4 Day Getaway: Carmel and California’s Central Coast

About a month ago we began our  journey from Seattle to Los Angeles (maybe one day I’ll post about this epic journey of ours).   We initially wanted to stop at Big Sur, but after 7 days of traveling by car, we were just ready to be home.  We had two weeks to recover, and then we were ready to hit the road again to see what we had missed on our way down the Pacific Coast.

We decided that Carmel, Big Sur, and Monterey were the spots we wanted to hit up.  We got a recommendation to stay at this resort called Treebones because I’ve always wanted to go glamping in a yurt, but of course our last minute ways prevented us from getting a reservation.  Next time…

Instead we stayed at this place in Carmel Valley called Quail Lodge Inn.  It was a perfect place to stay.  Highlights for me included the pool, bocce ball, putting green, and the best organic complimentary breakfast I’ve ever had at a hotel.  The weather was gorgeous, and we were able to soak up the sun by the pool by ourselves a couple of days.  Ah, the joys of traveling Tuesday through Friday.



The entire way down from Seattle, I was so impressed by the beautiful Oregon Coast.  But, let me tell you, California’s Central Coast may just be a tad more beautiful.  The specific shade of blue green here is amazing, and the amount of wildlife we saw was spectacular (whales, otters, jellyfish, pelicans, cormorants, seals, sea lions).  Check it out:

PicMonkey Collage1

1. A scenic stop off of Highway 1, near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  It’s a short little nature walk that overlooks a little cove, waterfall, and some picturesque rocks.  Perfect for a stop to stretch your legs on the way home.

2.  Sunsets at the beaches in Carmel.  Just about any beach here will offer you the most incredible sunsets.  I recommend getting a seat on the beach about 40 min. before the sunset on your weather app.  Bring some snacks and relax.

3.  China Cove at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.  We really wanted to go down to the freezing water, but it the stairway was closed for renovation.  Look at that blue green!

4.  Our first stop at Point Lobos, we saw tons of seals and sea lions here.  We were lucky that it was such a clear blue day, normally the views are limited and covered in fog (just another form of beauty, I suppose).  Point Lobos was my favorite stop of the whole trip, there are tons of trails here, and if you’re not into long hikes, there are short nature walks with amazing views.  You must get here early though.  There is very limited parking, and access is $10.  Once the lots are filled a line builds up at the gate and you wait until a car exits before the next car can go in.  We got there at 10 am on a Wednesday and it we didn’t have to wait.  You could also park along the road and walk in to enter, but it’s kind of a long walk.

This was such a relaxing and peaceful trip.  Perfect for a romantic getaway from LA if you don’t mind driving 5 hours or so to get there.  Besides, the drive itself is part of the vacation with its scenic views.