We are off on a little getaway to Carmel to celebrate my husband”s birthday. I’m so excited.
Carmel is one of the most gorgeous places on the planet and I am so fortunate to live here in Northern California and be so close. When I say Carmel, I also mean the whole Monterey Peninsula area. That encompasses Carmel by the Sea, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel Valley in the hills to the East.
We are staying in the warm and sunny Carmel Valley, but will most likely end up at some point in the foggier and cooler town of Carmel, too. For this reason I need to pack for two climates! Seriously, I kid you not . If you don’t believe me try spending a day in town here and you will see how many Carmel sweatshirts are sold to tourists. It’s not unusual to see winter coats and sweaters worn here especially during summer time!! Carmel Valley, up the road about 20 minutes from Carmel is a warm wine region and not unlike Napa and Sonoma. So you really have to think before packing.
Carmel is a cosmopolitan place where people dress very well, but casual. Carmel Valley tends to be a horsier set where as Carmel by the Sea, is a little more luxe. Monterey where the aquarium and Cannery Row are, is super casual.
Bottom line…This is the capital of casual chic. People dress well, even though they are dressed down.
What to pack for a weekend in Carmel and Monterey. . .
White jeans. Even in winter. They look great with heavy sweaters and pea coats.
|This may be the most perfect Carmel outfit. via Vogue.|
Alternatively, very cute camo or printed jeans.
Button down shirt in white or denim for day. Great for layering with chunky sweaters. Can also double a a cover-up by the pool if it’s longer.
Comfy flats. I always have a pair of ballet flats and a cute pair of tennis shoes like converse.
Flip flops for the pool or beach. I have pair of Tory Burch that have lasted three years. For the $45 they make everything look chic. Great to wear to the spa or breakfast as well.
One pair of heeled sandals or pumps for evenings when you feel like dressing up. I particularly love wedges for summer like these from Coach. Small heeled pumps are pretty to pack too. Streets are hilly in Carmel by the sea. You want to save heels for dinner and wear flats.
Cozy cardigan or wrap for cool days and around the room as a robe over your night clothes. A hoody in cashmere is also perfect for that and layering!
|Another perfect for Carmel look- Minus the heels though.|
Even warmer light quilted or puffer jacket, moto jacket, blazer or trench to layer.
Swimsuit. I always prefer a tankini or a bikini with a rash guard to layer.
Cute cover-up, hat and tote for the pool or spa if there is one.
For dinners dress warmly. Almost all evenings are cool in Carmel, once the fog rolls in. A pretty blouse paired with black pants or even a soft sweater is the norm.
|Love this black pant/sweater. from Emerson Fry. Add a low pump and it’s chic + warm for dinner.|
A chunky cable-knit or similar sweater. Cute with shorts- or jeans, depending on the day.
One casual skirt or shorts should the weather turn warm. One of my favorite looks is shorts and a long-sleeved T or sweater. Perfect for places by the coast where the weather is sunny yet cool.
One handbag that can go from day to night. A cross-body could do double duty.
Cozy pants and soft T-shirt for lounging around the room. PJs could also work. I do like to have something cute and warm with me to wear to breakfast without getting dressed for the day yet.
No sloppy sweats, but yoga pants or leggings and a wrap sweater could work with a soft T. Add boots to your leggings and a swingy sweater and you have an outfit…
Boots are worn year-round in Carmel. I didn’t have mine with me last August and was mad I didn’t pack them. All the girls wear them it’s so cold.
Don’t forget magazines along with a great read for the pool side (or by the fire, in Carmel!)