Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur California

Gorgeous scenery, great wines and many wonderful places to eat has made the Monterey area has become one of our favorite places to go for a long weekend.

Where to stay

The Tickled Pink Inn was by far the nicest of the two.  We stayed in their Senator’s Cottage for my wife’s 40th birthday which is completely private and has its own deck.   It is a few miles south of Carmel in the Carmel Highlands.

Senator’s Cottage Patio

The Best Western Plus Carmel Bay View Inn is a great place to watch the sun set from an ocean view room and has a great location.  It’s not fancy but it is nice to be walking distance to the many tasting room around Carmel.

Sunset from the Best Western balcony


Where to eat

Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen and Bar has one of the best views of any restaurant I’ve ever eaten at.  Both times we’ve eaten there we’ve seen otters playing in the kelp and whales in the bay.  The breakfast is very good and we had the place to ourselves while the sun rose over the mountains.

Sunrise and Monterey Bay from Schooner’s

Vesuvio Trattoria has a great wine list and excellent Neapolitan  pizzas

Tree House Cafe features an eclectic menu and many local wines.  Sit outside to get the full Tree House experience.  The last time we ate there I had the Sandabs fish dinner which was outstanding.


Things to do

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is only a few miles south of Carmel and has beautiful views of the rugged coast from short easy hikes.  We drove farther south through Big Sur but never saw anything that equaled its beauty.

Point Lobos

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the best in the world with huge kelp gardens and my favorite, the Open Sea exhibit.  There is something surreal about standing in from of a 90 foot window while huge schools of fish and sharks glide by.

The Carmel Wine Walk passport lets you taste wine at 10 of the two dozen tasting rooms in town.  My favorites are Caraccioli Cellars for their sparkling wines and Scheid Vineyards for the many different varietals and their friendly staff.



One Reply to “Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur California”

  1. Pat Van Otterloo says: Reply

    Thanks Todd. Your info is very helpful. The site is great!

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