Spring break is just around the corner! While most college students will be headed to Cabo, Miami, or some other tropical party-town, I am excited to be spending my Spring Break in Carmel, California.

Carmel is a Northern California town that should not be over-looked. Whether you are planning a family trip with young children, a romantic get-a-way with your significant other, or a vacation with your girlfriends, Carmel has all your travel itinerary desires.

Stay at one of its many rejuvenating and humble hotels nestled in its beaches, villages, and/or gardens. Its quaint, yet bustling downtown is filled with magnificent art galleries, artisan cheese and wine shops (with ungodly amounts of samples!), scrumptious bakeries and cafes, romantic and kid-friendly restaurants, decadent chocolate shops, indulgent spas and salons , and adorable boutiques for all your fashion-desires.

The cherry on top; the downtown strip leads you straight to a soft-sand beach located right next to Pebble Beach Golf Course, one of the most beautiful golf courses in the United States. Spend a day with the kids playing in the sand and body surfing or pick up some wine, cheese, and chocolate downtown and smooch with your honey as you experience a magnificent Northern California sunset.

Here are two of my favorite Carmel restaurants and my go-to cheese shop to get your trip planning started!

Portabella Restaurant 

Awarded First Prize for Beautiful Flowerscaping from the Carmel Garden Club, this historic and romantic restaurant serves specialties from France, Italy, and Spain. Indulge all your senses in the rich aromas and flavors of their colorful dishes.

La Bicyclette 

With a new menu each day, this European inspired restaurant will not disappoint. Their creative and comforting cuisine is crafted from local ingredients using old world techniques. In addition to their changing menu, the restaurant also features thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas. When you eat at La Bicyclette you are also supporting the Carmel Middle School habitat which teaches local children the importance of living and eating sustainably. Some of their menu items even feature produce grown in the school’s gardens! Just make sure you make a reservation because this intimate restaurant fills up quickly.

The Cheese Shop 

Founded in 1973 by John and Nancy McCormick, this cozy shop is known for its enthusiastic employees, creative cheeses, and expansive wine selection. From Boschetto al Tartuffo, a sheep’s milk  with a semi soft texture and infused with truffle, giving it a rich complex flavor with hints of garlic, from Italy, to its Cave Aged Gruyere, a raw cow’s milk cheese with a light crunchy texture and deep nutty taste from Switzerland, your taste buds will be fully satisfied.


-Emily Freeman


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