Kyle and I took this trip back in 2018! We have friends up in Santa Cruz so we initially stopped for a night up in Santa Cruz just to say hi but then made our way down to Monterey and Carmel for the remainder of our trip. It was mostly a relaxing and easy-going trip with lots of conversations and eating, the best!!
Drove from Huntington Beach to Santa Cruz. We arrived in the darkness of night to our friends house where it was warm and cozy. We pretty much just talked for a few hours and went to sleep, driving is hard.
We woke up pretty early and got a start to the day. Our friends were both working so we just started our way back down the coast to Carmel! I had previously done the 17 Mile drive through Pebble Beach and I wanted Kyle to see how amazing it was. We spent about 2 hours stopping at all of the designated spots, taking pictures and enjoying the frigidly windy beach conditions. This activity is priced by the car, we paid around $10 to enter and didn’t spend any other money while doing the drive. You can stop at the golf resort and get food or souvenirs but we didn’t.
Once we were done with the drive it basically plopped us out right in the downtown of Carmel, which was where our Airbnb was! It wasn’t time to check-in so we took our time exploring the downtown shops and restaurants. We stopped at a bakery called Carmel Bakery, in true Tasman fashion… They have been in business since 1899, one of Carmel’s longest running businesses. Yum!!! It was SO small and quaint, but very busy and delicious! We got a pretzel and a few cookies, I would recommend stopping in here for sure!
We finally got to check in to our Airbnb, I was extremely excited about this place because I knew we were going to spend a lot of down time just hanging with each other so I tried to pick a really cozy spot. It was an attached space on a house but we were totally on our own with a private entrance. There were epic windows that looked out to what seemed to be the shire but that was Kyle talking… We had a cute kitchenette, a fireplace in the bedroom and a lot of recommendations from the host.
To finish the night we actually went to see Jumanji! We were gifted MoviePasses from my parents for Christmas and hadn’t used them yet. Anyone know of that pass? It was too good to be true. You could see any movie, at any time for a full year for like $100. They went out of business by August. But that is besides the point… We got Chipotle because it was quick and easy then headed to see the movie, which was seriously hilarious (not sure if this was because I had really low expectations).
This day was a good time!!! We started our day by going to an epic breakfast spot called From Scratch. They were featured on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives! And rightfully so… This was one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. We still talk about it to this day. It was chilly outside and we were so nice and cozy inside with hot coffee, fresh orange juice and delectable food. We got your average breakfasts but the thing that we still remember and actually tried to find out how we could buy them was their english muffins. It was huge and fluffy and the best, but they cost about $30 for 6 coming from New York. So I’ll have to wait until the next time we venture up north but until then I will still dream about them.
After we feasted we went on a hike/walk that was recommended to us by our friends up in Santa Cruz, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. It was 4-5 miles that took us 3 hours to complete. This bay/forest walk took us from the inland forests to the cliff-sides of the Monterey bay. I am not sure what route we took exactly but we parked off of PCH where there were a bunch of other cars parked and just started! This hike/walk was the perfect relaxing vibe that we were going for, just cool forests and beautiful rugged beachfront.
We finished the day by ordering pizza, watching the Duck’s game and playing board games next to the fire.
We started the day with meeting up with our friends from Santa Cruz at The Monterey Bay Aquarium! Kyle’s friend, Sonny, (I have written about her eco-conscious company Lo Tide on the blog) works at the aquarium doing research and running the day-to-day with the animals. Sonny and her boyfriend, Taylor, showed us around this amazing aquarium and it was so special! They have so many different features than the one we have here in Long Beach, like a bird area that felt like you were out on the beach, a wave dome thing, really huge tanks (as you can see below). It just felt a lot bigger of an operation than Long Beach and that was cool!
After saying goodbye to our friends we drove back down to Orange County and got ready to rejoin the real world. Sometimes I love coming home from trips and sometimes I wish I could stay. This time I would have loved to have still been in front of that glorious fire playing Scrabble with my love for just a few more nights!
Go to Carmel! It is quaint, quiet and a great place to reconnect with loved ones. Thanks for reading!