California, my home state & one true love. Sunshine all year round, warm sandy beaches, healthy food & amazing positive vibes. Nothing is better than a California Road Trip & that is exactly what I did recently with InStyle Magazine, from Big Sur to Los Angeles. We stopped at all the MUST HAVE spots & I want to share my favorites with you all! I get a lot of questions about California since I am a native, I grew up in Sunny San Diego & went to college in Cosmopolitan San Francisco. The best of both worlds. I adore the sunny side of Southern California, where a bikini & surf board are all you need but having the buzzing culinary city life of San Francisco was also a blessing. California has so much to offer to so many people, I want to share my favorites & must visits with all of you!

One of my favorite cities in California, Carmel by the Sea is a quaint beach town with a European flare. This gorgeous city in northern california is known for its natural scenery and rich artistic history. From charming courtyards to secret passageways, new discoveries await around every corner. There are beautiful boutique shops and art galleries to explore, restaurants to indulge, and wine tasting rooms to stop in and sip some of the California Central Coast’s best– all within one-square-mile. 

Waking up in paradise, enjoy the fresh morning air, while enjoying a leisurely coffee or breakfast at one of the best breakfast spots in town like Carmel Coffee House, Tuck Box, or Village Corner, & plan the adventures for the day!

You will want to explore every corner, every shop, every gallery; literally the best part of Carmel is exploring. Just enjoy!! The morning flies by and you’ve only made a dent in the shops, but an elegantly relaxed lunch awaits at La Bicyclette, Porta Bella, Basil or Little Napoli. These are just a few of the many notable establishments for which quaint yet cosmopolitan Carmel is famous for.

After a lovely lunch in town, take an afternoon spin along the Scenic Road, where every home affords a truly spectacular view. Head out to Point Lobos, where you can walk or hike through dense groves of Cypress forest leading to hidden coves, beaches, and overlooks where the many shades of Pacific blues and greens will dazzle your senses. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience. 

An afternoon exploring the coastline, makes you thirsty, so the time has come for wine tasting at Galante Vineyards or a sparkling wine toast at Caraccioli Cellars just across from each other on Dolores Street. Finish the day with a romantic sunset on Carmel Beach, followed by an incredible food and wine experience at Carmel’s Wine Spectator-awarded restaurants Anton & Michel, Cantinetta Luca or Grasings.

Enjoy the world’s finest scenery, historic sites, art galleries, restaurants, and boutique shops while visiting Carmel. A truly unique experience in one of my favorite places on earth, Carmel by the Sea. Enjoy a list of some of my favorite places in Carmel!

EAT & DRINK

Basil Seasonal Dining  • Rio Grill  •  La Bicyclette  • Cantinetta Luca  • Il FornaioIl Grillo  • La Balena• Il Fornaio

WINE 

Carmel Road Tasting Room  • Albatross Ridge  • Scratch Wines • Caracciolo Cellers  • Vino Napoli Wine Bar

WHERE TO STAY:

Bernardus  • La Playa Carmel  • Hotel Carmel  • L’Auberge

Carmel Valley

Bernardus Lodge & Spa, a majestic retreat in Carmel Valley. Enjoy your time at one of California’s premier vineyard resorts, overlooking the mountains & breathing in a fresh breath of relaxation. An unforgettable getaway that brings pleasure to all your senses. A quick stroll & wine tasting through the vineyards is the perfect pre-meal experience for Lucia, helmed by Chef Cal Stamenov, where you will enjoy healthy yet decadently prepares food for the soul paired with wines from the Bernardus cellar. 

Need to unwind & relax, with 28 acres of vineyards, orchards & gardens, Bernardus is just the place. Enjoy the year round perfect california weather by the pool, enjoy a game of croquet or simple escape into The Spa, where treatments are infused with the purest botanical ingredients from the on site gardens. The lavender bliss treatment was the perfect way for me to settle into the ambience & truly enjoy this unforgettable getaway.

My hideaway was The Villas which truly  redefine luxury with sophisticated style & rustic ranch chic accommodations. The Villas, elegant & evocative, are 14 private suites that make you feel right at home at Bernardus, a truly luxurious experience in Carmel Valley & an unforgettable getaway for me…

Thank You Visit California & Bernardas Lodge for an unforgettable stay in Carmel. I will remember this trip for years to come & hope to be back very soon to enjoy the California sunshine. xx