Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big Sur Road Trip-Day 4: Carmel

It's been a while since my last post due to the insurmountable pandemonium going on with school work, so I am looking forward to writing this post and being taken back to this trip while pretending that I am still there. Carmel and Monterey are next door neighbors. In fact, I don't even know why they are separate cities, but the separation did make for a nice division of days in our road trip.

Point Lobos State Park: We began our day in Carmel with a quick drive south to Point Lobos State Park. I have to say, this was my favorite state park that we visited. The views and trails were incredible and contained a little bit of everything you would want to see on the California Coast. It costs $10 to enter with a vehicle, but you can park across the street and walk in if you don't mind walking to the trailheads instead of driving, which is what we did.

We began at Whaler's Cove Trail. It was a very short trail but had nice views of a bay and ended at a 100 year old Chinese whaling cabin.

The next trail, Cypress Grove Trail, was my favorite trail of my favorite park. With breathtaking views of breaking waves on staggering cliffs it is easy to understand why. The forests we walked through were fascinating, with red moss growing all over them. It felt a little like a strange planet.

The last trail we ventured on to was Sea Lion Point Trail. While we had to conquer quite a few steps to get to the end of the trail it was definitely worth it. Most of the trails at the park give you a far and expanded look of the coastline, but this trail takes you right down to the water where you can get a close view of Sea Lion Rock and the Sea Lions that sun bathe there. This area is pretty much self-explanatory. If you like sea life, definitely venture down this trail.

Devendorf Park, Carmel Beach, Cottage of Sweets, Hogs Breath Inn: After cleaning up from our morning hikes we headed to downtown Carmel and enjoyed its amenities. Our first stop was Devendorf Park where we enjoyed a wonderful picnic. Afterwards we walked down the main street to the Cottage of Sweets, famous for its wonderful chocolate desserts. After getting some treats there we immediately understood why it was famous!

We attempted to walk to the beach but soon realized how far away it was, so take our advice and drive down the street to the beach! It was a gorgeous and failry uncrowded beach. It would have definitely been a great opportunity to lay out and relax if we had worn our bathing suits. We ended the day at Hogs Breath Inn, apparently founded by Clint Eastwood, who was apparently famous back in the day. The staff was friendly and the food was great. All in all a wonderful day!