In a coastal state not so far away lies a charming little town called Carmel By the Sea. Not to be confused with Carmel, California, Carmel By the Sea is one square mile of quirky charm hidden from mainstream tourist. While staying at the Hofsas House Hotel for a weekend I was able to explore everything this little town had to offer and it was more than I ever imagined.
5th Avenue Deli
We started off our day rather hungry so we decided to check out the 5th Avenue Deli for lunch. Its a tiny little deli with lots of options from sandwiches to tacos. Even though we love tacos, we opted for sandwiches since it was a deli after all.
Carmel-by-the-Sea Beach front
We figured the best place to enjoy our sandwiches would be on the beach under a tree with some nice shade. I was surprised at how warm it got once we hit the sand though. The beach was fairly crowded but still a pretty view. Although our sandwiches weren’t anything to write home about, they were still pretty good and perfect for the weather.
Cottage of Sweets
Before even getting to Carmel By the Sea, I had already read up on a cute little shop called Cottage of Sweets. Its literally a TINY cottage full of old fashioned candy that fell in my mouth. I couldn’t help myself so I had to purchase licorice, gummies, fudge, etc. I know, I know, that’s it?
If your kids are starting to get bored then swing by Thinker Toys to grab some entertainment. They offered lots of different options from car games to books to stuffed animals. My boys loved exploring everything in the store. We even found a Curious George items for Baby M but ended up passing. The prices are slightly high but that’s to be expected at boutique style toy shop.
Carmel By the Sea offers an awesome little wine tour pass where you can purchase a bulk set for wine tastings at all the tasting rooms. Since we had kiddos with us we opted to try out only two, Schied Vineyards and De Tierra Vineyards. I will go ahead and say that De Tierra had a total pub type vibe and wasn’t very kid friendly due to the pub style seating. We liked the wines but nothing really caught out taste buds.
Schied Vineyards on the other hand is a totally different story. They were very welcoming and cheery and offered us samples right away. Not only did we fall in love with 3 different wines, we even purchased 2 bottles. Their Merlot had a peppery taste that my husband and I both enjoyed but the real winner was their XX. We fell head over heels for this bottle. If you ever have a chance to sample it, you absolutely have to!
The nice lady who was leading our wine tasting was so sweet and kept going on and on about how cute our little family was and insisted on taking our picture. She was the best!
The Cheese Shop
What goes better with wine than cheese? The amazing cheeses that were gifted to us from the Hofsas House were from The Cheese Shop. The cheese was so good that we had to go to the shop itself to try more. This was probably the best decision we made for the whole trip. I am a cheese lover and the amount of cheese they offered and relentlessly kept sampling was a dream. I also learned that I really don’t like cheese made with sheep’s milk. The bitter sour taste is just not for me. Instead we opted for 1 or 5 chunks of cheese to purchases to snack on. Yes, it was all that good.
Carmel By the Sea is probably the most dog friendly place I’ve ever visited in my life. There was not one store or location that didn’t allow dogs in. The Hofsas House, where we stayed, allowed dogs as well as many other lodging options. If your dog is your fur baby then you two will love a vacation here!
As you can see, Carmel By the Sea is full of things to do and see. Its enjoyable for all ages from dog filled beaches to quiet dining, its where you want to be for a vacation full of relaxation and exploration.