Carmel By The Sea is one of my favorite destinations. I love the small town ambiance and laid back, friendly approach of the area’s businesses. The town is small at a 1 square mile and perfect for walking everywhere.
I always feel welcomed when I bring my family for a getaway. One of the best parts for us is being able to bring our entire family – even the smallest, furriest one. This is one of those rare destinations that caters to visitors with dogs.
Traveling with the pets is fun. Why should we leave them home when they are part of the family? But it does present some logistical challenges. The main one is finding a pet-friendly hotel. At Carmel, we discovered the family-run Hofsas House offers a number of pet-friendly rooms.
Hofsas is a family-fun boutique hotel — do not expect a luxury chain-type establishment, but do expect charming, personalized attention. The rooms at the Hofsas House are spacious. Our room was comfy, clean and equipped with a king-sized bed, microwave, mini-fridge, coffee maker, free Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV. There is free parking, a pool, sauna and complimentary Continental breakfast. I highly endorse the delicious pastries! We opened the windows in our room to catch the seaside breezes. There is no AC, but the temps are usually pleasant. The room’s Dutch doors and artwork by local artists are a fun touch, and bring a European look to the space. Our room also featured a gas fireplace that my daughter and dog, Sable, loved to sit by during our stay. Our stay at Hofsas was quiet even though it was almost to capacity, we saw a few other dogs during our time there, but all I heard were grasshoppers (music to this city girl’s ears).
Our dog, Sable, was welcomed with her own water bowl filled with goodies. The room also came equipped with a blanket that can be used to cover the furniture. There are pet waste stations at the hotel and throughout the village (free bags and trash bins), and the hotel does direct families to take their pets to a designated potty break area. Our room was on the street level which made access very easy. Dogs are allowed in the reception area, except for breakfast hours. We were able to park outside of our room which made unloading our suitcases convenient. While this location worked for us, if you are seeking views I’d recommend a higher floor. Hofsas offer a choice of several dog friendly rooms at $25 per pet, per night. The rates are reasonable, especially for all the area has to offer. We’ve stayed here previously, so go to my previous post and earn more about the fabulous owners.
A beautiful, white sand beach is a quick walk from Hosfas House. Let your dog run leash free on the beach (as long as they listen to voice commands). The reception desk at Hosfas was a good resource for helping us plan our day. Walking maps are also available at the hotels or shops throughout the town. The map has keys to show which establishments are dog friendly, but I found that even the ones that weren’t marked allowed dogs in their stores.
Make sure to take the dog to Diggity Dog (corner of Mission & Ocean) it’s heaven and temping for four-legged friends, as most of the treats are eye-level. Here you can find just about anything that’s needed for your loyal companions from dog beds to treats to shirts!
We even took our dog to an olive oil tasting at Trio Carmel (Dolores St.). Sable was treated with a treat (most stores offer treats and complimentary water bowls). And I was able to sample delicious olive oils and vinaigrettes with my daughter and Sable by my side!
Drive to Adventures
There are plenty of activities to choose from here. Take your dog for a walk on the Mission Trail Park- truly a hidden gem. The trails are wide, many shaded spots, beautiful views of poppies while we were there and the vine blankets were gorgeous. Quiet, very few other people present, and a great place to walk. I did read that there is poison ivy, so be careful. We found parking along the main street across from San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission. We also took a drive along 17-mile (fee), our dog was able to get out with us on the many turnouts, such as the one for Lone Cypress. If you do need to plan a dog-free activity, there are boarding/pet sitting options available as well.
Dinner isn’t a problem, as the majority of restaurants allow Fido on their patio. We ate Italian one night at La Dolce Vita (located on 5th). Sable tried to behave under our table, but the aromas were getting to her. We ventured out on our second day to Monterey to the Abalonetti Seafood Trattoria Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf. We were seated outside on their pet-friendly patio. Other guests also had their furry companions. What stood out was their pet menu! Owners can order either beef or chicken — we opted for the beef and asked for it to be chopped up. The serving was massive and served on a Frisbee. My dog’s eyeballs popped out of her head. Talk about a pampered pooch! The restaurant’s signature dish is their calamari, so I had to order it. I can certainly recommend the Abalonetti The Original – tender fried calamari filets, with rice, vegetables, with a lemon caper sauce dipping sauce. The calamari was mild and fresh, it was delicious. The service was top-notch, the views of the ocean were awesome and the dog menu was such a fun touch. The restaurant also offers a kids menu and scrumptious desserts! Reserve a table online or you could be met with a wait! if you do have to wait , a stroll along the pier can keep the family occupied.
Eating In with the family
The following day we decided to eat in. We ordered from the Fifth Avenue Deli and Catering (3300 5th Avenue). Their site states that they deliver pretty much anything— we ordered picnic box lunches over the phone. My meal was scoops of tuna on top of greens, served with crackers, a huge cookie and an apple. My daughter had a sandwich, apple, chips and a fresh cookie (her favorite). We enjoyed our lazy afternoon, ate on our balcony and enjoyed the views of the pines and ocean. Stop in to the deli for their taco or sandwich bar. A lunch on the beach is also a fun outing!
Carmel and the Hofsas House are cute and cozy. Definitely consider this getaway when planning your next trip with the family dog!
Hotel accommodations and dining (excluding La Dolce Vita) were provided as part of a FAM trip provided by Hofsas House for editorial purposes. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ. All photos copyright That’s IT Mommy.