Why I love it here.
The charm here takes the cake. It emulates similar feels of a quaint European town where laidback indulgent days are encouraged. Exploring the natural beauty and details that replete each block could entertain us for hours and hours. It’s the perfect romantic getaway.
Where to stay.
We recently stayed at The Hideaway, but I would love to stay at The Cypress Inn next time we visit. I recommend staying somewhere in the downtown area (many options nearby both of these hotels).
First things first.
Plan ahead. I’m a big advocate of creating a skeleton agenda (mapping out a few restaurants I want to try, cafés to pick up coffee, tasting rooms to explore), while leave the in-between moments to relax and just go with the flow. I always like to arrive early for lunch, check into my hotel, and then taste wine somewhere nearby before dinner reservations.
What to pack.
Since it’s close to the water, I suggest just-in-case layers. I ended up wearing jeans and light tops, and a dress with a jacket (in about 70-degree weather in July). Laidback casual attire is okay while wandering around, but bring something nice to wear for dinners out.
Where to explore.
Downtown is my favorite. I loved being just a couple of blocks from the heart of it all, and getting to know the shops, cafés, and restaurants. The Twigery flower shop/garden was such an enchanting pitstop.
Where to eat/drink.
Absolute musts: La Bicyclette (brunch, lunch, or dinner – I personally enjoy lunch the most – order a pizza and bottle of rosé, complete bliss). Casanova for dinner is the most romantic and delicious place to visit. La Belena is also a great dinner option if you can snag a seat in the back twinkle-lit patio. For early morning coffee runs, we loved Carmel Valley Roasting Co. Read more from our trip in this blog post.
Quintessential day/night here entails…
Exploring the streets and shops is so enjoyable; midday wine tasting (many rooms to choose from), an alfresco lunch and/or dinner, and ending the day by a fire (if possible) and a nightcap!