Carmel California “Carmel My Belle”

How perfect to wake up thinking about a new Carmel California blog post, as a Beatles love song! The best part about the morning made up lyrics – is that we actually found ourselves wandering through a traveling John Lennon art exhibit (click here) called: “All You Need is Love,” the day we departed! Carmel My Bell….

Carmel California by Urban BackpackerCarmel California

The best part about Carmel-by-the-Sea California (click here), is pretty much EVERYTHING! Whether you are on a weekend getaway, or lucky enough to enjoy a business trip in Carmel, this place is a win, win, double win. The restaurants and food choices are lovely and charming. There is something for all taste buds and pocket books – ranging from pizza to panache. If “panache” is your gig, make reservations.


The art galleries, glorious shopping choices, and shiny perky people watching, are all within short walking distances. Enjoy ogling at the multitude of dreamy beachfront homes – the views will inspire drooling and aaahhhs.

Eat, drink, shop, be merry, and definitely dip your toes in the sand! Do be cognizant of the super sunny days of spring and summer – as you might spend hours in traffic just finding a park. Plan proper lickety-split arrivals, (or departures), during the wee of the morning, or “après sunset” hours. Trust me, it works.


Carmel California Village Inn by Urban BackpackerHidden Budget Gem Hotel

This hotel, is not so hidden any longer, now that I am about to share it with you. It is however, the last “hidden budget gem,” I could find in Carmel California that worked for my weekday wallet, downtown location, and last minute planning. My mother has some friends that have been frequenting this place for years. I now love it! The Carmel Village Inn (click here), has a sublime weekday price of $79.00/$89.00 bucks a night! Including breakfast! And the breakfast is just fine. You cannot go wrong at this budget queens dream property. I was truly impressed. The Carmel Village Inn is not amazing jaw dropping beautiful. I will call it a hotel-motel with some “petite charm.” It’s not luxury, it’s a nice bed, a good breakfast, and a perfect 10 for LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. I will bet you the summer and weekend pricing will skyrocket.

I’m definitely sold on a good budget find, yet(as you can see by the Urban Backpacker travel blog), I will also be known to splurge on high end hotels if the wallet, and the special occasion does pair well. At the bottom of the post, I have slipped in a few five star alternatives that I adore, near the delightful, relaxing, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and beyond.


Carmel California Cafe Carmel by Urban BackpackerGood Eats

One of my favorite restaurants of all time, sits here in Carmel California. For the one and only Carmel California Casanova Restaurant (click here). The Mediterranean flair, with it’s patio seating and sparkly lights, makes it a perfectly romantic date night!

For Pizza try cafe La Bicyclette (click here). Chic style and neighborhood charm awaits you at Andre’s Bouchee Bistro and Wine Bar (click here). Cafe Carmel (click here) is the best for breakfast, smoothies, pastry, lunch, quick bites, gelato, and coffee drinks!

Here is the LA Times list of Carmel California’s Cheap Eats (click here).


Carmel California The Secret Garden by Urban BackpackerA Secret Garden & Palomas

Yes, there really is a Secret Garden in Carmel California. I wandered everywhere with my handy dandy iPhone nav system while curtly chatting up my gal Siri – till I found it. It fronts as a delightful bookstore, and down the path you will find beautiful fountains, mystical spaces, candles and treasures for the eyes! Secret Garden(click here).

The next best shopping on the list was a stop at Palomas Home Furnishings (click here).  We purchased a lovely hand blown glass coffee table, and have our eye on a copper cafe set for the new mountain house. After traveling the world for 14 years these folks at Palomas have built relationships with talented artisans and creative folk. Reclaimed teak from the Indonesian countryside, copper furniture, wrought iron furniture, and the hand blown glass lamps will take your breath away!

Five Star Alternative Favorites

Drive around, go wine tasting in the fabulous Carmel Valley, or book a stay at the Bernardus Lodge and Spa (click here). Consider the five star L’Auberge Carmel (click here) for a special sort of “luxe” celebrating. Or further down the coast do not miss (at least once in a lifetime), our favorite, every five years, cliff-side-oceanfront-anniversary-joy, at the truly one of a kind, very expensive Post Ranch Inn – Big number #5 on Urban Backpacker Best Honeymoon Destinations List (click here).

ENJOY…Carmel My Belle…


Definition of Urban Backpacker:

1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.

2. Backpacker redefined: Artful reviews that lead you from hidden budget gems to five-star destinations helping you find palate pleasing adventure, enjoyment, and story collection.

3. Pack bag. Travel there. See city. Eat food. Respect culture. Take picture. Share story. Be thankful. Repeat.