About a month ago, Jaxon and I went on a little adventure, out to Carmel, CA. Ryan was gone for his National Sales Meeting, and we decided a week alone, in January, in Indiana was a no-go! So we packed our bags and headed out to Carmel, CA to visit my grandparents!


The Hotel:

Well, this trip there was no hotel…we stayed at Hummingbird Manor, my grandparent’s house. They just renovated it, and it’s amazing! About a half mile to downtown Carmel, and a mile to the beach. Jax loved running up and down the hilly streets.

Some recommended hotels if you are visiting:

Carmel Valley Ranch – It is in the Valley, and a drive to the beach and downtown Carmel, but it’s usually warmer and sunnier out here. Plus all the amenities you could dream of!

Hot Tub at Carmel Valley Ranch (kids side)

Tradewinds – Right in downtown Carmel. You can walk to all the shops, restaurants and too the beach. Free breakfast each morning too!

You could also look at renting a house through VRBO or AirBnB.


The Transportation:

From Indy we flew into Monterey. You can also fly into San Jose, it’s usually cheaper, but honestly, paying the extra money is totally worth flying in and out of Monterey! It’s a very small airport, about 10 minutes from Carmel and so convenient. You can rent a rental car right there too, which you will need.


The Restaurants:

Del Monte Golf Course – When you land at the Monterey airport, take a 5 minute drive and go sit outside and eat lunch at the Del Monte Golf Course. It’s gorgeous and so relaxing.

Lunch outside at Del Monte Golf Course

Alvarado Street Brewery – A brewery restaurant in Monterey, with lots of TVs, great food, especially the tacos, and even a beer garden out back. If you check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium, stop here after.

Pebble Beach Golf Course – If you are visiting Carmel, you have to visit Pebble Beach! The Bench has the best view, and the Tap Room is great too. Make sure you have some drinks by the fire pits.

Lunch at The Bench

After lunch watching them set up for the Pro-Am at Pebble Beach

Gusto – A really cute Italian restaurant with great pizza, pasta and salads in Seaside.

Grasings – great for lunch or dinner and right in downtown Carmel. If you are into bourbon, this bar will have anything you are hunting for!

Vesuvio – Enjoy a cocktail and appetizer or pizza here, out on the rooftop bar.


Things To Do:

Wine Tasting – tons of cute little tasting rooms in downtown Carmel have popped up! Stop inside anyone for some great wine.

Monterey Bay Aquarium – one of the best aquariums in the world!


Fisherman’s Warf – right in Monterey, you can do anything from whale watching to eating/drinking at some great restaurants overlooking the ocean.

Dennis The Menace Park – perfect for kiddos to run and get some energy out. Pretty sweet view from this park too!

Dennis the Menace Park

Pebble Beach Equestrian Center – horseback riding at Pebble Beach! I haven’t done this in years, but when I did it was so awesome! Another great activity for both adults and/or kids. The scenery is beautiful.

Golf! – so many great golf courses literally at your finger tips!

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach

Spy Glass


Poppy Hills

Spanish Bay

The list goes on and on! If you are a golfer, Carmel is the place for you!

The Beach – the water might be too cold to enjoy, but the beach is perfect for walking/running, playing volleyball, surfing, or bring a blanket and bottle of wine. The Carmel Beach is also extremely dog friendly!


Shop – downtown Carmel has great art galleries and boutiques that are fun to pop into.

Take a Scenic Drive – the 17 mile drive through Pebble Beach and driving through Big Sur are beautiful with some great photo ops.


If you are planning a trip to Carmel, or Monterey and have any questions or want more recommendations, just shoot me a message. I grew up coming out here and absolutely love it! I couldn’t include everything, but these are some of my favorites. It was also fun to be able to include some kids activities, as this is the second time I’ve brought Jaxon out to Carmel, and the older he gets the more we get to explore : )

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