Who doesn’t love a celebration, especially a really big one? Put on your party clothes and head over to Carmel by-the-Sea for their 100th birthday celebration. Lauded as “100 years in paradise,” Carmel will offer a variety of events both during the year and in the month of October, culminating in a spectacular parade on Saturday, October 29th.With a rich history as a community founded by visionaries, artists, writers, poets, and free-spirits, there are a myriad of things to do in this town of equable climate and glorious beauty.
Reserve your stay in advance at one of the more historic hotels, including the recently renovated Hideaway inn or the family owned Hofsas House. The Hofsas House offers affordable lodging and year-round activities. This lovely hotel has a history with Carmel that should be celebrated as one of the few family owned hotels that is still offering first-class accommodations after over 50 years. The background on this lovely family hotel, which is both pet- and child-friendly, started in the 1940s, when hotelier Donna Hofsas left her home in Los Angeles to take up residence in Carmel. Donna went on to transform tiny cottages into an outstanding hotel that has been in operation since the 1950s. Donna Hofsas passed away in 1999, but her legacy has been carried on through her granddaughter, Carrie Theis, who now continues to manage the European-style hotel while offering the same old world charm and personalized service that Grandmother Donna instilled in her since the tender age of five.
Hofsas House offers several lovely hotel packages, including the “History Tour”. For a $25 fee, this two-hour guided walk through hidden courtyards, historic buildings, and Carmel’s famous fairytale cottages is the perfect way to learn of the history that makes this seaside town so endearing and enchanting.
Hofsas House many specialty packages offer the best vacations memories for everyone in the family — including the four-legged members! Try the “Tail Wagging Package,” which includes a Hofsas House Frisbee, a collapsible bowl and special bed, and a sampling of doggie treats and pet shampoo to keep Fido looking fresh and ready for a jaunt to a local restaurant. A complimentary copy of Coastal Canine magazine will give you great tips on dog-friendly venues and doggie walking trails throughout the Carmel community. To be eligible for this package, guests must book at least two nights and pay an extra $25 fee per night, per dog (or $40 for two).
Another favorite option is the “Wine and Cheese Package” ($30/night), which includes a bottle of local Monterey County wine and several selections of cheese from the famous Carmel Cheese Shop. In addition, taste wines at nine different local tasting rooms with the “Carmel Wine Walk-by-the-Sea” wine tasting passport. For $65, guests can enjoy $10 wine flights at each of the rooms.
Another great option for a place to relax and enjoy the centennial celebration is The Hideaway. A few blocks from the hub of Carmel, this quaint 24-room inn has been a part of the Carmel community for many years, but was previously known as the Cobblestone. Recently bought by the PlumpJack hospitality group, the Cobblestone went through a major renovation that now highlights the best in modern comfort and sleek design. Amenities abound, including a lovely breakfast buffet that includes house-made granola, quiches, meats, cheeses, fruits, egg dishes, juices, tea, and freshly brewed Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co. coffee. Bicycle rentals are available for cruising around Carmel and picnic set-ups can also be purchased. When traveling with your fur-baby, request one of the doggie specialty rooms where a luxurious dog bed, bowls, and treats are waiting to keep Fido happy and relaxed.
“PlumpJack has been enamored with Carmel-by-the Sea for some time and we’re thrilled to expand our portfolio of distinctly unique, award-winning hospitality and lifestyle experiences to such a vibrant community,” said Jeremy Scherer, president of the PlumpJack Group. With the focus on engaging the community and preserving the integrity of the property, the Hideaway is the perfect respite for those looking for luxury, convenience, and charm.
With accommodations squared away, where to eat in a city filled with charming eateries is often a quandary. Try Affina restaurant, where local seasonal ingredients are the focus of the menu. Located just a few block from the Hofsas House, this local favorite will soon become a must-stop in any Carmel itinerary. Begin with the house-made foie gras tortellini with pumpkin, cress, and yellow-footed chanterelles before moving on to the fish of the day or the New York Strip steak cooked to perfection with local mushrooms, spinach, and black garlic. Winemaker and partner Richard Oh is usually at the bar entertaining guests and pouring his award-winning Oh or Otter Cove wines. The Otter Cove chardonnay recently won a silver medal at the 2016 San Francisco Wine Competition and gold in the Orange County Wine Society Competition and is a lovely addition to any meal. Great wine, fabulous food and engaging company is what you will find at Affina.
While visiting Carmel, take time to complete the famous 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach and Monterey. Along the winding road — as the roaring surging surf splashes along the pristine, undulating green of the world famous Pebble Beach golf course — a detour should be made to stop for lunch or dinner at Porters in the Forest at the Poppy Hills Golf course.
Being a golfer is not required to dine at this picturesque panoramic location amongst the tall pines and cypress trees. Again, with a focus the freshest seasonal farm-to-table ingredients, executive chef Johnny De Vivo is taking ordinary golf food and changing it up with innovative insights. “We want to make what golfers like to eat, with a twist. Everything will be made with love,” said chef De Vivo. Residents and tourists alike will appreciate the local California sea bass steamed in green tea with fava beans, spring onion, shitake mushrooms, and yuzu broth, or the scallops cooked perfectly with apple and ham broth and a touch of truffle oil. Whatever time of day, make your way to a Porter’s in the Forest and you’ll be glad you ventured off of Ocean Avenue into the woods for a great meal and a spectacular view.
Vigilant stewardship has preserved the incomparable natural setting of beach trees and coastline in this incredible area of California. With abundant sea life and surrounded by the agriculture center of the country and world-class wineries, Carmel is the place to visit to enjoy and delight in all the five senses. Take time to come celebrate history and applaud nature’s bounty with an unforgettable trip to Carmel-by-the Sea.