A Charming Weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea at Hofsas House (This post is sponsored but all opinions are my own. You can read more in my Privacy + Disclosure page.)
This summer Jake and I took a week long vacation ALONE. We started in San Francisco and worked our way down the northern Califnornia coast ending in the adorable town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I didn’t know entirely what to expect. I was just excited for our Bavarian style hotel, Hofsas House, and being close to the beach. Upon entering it, we felt like we’d been transported into some beautiful European town.
The area was PERFECT for a romantic getaway. It gave Jake and me even more time to connect. During our stay, we enjoyed several walks around the quaint downtown, conversations by the beach and breakfast on our hotel balcony. It was a wonderful couple’s getaway.
We arrived on Friday evening and spent the entire long weekend (into Monday morning) in the area. It was a good amount of time to see the main spots but we easily could have spent another day or two exploring several other attractions that we missed. Here is a guide to our charming weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea at Hofsas House.
A Charming Weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea at Hofsas House
Friday: Arrive at Hofsas House
We arrived Friday evening to find our hotel Hofsas House situated just on the edge of the adorable downtown of Carmel-by-the-Sea. We were warmly greeted by the staff and immediately shown to our room which overlooked the pool and ocean. Our room’s dutch door allowed us to let the breeze come in as we dropped off our luggage and got acquainted with our surroundings. A welcome gift was waiting for us at our little kitchenette complete with a bottle of wine and cheese. Both were phenomenal, and being pregnant, Jake took care of most of the wine while I took care of most of the cheese.
Our room had its own fireplace that we unfortunately never got the chance to use. Each morning of our visit we enjoyed the continental breakfast. You can either eat it in the lobby or take it up to the room with you. We opted for the latter and enjoyed our morning pastries (delivered each day from a bakery in Monterrey) , coffee, fruit and juice on the balcony one morning and in our room the next.
Saturday: Tour Carmel-by-the-Sea + beach
We met the owner of Hofsas House, Carrie, Saturday morning. She shared with us the history of the hotel and how it was a family owned business. Each room is uniquely decorated so that no two rooms are alike. It is one of the only hotels in the area to have a pool and is dog-friendly. We shared with her what our hopes were for the trip and she helped us make a wonderful itinerary for our weekend sharing some of the “ins and outs” tourists like us would not know.
The rest of the morning was spent walking the town and checking out the shops. We stopped and grabbed lunch from 5th Avenue Deli and then walked down to the beach. We ate our picnic lunch there (it was SO delicious and complete with chips, cookies and drinks!). Jake decided he “had” to go in the water. You guys, it was FREEZING but so blue and beautiful. We headed back to the hotel to take a dip in their HEATED pool. Jake spent his time in the sauna and I picked up one of my 37 books I intended to read on our kid-free week.
After our time at the pool, we drove along Cannery Row and ate dinner in Pacific Grove (a neighboring town) at the Beach House at Lovers Point. They sat us at a table overlooking the water and Lover’s Point Park. We enjoyed watching people play water polo. Our dinner was delicious and I loved that the restaurant had a little bit of an elegant but laid back feel. The view was perfect and we didn’t feel rushed to eat.
The sun was setting as we headed back and pulled off into Asilomar State Beach to watch it set. It was so relaxing hearing the waves and seeing the sun disappear beneath them.
Sunday: Big Sur
On our last full day we headed down to Big Sur. It was a GORGEOUS drive filled with the ocean, cliffs and scenic outlooks. It was not a busy road to drive at all and we made it to Big Sur in no time. Since I was nearly in my third trimester, we stayed just outside the entrance and admired the redwoods there. The park looked amazing and if I had more energy, we would have found a lot more to do! Instead we headed back up the coast taking our time.
Monday: 17-Mile Drive
A couple people had recommended we take the 17-Mile Drive. I am so glad we did. There is a small entrance fee of $10. Then you are given a map for a self-guided tour. Some of the famous spots are: Pebble Beach and the Lone Cypress Tree. We took our time going through and saw a lot of wildlife and beautiful coastal areas. There are restrooms along the way (just letting any other fellow pregnant mamas or families with children know!) and you can go as fast or as slow as you like along the way.
Afterwards we stopped by Monterrey’s wharf area before heading back to San Francisco to catch our flight home. There are some docks you can go out on. One is very touristy with tons of restaurants (that one is on your left) and the one on your right has LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle where we ate outside. They serve delicious clam chowder and french fries!
Why You Should Stay at Hofsas House
Our time here was literally picture perfect and peaceful. I would love to come back with the kids sometime. We would definitely stay at the Hofsas House again for several reasons:
1) The location couldn’t be better. It was just blocks away from the downtown area full of shops and restaurants. The beach was also only a 15-20 minute walk away.
2) The rooms were extremely well sized. If you’re traveling as a family you can request their two room family suite (families with young kids know how amazing this can be!).
3) The heated pool. The temperatures were in the mid to high 60s during our visit. It was nice to have a heated pool that we could still enjoy despite the cooler June temperatures we were used to.
4) The friendliest staff. They were so helpful during our time there. I appreciated their authenticity and kindness in each and every interaction.
Our trip was everything we hoped for. We were able to connect and relax and just be husband and wife for 7 days. It was wonderful to reunite with our kids after, don’t get me wrong, but our time together I will savor forever. Don’t forget to check out the beginning of our trip in San Francisco and be on the lookout for some fun conversation starters and ideas for keeping your marriage alive after having kids!
What is your favorite way to reconnect with your spouse?