If you are planning to visit California, Carmel is one of the cities that cannot be left out of your itinerary. It's worth spending some time in this charming little town of just 4.000 inhabitants.
Carmel-by-the-sea, better known as Carmel, is 190 km south of San Francisco. Enjoying a day in the city in the midst of a road trip through California is a sure thing to do. The tip is to spend the day getting to know the dozens of art galleries, typical shops, restaurants and of course beautiful beaches with white sand in the region. To close the day, be sure to enjoy the beautiful sunset watching the sun set over the sea, super romantic.
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The city is 190 km from San Francisco, along Highway 1. If you are traveling by car – which is a great option – you can stop at several super charming and beautiful towns along the way. We chose to do the entire California itinerary by car. We rent a car at RentCars, since it is possible to up to 12X, paying in reais, without IOF.
Leaving San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway, better known as Highway 1, it takes almost 3 hours to travel. This option is longer, but prettier. Our first stop was Half Moon Bay. We continue our journey until Santa Cruz – which is a stronghold of surfing in California. Soon after, it's worth the stop at Monterey – with the super famous and beautiful Monterey Bay Aquarium. Then we finally got to Caramel.
You can also choose to take Highways 101 or 280. The trip is faster, but you miss visiting the cities – which are worth it.
In Carmel, city policy does not allow chain stores or restaurants – a very rare thing in the United States. So the stores are super different from the rest of California.
The main attraction of the city are these typical shops, art galleries and restaurants. You will get lost with so many different shopping options. Spend several hours enjoying the shops and open-air malls of Carmel.
Another popular attraction in the city are the wine tastings. There are several options with local wines from the city and also from all over California. We went to try the Caraccioli Cellars, for US$ 20 we tasted six types of wines. You can get out of there in a good mood. A tip: go early, as everything closes at 22 pm.
And of course, the most famous and main attraction: the beaches of Carmel – Carmel Beach e Carmel River State Beach. Each one with its charm, but all beautiful. The beach Carmel Beach it was my favorite of the entire trip through California – the sand is white with clear water and lots of algae. However, it is worth mentioning that the water is SUPER cold, only for those who have a lot of courage! The view from the beach is beautiful, go at the end of the day and enjoy the sunset.
The beach Carmel River Beach it is almost 1 km long and together with the Carmel River, forms a lagoon that attracts a bird sanctuary. Watch the video and fall in love with Carmel even more.
During our stay in Carmel we chose to stay at L'Auberge Carmel, Relais & Chateaux. The 5-star hotel is part of the Relais & Chateaux group, which always focuses on boutique accommodation with excellent cuisine.
L'Auberge Carmel, built in 1929, is very small – there are only 20 rooms – super exclusive, modern and cozy. The accommodation focuses on a very European decor, with beautiful antiques and fabrics. The hotel also has a wine cellar with over 2.500 bottles. I think there will be no shortage of options to choose from, right?
L'Auberge Carmel is very well located right in the heart of Carmel. The hotel is just two blocks from Carmel Beach.
Upon arrival, we were promptly greeted by the valet, who soon helped us with our bags. At the reception, we were greeted with a welcome drink made with a local drink. The drink was red fruits with wine from the region. In addition to giving us a heated towel to clean our hands. Luxury starts there!
The accommodation has only 20 rooms, all recently renovated and complete. All rooms are equipped with a Nespresso coffee machine, minibar, daily local newspaper, safe, flat-screen TV, hairdryer, bathrobe, heated bathroom floor, Wi-Fi, among other amenities. Cleaning service is done twice a day, and they always leave a cookie for the guest. The hotel does not accept children under 16 years old.
The bed is the main detail, with a European-style canopy. It is super cozy, with first-rate bedding, all in the Relais & Chateaux standard.
The reservation includes the signature breakfast at the Aubergine restaurant. The meal is very simple, with orange juice, black coffee, milk, homemade breads and jams and two fruits. All fresh, made on time. There is also an a la carte option, which is additional. You can order breakfast in your room or outside, which is also a charm.
The hotel has the famous Aubergine restaurant, awarded five stars by Forbes.
The kitchen is creatively styled by the famous chef Cogley. The tasting menu (dinner only) has eight dishes that change daily. The menu costs $175 per person + 20% gratuity already included in the bill. The menu is always planned with local ingredients in mind, depending on the season and availability. Caviar, strawberry, banana, trout roe, potato, melon, willow lemon, chocolate, hazelnut – are some examples of ingredients in your dishes.
No wonder the hotel is so awarded. The awards that place the hotel in the top 100 in the world by Travel + Leisure do justice to boutique accommodation.
L'Auberge Carmel, Relais & Chateaux is a perfect place for couples. To relax, enjoy the view of the beach and stroll carelessly through the charming streets and disconnect from the world. The strong point is the gastronomy, carefully planned and designed for well-being and a trip to local flavors.
Address: Monte Verde at Seventh Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Phone Number: +1 831 624 8578
Facebook: The Inn
Our columnists stayed at the invitation of L'Auberge Carmel, Relais & Chateaux and Visit Carmel
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