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Carmel by the Sea was one area that I had always looked forward to exploring, Most people that discuss Carmel often mention that it’s mostly a retirement community but I’m here to share some things for millennials to do in Carmel! Our trip started out at the Hofsas House Hotel so nearly everywhere we went was walking distance. We knew that we wanted to eat some fresh seafood, drink some great wine and cocktails and just relax by the beach. Carmel offers this for millennials and so much more. Here are some things millennials can do in Carmel!
Starlight 65 Rooftop Lounge
Want a casual place to start or end your evening in Carmel? Then Starlight 65 Rooftop Lounge at Vesuvio is for you! Located at the top of the Vesuvio restaurant, Starlight is a newer watering hole that is located near downtown Carmel. It’s fun, laid back and has lots of drink options.
The problem? This place gets PACKED and quickly. We headed up to Starlight to begin our night around 5:30 to catch the tail end of the happy hour. We headed into Vesuvio but bypassed the hostess with a wave and headed up the stairs next to the hostess desk. As soon as we got to the roof area we noticed there was no place to sit. We waited a bit and someone left the bar so we went and plopped down. At that point a friendly woman came up and told us her group was leaving and do we want the couch space, which of course we did! We settled into the comfy couch and ordered a few drinks and the steamed clams which were AMAZING. Service is great, prices are reasonable and this is a great spot to start or end your night in Carmel!
Tip: Try the steamed clams, garlic bread and the blood orange cocktail!
We stumbled on Caraccioli Cellars on our last afternoon. We headed in around 2pm and got there just as a large bachelorette party was leaving. I love the friendly vibe of Caraccioli, we were immediately greeted and once I decided that I wanted to try the bubbly flight, our hostess swiftly brought out flutes. Their wine is tasty plus they offer small snack plates if you need something to eat with your drinks. Because it’s such a small location, there isn’t much seating so if you go on a weekend be prepared to stand at one of the hi top tables.
We tried the Charcuterie Plate (Combination of Artisan Cheese & Charcuterie, Serves 3-4,): It was a great plate, and we really liked the soft cheese they had as well as the salami and other cured meats. They get their cheese from The Cheese Shop (a few blocks walk away), so any cheeses you like you can get more of at the shop.
Tip: Order the cheese platter and the spiced almonds to accompany your tasting.
Blair Estate Tasting Room
Blair Estate is located in the Carmel shopping plaza. It’s fun and unpretentious tasting room run by a local family from Carmel. When we visited we were lucky enough to have Mr. Jeffrey the owner pouring wines. We really had a great time listening to his stories about how he got into the wine business, the history of Texans in Carmel and the story behind his rustic wood wall. Don’t forget to try his reserve pinot which was delicious.
Tip: Sit at the front table to enjoy your wine and people watch. The staff will clear it for you if there is anything on the table!
Yeast of Eden
Yeast of Eden is another fun casual place to visit and is directly across from Blair tasting room. The restaurant and outdoor patio has a sleek modern look that is inviting and the staff is nice and friendly! It’s one of the few places that are open late on the weekends and they have live music or a DJ on Saturday nights. Yeast of Eden has several beers including IPA’s on tap and they have what they call mixed fermentation beers that are on the sour side. They offer a full bar for cocktail orders and tons of wine options!
Hike Point Lobos and Picnic at Gibson Beach
One thing that we did which was suggested by the staff at Hofsas House Hotel was to head to 5th Street Deli, get a boxed lunch and then head to Point Lobos to Hike. Point Lobos is part of the California State Parks system and is an absolutely stunning area. I was so excited to return to the area since the last time I went to Point Lobos was in fifth grade. We grabbed our lunches (plus dessert!) and headed out to Point Lobos. Point. Lobos isn’t free, there is an $10 fee to get in with a car. When we arrived we paid at the ranger station and headed towards the Bird Island trail. We were there early enough that we found a parking space right away.
The Bird Island trail is about a mile round trip. At the end of the trail is some shaky steps down to Gibson Beach. Because we arrived fairly early in the morning, we were able to enjoy being the only people on the beach but it started to get filled with people just as we left.
Tip: Most of the trails in Pt. Lobos aren’t strenuous but prepare to take your time in hiking and enjoying the views!