favorite memories at Hotel Carmel- breakfast in the lobby!

I can't really describe how adorable the lobby is decorated. The decor theme has the feel of a woodsy cabin, mixed with a modern coastal Californian feel. Gorgeously crafted wooden furniture filled with vintage books and old cassettes fill the room and make you feel like you walked into someone's living room-- homey and welcoming. 

Also, a place can totally win over a lot of my heart with food. Their breakfast assortment included a bagel bar with homemade cream cheese flavors, homemade granola, delicious coffee, and juice, which we happily fueled up on before we hit the road. 

It was the perfect place to stay during our coastal getaway, and I most definitely would love to return to stay at Hotel Carmel again and to explore this charming little town further!

Special thanks to Hotel Carmel for welcoming Living Minnaly! As always, all reviews and opinions are my own.