After a disappointing In-N-Out experience and a late night arrival in Carmel, w e woke up bright and early the next morning to a lovely (and complimentary!) continental breakfast delivered to our room.
Since we had missed much of the beauty of Big Sur in the dark the night before, we decided to backtrack before driving back to Pebble Beach. Of course we couldn’t leave Carmel without exploring a little, so we finished our croissants and left the Carmel Lodge on foot to check out the town.
What a quaint, whimsical little place Carmel is, just like it’s name, Carmel By The Sea. Of all of our California destinations, Carmel is the one I would most like to return to. It’s quiet, the people are friendly and it is so beautiful! Between the gorgeous shoreline, the tree lined streets and the magical looking shops and homes, it’s absolutely one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been.
Each little shop had unique architecture and a beautiful doorway, each unlike the next. It reminded me of the trip to Italy I took with my sister two years ago and all the different doors we saw in Rome. One thing I dislike about living in Hilton Head is that many neighborhoods have such strict codes that all of the houses look exactly the same. I know some people prefer this aesthetic but I find it so much more enjoyable to walk down the streets and see different colors and designs everywhere you look.
It was too early for any shops to be open, which was fine by me since we didn’t really have time to shop, but Carmel is the sort of place you could easily spend a whole day wandering from store to store and browsing the day away. We walked down to the ocean and took in the views for a bit, making guesses about how close we were to the golf course before jumping in the car and heading back towards Big Sur.
The drive back through Big Sur was breathtaking and we stopped for lots of photo ops of the beautiful cliffs and scenery along the way.
There are several areas along Highway 1 where you can pull over and hike down to the beaches which we made sure to take full advantage of. In December it was too cold for swimming but just right for exploring and photographing.