Consider Carmel-by-the-Sea as a hub of fresh food with laws meant to keep it a walkable city without the bustling stress in the bay area further
up north. It is and a central point to explore the natural beauty surrounding this one square-mile where tourists are loving the activity and support for healthful restoration on their getaways.
In Carmel-by-the-Sea the mode of transportation is walking. There are hills but you stay bi-pedal. There is even a LAW prohibiting footwear with anything over a 2″ heel. Honestly, taller footwear is not the best thing for our bodies so kudos to Carmel-by-the-Sea for pushing our fashion savvy and saving our backs. Hello Earth Footwear, Ahnu, or Dansko… do you already work with this area?
Our host for the area was Hofsas House. It is a longstanding, affordable lodging option in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The proprietor, Carrie, has a grandmother we all wish she had. Her grandmother started lodging with a few small rooms, bought more property, bought the land, had Carrie work under her as a pre-teen and has left a legacy that a fourth generation may take on in the future.
Carrie in her efforts owns and operates with 38-room, Bavarian-inspired tradition as well as serves with local politics for this carefully-curated area. Curation entails no food franchises, no neon signs, no street lights, no harming trees in construction, no street addresses, and no paid parking. All these factors lead to casual European elegance with the warmth of family hospitality. Talk to Carrie or her staff about what to do in this area as you are planning your stay.
My favorite nuggets of the area are:
- The BEACH. A white sand beach on the Pacific coastline is rare. Even rarer is the ability to have a bonfire on a public beach. There are a few restrictions, but public bonfires ya’ll!
- Carmel Belle – A quick food and drink spot that exemplifies the businesses I choose to support with high-quality, simple food that encourages local sustainability practices. They hosted us for a meal and brought out the organic wine. The open-face mushroom sammich and lentil soup were very tasty! I went back for a turmeric elixir. I then went back for a filling smoothie (carrot and almond butter was not on my radar before). And a big bonus that no one made any issue of dealing with my re-usable container.
- Yoga Center of Carmel – I only got a peak instead of a practice. I had planned to do a restorative mid-Monday practice but our itinerary conflicted. They seem inclusive to all bodies and experience, I got a great vibe.
- Caraciolli Cellars – There is a wine walk you can do that includes over a dozen cellars where you can get tasting flights. I started at this cellars and stopped. There was nothing I could do after their Brut Cuvée so I called it. I am glad I did, it turns out their winemaster also blends for Holman Ranch. Everyone seemed to enjoy their tastings but I knew this was it for me and I am kicking myself for not bringing some back on the plane to Denver.
- Active outdoor tourism – Point Lobos hiking, bike the 17-mile ride with a rental from Monterey, hospitality partners to get a two-day pass to the Monterey Aquarium for the price of one, surf the constantly cool bay, tour the missions, explore Carmel River, and hug some big trees in Big Sur.
- The overall ease with access to fresh, local food. This is near America’s Salad Bowl, as Salinas is called. There is fresh produce everywhere. Artichoke production is also big near this area.
One note I will make about the area is that it is very dog-friendly. I am talking about dogs-in-some-wine-cellar-tasting-rooms friendly. Kid-friendly is a little different. The area is affordable and gorgeous. I do not personally think the main attractions in town are appropriate to have kids at all day. Stay in Carmel-on-the-Sea as your area hub for comfort and then radiate out to adventure with the little tykes.
Stay tuned for my next post when I talk about Holman Ranch and what they have done to earn their SIP (Sustainability in Practice) Certification. They were the next stop on our #llnotablogconf trip.