california lifestyle, travel & reviews

Girls Trip: Hofsas House Hotel & Five Fun Things to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea

This past month, my mom, sister and I went on our first ever girls trip! I know, it’s crazy to have gone almost 37 years and this is the first time us three ladies have been together traveling just the three of us. No kids, no husbands. Bliss!

We chose to go to the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. A quaint seaside town that is just south of Monterrey. I find Carmel to be the perfect mix of casual beachiness (is that a word), with unique shopping, delicious restaurants that cater to the “farm to table” theory, and gorgeous tree lined streets right out of a fairy tale.

We flew in to San Jose Airport (a great little airport that is so easy to get in and out of- highly recommend it over San Francisco or Oakland), and began our three day jaunt south.

Hofsas House Hotel was so kind to host us for two nights. We had a beautiful, large 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite complete with private balcony overlooking the beautiful coast of Carmel-by-the-Sea. They set us up with a delicious cheese platter and wine upon arrival, tickets to the Carmel Wine Walk, and a gift certificate to the local deli. A warm welcome for sure!





Five Fun Things To Do in Carmel-By-The-Sea:

The Carmel Wine Walk-By-The-Sea Hofsas House Hotel is located in such a perfect spot for taking in the many, many wine bars and tasting rooms throughout Carmel. The Wine Walk by-the-Sea is a self-paced self-guided stroll to the tasting rooms which are all within a few blocks of each other on the both sides of Ocean Avenue. The tasting rooms include: Blair Estate Artisan Wines, Caraccioli Cellars (our favorite), De Tierra Vineyards, Figge Cellars, Galante Vineyards, Manzoni Cellars, Scheid Vineyards, Shale Canyon Wines, Vino Napoli and Wrath Wines. The Wine Tasting Passport costs $65 which entitles the buyer to one $10 flight at each of nine tasting rooms (a $90 value). The one passport was perfect for the three of us!

A photo posted by Maryann (@goldenstatemom) on

17 Mile Drive: From the Hofsas House Hotel, the world famous 17 Mile Drive is but 3 minutes away. Jump in the car and see the grandeur for yourselves! Gorgeous crystal clear waters, tree lined beaches, magnificent estate homes nestled among drive. Catch a selfie with you and the famous Lone Cypress.

Carmel Beach: A 10-15 minute walk from the Hofsas House, and honored for being one the cleanest and and most beautiful beaches in the nation. White sand, beautiful trees,  clear blue waters. I fell in love with the wood pieces along the beach.

Restaurants, Bakeries, Deli’s OH MY: Within a 1o minute walk from the Hofsas House are delightful restaurants cooking up your favorite cuisines. Are you a lover of seafood? Flying Fish Grill is ready to please your seafood senses. Craving a cappuccino? Delight your taste buds with something from the Lafayette Bakery & Cafe. A favorite lunch spot of ours was the Carmel Belle. They proudly source its ingredients from farmers and purveyors that practice sustainability, and provide honest, high-quality products that taste really good.

A photo posted by Maryann (@goldenstatemom) on


A photo posted by Maryann (@goldenstatemom) on

Shopping & Art Galleries: Take a jaunt down Ocean Avenue, the Rodeo Drive of Carmel,  and find your self in the midst of art galleries, jewelry stores, fun toy shops, luxury linen stores direct from France, antique shops and more.

There is so much to see and do in Carmel, but if you find yourself outside of the town, make your way to these stops:

Harley Goat Farm: A beautiful stop along Highway 1. The farm is residence to hundreds of goats which they milk on one of the last few homestead dairy farms in the United States. They sell amazingly fresh goat cheese, chocolates and products from their farm in Pescadero, California. I wish I had more time there to attend one of their Farm Dinners!

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park: About 1.5 hours away from the Hofsas House Hotel is my favorite stop in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park inspires calm reflection among ancient giant redwoods. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, picknicking, swimming, camping, and fishing on more than 4,650 acres of forested and open land in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

A photo posted by Maryann (@goldenstatemom) on

What are your favorite spots on the Central/Northern Coast of California? Share and comment below!

A special thank you to the Hofsas Hotel for hosting us for the two nights. It was an amazing stay! All opinions expressed are 100% percent my own. 

  • Forget girls night… can I escape here for a quiet weekend with my hubby?!? Hello wine tasting!!

  • Helene Cohen Bludman

    Oh, what a fabulous looking hotel! I visited Carmel once and totally loved it. I hope to go back someday.

  • That salad looks amazing.
    I used to live in San Francisco and I never went to Carmel and I still kick myself. What a waste? I’m sure I’d want to move there if I visited.

  • radog

    Be sure to visit Tudor Wines in the Court of the Fountains at Mission and 7th, Carmel by the Sea. Tudor Wines is the Premier Tasting venue in Carmel and the only place that’s both dog friendly and where you can dine while tasting 90+ point Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey county pinot and Rieslings.

    • Is your tasting room on the wine walk as well? Thanks!

  • This place looks and sounds so lovely. I lived in Southern California for a few years, but never made it further north than Los Angeles. This makes me want to fly there right now.

  • Lois Alter Mark

    Carmel is so beautiful. I want to go back and stay here!

  • Amanda

    I am in need of a girls’ weekend away. This looks like a great place to go!

  • maryann


  • Patrick

    That 17 mile drive looks amazing! Can’t wait to drive that road sometime and experience it for myself.

  • I’ve seen so many beautiful photos of these California trees and I’m dying to make a road trip now. Carmel sounds like a fun escape!

  • mail4rosey

    Girls’ nights are fun. And oh those trees!!

  • I haven’t seen the redwoods since I was a child! The Hofsas House looks like SUCH a beautiful place to stay!

  • Laura Londergan

    ahhhh I am so jealous – I would love to go on just an all girls trip with my momma & daughter – we would have so much fun