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Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

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Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

Hi.

Driving from SLO to SF and will be spending one night along the way. Was thinking of either Carmel OR Monterey. Any insight would be great.

Thanks in advance

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

It depends a lot on who "we" are and what you are looking for.

Carmel is upscale, exceedingly quaint, and romantic with a great beach.

Monterey is larger and more diverse. It has attractions like the aquarium, wharf, canery row, and an interesting downtown.

Pacific Grove is between the two - small town, very walkable downtown, laid back, beautiful rocky coastline.

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Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
Corona del Mar, CA
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2. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

Easy answer for me, I am not a Carmel fan, too cutesy too touristy for my tastes. For high end accomodations the hotels in Pebble Beach are great, The Inn at Spanish Bay and The Lodge at Pebble Beach, but they are high end.

In Monterey I like The Clement for high end, Green Gables Inn and West Cliff Inn on the next tier down and the Best Western Beach Resort Monterey, Best Western Victorian Inn, Monterey Bay Inn, Casa Munras and Hotel Abrego for better value.

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Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach
Monterey County, CA
Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

I would say Carmel, but some of it depends on your budget. Carmel is more expensive...but it is an unique place. No street addresses, no street lights and no illuminated merchant signs.Great restaurants and an all around charming place.

Just to confuse the issue, you might look at Pacific Grove (basically between Camel and Monterey) as well. A lovely little town with some outstanding B&B's and restaurants.

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Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Pacific Grove...
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4. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

Carmel has my vote for the shops, food, gardens, beach, coffee, bars, all walkable

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Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Monterey Peninsula...
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5. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

This is such a common question that I put together a web page just to help people like you. It describes each neighborhood in some detail. www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/lodging.html

A lot depends on your preferences and budget. Carmel is prettier and quieter overall, and sort of touristy in an upscale way. Monterey is more urban, and some neighborhoods are pretty lively at night. Don't overlook Pacific Grove, which is also a quiet town, very UN-touristy, and has the nicest collection of B&Bs on the Monterey Peninsula.

-Mr. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

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Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
Napa, CA
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6. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

MrToy - the downtown area of Pacific Grove may be "UN-touristy" but have you been out to the Butterfly Reserve recently? We were there last weekend and it was jammed with tourists since the word is out that some of the Monarchs have arrived. And all the 1960's style motels in the area make it appear even more touristy.

We also ran into huge crowds along the water between Lover's Point and Asimolar. Of course, the warm weather was to blame but Pacific Grove was anything but a quiet town last weekend. One place that wasn't too badly slammed was the Point Pinos Lighthouse. What a wonderful little museum!

To be fair, we ran into tons of people also in Carmel. The beach there seemed to have thousands on it since it was close to 80 degrees. And, Big Sur was a mess too.

We didn't run into large crowds in Monterey but we were there on Friday, not the weekend. I guess weekends are pretty much always busy on the Monterey Peninsula especially if the weather is nice.

Niko - what is your budget? That will pretty much determine what hotels people will recommend. All three towns have a variety of lodging choices.

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Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove
Monterey County, CA
Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Big Sur
Big Sur
California
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
New York City, New...
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7. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

Thank you all for the insight, very helpful

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8. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

We were in Carmel yesterday and I toured The La Playa Hotel. This is a gem in Carmel with newly remodeled rooms and lobby. You can walk to the ocean and all of the lovely shops and restaurants in downtown Carmel from this property. We enjoyed browsing through the art galleries and shopping at Tiffany's and Coach yesterday while in Carmel.

We also went to Monterey which is very close by. Check out The Monterey Bay Inn there or the lovely Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. We had our third very nice meal at Schooner's Coastal Kitchen last night. Both places are awesome with gorgeous scenery! :)

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Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
Monterey
Monterey
Monterey County, CA
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9. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

Supercilious, I never intended to suggest that PG is devoid of tourists. The very presence of motels would eliminate that possibility. By the phrase "un-touristy" I mean that the business environment is more geared towards locals than visitors. Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf are touristy due to their high concentration of gift and trinket shops that are of little or no interest to locals. Carmel is more upscale touristy, emphasizing art galleries and higher-end clothing stores. Locals tend to patronize Carmel shops almost as much as tourists, so it's a mixed bag.

In PG, the main attractions are the butterflies and shoreline, which are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. But there's nothing in PG that attracts tourists exclusively.

-Mr. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

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Carmel
Carmel
Monterey County, CA
10. Re: Carmel VS Monterey: Where to spend one night?

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