The Perfect Weekend Getaway to Charming Carmel

Take a Trip to seaside Carmel, California for a relaxing beach weekend!

Come along with Jodie, Bianca and me on our girl’s trip to the scenic coastal village of Carmel, CA. This historic, enchanting town is perfectly nestled along California’s central coastline and rated “One of America’s Best Beach Towns.” We wholeheartedly agree with that claim. Carmel is famous for its spectacular beaches, awesome shopping and dining choices, and family-friendly atmosphere. We loved everything about this quaint getaway destination and expect you will too. Be prepared to be tempted to start booking your next trip!

visit Carmel


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We had such a fun, relaxing weekend exploring the quaint town, strolling along the sandy beaches and window shopping. So many great restaurants and boutiques. The neighborhoods are to die for if you love to see unique homes. Carmel really is a must see when visiting northern California. You won’t regret it, trust us!

Historic Downtown Carmel

historic Carmel

When we first arrived in town, we parked the car and began our walking tour of whimsical Carmel-by-the-Sea. We walked all over town, visiting various shops that grabbed our attention. The town is filled with historic landmarks and buildings, which is right up our alley since we love history. Finding a place to stay is certainly not an issue since we found a new, inviting inn around nearly every block. However, a few words on that topic.

Our Thoughts on Where to Stay

If you want to be in the middle of all this charm (which we highly recommend) and within walking distance to wonderful restaurants, shops and even the beach, there are dozens and dozens of quaint little inns quite literally on EVERY corner.

They are each more adorable than the next. Cottage style inns like the Normandy Inn and the Lamp Lighter Inn and Sunset Suites, just a couple of examples that we walked by on our way from town towards the beach just ooze charm and attention to detail. Small courtyards with landscaped gardens make these each so alluring.

Just be aware, you will pay more for the location, but we think that it is worth it. Just the idea of parking your car and having everything within walking distance for a few days is tempting. Parking can be very tricky in and around town as we experienced.

WARNING: These quaint inns are small and sought after and will sell out well in advance. We booked last minute, so we had to stay in nearby Monterey. Next time, we are motivated to plan ahead so we can stay in downtown Carmel.

so many cute inns to choose from in Carmel

Feeling Hungry?

After working up an appetite, we decided to find a spot for lunch. We stumbled upon Dametra Cafe, a cute Mediterranean restaurant with the most delicious food. They had a huge selection, from healthy salads to decadent pasta dishes and sandwiches.

Halfway through our meal, the main chef came out from the kitchen and serenaded the entire restaurant with an amazing vocal performance. It was a highlight of the day. We even made friends with the restaurant owner who wanted a picture with The Design Twins before we left. He was too sweet.

Carmel's luscious flower gardens are breathtaking

Carmel’s Luscious Gardens and Terrain

We were truly awestruck by the succulent gardens and secret pathways scattered around town. We discovered a gorgeous garden on our way to the beach.

It was filled with an abundance of flowers, ornate greenery, and an elegant fountain. This created a serene oasis we simply did not want to leave.


Jodie and I were stunned by the unique flora and fauna of the area. The towering cypress trees are perfect for climbing (Jodie is a tree-climber at heart) and floral masterpieces emerge everywhere you look. Carmel is an outdoor lover’s dream. 

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Jodie decides to climb a tree on the beach in Carmel

Majestic Carmel Beach

Carmel beach

When in Carmel, it would be a crime not to visit the famous Carmel Beach. The white sand beaches felt like clouds beneath our feet and the turquoise water sparkled in the sunlight.

The destination is perfect for a family picnic or relaxing by the water and taking in the breathtaking views. The water was a little too chilly for swimming. Plus, we didn’t pack our suits.

The beach is also extremely dog friendly, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your furry friends behind.

Carmel gardens

Breathtaking Carmel Real Estate

Carmel cottage

Just when we thought Carmel couldn’t get any more beautiful, we began exploring the side streets of town. House after house made our jaws drop. Each home was unique and different from the last.

The neighborhoods are overflowing with adorable cottages and bungalows. We were at a loss of words to say the least.

Jodie and I are seriously considering retiring here one day.

perfect weekend getaway to Charming Carmel


some of the goregeous home decor at Clementine and Co.


Carmel Store Clementine and Co.

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After a fun morning of shopping we ate lunch at the French-inspired café in downtown Carmel, La Bicyclette. The food was delectable and certainly worthy of an Instagram picture.


home decor store in Carmel, CA clementine and co has cute decor and bowls

Carmel is a Must See

So next time you are driving along Highway 1 make sure to add Carmel to your must-see list. 

Carmel is perfect for a fun, relaxing weekend with your hubby or closest girlfriends. Just oozing charm this coastal town overdelivers even on the highest expectations. We felt we were worlds away, which of course is the point on a getaway.

The natural beauty of Carmel will literally transport you. You won’t want to return home. We certainly didn’t. Thanks for coming along with us. We hope it motivates you to plan your own visit.


jodie & julie

P.S. We love it when you pin our photos on Pinterest and leave us comments to share what you think.

Want to create a relaxing getaway in your own home? Check out our blog post all about how to create a luxury bathroom retreat!

The Perfect Weekend Getaway to Charming Carmel with The Design Twins pin

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The Perfect Weekend Getaway to Charming Carmel
Article Name
The Perfect Weekend Getaway to Charming Carmel
Jodie and I thought we'd take you along with us as we explore the whimsical, scenic town of Carmel, perfectly nestled along California's central coastline. From the white sandy beaches, to the exquisite boutiques and restaurants, there is truly something for everyone in this quaint, coastal village.
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The Design Twins
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  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip! I am headed to Carmel with Darrielle (DD’s cottage&Design) and my daughter today! So I appreciate the tips and beautiful photos!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      We are so glad you loved our ideas for exploring Carmel! Have a wonderful trip with your daughter and Darrielle! It is absolutely GORGEOUS there, you are going to have the best time!
      XO ~ Jodie & Julie

  2. Melanie says:

    I just was in Carmel this last weekend. What a coincidence. I stayed in my favorite La Plays Carmel. Given I was going to Europe, I felt I could splurge. I took 100 photos and will slowly share them on IG. Speaking of interior design, I loved La Playa’s reception area.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      That’s awesome to hear! We loved our trip a few years ago. We’ve never stayed there but heard good things! I’m sure it’s beautiful. Thank you for the sweet comment on our blog post. Safe travels!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  3. Ann V @rekindledsigns says:

    Heading to Santa Cruz today. Maybe we can take a little trip and visit Carmel while we’re there! Love the scenery there!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      That sounds lovely! You absolutely should stop by, it’s such a great town to visit. Have a great time and safe travels!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  4. Cate Q says:

    We visited Carmel when we traveled to California from Kirkintilloch Scotland in 2018. We loved the lovely atmosphere of the town, the shops, the beach. Definitely on our must return to list. Once we’re free to travel.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      That’s amazing! Such a good place to visit if you are from out of the country. We hope you enjoyed it so much! Yes, hopefully you will be able to return soon.
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  5. Debbie says:

    do you have an updated link to Clementine & co online. The link did not work for me. Thanks!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      I’m so sorry Debbie. We didn’t realize it, but Clementine and Co. has gone out of business sadly. We have not updated the blog post accordingly.

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