Recently we embarked on an amazing family road trip around California. It had been a trip we’d always thought of doing and now our boys being eight and ten, we thought what a great time to live the dream and do it. It was February and we were escaping the winter storms and cold weather back in Cornwall, England in hope for some adventures in sunny warm weather…and we were not disappointed!

During our three weeks family road trip around California, everyday was sunny and warm, like a warm summer’s day in England. A few of the days were unseasonably hot and having spoken to some Californianas, they said we were very lucky with the weather. We booked a 4×4 car for the whole trip in case we ran into any snow, especially in the mountains – we should have hired a convertible camaro!   

We arrived in Carmel by the sea after a few days in Monterey Bay exploring the aquarium and beautiful beaches in that area. To be honest, when my husband booked us two nights at The Coachmans Inn in Carmel by the sea, I didn’t know much about the area before we arrived except that is wasn’t far from the Point Lobos state park which is about ten minute drive from Carmel by the sea and was on my “must see” California list.

As we arrived in the town, my first impression was how relaxed and beautifully clean the place was. It seemed like all the homes had perfect gardens and were immaculately kept, all so individual and charming.

Our accommodation, The Coachmans Inn, was located right in the centre of the town which was ideal with our boys who don’t like walking too far. The location turned out to be nothing short of perfect for us as a family. Restaurants, shops, deli markets and most importantly the stunning white sandy beach were all easily within walking distance. This was fantastic as after driving up from L.A, it was nice to park in the Coachmans Inn free car parking and not use the car for a few days.

The Coachmans Inn itself was beautiful, I fell in love with it if i’m honest, and I don’t normally gush about hotels. This place has a real charm to it, not just in its enchanting exterior but the room decor was tasteful and the ideal set up for us and the boys. Here they really have thought about the detail. From cookies for the boys every afternoon, to a tasty and varied homemade breakfast and wine and cheese in the afternoons, it almost felt like a home away from home with all the extras. We made use of the hot tub after a full day of walking and exploring the town and beaches, and believe me that was very welcomed after keeping up with an 8 and 10 year old. This little gem of a place made our stay in Carmel by the sea just magical and perfect, it was without doubt my favourite hotel we stayed in during our entire trip.

Carmel by the Sea has the perfect location for exploring not only the famous Monterey Bay, but Point Lobos state park. We left the Inn early one day and headed over. The drive to this park is stunning, with rolling hills and coastline to keep your eyes fixed until you arrive at the park. If you are visiting this area, it’s a must visit. Our boys loved it, the trails around the park are perfect if you want a days hike or just an hour. We saw Otters, sea lions and so many birds, the boys were enthralled and the husband did not put his camera down. The photographs simply do not do this place justice, it’s absolutely beautiful. 

Also a must do whilst in Carmel by the sea is the drive or walk along ‘scenic road walkway’ – aptly named, gaze in wonder at the multi-million dollar properties that hug the stunning coastline, from glass fronted mansions to cottages that looks like they’ve been taken from a Disney movie.    

Our stay at the Coachman’s Inn and Carmel by the sea was the perfect family break. Superb accommodation, fantastic choice of restaurants that are family friendly, unique shops, galleries and the stunning beach. Not far you have Monterey Bay, Point Lobos state park, Big Sur and loads more, all perfect things to do as a family.

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