A Weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Food & Wine
Arts & Culture
Spend a weekend wine tasting, boutique browsing and exploring charming Carmel-by-the-Sea, just 2 hours south of San Francisco. You’ll easily be able to explore Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley and Monterey in just three days.
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Where to stay
La Playa Carmel
History and art meet at this romantic, renovated boutique in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Bernardus Lodge & Spa
A true Wine Country escape in Carmel, with oversized suites and standalone villas, plus a lauded farm-to-table restaurant.
$100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
Daily breakfast credit of $30 per person, for up to two guests per bedroom
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Carmel Valley Ranch
This 500-acre stunner is a one-stop playground for golf, farm adventures, spa time and top cuisine, all with epic Santa Lucia Mountains views.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Unlock perks by contacting Grace to book your trip.
Day 1: Explore Carmel-by-the-Sea
Depart San Francisco in the morning, driving about 2 hours down the coast to picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea. Grab a salad and a pizza to-go from La Bicyclette, and eat your lunch on the beach at the iconic Carmel Beach. (Tip: If you can’t find parking at Carmel Beach, check out Carmel River State Beach down the road instead). After lunch, walk along the sand and admire Pebble Beach from below. If you can’t yet check into your hotel, do a bit of shipping on Ocean Ave, making sure to stop in to the art galleries and Carmel Bay Company. Check in to your hotel and relax before grabbing a pre-dinner drink at the Vesuvio Rooftop. Eat dinner at Dametra, where you’ll be entertained by musicians who will quite likely get you up out of your chair to dance in the middle of your meal.
Day 2: Wine Tasting in Carmel Valley
Eat a light breakfast at the hotel, then head 20 minutes inland to Carmel Valley for a day of exploring and wine tasting. Grab brunch at Corkscrew Cafe, then wine taste in the courtyard tasting rooms nearby: Joyce Wine Company, Parsonage and Windy Oaks are all lovely and just next door to one another. After you’ve checked out these side-by-side tasting rooms, drive to Folktale Winery for a tasting and you might be lucky enough to catch some live music too.
Make your way back to Carmel-by-the-Sea after you’ve had your fill of wine tasting, and relax at your hotel until an hour before sunset. Dress warmly, and drive to the Inn at Spanish Bay for a gorgeous sunset experience. You’ll sit by the fire pits with a glass of wine and watch the bagpiper play and walk the famous golf course at sunset. For dinner, you can grab a burger or fill up on light bites at the fire pits, or head back to Carmel-by-the-Sea for a dinner reservation.
Day 3: Brunch & Depart
Wake up and eat brunch at Staionaery (make a reservation so you don’t need to wait too long.) Grab a latte and one of their amazing breakfast options, and do one final stroll along Ocean Ave for souvenirs. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and head north back to San Francisco.
Need to Know
Looking for more weekend travel inspo? Check out Grace's guide, 3 Days in Big Sur, California.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.