Monterrey & Carmel Valley, California

After driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, we stayed in the Carmel Valley and allocated a day to see more of the Monterrey / Carmel-by-the-Sea area before continuing up to San Francisco. The views were absolutely beautiful, a mix of pristine beaches, incredible architecture, and lesser visited wine country.


We started the morning with lunch in a converted Victorian home, and had one of the most satisfying huevos rancheros meals I’ve had.


Then, we drove to Monterrey to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, Monterrey was a pretty big disappointment, especially the ‘seafront’ area – it basically felt like a massive tourist trap, and I was shocked that this is listed as such a ‘destination’.


The water view from the Intercontinental Hotel is nice, but otherwise this was a miss for me. We then wandered over to Carmel-by-the-Sea, which was as stunning as promised, with beautiful and innovative architecture, and a great little beach.


Carmel also has an incredible little Mission, which was an interesting historical site. We walked through relatively quickly, but appreciated getting the chance to see it.


After a morning of exploration, we headed back to the hotel for happy hour and to enjoy some downtime by the pool.

We ended our road trip in San Francisco, and of course had to stop for In & Out on the way – it was delicious!


The Carmel Valley was a nice little break from the road trip, and the Bernardus Lodge & Spa was a great choice (I was especially happy with it, given how touristy Monterrey ended up being). I would actually have allocated more time, as there were so many interesting smaller towns and restaurants to check out.

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