I’ve been an East Coast (and Southern, I guess) girl for the vast majority of my life. California was that faraway place where everyone was more laid back than my Type A personality and tanned much better than me. Other than a brief visit to San Francisco after graduating from high school, before a couple of years ago, I had never explored the state.
Then my sister moved to California. And although I certainly cannot claim to be any sort of expert, I’ve spent my fair share of time in CA since 2014. On our most recent trip, N and I drove from San Diego up the Pacific Coast Highway. While there were many places I loved (Del Mar, Laguna, Hearst Castle, Pepperdine University, etc.), hands-down my favorite place was Carmel. Of course it helped that we stayed at The Hideaway, the most adorable hotel we found on Hotel Tonight, which we used for our entire trip since we didn’t want to be bound to a strict schedule, watched the sun set on the beach, got to walk on the Pebble Beach golf course (one of N’s dreams) and sipped on delicious wine from the most picturesque bistro.
And the aroma. We were in Carmel in mid-March and the smell was phenomenal. Every shop, home, and block had blossoming flowers that smelled delightful. Strangers actually struck up conversations with us about which flowers were the ones that smelled so amazing.