City Guide: Carmel-by-the-Sea // Pebble Beach // Big Sur

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Carmel by the Sea with Banana Republic
City Guide Carmel Pebble Beach Big Sur



Denim X Pebble Beach
Porter’s in the Forest @ Poppy Hills Pebble Beach
Cabi Bardot Denim Top // Rag and Bone JEANS, Fabio Rusconi Sandals
Seventeen Mile Drive
Neon X Beach 2
Carmel State Beach
Point Lobos California
China Cove Beach at Point Lobos Carmel, CA


Big Sure, CA

Big Sur CA




Aubergine in Carmel

Carmel, Big Sur, and Pebble Beach are three of my favorite places.  As a local, I am lucky to visit every day! For short stays or a few months, there are so many places to see and things to do.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Ten Places That Are a MUST:

  1. Bixby Bridge and the Hwy 1 Drive
  2. Carmel State Beach
  3. 17 Mile Drive – So many cool things to see on the drive makes the $11 fee to get into PB worth it!
  4. Lunch at Porter’s in the Forest @ Poppy Hills Golf Course – After the drive stop for lunch at Porter’s the short rib fries and quesadilla is delish, but the pot pie is my favorite!
  5. Hike at Point Lobos – The best way to start the morning!  Save yourself the entrance fee by parking on the shoulder of Hwy 1!  I recommend early morning to see the most amount of wildlife.  If you do the whole loop you are guaranteed to see an otter, lizard, and seal at least!
  6. Forest Theatre This is a beautiful and unique spot.  The whole theater is outdoors and they do several live plays a season.
  7. Big Sur Bakery- This is the BEST spot for baked goods in the county!
  8. The Aquarium (technically in Monterey but a quick drive from Carmel)
  9. Garapata State Park- A fun hike for a more experienced hiker.  Not that you need special gear but a higher stamina is necessary.
  10. Cooking Lessons at Aubergine – Check out my review!  One of my favorite restaurants is Aubergine.  I love the cultural dinners that are done once a month and the cooking lessons are super fun.

My Favorite Places to Eat

  1. Sur @ the Barnyard — get the flaming ice cream thing!  So yum.
  2. Aubergine– This is a culinary experience.  Be prepared to eat dishes you could never imagine.  I have been here a half dozen times now and never had a bad bite!
  3. Sierra Mar @ The Post Ranch Inn & Spa –The best view in all of Big Sur and the food is grown locally at the farm on the property!
  4. Ventana Inn– One of my favorite lunch spots if you can get a table outside under the arbor!
  5. The Cheese Shop– This little shop is in the Carmel Plaza and is perfect to create an amazing cheese+wine spread to take home.
  6. Porter’s in the Forest
  7. Brunch at the Pebble Beach Lodge– Expensive but so worth it.  The view is stunning, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is super posh.
  8. (Evening Drinks) at Spanish Bay– So fun!  Sit by the fire, with a lap blanket and sip evening drink. At sunset, they have a bagpiper play.
  9. Casanova– Super posh spot for a date night!
  10. Big Sur River Inn– The best place to hang on a weekend.  You can sit in big chairs at the shallow part of the river enjoying a drink and snack.  The atmosphere is a bit younger and very laid back.
  11. Carmel Bakery & Coffee Co.

Carmel City Guide (20 of 35)

Carmel City Guide (21 of 35)

Perfect Picture Spots

  • Anywhere along 17 Mile drive in Pebble Beach
  • Anywhere on Hwy 1 heading towards Big Sur
  • Anywhere on Scenic Drive in Carmel
  • Ocean Ave Carmel
  • Point Lobos- China Beach Cove

Carmel City Guide

Carmel City Guide
Coast Carmel

Carmel City Guide

Where to Shop



Carmel Plaza

Ocean Ave

Coach Outlet on San Carlos // Ocean

Bittner Fine Pen and Paper– I love this stationary shop.  Super cute paper and cards.

Galerie Rue Royal– I love this gallery’s selection of pop art.  The super hero series is my fave.

Coast Carmel– I love this store.  The curation is very Cali-Chic and a total Carmel vibe.

Where to Spa

Bernardus— Posh and always perfect.  I have never had a bad experience here!

Casa Palmero — The Spa at Pebble Beach is one of the best (and a favorite) but I have had good and bad experiences there.

Refuge— Perfect if you just want to steam, sauna and relax.  A day pass starts at $44

Esalen— The original Big Sur spa experience.  Natural hot springs make this spot unique.  It has more of a retreat vibe than a day spa feel.


Cali winters.

A photo posted by Doran // HauteBeautyGuide (@doranpoma) on


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