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Where to stay/visit?

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posts: 101
Where to stay/visit?

Hey guys!

My wife and I (early 30s) are driving highway one up north end of December, staying first night at Cambria and now looking for a place to stay in the Carmel/Monterey area for the second night. Any suggestions for a nice romantic hotel, moderate price, not too luxurious but cozy and warm? Also, what are the must-sees in the area during one day?


posts: 28,676
reviews: 767
1. Re: Where to stay/visit?

In May we stayed at The Colonial Terrace Inn. This is a very cozy inn with a beautiful breakfast room and just a very short walk to the ocean. The Normandy Inn is another favorite of ours on Ocean Ave. :).

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 15,661
reviews: 8
2. Re: Where to stay/visit?

Possible "Must sees":

Point Lobos

Carmel Beach

Asilomar Beach/Pacific Grove shoreline

Lover's Point

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Miami, PR
posts: 2
3. Re: Where to stay/visit?

We are spending part of our honeymoon first week of January in Carmel. Staying at the Tickle Pink. Look it up. It has been HIGHLY recommended to us by friends and the pictures look like it will not disappoint!

Monterey Peninsula...
posts: 1,908
4. Re: Where to stay/visit?

The different communities of the Monterey Peninsula each have distinct characteristics, and some areas may be better suited to your interests than others. I put together a web page to help visitors sort out all the choices. www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/lodging.html This will help you narrow thing down. Since you're looking for something romantic, any one of the small hotels or inns of Carmel would be ideal, or some of the old Victorian B&Bs in Pacific Grove. Mission Ranch in Carmel might be a good spot in particular.

As for things to see, what are your interests? We have parks, beaches, wildlife, shopping, art galleries, wineries, the aquarium, several museums, and loads of historic sites. You could easily fill several days with "must see" activities, we have so much to choose from.

-Mr. Toy


Edited: 6:01 pm, December 08, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,502
reviews: 52
5. Re: Where to stay/visit?

The Tickle Pink is lovely, but it's remote. For someone who only has one night, they should look at something that is right in Carmel, so they can walk out their hotel door and the village is right there.

Unless you go next door for dinner you need to drive to everthing from the Tickle Pink and I wouldn't put it in the "moderate price" category.

The Normandy Inn is an excellent option.

posts: 101
6. Re: Where to stay/visit?

Hey guys. Thank you very much.

Based on your tips and the reviews I read, I guess it would make sense to stay in the city of Carmel as we'll be there only for one night and Carmel looks more romantic than Monterey :-) I already contacted Mission Ranch and Normandy Inn for availability. Apart from hotels, I see many nice cozy B&Bs in Carmel, they look really charming! If sea view is important, which hotel or B&B would you suggest? Budget-wise I'm looking into ~ $150 / night.

Thanks again!

posts: 28,676
reviews: 767
7. Re: Where to stay/visit?

No views at Normandy but Colonial Terrace has them. :).

Monterey Peninsula...
posts: 1,908
8. Re: Where to stay/visit?

You won't find many sea-view properties in Carmel. Most are a few blocks to half a mile inland. It keeps our shoreline beautiful and uncluttered. Mission Ranch has nice views of a sheep pasture with Carmel River Beach and Point Lobos in the background. La Playa hotel is tall enough that some rooms have ocean views, but it may be a little out of your price range.

-Mr. Toy


posts: 28,676
reviews: 767
9. Re: Where to stay/visit?

Check the website at La Playa, sometimes they offer great winter rate deals. We love this property and it has recently been remodeled. A champagne breakfast is now included with your room. Let us know where you book! :)

posts: 101
10. Re: Where to stay/visit?

Hi guys! Just a quick update: I finally reserved the Normandy Inn for our stay, very much looking forward to it in a few days :-)

About the highway one drive, I did a bit of research for the best route to take, and I still have the following questions:

- We're going to take highway 1 from Santa Monica up to Santa Barbara. Should we then take the 101 after SB to San Luis Obispo, or do we continue until Gaviota State Park on 1 and then switch to 101 to San Luis Obispo?

- From Monterey to SF, should we take highway 1 up to Santa Cruz and then take the 17 up north? Or shall we directly join 101 through 156 after Monterey?

Thank you so much again for your tips!