Couples’ retreat: 24 hours in Monterey

During the planning stages of this trip, to be honest, Monterey was not on my list of places to stop. But when I attended a lunch in Montreal organized by Visit California, with representatives from California on site, I was able to meet and chat with Jessica, a PR representative for the region. After we talked, I knew I wanted to see Monterey.

I felt at home with the mountainous scenery, but because the ocean was nearby I also felt that I was seeing something completely new. The Monterey region is made up of several small towns (some are even just villages, really), each with its own style.

Just two hours from San Francisco, Monterey is not to be missed.

Vineyards on display

When we arrived in Carmel, we first stopped at the Folktale Winery, a lovely discovery. As the owner told us, the history of the vineyard can be found in each bottle. Situated so close to the Pacific Ocean (just 5 miles away!), this vineyard takes its inspiration from stories to make its wine. After just 30 seconds on the property, I could see why. At Folktale, you’re made to feel right at home: sit down, have a glass of wine, and chat with the staff and visitors. The wine was lovely, the setting perfect, and the attention to detail and customer service, top notch.

The perfect spot to recharge

Our home for the night, La Playa Hotel Carmel-by-the-Sea, was extra special—smaller than a chain hotel, but bigger than an inn. With the view of the ocean in the distance and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, we appreciated every moment at Carmel-by-the-Sea. The perfect setting for a couples’ retreat… 

PHOTO CREDIT: LA PLAYA CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA THE VIEW FROM OUR ROOM WAS BREATHTAKING

PHOTO CREDIT: LA PLAYA CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
THE VIEW FROM OUR ROOM WAS BREATHTAKING

PHOTO CREDIT: JAIME DAMAK THE COZY LOUNGE AT HOTEL LA PLAYA CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

PHOTO CREDIT: JAIME DAMAK
THE COZY LOUNGE AT HOTEL LA PLAYA CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

PHOTO CREDIT: JAIME DAMAK THE MOUTH-WATERING BREAKFAST BUFFET AT LA PLAYA CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

PHOTO CREDIT: JAIME DAMAK
THE MOUTH-WATERING BREAKFAST BUFFET AT LA PLAYA CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

Can’t-miss stops

Photo Credit : JAIME DAMAK The pebble beach 17-mile drive boasts vistas that will take your breath away.

Photo Credit : JAIME DAMAK
The pebble beach 17-mile drive boasts vistas that will take your breath away.

Photo Credit : JAIME DAMAK Lobos POINT

Photo Credit : JAIME DAMAK
Lobos POINT

  • The village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, for its boutiques and hidden gems
     
  • Andre's Bouchée Restaurant. French cuisine, where the sommelier creates genius wine and food pairings
photo CReDIT: JAIME DAMAK ANDRE'S BOUCHÉE restaurant: FOIE GRAS entrée (to die for)

photo CReDIT: JAIME DAMAK
ANDRE'S BOUCHÉE restaurant: FOIE GRAS entrée (to die for)

photo CReDIT: JAIME DAMAK ANDRE'S BOUCHéE restaurant: duck CONFIT

photo CReDIT: JAIME DAMAK
ANDRE'S BOUCHéE restaurant: duck CONFIT

photo CReDIT: JAIME DAMAK ANDRE'S BOUCHéE restaurant: chocolate MINI doughnuts (MMMMMMM)

photo CReDIT: JAIME DAMAK
ANDRE'S BOUCHéE restaurant: chocolate MINI doughnuts (MMMMMMM)

Next time

I love this section, since it lets me start fantasizing about my next trip to California J Most definitely, 24 hours is not long enough to explore a whole region, but we’ve already thought about what we’d like to see next time we’re there. Folktale with the kids, a visit to the Monterey Aquarium, kayaking, whale-watching on the ocean, a trip to Clint Eastwood’s farm, and more time at Lobos Point are all on the list.

My trip to Monterey, as short as it was, did me plenty of good. I can’t quite put my finger on it but when we left, I already felt that I’d be making a return trip someday. The sense of wellbeing that I felt while I was there is hard to describe, but can’t be beat.

*Jaime was on a press trip to California from December 14-23, a trip made possible thanks to the partnership of Visit California and See Monterey.

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