February 29, 2016

(photo source: somewhatsimple)

Carmel-by-the-Sea as it's officially named. This quaint beach town in Northern California is known for its rustic scenery, fairytale cottages, and being the ultimate artist and writer haven. On top of that, it's also the most dog-friendly place we've ever been to. It's no wonder this delightful hideaway inspired our Carmel Handbag - boasting vivid colors that mimic the ocean as well as functional design for days filled with sightseeing and romantic dinners. Here are just a few of our favorite places to inspire your next adventure to this majestic California destination!

(photo source: iltegamino)

EAT: Start the day off with a decadent brunch at La Bicyclette or Basil for amazing hangover burger and fries (or kale salad if you're behaving). Whether you're up for picnicking on the beach with your pup or grabbing lunch in town, we recommend Carmel Belle hands down. For dinner, there are many great options depending on the cuisine you're in the mood for. Il Tegamino for yummy Italian or Kauboi Sushi in Aptos. Grab drinks at either the Cypress Inn in the "living room" or on the patio with your dog, or at the lovely Folktale winery. (photo source: ediblemontereybay)

SEE: If you love the outdoors, we recommend hiking through the Mission Trails to the Native Plant Garden. Or perhaps an "urban hike" is more your speed. There are multitudes of little pathways that connect in between the main blocks of Carmel town. You can walk down the stairs to the Hog's breath Inn, through their outdoor patio, and then down another set of stairs to arrive eventually in the back of Pilgrim's Way, which is the most lovingly kept bookstore/garden shop ever (be warned - it's very spiritual, in our distinctly Californian way)!

 (photo source: talesfromcarmel)

Shop: Carmel Valley Village Shopping center has some great gems. Masaoka Glass is always worth a visit and K&Co can be a fun browse. There is a wonderful shoemaker across from the post office by The Barnyard. He may take a week or two, but he's game for anything and loves his trade. For BUYING shoes, go see Shara at Hedi's. She's the best and knows her merchandise, knows feet, knows what will work for the occasion. If you are ever in the mood for well curated funky vintage, The Cat's Meow on Lighthouse Ave is exactly what you need. Melinda owns the store and is usually there behind the counter. Like Shara, she knows her shop and loves what she does. 

Be sure to tag @augustca on social media if you find yourself adventuring in Carmel-by-the-Sea with your Carmel handbag - inspired by and ready for your perfect weekend away!