Monterey, Carmel or Big Sur for overnight

Nov 16th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Original Poster
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Monterey, Carmel or Big Sur for overnight

My husband want to stay over one night in one of these beautiful towns.
Can anyone say which would be best in terms of things to do, beauty, etc.?
Thank you!
JES is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Depending on the time of year and the type of lodging, I'm going to nail this one on Big Sur - to connect with nature.
Monterey for the protected harbor and the stunning views during a regatta.
Carmel for tranquil exclusivity that has not allowed itself to be overrun with gimmicky tourism.
Nov 16th, 2005, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 431
They are all very nice. I love Big Sur, there is nothing like it. Your lodging options are limited there though. You have a choice of very exspensive luxury or moderately priced very simple rustic lodging.
Between Carmel and Monterey I'd have to say the edge goes to Carmel. The beach there is beautiful and great for walking.I love being able to park my car at the hotel and walk to dinner and the beach.Carmel has a lot of great lodging choices too.
viamar is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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I would pick Carmel, but there is also Pacific Grove.
L is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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Just got back from a tour of California and stayed at the Tickle Pink Inn (that's the real name) in the crow's nest. The room had a view of the Pacific and a fireplace with a super comfy king bed with lots of pillows, breakfast in the morning and the Hyatt right next door with 2 great restaurants. Only a couple of minutes from Carmel (actually in Carmel Highlands). Carmel is gorgeous. I could live there easily. You can look over the balcony at the fog coming in and draping over the rocks...Wow! I loved it..
luvtahoe is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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We live in this area. It is fantastic.

Carmel is great, but there is also Pacific Grove. Go to for hotel and bed and breakfast ideas.

PG has the most coastline of the 3 main cities on the peninsula....Carmel, Monterey and PG. The SEVEN GABLE INN in PG is facing Monterey Bay and was featured in the Visa commercial on TV a few years ago.

THE PINE INN in Carmel is also nice. Located on Ocean Blvd. so you can walk to all the shops.
Bob1 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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I wouldn't call Big Sur a beautiful town at all. The AREA is beautiful.

I wouold stay in Carmel and drive to Big Sur for lunch at Nepenthe.

Ventana & Post Ranch are lovely and extremly expensive spas/resorts in Big Sur, but last time we were there they had a 2 night minimum (might not exist on week days or off season)

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 07:53 PM
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Tha's a difficult decision!!
JES and Luvtahoe, i also recommend TIckle Pink Inn, per my son and his wife who stayed there for an overnight getaway, and loved it. As LuvTahoe wrote, it's a short walk right next door to Highlands Inn, and if you're up for a big splurge romantic dinner, Highlands Inn's restaurant "Pacific Edge" (I thikn that's its name?) has great food and stunning ocean views.
I love the area of PG near Asilomar. You can walk to wonderful Asilomar Beach (great at sunset) through the grounds of Asilomar along wooden walkways on the sand dunes. There are several small inns/motels along Asilomar Blvd across the street. We've stayed at Andrils' which is more of a cozy or family group than romantic feel IMHO--but they let you bring your (animal)pets, if that is a concern, and there are other more romance/couples oriented places along Asilomar Blvd.
Have a great overnighter!!
CaliNurse is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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Thanks for the great advice. I would love to stay at Ventana but it's well beyond my budget--it looks amazing.
I will check out Tickle Pink & Seven Gables!
JES is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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JES, also check out the Green Gables Inn in Pacific Grove.
MzPossum is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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We've stayed at both Tickle Pink and Highland's. Both are very nice places with gorgeous views of the coastline. We will be staying at the Highland's again next month for three nights!

La Playa is also very nice in Carmel and is walking distance to the ocean and shops. It is a historic hotel. Have fun at the coast! ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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Thanks for all of the recommendations. We ended up doing a night in PG and stayed an extra night in Carmel.
We stayed at the Seven Gables' sister B&B next door called GrandView and really loved it. It was so charming and in such a beautiful spot.
We booked last minute in Carmel with limited options and ended up in the Best Western Carmel Bayview. I have to say, it was very nice with a fireplace in the room.
Thanks for all!
JES is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 09:15 PM
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First of all you can't compare Carmel to Pacific Grove. Carmel has an better selection of places to stay, an amazing beach and better shopping and restaurants.
As far as Big Sur goes, it doens't get any better. I have going to Big Sur and Carmel for years. By far the best place to stay in Big Sur is the Post Ranch Inn. It was ranked 3rd over all in the USA as the best place to stay in the Conde Nast latest survey. Once you sit in the infinity pool that over looks the ocean and has a drop off where you can look straight down in the sea, you won't want to get out. I have stayed at Ventana and can tell you that Ventana is not even close to Post Ranch in service/food and views. Make sure you take time out to ride along the coast towards San Simeon to take pictures. Your better off going to Nepenthe at sunset than for lunch. It doesn't get any better than seeing the sunset at Nepenthe plus the people who work are so nice. Forgot to mention that Detjens which is just south of Ventana Inn, is a very affordable and nice place to stay. They also have a great breakfeast.
Dec 22nd, 2005, 10:55 AM
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I agree with the previous post, Big Sur is very nice. We celebrated a birthday there last September @ Sierra Mar, the restaurant at the PRI. Amazing views, excellent food and service.

A stay at the Post Ranch Inn would be a real treat. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
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