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Carmel-by-the-Sea & Pebble Beach Travel Guide

Earlier this summer, we took our annual Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pebble Beach trip! We've grown up coming to this beautiful town and have discovered all of the amazing restaurants, shops, activities, and more here. It's been an amazing month here in Carmel & we hope this travel guide is useful if you ever come to this beautiful area!

Background Info:

Carmel-by-the-sea is the cutest beach town that is filled with restaurants, local shops, art galleries, and many, many dogs. In fact, it is by far one of the most dog-friendly towns we've ever been to (yes, even more than Austin, TX). Located right next store, is Pebble Beach, the famous and beautiful resort known for its incredible golf and spectacular views. We've been coming to this area for 15+ years and it truly feels like a home away from home. Here is the breakdown of our must-stop locations!


  • The Bench (Pebble Beach) - The Bench is hands down our favorite restaurant when we travel here. Located in the Lodge at Pebble Beach, it overlooks the Pebble Beach Golf Links iconic 18th hole and has stunning views of Stillwater Cove. We love to sit outside on the patio because each table has built-in fireplaces that keep you nice and toasty. We love to order the gluten-free mushroom and margarita flatbread (minus the cheese - FYI they are super easy to accommodate for allergies/food preferences). We also love the arugula salad with salmon. Also, check out the mushroom fries, we haven't tried yet, but they look delicious. The Bench is perfect for lunch or dinner, or even if you just want to have drinks and watch the fantastic golf!

  • Roy's at Spanish Bay - Roy's has Hawaiian and Japanese fusion cuisine with the best sushi! We love the yellowtail roll which is super spicy & delicious. It is located at Spanish Bay & is a great option for sushi. Pro tip: make reservations about 30 minutes before sunset to catch the gorgeous views while you bite into your sunrise roll.

  • Sticks (Spanish Bay/Pebble Beach) - Another one of our favorite restaurants in PB, Sticks is the perfect post-golf restaurant to refuel with great food & view of the 1st tee at Spanish Bay. We love the simple club sandwich (they offer gf bread & gf chips). The menu (as of June 2021) is limited but expanding (due to pandemic).

  • Carmel Belle - This is one of our new go-to breakfast stops in Carmel! It is super casual (order at counter) but is 100% organic and makes fresh juices (love the simple green juice) & freshly baked pastries. We usually get a gluten-free avocado toast with a poached egg, an almond milk latte, green juice, & the AMAZING hummingbird muffin (vegan & gf)! YOU MUST GET THE MUFFIN. Carmel Belle is also open for lunch & dinner.

  • Pangea Grill - One of our favorite lunch stops for a simple & delicious chicken arugula salad. We loved sitting outside for lunch and enjoying the beautiful weather. They have a wide range of healthy food options.

  • The Gallery (Pebble Beach) - A casual golf restaurant at the Lodge that is perfect for breakfast. We love to eat here and sit on the balcony. Pro tip: stop by for a bite after leasireily walking around Pebble Beach & hydrate yourself with the delicious strawberry lemonade.

  • Terry's Lounge - We love to stop by here for a midday break and get some hot tea and appetizers. Pro tip: after a long day of walking around Carmel, stop by for refreshing beverage and a delicious sweet potato fry tower (or two!)

  • Little Napoli - The best Italian food in Carmel! The food is delicious, the venue is gorgeous, & they have great gluten-free options (gf pizza & pasta). It is super popular and books fast! Don't just take our word for it, Obama is also a huge fan! (He was there the day before we went!!)

Coffee shops/bakeries:

  • Carmel Valley Coffee - We cannot get enough of this amazing coffee! They make their own flavored coffee blends which include: hazelnut, vanilla nut, coconut creme, & snickerdoodle. In the mornings, we walk to CVC to get a hot cafe au lait & then stop by again in the afternoon for a pick-me-up. They also have a delicious lemon chocolate chip cookie that is gf and vegan.

  • Revival Ice Cream - A gluten-free and health-based ice cream shop in Monterrey (10 minutes from Carmel). We love their refreshing dairy-free mango sorbet with a gluten-free cone. (To be COMPLETELY honest, it doesn't compare to Gati in Austin, but it is still very good!)

  • Morning Dove Bakery - Located in Monterrey & home to the BEST gluten free & vegan CINNAMON ROLLS. Pro tip: pick up some cinammon rolls for a delish on the go breakfast as you head out to the Big Sur.


  • Lodge at Pebble Beach - there are about 4 to 5 stores at the Lodge with a great selection of women's clothing, both for golf and lounging. Pro tip: pick up a Pebble Beach visor to wear during your trip because they are cute & so necessary to protect your face from the sun!

  • Paloosh/Girl Boy Girl - These are sister stores with the cutest clothing that includes Veronica Beard, LoveShackFancy, and more. Pro tip: we love picking up an iced matcha latte from Carmel Valley Coffee & power walking with our ball weights to do some shopping cardio.

  • Coast Carmel - We love this store which has a variety of clothing including a lot of great basics. We got the cutest Carmel sweaters here that we love! Wearing the sweater in the picture below! (shop here)

  • Carmel Plaza - A cute outdoor shopping area with great stores, like Botega Veneta, Anthropologie, Roller Rabbit & more. Pro tip: pick up your bala weights at the beginning of your trip at Anthro & get that power walk in!

What We Love to Do:

In the mornings, we love to power walk to Carmel Valley Coffee with our pups & bala weights on to grab a delicious café au lait or iced latte (depending on the weather). If we're hungry, we'll stop by for a quick & healthy breakfast at Carmel Belle for our usual.
After a round of golf at Pebble Beach, we love to refresh & refuel at Sticks by the fire. On other days, we like to stop by Spanish Bay for some appetizers and refreshing beverages. The bagpiper (a Spanish Bay tradition) plays every day at 5:30.

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