Carmel, CA is a great spot to get away from it all- the perfect place for weddings, proposals, romantic hideaways, or girlfriend getaways. A small but active and artistic area, you will find plenty of shopping, museums, theater, good wine and good food, as well as the beautiful coastline.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small town with a rich artistic history on the Monterey Peninsula. In the early 1900s, 60 percent of Carmel’s houses were built by those who were “devoting their lives to work connected to the aesthetic arts.” As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 4,081.
Close by are the scenic 17-Miles Drive, Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, world renowned golf courses, Point Lobos Reserve, and the Big Sur coast. This area is very pet friendly, and one will see dogs everywhere they go- on sidewalks, stores, in restaurants, and even art galleries.
There are some fine dining options, as well as others with a more funky flair in the area. Mundaka, a Spanish style tapas restaurant in downtown Carmel, is the result of a love of food, wine, music, and Spain and its culture. The food is ordered by the small plate and meant to be shared with the whole table. The dishes and drinks are organic and locally grown- don’t expect to order a cola in this establishment. The atmosphere is funky and artistic, and has both vegetarian and non-vegetation options as well as live music many nights. Grasing’s offers fine dining that features fresh ingredients from California’s Carmel Coast and Central Valley. They have a varied wine list, and the desserts are interesting, delicate, and delectable. You will want to make sure to save room, and indulge yourself.
Taking a quick trip, but want to really experience the food and wine? Take the Carmel Food Tour. While walking through the picturesque city of Carmel, you will be able to enjoy the tastes from seven of Carmel’s most unique restaurants and specialty shops. This 3 hour tour is not only an enjoyable lunch that literally gives you a taste of the town, but also a glimpse into local area’s culture, art, architecture, and history.
There are no chain hotels in the area. Hofsas House Hotel is a Bavarian styled, family-owned inn with 38 uniquely decorated rooms, many with ocean views. The Dutch doors prevalent in Carmel are the entrance to each room, allowing guests to take in the ocean air. Some rooms also have balconies that are complete with sitting areas and small grills for cooking outdoors. The sliding glass doors allow one to watch sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, and most rooms have indoor fireplaces that are perfect for getting to know each other all over again. In addition to several room sizes, there are pet-friendly rooms, apartment-like rooms complete with kitchen for large families or gatherings, and a meeting hall. There are multiple packages available as well, from a wine and cheese basket delivered and set up in your room to a quite intricate beach proposal package, complete with writing in the sand and champagne.
Each morning, there is a continental breakfast in the lobby, as well as amenities such as a heated swimming pool, dry saunas, and free wireless internet.
A bit further away from the beach, and nestled in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, is the historic Holman Ranch. This unique destination is a memorable setting for weddings, special events, family gatherings, corporate retreats, and team-building events. Everywhere you turn, there are majestic mountain views, lush gardens, and privacy. This impressive estate includes a fully restored stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards, olive grove, several areas to have food catered such as an open barn and an indoor living room, and more. Those having an event on the property will be the only ones allowed there during that time frame, ensuring total seclusion and the space to have fun and enjoy.
Holman Ranch can also help arrange a romantic horseback ride through the vineyard, helicopter tour from the Carmel Valley Airport to Holman Ranch, picnic in the vineyard with a barrel tasting or catered dinner for two in the Hacienda, or more as the guest desires.
There are packages that include photography, etched wine glasses, and a bottle of wine, perfect for weddings, honeymoons, rekindling romance, or proposals.
Carmel is a great location for the next romantic retreat on your calendar. From food, to unique boutique hotels, to wine, art, and general touring, there is enough to keep you busy for as long as you would like to be, without feeling like you need to be busy. For those who are looking for someplace to relax and unwind, they need search no further.