Carmel, California, is one of our favorite places in the world and each time we visit, we come home with a list of new raves. We flew out west to celebrate a best friend’s birthday so instead of staying at one of the fabulous resorts lining the coast, we rented a house in the hills of Pebble Beach through Elite Carmel. When they say they are the “vacation home experts”, they’re not kidding! When you rent through Elite, you get concierge service, an app with all the information about the home and surrounding area and a luxurious home filled with every possible amenity.
Our first evening was spent toasting the birthday boy on the terrace at the Inn at Spanish Bay. If you go at sunset, make sure to grab seats around one of the lively fire pits and get serenaded by the lone bagpiper who magically appears through the mist.
Even though our house came with an amazing chef’s kitchen, we took advantage of the fine dining available in the Carmel area and enjoyed some classic California cuisine. A dinner at the restaurant at Mission Ranch is always a treat, made even more memorable by a large wedding party who decided that singing songs with the piano player at the bar was a fun way to end the night. This 1800’s ranch was preserved and restored by none other than former Carmel mayor, Clint Eastwood. He also owns the Hog’s Breath Inn in town if you’re up for a late night drink.
Shopping on Ocean Avenue is a must and once you stop oohing and ahhing over the beautifully planted window boxes, pop into Paloosh, a store filled with chic European and American fashion brands (Joie, Equipment, DVF and the like) all displayed by color.
Finally, a trip to the California coast would be missing something if you didn’t hop on a sail boat and cruise the waters looking for whales and dolphins. We didn’t see any on our trip on the Bella on the Bay though our super friendly captain did steam up a bucket of fresh crab which made our day.
We hope you enjoyed this little tour of Carmel and if you need more travel tips, you know who to call!
Photos: house, bagpiper, restaurant, flowers, store, and ship