What to do in this charming seaside hamlet.

Le Petit Pali at 8th Ave Exterior
Courtesy of Palisociety

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

Adrea Simmons

Pebble Beach Resorts

Meet the Insider: Adrea Simmons, Esthetician, Pebble Beach Resorts

Location: Carmel, California

Having worked at Pebble Beach’s newly remodeled five-star spa for 16 years, Adrea Simmons is not just an expert on beauty and wellness, but also on the local community. The resort and surrounding development, known for having one of the best golf courses in the world, is home to the breathtaking 17-Mile Drive, which winds through magnificent California coastline.

“I love that you get the combination of both the ocean and the forest here,” she says. “It’s quiet and so nature-focused, but you still have great food and a real hometown feel.” Here are her suggestions on what to do in this charming seaside hamlet on the Monterey Peninsula. 


Le Petit Pali at 8th Ave Carmel
Le Petit Pali at 8th Ave

Courtesy of Palisociety

Cypress Inn was built in 1929, and eventually singer and animal rights activist Doris Day made it the pet-friendliest inn in one of the the pet-friendliest towns in America. Monte Verde Inn is also so cute and comfy,” she says. And a Sunset favorite is the new Le Petit Pali at 8th Ave, a charming B&B that serves the most incredible complimentary breakfast and offers guests beach cruisers to tool around town.


Chez Noir Interior
Chez Noir

Erin Ng

“My favorite all-time restaurant is La Balena. It’s farm-to-table Northern Italian. They have an amazing wine list and make all the desserts in house. La Bicyclette has super yummy pizzas, the service is great, and also has a really great wine list. Chez Noir is a Michelin-rated restaurant that’s a new up-and-comer that all my clients are talking about these days. And Akaoni is a sushi spot that’s super fresh. I love their sashimi.”


Firepits at The Inn at Spanish Bay outside of Roy’s.

Joann Dost

“The firepits at Spanish Bay outside Roy’s is the best spot to watch the sunset at Pebble Beach. There’s a bagpiper, and you can request songs. They give you blankets, and you can just cozy up and order apps before dinner. Vesuvio has a rooftop bar with excellent cocktails. There’s a good nighttime scene and you can have dinner too.”


Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve


Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a perfect forest-ocean combo with beautiful views. You can go for an intense hike, or a low-impact walk. Garrapata on the way to Big Sur is also an amazing hike with vistas. You can go into the forest and see waterfalls.” Closer to town, “Asilomar and Spanish Bay Beach are dog-friendly, there’s good tidepooling and great sunsets. And of course Carmel Beach along 17-Mile Drive is well worth the admission. You can also rent bikes at Adventures by the Sea and do a tour that way. And if you’re into shopping, check out downtown Carmel along Ocean Ave. There’s lots of cute shops, and Carmel Plaza is also worth popping into, too.”