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Carmel Valley Itinerary

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Monterey County Sample Itineraries

Carmel Valley Itinerary
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Carmel Valley Itinerary

Starting from Monterey Peninsula Airport, take Highway 68 to Highway One south. Turn left onto Carmel Valley Road.

Several shopping opportunities await at the Mouth of Carmel Valley: simply turn right at the first light, Carmel Rancho Road.
  • On the right, past an Albertson’s supermarket, is The Barnyard Shopping Village, an imaginative compound of restaurants and shops surrounding the Thunderbird Bookstore.
  • On the left is Carmel Rancho Center, with a handy delicatessen. Further along, around the corner, is The Crossroads Shopping Center, which includes a Safeway supermarket in addition to many restaurants, food shops, boutiques and specialty stores.
Carmel Valley is famous for its many fine golf courses. First up, about a mile from Highway One on Carmel Valley Road, is Rancho Cañada Golf Club. It has two courses open to the public, East and West.

The Valley’s mild, sunny climate, so perfect for golfers, is also great for growing vegetables and herbs. Stop in at Earthbound Farm (at the 3.5 mile mark) to learn about organic farming; in addition to regular tours, there’s a farm stand and all-organic café.

Another excellent golf course, just past the farm at 8000 Valley Greens Drive, is part of Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club. Its spa and health center offers luxurious treatments, too.

Wine grapes also flourish in Carmel Valley, and many wineries grow and produce fine vintages in the area. First along the way (about five miles from Highway One) is Chateau Julien. Look for the traditionally styled French chateau building, tucked behind roses, on the right.

Continue straight past Route G20, Laureles Grade, and the highly regarded Bernardus Lodge, both on the left. Carmel Valley Village is several miles further up Carmel Valley Road.
  • The Village itself features more than a half-dozen winery tasting rooms: Georis, Talbott, Heller Estates/Durney Winery, Bernardus and the left; Joullian, Chateau Sinnet and San Saba further along on the right. (To learn more about Carmel Valley wines and individual wineries, visit our Wine Tasting page.
At this point, you can choose between short and long (allow at least two hours) routes back towards Monterey, or onwards to other destinations.
  • To take the longer route continue straight on Carmel Valley Road. As it twists along the Carmel River, it passes the turn-off for Tassajara Hot Springs. Located 14 miles off the main road (by very rough lane), the springs are open to day visitors May-Sept; they are part of the Zen Mountain Center. Call 415-865-1899 for essential day-use reservations.

    Carmel Valley Road eventually connects with Arroyo Seco Road; take it eastbound to connect with Highway 101 in the Salinas Valley, at which point you may turn north to Salinas or San Francisco or south to Los Angeles.
  • The shorter tour returns down Carmel Valley Road to Laureles Grade. Turn right, and continue over hills with fine views to the ocean and Salinas Valley. At Highway 68, turn left to return to Monterey or turn right for Salinas and Highway 101.