Our family travel series continues with Valley-based boy mom and lifestyle contributor Nadine Bubeck (Mama B.). Every month, Nadine showcases a fabulous destination- providing five things about visiting the hot spot.
This month, we’re heading to the quaint town of Carmel, California. Picturesque and simply lovely, minutes from Monterey (think “Big Little Lies”).
Where to stay:
The Hofsas House is a boutique family-owned property with spacious accommodations overlooking the ocean. Located in the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the adorable Dutch-inspired hotel is walking distance to Ocean Avenue- lined with shops and restaurants.
The Hofsas House has suites fit for traveling families- many with a full kitchen, two full bathrooms, a balcony and fireplace. There’s also a free continental breakfast.
Where to play:
The Hofsas House is eight blocks from Carmel’s famed white sand beach- and fall is actually a perfect time to visit (bid farewell to June gloom). Carmel is also home to stunning hikes and national reserves, like Point Lobos- known as the crown jewel of California’s 200+ state parks. Point Lobos at the north end of the Big Sur coast of the Pacific Ocean. The park flaunts a number of hiking trails, many alongside the ocean, and a smaller number of beaches. Kid friendly.
Next, follow 17-Mile Drive’s red-dotted line to arrive at an enchanting world full of dramatic coastal cliffs, snow-white beaches, mystical forests and iconic golf courses (like Pebble Beach). Discover one of the most scenic drives in the world as you meet the inspiring Lone Cypress, ponder the giant trees at Crocker Grove, digest the untouched beauty at Fanshell Beach, behold the power of the Restless Sea at Point Joe, stroll the boardwalk above the beach at Spanish Bay, and much more. Each car pays a small fee to enter, but you’ll truly be blown away.
Monterey is a mere 15 minutes from Carmel, and a mecca for curious kiddos. Home of the infamous Monterey Bay Aquarium, you’ll share in your kids’ awe in witnessing such incredible underwater sea life. Located in Cannery Row, end your aquarium visit with a delectable Sundae at the Ghirardelli shop. Thank me later for the recommendation.
Where to feast:
Carmel restaurants and bars—despite boasting among them some of the world’s landmark establishments—remain pleasantly undefined. The town’s charming eateries feature a full range of international, regional and local cuisines. Carmel restaurants range from Old World elegance to modern charm, all with an artistic flair. This is a great resource for exploring the area’s eateries.
What to bring:
From shorts to sweats, you just can’t predict Carmel’s weather. That’s just what you get from being close to the water. Bring it all- in addition to hiking gear.
Reserve things ahead of time. Does your hubby want to indulge in a Pebble Beach golf day? Make sure to book tee times well in advance. Also shop deals and seasonal discounts from the hotel and aquarium.
Written by: Nadine Bubeck
Nadine Bubeck is a TV Personality, author, lifestyle blogger, and fashion designer, having founded Mama B. Designs: boutique apparel that benefits March of Dimes. The Valley-based parenting contributor is a blessed boy mom times three. (nadinebubeck.com)