Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CA Coast: Monterey, Carmel, & Big Sur

CA Coast: Santa Cruz, Carmel, & Big Sur

And then it was on to Santa Cruz! We were sad to leave Napa Valley, but excited to start traveling the coast.

We stopped in Santa Cruz around lunch time. To get the full tourist experience, we picked a place out at the end of Municipal Wharf, Stagnaro Bros., a restaurant that also has a larger location back on the mainland.

Municipal Wharf
Santa Cruz, CA
Ph - 831.423.2180

The Mr. ordered the fish and chips, and I got the chowder. Both great and especially tasty since we were sitting on the pier while eating!

After checking out the amusement park on the Santa Cruz boardwalk, we jumped back in the car and headed toward Carmel.

Carmel is a darling little town on the coast, and although we didn't spend much time there, I would've loved to have had the time to try out a restaurant and do some shopping. For the ladies, stop in Carmel if you have the chance!
For the dog-lovers, I'm pretty sure Carmel is a very dog-friendly town, and many places allow you to bring your furry friends with you.

Our accommodations in Big Sur demand your attention. I know I'm supposed to stick to food and drink, but how can I not cover this???

Where we stayed in the northern Big Sur area: The Rainbow House at Don Loui's via VRBO.

Check out Don Loui's website for more pictures. It was absolutely amazing -- like nothing we had ever seen before!

Before we knew it, our one night in Big Sur was over, so we packed up our hiking shoes and started driving again. Since we wanted to fuel up for our longest drive of the week, we stopped at Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant.

Highway 1
Big Sur, CA
ph - 831.667.0524

How cute is this little picnic area?

Mmmm... pastries...

We are halfway through our trip! Tomorrow we will visit Santa Barbara!


  1. hi there, interested on more information about the rainbow house, how bad is the hike up to the home? are the views good from up there? cleanliness? privacy? thanks...

  2. The walk up to the home is definitely a hike in that I was glad we were dressed comfortably, wearing tennis shoes, and in decent shape. It's about a 5-10 minute walk up decently steep terrain, but the owner has provided a trail of switch-backs, which obviously helps but does increase the time needed to walk it.
    The views are absolutely amazing. My husband and I were in awe the entire trip. You can see the ocean and miles and miles of the national park. It's not far from the coastal highway, but you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. It's gorgeous and not something that can ever be explained in words.
    As for cleanliness, it feels a little bit like fancy camping. There are beds with clean linens, a bathroom, and running water. The only option for bathing though, was in the tub. No shower head, and the tub takes about 15 minutes to fill up. I'm not sure I'd want to stay there for more than a night or two, but at the same time, I think you could definitely get and feel clean once you master the different technique.
    Let me know if you want more information!

  3. My husband and I are hoping to stay at Don Loui's next weekend. We can't find any reviews, except this one. It sounds like you had a very positive experience. Anything--other than the tub--that we should consider?

  4. Hi Amber! We did have a positive experience. Honestly, we still talk about it -- it's an incredible place that you will never be able to describe to someone else without taking them there. Our weather was chilly and overcast and it was still awe-inspiring. The whole experience is definitely... "different." Having known nothing about the place and having never met Don prior, we went into blindly, but he's a very nice guy and is on the grounds if you need him, but you'll rarely see him unless you want to. His son lives there too, I think, but wasn't there when we were.
    Let me know if you have any other questions!