Acme Coffee Roasting: Great coffee! Not an ideal place to sit and hang, but perfect to get your morning buzz. (@acmecoffeeroasting)

Cafe Lumiere: Dog friendly spot with splendid coffee. Good place to sit and get work done, or right before a date night (it’s attached to a movie theater). (@cafelumieremonterey)


First Awakenings: We’re big breakfast fanatics - and First Awakenings is the breakfast restaurant we have weekly cravings for. Hearty, healthy, fresh, tons of options, and the friendliest crew. We liked it so much, we even bought shirts! (Bobby wears his ALL the time)... (@firstawakeningspg)

  • Bobby’s pick: The Carnitas Eggs Benedict

  • Alli’s pick: The Turkey & Avocado Eggs Benedict

LouLou’s Griddle In The Middle: To be honest, we have yet to come here. (We just can’t break away from First Awakenings!), but we’ve heard it’s bomb. And Guy Fieri’s been here, so you know it’s good! Oh, and it’s smack-dab on the Wharf - breakfast with a view! (LouLou’s on Instagram)


Dametra: Located in picture-perfect Carmel-by-the-Sea, Dametra is authentic Mediterranean cuisine that NEVER disappoints. From the hospitality to the extensive menu, to the frequent live music, it’s an experience we continually rave about. Great for lunch or dinner! (@dametracafe)

The Sur House at The Ventana: A 40-ish minute down the coast is the Ventana (one of our bucket-list hotels) that boasts insane mountain-top views of the California coast. Their restaurant, The Sur House, is one of our road-trip go-to’s - it’s a little on the pricier side, but you pay for the view! (Go for lunch!) And the food is phenomenal. (@ventanabigsur)

  • Bobby’s pick: The Surf & Turf Sandwich

  • Alli’s pick: The Spinach Falafel Wrap

Old Fisherman’s Grotto: It’s just not a trip to Monterey without a meal at The Old Fisherman’s Grotto! The BEST clam chowder, and the freshest seafood in town. Plus, you can’t beat the views from their historic spot on the wharf! (@fishermansgrotto)

  • Bobby’s pick: The clam chowder

  • Alli’s pick: The french onion soup

La Balena: We came here on our honeymoon, and ever since then we’ve been obsessed! Delicious homemade Italian food in a hidden courtyard, it’s delightfully tucked away from other touristy options in Carmel-by-the-Sea. (@labalenacarmel)

  • Bobby’s pick: Lasagnette

  • Alli’s pick: Spaghetti al Sugo Finto

Grasings Bar: This is another spot that we first went to on our honeymoon, and have made it a point to stop here ever since! Their cocktails are second to none, and their charcuterie board is out of this world!!! But try to get here early - this quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea bar does have a tendency to fill up quick! (Grasings Bar on Instagram)

  • Alli’s pick: So many good wines!

  • Bobby’s pick: Spiced Manhattan

The Inn At Spanish Bay: Located on the iconic 17 Mile Drive, the Inn At Spanish Bay is well-known for their stunning ocean front views, and their nightly visit from a bagpiper! Grab a drink at STICKS, their outdoor bar, and wait for the sun to set… Before you know it you’ll start to hear the majestic sounds of a bagpiper. It’s quite the experience - and something we look forward to every time we visit Monterey County! (Inn at Spanish Bay on Instagram)

Fieldwork Brewing Company: A fun outdoor brewery in the heart of Monterey! BYO food and dog friendly - we’re all about it’s casual, coastal vibe! (@fieldworkbrewingco)

Portola Hotel & Spa: Located right in the heart of downtown Monterey, you simply cannot beat the Portola Hotel when it comes to convenience! Plus, it has one of the most epic hotel lobbies we’ve seen, and their rooms are cozy and luxe. (@portolahotel)

La Playa Carmel: Maybe because we stayed here on our honeymoon, or maybe because every inch of it is charming. Regardless, La Playa Carmel is one of our favorite hotels in the world. It’s casual yet cozy, quaint yet modern, and has the best breakfast buffet in town in our opinion! (Champagne included!) We love this little hotel - especially when it’s decorated for Christmas! (@laplayaca)

L’Auberge Carmel: Another quaint and charming hotel, located steps away from downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. We’ve yet to stay here, but every time we walk by we “ooh and awe” at their stunning interiors and warm entrance.. It’s definitely on the pricey side, but if you can swing it, we can (almost) guarantee you’ll fall in love! (@laubergecarmel)

Monterey Bay Aquarium: This aquarium is world-famous for a reason. If you love sea life as much as we do, and have some time to spare, make this a priority. And be sure to block off a good chunk of your day - between the jellyfish and the sea otters, you’re bound to be captivated for quite awhile. (@montereybayaquarium)

The 17 Mile Drive: One of our favorite drives in the world (along with Highway 1) is the 17 Mile Drive… it’s full of captivating landscapes, jaw-dropping ocean views, and award-winning golf courses - so what’s not to love?! We recommend starting the drive in the afternoon and catching the sunset at The Inn at Spanish Bay (see above)! (17 Mile Drive on Instagram)

Picnic Lunch at The Cheese Shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea: Maybe this should have been in our food category, but whatever. We love to eat. The Cheese Shop is a legendary little shop chalk-full of mouth-watering cheeses, wines, crackers, and more. Grab whatever looks good and head to the beach. You’re welcome.

INCREDIBLY. Most places have dog friendly patios, and on most beaches dogs can roam free! Monterey State Beach and Carmel By The Sea are two of our favorite pup-friendly beaches, and Diggidy Dog in Carmel is the perfect spot to load up on treats!