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United States | A Short Escape to Carmel, California

Sample Itinerary



Trip Duration

4 nights / 5 days

Set along the gorgeous Pacific Coast in Northern California, Carmel-by-the-Sea awaits with a stunning beach, incredible art experiences, renowned wine tastings and restaurants, boutique shopping and a charming downtown area.

Below is just a sample of the immersive itineraries our Destination Specialists can create. Our Destination Specialists are happy to book the hotel highlighted in the itinerary below or let them know if you would like something customized. And, feel free to offer our non-hyperlinked suggestions to your clients to further explore the destination.


Day 1: Your Home Town / California

Board your flight or hop in your car rental headed for sunny Northern California, just a couple hours south of San Francisco, to delight in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Upon arrival, check-in to Carmel Valley Ranch for an exquisite four-night stay in a Ranch suite with a private deck, fireplace and vineyard views. With an extensive activities menu, three swimming pools, hypno-health and wellness center, artisans workbench, trails, winery, and multiple dining options, the resort has everything you need for a quick family or couples getaway.

This evening, toast to a spectacular meal at the Valley Kitchen, created by a renowned team of culinary masters utilizing Monterey coast seafood, fruits and vegetables from the onsite organic garden and ingredients from its salt house. Most ingredients are harvested on property by its artisan-in-residence program including Charlie the Cheese Guy, Gardener Mark, Jerry the Fishmonger and Chris, the beekeeper. Guests are invited to partake in culinary crafts from shucking oysters, hand-churning ice cream and indulging in wine tastings to decorating cupcakes and sampling cheeses.

Day 2: Explore Carmel-by-the-Sea

Explore the city's nooks and crannies, including the open-air art museum showcasing California artisans, and the history at Carmel Heritage Society's First Murphy House. Enjoy live performances at the Golden Bough Playhouse or a drive along famed 17-Mile Drive with its spectacular sea views, stunning mansions, championship golf courses in Pebble Beach and the Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees including the famed Lone Cypress.

For dinner, delight in healthy and hearty fare at the legendary Hog's Breath Inn, once owned by Clint Eastwood. Begin with a savory dungeness crab cake or ahi tuna poke, followed by Castroville's artichoke soup, then enjoy the "Dirty Harry," a mouthwatering New York strip steak with garlic mashed potatoes, chef's vegetables, mushrooms and a handcrafted whole grain mustard sauce. Conclude your evening watching the sun set over captivating Carmel Beach.

Day 3: Resort Experiences

After a leisurely breakfast, take advantage of the resort's extensive activity options. Discover the outdoors on guided hikes in search of falcons, owls and hawks, experience the magic of beekeeping going "bee-hind" the scenes at the organic garden, or try your hand at archery, hatchet throwing or making beeswax candles and bath salts. Small children will enjoy the Little Ranchers program, while kids from six to 12 can participate in the Ranch Hands Activity Camp, and pre-teens can meet at the Market Fire Pit for the Junior Naturalist Camp. Relax this evening with a cocktail and sunset dinner in the garden, before retiring to you comfortable suite.

Day 4: A Day at Leisure

Spend the day at your leisure. Around the resort, tee up for a game of golf, grab your racket and hit the tennis courts or replenish with a HydraFacial experience at Spa Aiyana. Or, explore more of this quaint city and its surrounds, from the beautifully resorted Carmel Mission, a landmark since 1771, and luxury shopping at Carmel Plaza to the numerous art galleries, wine tasting rooms or nearby seaside city of Monterey with its famous wharf and aquarium.

Celebrate your last evening with dinner at A.W. Shucks Cocktail & Oyster Bar, with its prime Ocean Avenue address, beloved staff, exquisite seafood and superlative selection of ultra-rare liquors. Then, stop by the Cottage of Sweets to satisfy your dessert cravings.

Day 5: Carmel, California / Your Home Town

Savor a sweet beginning of your day at Village Corner, a local favorite for more than 70 years. The beloved restaurants serves up incredible Belgian waffles, brioche French Toast and delectable pancakes topped with your favorite fruits, sauces and whipped cream. Then relax on your scenic drive or flight home and beginning planning your next vacation to destinations unknown.

Distinguished Recognitions, Pleasant Holidays Family of Brands