Carmel trip report

Old Aug 10th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Carmel trip report

We just returned from a wonderful trip! We stayed at Carmel Mission Inn, just a few minutes from the downtown area of Carmel. Approaching the hotel, it looks like a revamped older style Holiday Inn behind a gas station. We were a little concerned at first! But it was a pleasant surprise. It has a fun, California vibe to it. The room was a little tight for large suitcases, but we were able to make it work. The updated bathroom didn't have alot of shelf room for cosmetics, but again, was workable. The bed was very comfortable. While I could hear a door close occasionally or shower running next door, it was not annoying. I slept well, and I'm a light sleeper. The breakfast buffet was included (as was parking and wi-fi), and it was hot and plentiful. The location was good for jumping on 1 to go the different directions we were going. There's also a couple of shopping/restaurant areas within walking distance.
Our first night we had dinner at Basil's, a cute little restaurant tucked into a courtyard in Carmel. We enjoyed our meal outside (love those heaters!). The food was good, and the menu had a good variety for a small menu.
The next morning we shopped around in Carmel (which you could spend days doing!). But to not push our luck with the guys, we picked up picnic items for lunch from a little shop in Carmel, and headed to Phiffer State Park. We enjoyed our picnic in the sun, and had a nice little hike. Then on to Nepenthe for drinks and the view! It was a gorgeous view, and we were glad we took the time. Dinner that night was at Passionfish in PG. Very good food and service.
Next morning we went to Monterey. We walked Cannery Row, enjoying a few of the shops there. Then over to Old Fisherman's Wharf. I thought it was a fun place , with many of the restaurants sharing samples of their chowder as you walked along. But the state fair like atmosphere didn't thrill everyone, so off we went to a pizza place by our hotel and to the Morgan winery tasting room (yum!) and a little shopping. After changing for dinner, we rode part of the 17 mile drive (wow!) and walked around the shops and the accessible areas of Pebble Beach. We finished our day with drinks by a fire pit at Roy's at Spanish Bay, waiting for the bagpiper to play. Unfortunately, our reservation time came before he did. We did sneak back out a couple at a time to hear him for a few minutes. So interesting! Dinner at Roy's was great... the butterfish truly melts in your mouth. While I would eat at all 3 places (Basil's, Passionfish, Roys) if we return, if I only had one night it would be at Roy's. The food, atmosphere, and view all combine to make it a special evening.
Last comment... as hard as it is for someone from the south to believe, it really can be cold in northern California in the summer! Definitely dress in layers because you probably will have some warm temps during the day, but in the morning and evening I wanted something cozier and warmer than my denim jacket.
dlynne is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Wow! It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Carmel is on my list of places I want to see.
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 06:43 PM
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Nice trip! My husband is heading up there next weekend for his annual guy trip to the Concorso Italiano. Now I'm doubly jealous. I wanna go!
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Old Aug 11th, 2011, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the report. In all my many trips to the area, I've never been to Roy's - so I'll put it on our list for next time. Thanks.
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Old Aug 12th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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Was happy to read your excellent trip report. I'm planning vacation for June 2012, arriving into Monterey. Was there years ago on escorted tour. Is Carmel easily reachable from Monterey using public transportation, bus/train? Would like to get on 17 mile Drive and Big Sur if this can be done without a car. Will return to San Francisco for my flight home. I am active, like walking, hiking, gardens and cultural areas. Will make a note of the state park you mentioned. Is there transportation from Monterey airport to town center? Thanks to anyone who can help me.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:26 AM
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dlynne: It's always such a pleasure to have someone come back and give us some idea of how their trip actually went. Most of the time we will answer a question(s) and never know what really happened to the questioner and his/her trip.

Thanks for your nice report. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Roy's a great for lunch too. You can also take a stroll along the seashore before/after a meal. It's almost as if that part of the beach is their private beach.

When you come back - try to have lunch/snack/early dinner at the Stillwater Bar and Grill at the Pebble Beach Resort inside of the 17 Mile Drive. The view is absolutely stunning.

Cavangal: I'd suggest you start a thread of your own if you have specific questions. You'll get more answers that way.

Here's the Monterey-Salinas Transit system website. I don't know how frequently the services run, but the best way to see this area is by car. You'll notice that route "2X" does go through the 17 Mile Drive area ("Pebble Beach") but the bus route is inland and is not along the seashore, which is where you want to be.
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