GET AWAY WITHOUT GETTING AWAY
With summer approaching, the desire for a vacation, even if it’s just a quick getaway, is on most of our minds these days. If you’re looking to travel on the cheap and stay local, sure, places like Santa Barbara or Solvang (a lovely manmade tourist trap) are only two hours away. Las Vegas is always a decadent option, but if you want an easy and refined escape, you may want to consider Carmel-by-the-Sea, a lovely, white-sand beach community that’s a haven for art lovers, and wine and food enthusiasts.
Roughly a five-hour drive from Los Angeles, at leave via the 5 Freeway (and a 45-minute flight to nearby Monterey), Carmel makes for the ideal getaway without really having to get away. The charming one-square-mile village has no street lights or even parking meters, in fact, businesses, cottages and houses have no street numbers—that’s how small of a town this is.
We made our stay at the lovely Hofsas House Hotel, a dog-friendly, family-owned boutique inn with 38 uniquely decorated, spacious rooms, many with ocean views overlooking the pines in the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Dutch doors can be found in each room, which allows guests to enjoy the fresh ocean air. And guests can take in glorious sunsets over the Pacific Ocean from the privacy of the inn's decks or guest balconies. Some rooms and most suites have fireplaces, private balconies, wet bars or kitchens.
Every room is unique and is ideal depending on the size of your party, from a family on vacation to a couple looking for a romantic getaway to even friends getting away for a few days. These spacious rooms are a welcome treat to anyone looking for some much needed R&R (rest and relaxation).
Located three blocks north of Ocean Avenue, eight blocks from the picturesque white sand Carmel beach and one block from a child-friendly park, you’ll find yourself in the thick of it all at Hofsas House. Guests can also enjoy complimentary continental breakfast every morning with French Roast coffee, tea, fresh pastries delivered from a local bakery, yogurt, juice and fruit.
Carmel is known for being dog-friendly, thanks in part to dog lover and Carmel hotel owner Doris Day, and most hotels, restaurants and retail shops allow guests with dogs. It is also known for several unusual laws, including a prohibition on wearing high-heel shoes without a permit, enacted to prevent lawsuits arising from tripping accidents caused by irregular pavement. Former Mayor Clint Eastwood repealed the local law prohibiting the eating of ice cream in public.
For more than six decades, the Bavarian-inspired Hofsas House has served as a welcoming retreat to visitors. Guests can enjoy several original packages, including the following:
Beach Fire and S’mores:
With the Beach Fire and S’mores package ($60), Hofsas House will provide all the ingredients necessary for a great beach bonfire. You book the package and they’ll provide the s’mores!
The package includes:
· Wood bundle with starter and matches for fire
· Beach blanket
· Smores supplies
· Safety flashlight
Enjoy 18 holes of golf at either Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel Valley or Bayonet/Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside. The $100 price includes golf cart, range balls and 18 holes of golf for one person Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays. Pricing for the weekend and holidays is an extra $25.
The Hofsas House Hotel is located between 3rd and 4th Avenue on San Carlos Street. Call 831-624-2745.
WINE WALK BY-THE-SEA
If you’re staying at Hofsas House Hotel, make sure to ask them about the new Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport, a terrific opportunity to taste many of the local vineyards.
This self-paced, self-guided walking tour to seven nearby tasting rooms allows visitors to sample local estate-grown still and sparkling wines. Each tasting room is pleased to offer restaurant recommendations. In fact, corkage fees will be waived for bottles purchased at a Carmel Wine Walk-by-the-Sea tasting room at participating restaurants for one bottle per visit, per party.
For $50, the Wine Tasting Passport provides you with a $10 flight at each of the seven tasting rooms. It can be used in one day or spread out over a weekend, several weeks or even months. Participating wine tasting shops include: Caraccioli Cellars, Figge Cellars, Galante Vineyards, Manzoni Wines, Scheid Vineyards, Wrath Wines, and Vino Napoli.
Consider this the ideal opportunity to savor superior wines without having to think about driving or parking.