Carmel Valley was the most beautiful and relaxing weekend getaway for Alan and I this year. It’s a peaceful, charming, and cozy retreat, which is exactly what we needed after what seems like a busy year for the both of us. Carmel Valley is an understated and relaxed wine destination boasting beautiful rolling hills, delicious food, and great wines in the middle of wine country. The wineries, tasting rooms, and the Village are within walking distance without the traffic and commercialism of other wine destinations.
Where to Stay
Although mainly used as a venue for weddings and private events, Alan and I were able to stay at Holman Ranch. It’s a family owned historic ranch that is refined and sophisticated, yet charming and cozy, with understated elegance all around. The grounds include the historic hacienda, stunning vineyards, rolling hills with olive grove and lavender fields, and enchanting views of the Santa Lucia Mountains. It’s truly a magical place to retreat. Alan and I enjoyed a walk around the grounds and listened to the silence until we were greeted by a soft buzzing as soon as we walk passed the lavender fields!
Holman Ranch is also one of the most photogenic places I visited. There’s absolutely no bad angle for this beauty and it’s a great backdrop for a fabulous vintage dress.
Where to Eat & Drink
Carmel Valley has dozens of tasting rooms and good food. Alan and I enjoyed a tasting of Jarman Chardonnay, which is the most refreshing drinks when it’s a sunny 85 degrees outside. We also stopped by Joullian Vineyards for a tasting, which has another great Chardonny and the tasting room was small, yet pleasant. After an afternoon of tastings, we enjoyed a 3-course meal at Will’s Fargo, which is a classic steakhouse that is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal after exploring Carmel Valley’s rural countryside.
Tip: we picked up some sandwiches from the Village deli before our walk at Holman Ranch. It was the perfect picnic set up in a beautiful setting.
Where to Shop
The Village is a quaint shopping area with cafes, shops, and galleries located on the windy stretch of Carmel Valley Road, with the vineyards nearby. Alan I spent our last afternoon in the Village enjoying the artwork and shopping for some tchotchkes to bring back for family.
Come back tomorrow for my recap of Carmel-by-the-Sea!