This was a belated but beautiful mini-staycation I took in April. I haven’t been to Monterey since I was a teenager, and it was there that I fell in love (but was slightly intimidated! By the winding roads!) with Carmel by the Sea. The central coast clearly has my heart. It’s so lush and carefree compared to the city. There are a good number of tourist but for the most part everyone seems to be going at a slower pace which is a good reminder for any of us.
Another perk to these cities are the fact that they are dog friendly! I took my own pup Mimi and she really enjoyed herself while we made our way through the downtown area of Carmel. Many of the shops and cafes even leave out dog bowls for the fur-babies.
Monterey is a bit more low-key but I stayed at the Monterey Bay Travelodge which allows dogs to stay at the hotel, there are a few requirements though so make sure you check out the guidelines and you secure a designated room for the pups. I left my pup for a few hours while I grabbed dinner and made sure she had lots of water and a blanket to sleep on.
Acme Coffee– Excellent vegan Mexican mochas can be found here. It’s not really a sit down café but a grab and go with lots of coffee and drink options.
Del Monte Shopping Centeris a really nice plaza for eats + shopping. There’s a Whole Foods, Williams Sonoma, and it’s very pet friendly. I loved the flowers and fountains you can relax and sit down by.
East Village Coffee Lounge– If you like staying out late, this is the spot to go. It’s one-part café lounge with plenty of room and coffee to enjoy but there’s also an area to listen to music/spoken word (whichever happens to be on the calendar that day. I can’t remember what drink I got here but I did get a vegan, grain-free brownie that was delicious. If you come early, this place is also near a bookstore that I sadly didn’t get to check out.
17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach– I think this is one of the most beautiful drives that you can take, not only are you driving through coastal cliffs, forests, you’ll make your way to the beautiful pristine beach, and there’s also a boardwalk. Oh not to mention a rest area with shops and this market I fell in love with. I was so lucky to capture a deer in the forest. We also saw sea lions, squirrels, and lots of beautiful birds. This is also a great place to look at all the wildflowers and fauna while taking a walk wherever you go.
Diggidy Dog– this is literally a boutique for dogs and cats too! I was so tempted to splurge on all the cute things for my pup (check my Instagram stories for some videos I took here). While I didn’t leave empty handed, I got Mimi some new snacks for her and a night light to put on her leash when we go walking at night.
Downtown Carmelin general is a beautiful place to sightsee and shop. It reminded me a bit of San Clemente except it’s different in it’s own way.