I thought I’d do a FULL review on our trip to the Carmel Highlands today since I received a lot of questions about where we stayed, ate, etc. It was honestly one of my favorite trips, ever!! The main reason we went was because John and I were wanting to escape the heat AND we wanted to go to Big Sur. Our entire plan was ‘to go to Big Sur’ honestly – we just wanted to stay as close to there as possible, we weren’t really super interested in Carmel. However, now that we’ve made the trip we’d totally recommend spending time in Carmel & Pebble Beach too. The whole area is simply beautiful!
First things first, we flew into San Jose’s airport which is much closer than the SF airport. We arrived late so we stayed the night in San Jose and shopped in San Jose the next morning and drove to the Carmel Highlands the next afternoon so that we’d arrive in time for check in. The shopping in San Jose is very good if you are a shopper! We don’t have any shopping in Oklahoma so it was nice to have a variety – and even a Morphe store in San Jose!! 🙂
We rented a large SUV and we also rented a car seat! I had a lot of questions about that – we opted to rent a carseat so that we didn’t have to deal with checking our or the airlines breaking it! It worked out well for us. We made the drive to the Carmel Highlands and it ended up taking a lot longer than anticipated because there was a lot of traffic. This was at like 3pm on Thursday afternoon by the way. The service is very spotty on the drive there and in Carmel/Big Sur in general so I didn’t really have much service and just saved my snaps to post when I got to WiFi. We stayed at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands and had a room with an ocean view and it was SO wonderful. We had a large room and could slide these large panels over and break the large room into two rooms so that Luke could sleep. We had a huge bathtub, kitchen w/all appliances, and a balcony overlooking the ocean! We really loved our room and felt like it was perfect for a family. The temperature was amazing – a little gloomy off and on but in general anywhere from 40-60 degrees and never felt hot!
Since we were in the highlands we were right between the town of Carmel and Pebble Beach / 17mi drive & Big Sur. So one day we went down Highway 1 and stopped to take in all of the views. There’s a popular bridge called the Bixby Bridge that is a must to stop at – so gorgeous and a really cool view. I posted a photo below! And there’s a popular restaurant out there that was SO fun because of the location and views – I believe it was called Nepenthe. there were quite a wait when we were there but it was not bad because we wanted to walk around the area and take it all in – that is definitely a must! Also, if you drive past Nepenthe you will go towards a very popular/Instagrammable spot called McWay Falls – it is so gorgeous!! One of the doctors John trained with posted a photo there in July and I was like “okay, we are SO going there!”.
Just driving down Highway 1 you can pullover and hike and get amazing views of the ocean- the water is gorgeous! The photos I’ll be posting below are just random stops where we pulled off the road and walked a little bit. We didn’t have a plan or strategy or anything in mind. We would just stop randomly. It is very windy and chilly so I would highly recommend having layers and good tennis shoes on!
Now, if you opt to go towards Carmel you’ll want to go to Carmel Beach [I’ll post a photo below] and do the 17 mi drive which covers Pebble Beach and goes to Spanish Bay. The entire drive is also very, very beautiful! I love going for long drives in scenic places so I could have done that all day! One afternoon we went into Carmel By The Sea and visited the shops and just walked around the are and did a little shopping. It is seriously a CUTE town!! Where we stayed it just took 15-30 minutes depending on traffic to go either direction so I think we would stay there again. Although John wants to go golfing so I don’t know – we may stay closer to Pebble Beach?! Who knows!
A few restaurants we liked aside from Nepenthe are Vesuvio, La Bicylette, the restaurant at the Hyatt, Baja Cantina & Grill [obsessed w/ this place – the atmosphere and outdoor area is SO good!], RG Burgers [also SUPER good!], & Robata for sushi but they closer earlier than it says online!
Hopefully this answers all the questions and I will look all outfit details & blog posts so you can get more information on each post in the photos below!
VINTAGE POCKET TEE | FREE PEOPLE DISTRESSED WHITE SHORTS [one of my most comfortable pair of shorts] | SIMILAR DISTRESSED DENIM JACKET | TAUPE BOOTIES | LOVE NECKLACE |MICHELE WATCH | GOLD HOOPS | GUCCI BASEBALL CAP
TANK: old, but very similar style HERE | JOGGERS: Express [wearing size XS] | DENIM JACKET: old, I have this similar one too and love it! | HANDBAG: Chanel [Deauville in large] | NECKLACES: Jennifer Zeuner, Gjenmi | SUNGLASSES: Quay | WATCH: Michele | SANDALS: Tory Burch
A random stop on our way to Nepenthe!
These were snapped while drive towards Spanish Bay on the 17mi drive.
SWEATER: Lovers + Friends [similar options HERE & HERE] | DENIM: KanCan [my exact style is sold out but very similar styles HERE & HERE– I own jeans by both brands and they are both very flattering, esp for the price point! ] | HEELS: Steve Madden | HANDBAG: Chanel [similar options HERE & HERE] | EARRINGS: Chanel | NECKLACE: The Styled Collection | RINGS: Cartier, Zoe Lev c/o | SUNGLASSES: Chloe [dupes HERE] | BRACELET: BaubleBar
^Snapped at Baja Cantina & Grill!
Snap from actually hiking a little bit on day to get some different views! Luke is in his Ergo Baby.
Luke’s outfit is from Gap!
WHITE TANK: Express c/o | CARDIGAN: old [similiar style HERE] | DENIM: Express c/o [wearing size 2 – usually a 27] | WHITE MULES: Express c/o | HANDBAG: Louis Vuitton [Croisette] | BRACELET: Chanel | SUNGLASSES: Quay | NECKLACE: Gjenmi
These were snapped in the restaurant in the Hyatt that overlooks the ocean – it is GORGE!
SWEATER: Halogen [comes in 4 colors – I am wearing the size small ] | DENIM: Citizens of Humanity[TTS] | BELT: Chanel [new and currently in store] | HEELS: Steve Madden [highly recommend] | HANDBAG: Chanel [Classic Jumbo Flap in Beige] | WATCH: Michele | BRACELET: Chanel | SUNGLASSES: Chloe | LIP COMBO: Morphe’s Virgin + Frose
Photos taken in Carmel By The Sea – this is kind of behind the shopping/resturant area. It is not hard to find at all! Not sure of exact address though. Usually my phone will show me more detail but it is now showing! So sorry!
DRESS: Free People [wearing size small – I felt like it was a little snug through the ribcage area] | HEELS: Steve Madden | NECKLACE: purchased at store in Carmel | BRACELET: Ellie Vail | WATCH: Michele | SUNGLASSES: BP [they are Fendi dupes – $14!] | HANDBAG: Chanel (new “Beige” in Jumbo) [similar options HERE & HERE] | RINGS: Frieda Rothman, Cartier
SWEATER: Billabong [wearing a medium- it comes in other colors HERE] | DENIM: Citizens of Humanity| HEELS: Steve Madden | HAT: Lack Of Color [THIS is a great option that is more affordable- I just got it!] | NECKLACE: Gjenmi | HOOPS: H&M | HANDBAG: HANDBAG: Chanel (new “Beige” in Jumbo) [similar options HERE & HERE] | RINGS: Frieda Rothman, Cartier | BRACELET: Chanel | WATCH: Michele
Snapped before sunset at the Carmel beach!