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Romantic Weekend in Carmel-By-The-Sea

Carmel-By-The-Sea is listed as the 2nd most romantic city in the world on TravelandLesiure.com. Number one being Venice, Italy.  From fantastic food, views, and culture; Carmel-By-The-Sea is the perfect place for a Romantic Weekend. 

With my help, you can plan the perfect romantic weekend in Carmel, CA for you and your love. I have listed below my top three favorite and most romantic hotels, restaurants, activities, and date destinations in Carmel and surrounding areas.

Mission Ranch Hotel

HOTELS

  • Quail Lodge
    Approx per night: $285-340
    (831) 624-2888
    8205 Valley Greens Dr, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
    My husband and I stayed a weekend at Quail Lodge, and I have to say it is by far one of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed at! This is not your average hotel. Each room is set up like a little cabin. There is no one above or below you but spread out next to you. Each room has a porch sitting area where you have beautiful views of Carmel Valley, the mini lake, and the golf course. The rooms are incredibly spacious with gorgeous bathrooms and cozy decorations.

*Tip: if you call ahead of arrival and let them know you are celebrating something they will put a box of locally made chocolates in your room with a sweet card!

  • Mission Ranch
    Approx price per night: $285-$345
    (831) 624-6436
    26270 Dolores St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
    If you can score a weekend at Clint Eastwood’s hotel, you and your love are in for a treat! Beautiful views, superb service, and incredible food. This late 1800 farmhouse style hotel will take your breath away right on the edge of the water surrounded by a green belt with grazing sheep.
  • Hotel Carmel
    Approx price per night: $330-420(855) 622-7635
    4th & San Carlos Street, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921
    Hotel Carmel is the perfect boutique hotel for you and your love to cozy up in. Take advantage of their fireplace sitting area that serves free wine during “tasting hour”. It’s also located in the heart of the village meaning all shops and restaurants are right at your fingertips. If you stay here, I highly suggest getting the wine passport for Carmel Village and spend a day tasting all the wines in the area. No Uber is needed since you are walking distance to it all!

RESTAURANTS

  • Mission Ranch
    Mission Ranch Restaurant is a MUST DO during your romantic weekend in Carmel. Like I mentioned above about the hotel, it is located on a beautiful greenbelt right on the edge of the water. My husband and I had the most beautiful, romantic dinner enjoying stunning views, phenomenal food, and incredible local wine.
    Price Range:$26-$70 per entree
    Dress Code: Dressy Casual*
    Reservations Needed: YES!! (you more than likely won’t get a table without a 3-hour wait if you do not make reservations in advance!)
    Hours: 5pm-9:30pm
    (831) 625-9040
    26270 Dolores St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
  • Carmel Bistro
    We actually had our wedding dinner here! I LOVE THIS PLACE! It is the perfect Friday night dinner to set the tone for the weekend. Carmel Bistro serves delicious food in a romantic, intimate setting. They always have incredible specials, and you can’t go wrong with anything you order on the menu. I highly suggest the Artichoke as an appetizer. SO GOOD!
    Shoot me an email if you’ve made reservations for Carmel Bistro. I have a surprise for you 😉
    Price Range:$18-$68 per entree
    Dress Code: Dressy Casual*
    Reservations Needed: No, but I highly recommend especially on a Friday or Saturday opentable.com
    Hours: Lunch 11:30am-3pm Dinner: 5pm -10pm
    (831) 626-6003
    San Carlos & 5th Avenue, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921
  • Little Napoli
    Little Napoli is by far one of our most favorite restaurants ever! They were also featured on Diners, Dives, and Drives! (I’m not really sure why since they are nowhere near a diner). We always start our dinner off with the Artichoke and Meatball Lollipops. It is the most delicious food I have ever tasted. You can sit in the central dining area, outside on their patio, or in the tasting lounge. All three areas serve the same menu.
    Price Range: $18-48 per entree
    Dress Code: Casual
    Reservations Needed: No. However, I do recommend for dinner on a Friday or Saturday night
    Hours: 11am-10pm
    (831) 626-6335
    Dolores St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

*I have seen people dressed to the T dining as well as people a little more casual. However, I would not recommend wearing ripped clothing, tank tops, or anything too casual that is not typically allowed in nice restaurants.

**Also, I’m not telling you how to dress! You do you boo. I am just giving tips for those who like to over-prepare like myself 🙂

AFTER DINNER DRINKS

  • Barmel 
    Barmel is an excellent place for after dinner drinks or to dance the night away! One of the only places opened after 11 pm, you will find a fun and lively crowd dancing to live music. It is a must go to for a fun night out in Carmel-By-The-Sea.
    Hours: 4pm-2am
    (831) 626-3400
    San Carlos & 7th ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921
  • Starlight Rooftop
    On of my favorite places for after dinner drinks is the Starlight Rooftop Lounge. Cozy up next to the fire or sit under the string lighting for a romantic happy hour.
    Hours: 4-11pm
    (831) 625-1766
    6th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
  • Hogs Breath 
    Another great place owned by Clint Eastwood. Hogs Breath is located in the Village and is walking distance from most restaurants. Actually, if you dine at Carmel Bistro, then all you have to do is walk across the street! They have great appetizers and reasonably priced drinks!
    Hours: 4pm-10pm
    (831) 625-1044
    San Carlos St Carmel, CA 93923

UNIQUE & ROMANTIC DATE IDEAS

Monterey Whale Watching
  • Monterey Whale Watching
    My husband and I recently did the four hours Monterey Whale Watching excursion, and it was incredible! We saw a record high of some 65 whales, dolphins, and a few other sea critters (no sharks, unfortunately.) It is a little chilly and a little rocky, so if you get motion sickness, I wouldn’t recommend. However, it wasn’t that bad and was an incredible experience everyone should do at least once!
    Duration: 2-4 hours
    (831) 375-4658
    84 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940
  • Wine Trolly
    Carmel Wine Trolly is on the top of my list to do next time we are in the area! According to Tours Monterey, “5 Hour Tour – 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM – Visit 3 to 5 wineries depending on what package you purchase (or how many tasting you are comfortable with in a 5 hour period). All wine tasting fees are included in ticket price. You don’t have to stay with the group, move at you own pace. All Tour Ticket Packages ride on the same trolley, shuttle between wineries, and return at the same time.”
    (831) 624-1700
    290 Figueroa St., Monterey, CA 93940
  • Monterey Zoo
    As many times as we have been to Carmel, I never knew there was a Zoo in the area! What’s different about this Zoo is they hold tours, and you can’t just freely come and go. There is so much to see and do here! From Butch The Elephant’s Bedtime to Walking with The Animals it is the perfect date destination!
    831-455-1901
    400 River Road, Salinas, CA 93908

Make sure to tag Picking Daisies in your Carmel-By-The-Sea Romantic Getaway for a chance to be featured. Also, if you have any tips, tricks, or secret places in Carmel you would like to share, drop a comment below or send me an email.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend of love!

Xoxo,

Mariah

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