Point Lobos, Carmel

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Point-Lobos-beachesYou can’t visit Carmel without a drive down to Point Lobos to take in those spectacular views, it was on my 7 things to see in Carmel for a reason. I knew I wanted to spend a couple of hours there, so before heading out we stopped by 5th Avenue Deli in Carmel to put together an afternoon picnic for ourselves.

The Guy and I had a great time exploring the gorgeous grounds of the Point Lobos State Nature Reserve and took some of our new favourite couple-y pictures together. Framers. After walking around with our 5th Avenue Deli picnic lunch, we sat down on a bench and enjoyed the majestic views. The Guy said the scenery isn’t too different from our home province of Newfoundland, but I say it varies. The colours of the rocks, cliffs, dirt here in California are mesmerizing. I know that sounds silly, but I swear this place looks like a fairytale with the winding trees with their flat tops, and rocks protruding out of the water. Oh, and the sand — guys, the sand is unreal.

Disclaimer: We had a gift certificate given to us to use at 5th Avenue Deli. Opinions are my own.

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Visiting Hofsas House in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Hofsas-House-HeaderFor my husbands birthday I surprised him with a two day honeymoon to the 3rd romantic city in the world Carmel-by-the-sea, California. You see we got married in less than a week, and immediately packed up our belongings to move to the United States. We never did have a chance to have our honeymoon, so I took it upon myself to book a small one for us. The only thing I told him leading up to his birthday was to clear his weekend schedule, something I knew would prove to be difficult.

Imagine an unplugged weekend where you reconnect with your loved ones. A beautiful place where the entire town shuts down at sunset and is completely quiet. Street signs, and store fronts made from wood, no street addresses to get to a place, just the customized names on houses or businesses. This is Carmel, a welcoming and friendly atmosphere from everyone who was visiting and living there. The incredible pacific coast line was simply breathtaking. Today, I’m taking you through our trip and stay at the Hofsas House.

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Laying-on-rose-petalsWe called Hofsas Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea our home for the past two days. The location of Carmel-by-the-sea is about a square mile on Carmel Bay. Hofsas House is walk-able to Carmel itself, where it has many boutique stores to meander through, a diverse selection in restaurants and wineries, everything in walking distance.

Once we collected our room keys and walked in through the pink dutch doors, we were taken back by the hospitality. Our room was completely decorated into this romantic honeymoon suite with rose petals, fireless candles and Hershey kisses (an added upgrade guests can request for a fee) with a massive king sized bed with treats and a dog bed off to the side for Alfie. On our bedside table there was a bottle of wine and a cheese platter from The Cheese Shop, which guests can order to their room for $30. Talk about a warm welcome, hey?

Hofsas-House2The three of us (Alfie came too!) took off for this two day weekend to explore this town for the first time. We have heard a lot about this place and its beauty. We were welcomed with open arms, even after arriving an hour later than anticipated due to traffic, from the charm of the Hofsas House, which is in its 3rd generation of the family run business. We had about an hour to get ready for supper at The Grill when we arrived. Perfect time to re-curl my hair, swap out my cozy clothes and change into a silkier blouse and skinny jeans for our date night.

Fireplace-Alfie-and-ICarmel is much cooler at night, so we took advantage of our in-room fireplace and had a cozy fire each night. There’s nothing quite like sitting in in front of a warm evening fire.

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Hofsas-House-breakfastThere were trays available if we wanted to enjoy our continental breakfast in the comforts of our room.

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Alfie-chewing-on-boneCarmel is known for being incredibly dog-friendly with tons of restaurants catering to your pooches. At Hofsas House, not all rooms are dog-friendly but the ones that are take special care and go the extra mile to make your family pets feel much more at home. Alfie is crated and we bring his with us when he travels, but to our surprise he hopped on the plush dog bed in front of the fireplace to chew on one of his bones that we picked up in Carmel at Diggity Dog.

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Carrie-of-Hofsas-HouseCarrie Theis started working at Hofsas House with her Grandmother Donna Hofsas, the founder of Hofsas House over sixty years ago. Carrie has since taken the position full time and moved to Carmel to run Hofsas House. You can tell she takes great pride in not only the business aspect of Hofsas House, but she truly lights up, talking about Carmel. She gave us many suggestions as to what to do while we were in Carmel along with supplying us with wine walk tour tickets, and reservations to The Grill, a fantastic restaurant where we had a delicious 3 course meal, which I’ll talk about in an upcoming blog post. Our impression of Carrie is that she doesn’t care just about the business she runs with the family, but more about the village itself.

Out of the 38 rooms on the Hofsas House property they are each decorated differently. Looking past the retro feel to the room we had, it has its charm. The room itself was huge and we had a lot of extra space which felt comfortable. I got sparkly eyes looking out the Dutch doors in the morning when I realized the view we had. There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and taking in the Pacific Ocean air. It’s clear I missed the ocean living in central Canada for a number of years after growing up in Newfoundland.

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Alfie-and-me-outside-HofsasSaturday night we were completely wiped from our day adventure to Point Lobos where we had a picnic lunch provided by 5th Avenue Deli. We hadn’t planned on staying all afternoon until the sun set, but the place was more breathtaking than we had imagined. More on that spot soon! I loved the hospitality we received from Carrie and everyone at Hofsas House last weekend. Since we are so close to Carmel, we’re excited to return sometime to explore the other areas we didn’t get a chance to. Big Sur is definitely on our to-visit list, along with a trip to the neighbouring city, Monterey.

Hofsas House Hotel

San Carlos St, Carmel, CA 93921, USA
Phone: 831-624-2745

To learn more visitwww.hofsashouse.com

Our stay was hosted by Hofsas House, however the opinions in the blog post are 100% my own.

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7 Things to do in Carmel

7-things-CarmelWe had a major plans to fully relax and evoke in everything our weekend getaway to Carmel had to offer. Temperatures when we visited (October) were perfect. Ranging from 20-28°C/70-80°F during the day and  10-18°C/50-60°F at night. You’ll want to pack your sweaters for the evening, and don’t forget that it’s best to dress in layers. When we were walking around downtown Carmel, it was warm, however close to the beach was breezy and a little chilly.

With houses that looked straight out of a fairytale, many each with their own house-names; we found one called Carmelot, and another Hansel & Grettle, pure storybook goodness. Carmel is a seaside village that is full of unique boutiques to peruse through, fine dining restaurants, beaches with sand so soft, with a rugged coastline. I’ve gathered up 7 things to do if you’re ever in the area of the must-see romantic village of Carmel. While we didn’t get to make it out to Big Sur, the famous Pebble Beach or take off on the 17-mile drive, these are only stops on our must-see list when we go back.

Point Lobos

Point-LobosA rocky shoreline, majestic views, crashing waves, breathtaking beauty, all available on this two mile coastline. Perfect your afternoon and bring along a packed picnic to enjoy while you take it all in. Dogs are not allowed in this state park, and be aware – there is poison oak everywhere, we didn’t exactly know what it looked like, but luckily for us there was warning signs that included pictures. During our walk we spotted tiny lizards. Luckily we did not spot any non-poisonous snakes that supposedly hang out and slither around the area. Often you’ll find whales breaching through, and sea lions at Point Lobos, so keep your eyes peeled!

Explore Carmel

Explore-CarmelEach day we took a walk through the town of Carmel and admired the architecture, boutique stores, and pet stores where we grabbed Alfie a couple of treats, twice! I love that Carmel doesn’t have any street numbers, the signs on the store fronts, restaurants and even gas stations are made of wood. Locals don’t receive mail to their homes, instead they gather to the local post office to collect their packages and mail that may come through. A true neighbouring experience. While Carmel is pretty hopping during the day, the town of Carmel is early to bed, early to rise. After supper is over, the streets are completely bare and quiet with total darkness. Be sure to bring a flashlight with you, and don’t wear heels more than two inches.

Mission Ranch

Mission-RanchRolling meadows on Clint Eastwood’s property which he saved in the mid eighties from condominium development. We kept our eye out on the streets of Carmel hoping we’d catch a glimpse of The Guy’s man-crush, Mr. Eastwood.

Carmel Beach

Dog-friendly-beachCarmel has a dog-friendly (leash-free) beach at the bottom of Ocean Avenue. A mile and a half of white sand that is so incredibly soft, you can’t help but sink your toes in it. The views from the beach are incredible and memorable with Point Lobos at one end, and famous Pebble Beach on the other.

Wine Walk Tours

Wine-tastingCarmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea offers a Wine Walk Passport which is a self-paced, self-guided tour to all the tasting rooms that are conveniently within walking distance of one another. The Wine Walk Passport offers a flight of wine of their choice of any 9 of the 12 tasting rooms. Lucky for you and me, the passport doesn’t expire.

Dog Friendly Restaurants

Dog-friendlyWith many culinary selections to choose from you’ll be sure to be pleased with everything Carmel has to offer with regards to eating out. Don’t leave your pooch at home, bring him/her with you as many restaurants in Carmel and Carmel-by-the-Sea welcome dogs at their outdoor tables and patios. One place in particular: Forge in The Forest offer a dog-menu!

Art Galleries

Carmel-Art-GalleriesFine art line the streets of Carmel, whether you’re into sculptures, photography, or paintings (which will forever be out of my price range), there are plenty of galleries to browse through.

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