Get ready for a breathtaking adventure through valleys, mountains, and a picturesque beach, followed by a charming village with unique alleyways. Let’s go!
The drive up north to Carmel from Orange County is an exhilarating adventure through California’s diverse landscape. As you make your way through the winding roads, you’ll be greeted by lush valleys, towering mountains, and the occasional herd of cows roaming in wide open spaces. The views are breathtaking and will keep you on the edge of your seat, so make sure to bring some good music and great company to keep you entertained.
After several cups of coffee, snacks and switching through playlists, my bf and I finally arrived in Carmel, in the late afternoon. We were eager to explore and didn’t want to waste any time, so we quickly checked into our hotel room, changed and headed back out the door.
The anticipation of hitting the beach was palpable after spending hours in the car. Our hotel room was located in the heart of downtown, making it easy for us to walk to the beach. As we approached the beach, the salty ocean air and beautiful scenery took our breath away. We couldn’t wait to feel the sand between our toes and soak up the sun.
Carmel beach is an absolute paradise with its picturesque white sands and ample space to move around. The moment we stepped foot on the beach, we were captivated by its natural beauty and couldn’t wait to explore more. As we walked along the coast, we stumbled upon a scenic path with a breathtaking view of the ocean and the beautiful homes on the other side. The thought of waking up to an oceanfront view every day had us dreaming of a life of luxury. Despite the waves being too rough for swimming, and no lifeguards on duty, the beach was still teeming with activity. People were sprawled out tanning on the beach, surfing in the water, or playing on the sand, making for an exciting and lively atmosphere.
After a full day at the beach, our stomachs were growling and we realized we hadn’t had a proper meal since breakfast. With California still in between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of re-opening businesses, we had to do some research to find open restaurants. However, it was tough to get through to any phone lines, so we decided to take our chances and walk to town. The hunt for dinner was an exciting adventure in itself as we explored the charming streets of Carmel.
Exploring the charming streets of downtown Carmel is an adventure in itself. The cottages and villages made us feel like we were in a fairytale, straight out of a movie set of Hansel and Gretel. The streets were lined with hidden alleyways that led to restaurants and shops that were easy to miss, making the town feel like a mystery waiting to be discovered. The absence of regular street signs added to the unique charm of the town.
As we searched for dinner, we stumbled upon a few open restaurants with outdoor dining, but the lines were too long and we weren’t quite ready to dine in yet. So, we decided to keep exploring and eventually found a small Chinese restaurant with a short line for takeout. We ordered our food, went back to our hotel and enjoyed our dinner while reflecting on the day’s adventure. As we called it a night, we couldn’t wait to see what the next day had in store for us.
On Saturday morning, we embarked on an exciting hike at the Mission Trail Nature Preserve. The preserve was a secluded and peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with nothing but the sound of birds chirping and the tranquility of walking among lush trees. We took on two of the five main pathways, and at one point stumbled upon the historic Flanders Mansion, built in the 1920s and now a part of the preserve. At first, we thought we had accidentally trespassed on someone’s property, but it turned out to be one of the main entrances to the preserve. With no one around, we took a few photos in front of the grand building before heading back to our trail.
The rest of the day, we decided to take a drive to San Francisco for a few hours. My bf had never been there and all he wanted was to drive through the Golden Gate Bridge. We ended up re-routing to stop by Pier 39 to walk around and grab lunch. We also passed by the famous Lombardy Street, reminding me of the time I used to live in the city. The memories of that time felt distant yet familiar, like seeing the city for the first time all over again. Visiting Pier 39 again was strange without the usual crowds, as many stores were still closed due to the COVID-19 situation. But, in the light of post-semi-lockdown, San Francisco never looked more beautiful with the sun shining down on us. People walked around in shorts, and it felt like summer had finally arrived.
Before we knew it, our 3-day weekend came to an end. It was a trip filled with adventure, relaxation, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small coastal town located on the Monterey Peninsula in California, United States. Founded in 1902, it is known for its picturesque landscapes, charming village atmosphere, and historic architecture. The town is home to a variety of art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, and is a popular destination for tourists and artists alike. Carmel Beach, located on the edge of the town, is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and watching sunsets. The town also boasts a rich history, including its founding by a group of artists and writers and its association with figures such as Clint Eastwood who served as the town’s mayor.