Back in May, Bridgette, Alan and I got to enjoy a little staycation at Carmel Valley Ranch. We redeemed a gift card that my sis and brother in law gave us for Christmas nearly 2 years ago! I had stayed at the Carmel Valley Ranch once for my work, but was really excited to be back with my family this time.
Carmel is just a short 2 hour drive from our home, and we left early in the morning so that we could enjoy lunch in the charming town before checking into the ranch. As soon as we arrived to the beautiful and vast property of Carmel Valley Ranch, we knew were in for a special treat.
The entire property spans over 500 acres and is branded as one giant playground that’s fun and relaxing for the entire family. From swings to pools to hiking trails to organic gardens, there is no shortage of activities once you are on site. When I was there for work, we were treated to the Bee Experience, where we got to suit up in a beekeeping suit to get up and personal with all the bees. I really wanted to do it again with Bridgette this time, but she refused, as the thought of getting so close to the bees terrified her. Instead, after we checked into our beautiful suite (which was as big as some apartments in New York and Hong Kong!), we explored some of the property on foot, and then had an afternoon swim down at the River Ranch.
If you’re at Carmel Valley Ranch on your honeymoon, or just prefer a more quiet stay, you may not be tempted to sunbathe around a pool full of noisy kids. No worries at all, as there’s an adult-only pool on site, which includes a jacuzzi with a scenic view!
No amount of pool time is ever enough for Bridgette, so after retreating back to our suite in the late afternoon, she drew a bath for herself in our outdoor bathtub and enjoyed her book and snacks IN the water. 🙂
That evening, we signed Bridgette up at the Ranch Hands Kids Club while Alan and I enjoyed a date night at Valley Kitchen, the casual, but elegant restaurant on property.
We slept REALLY well that night and woke up early the next morning for the “Chicken Chat” activity that we signed up for. We took a leisurely stroll down to the organic garden and met with a staff there that taught us so much about chicken raising. We even picked some kale from the garden and fed them to the chickens!
After checking out at noon, we headed back to town for lunch at La Bicyclette and then drove a few miles to Point Lobos. We were intending to do a short hike, but got distracted by the beautiful views of the ocean, so we hung out at the beach for a bit. We later discovered some amazing tide pools right by the coast, and that’s where we ended up spending most of our afternoon, discovering so much marine life in those pools!
Carmel and Monterey Bay have so much to offer, and we would definitely recommend these destinations for a side trip if you are visiting San Francisco!