Thanks to a host of activities, stunning landscapes and gorgeous resorts, the area surrounding the Pacific Coast’s Carmel is a wonderful destination that offers activities for all age groups. The oceanfront stretch of road along the dramatic Big Sur coastline is also the setting of one of the great American road trips.
Perfect forAdventurers | Families | Romantics
When to goYear-Round
Ideal length of stay3-5 Nights
Designing Your Journey
Work with Indagare to design the perfect itinerary for an immersive journey. Our travel experts know the destination inside and out, and they can make recommendations based on your travel needs and preferences.
Essential California Coast
The picturesque Carmel Valley and the varied Monterey region are the highlights of any coastal California road trip. Here is just one example of what our destination experts can create for you.
Day 1: Monterey Marine Life
Spend a family-friendly morning at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where Indagare can arrange special offerings including a behind-the-scenes tour and the opportunity to observe a private feeding and training of the sea otters. In the afternoon, rent bikes and cycle down the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail for sea lion sightings. At low tide, make a stop at Asilomar State Beach to view one of the richest tide pool habitats in the world.
Day 2: Carmel-by-the-Sea
Stroll through the fairytale cottages and charming boutiques of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Later, visit the nearby Folktake Winery or stop by any of the 14 wine tasting rooms along Ocean Avenue in Carmel before setting out on the scenic 17-Mile Drive through famous golf courses and impressive residences.
Day 3: Day Trip
Active travelers should head out to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve—known as “the crown jewel of the state park system”—for incredible hiking along forested trails with breathtaking views of the Pacific. Indagare can arrange a private hiking guide. The spectacular Hearst Castle in San Simeon is also an ideal day trip: the former pleasure palace of William Randolph Hearst offers a range of tours throughout the estate and gardens.
Where To Stay
We only feature hotels that we can vouch for first-hand. At many of them, Indagare members receive special amenities, including upgrades, early check-in, breakfast, spa credits and more. Look for the Indagare Plus logo in the reviews.
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Post Ranch Inn
This magical hotel is suspended over the Pacific, bathed in light and mist and rocked to the sound of waves, bees and whales.
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Carmel Valley Ranch
The 500-acre property, in the Santa Lucia mountains two hours south of San Francisco, is a family friendly retreat with lots of activities.
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