One day in Carmel...with baby
May 16, 2018 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Next week I'll be in Carmel-by-the-Sea for a day with my six-month-old baby but without a car. What should we do?

My baby son and I are tagging along on my husband's business trip, and for various reasons, my son and I will be on our own in Carmel for much of the day on Wednesday, from 9 in the morning until about 7 at night. What can I easily explore there with a baby in tow?

I love walking (both on my own and guided tours), interesting museums, scenic vistas, the beach, and basically anything nature-y. I would also love recommendations for good cafes or restaurants to grab a bite to eat or some good coffee (I'll be on my own for all three meals), as well as places I can take breaks to nurse my son and/or sit and read for awhile if he blesses me with a solid stroller nap.

I'll have a good stroller and a variety of carriers, and my son is generally a very chill baby content to just hang out and look at whatever. I am willing to get an Uber if there's something nearby that's worth the trip (I'll have an infant bucket seat I can easily buckle into a car's seatbelt). We are staying here the night before and the night of.

Thank you for any tips you can provide!
posted by anderjen to Travel & Transportation around Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Carmel is really small! You can spend as much time as you want at the beach (including taking a look at the outside of Frank Lloyd Wright's Clinton Walker house) and then walk 12 blocks west to Mission Trail Park. Near the south of the park is the Carmel Mission. When you're finished with this, you can walk to the business district, which is roughly halfway between the Park and the Beach, and slightly north. Obviously, this can all be done in any order. But I'd be surprised if it takes you more than half an hour to walk from anywhere in Carmel to anywhere else. If you want something structured at one point or another, Carmel Walks gives two-hour walking tours.
posted by ubiquity at 10:31 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Carmel itself is quite walkable. I always get picnic fixingss at The Cheese Shop downtown, which has a world-class selection and staff. Looks like that is a couple blocks from your hotel (the Four Sisters inns are very nice). I wander around and poke my head in the galleries, the history as an artist's colony is still present. If you like wine, two outstanding wineries have tasting rooms within a few blocks of your hotel: Galante Vineyards and Windy Oaks. The former grows everything estate up in the Carmel Valley, focusing on cabernet, and the latter grows in Santa Cruz, focusing on pinot noir. Both have a distinctive style and you would never confuse them with Napa Valley wines. Depending on your range, you can walk to Pebble Beach after hours. I was not impressed with the grill restaurant there, for what it's worth, while I've yet to have a bad meal in Carmel. Obviously the sunsets on any beach are going to be spectacular. I might consider taking a Lyft to Point Lobos, which has beautiful views of the rocky coastline and a number of historical sights from California's early years. Cell service is quite spotty out of town, though, so make sure you have a way back as I'm not sure you can walk back without going on Highway 1. You're prepared for it to be cold and foggy, right?
posted by wnissen at 10:56 AM on May 16, 2018

wnissen, the place you linked looks incredibly gorgeous but is going to be too long a walk from Carmel (plus the canoeing through the Darien Gap) for all but the most dedicated trekkers.

Now that I've passed the test, do I get the link to the secret beach knowledge?
posted by yohko at 11:21 AM on May 16, 2018

You mention using Uber: The Monterey Bay Aquarium is only 6.5 miles away.

I also liked visiting the Asilomar conference grounds which has Julia Morgan-designed Arts and Crafts buildings that served as a YWCA - they have some nice photos of the young women who went to summer camp there in the early part of the 20th century.
posted by vunder at 11:31 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

My grandparents used to spend their summers in Carmel, which my grandmother would say is for the "newly wed or nearly dead". Which is to second everything ubiquity said, but also let you know that the entire town moves at a much slower pace. You don't have to worry about loitering or moving on to the next thing.

When I visited, I could take a few hours just walking up and down the streets of all the fancy homes. But I like 50s-70s architecture.
posted by politikitty at 11:58 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Point Lobos State Park is beautiful, about 4 miles away. I walked around that with my kid in a Baby Bjorn thing when she was about 6 months. You could push a stroller around there too, as it has roads branching through it.
It'd be easy to Uber there, but I'm not sure how you'd get back if the cell reception is bad. I drove.

Uber to and from Monterey Aquarium would be super easy.

Just pottering around Carmel with a baby is nice too. Pretty little shops, cafes, nice quiet beach.
posted by w0mbat at 2:51 PM on May 16, 2018

Cedar grove walk at Point Lobos State Park. NOT to be missed. Trust me.
posted by Pressed Rat at 3:22 PM on May 16, 2018

[Comment removed. If you have questions about moderation, please use the contact form; don't post followup comments in a thread about it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:29 AM on May 18, 2018

« Older delete unused browser files?   |   A week in Dublin! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments