Carmel Belle: Great Breakfast in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel Belle is an excellent little breakfast spot in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It has an extensive menu of fun dishes, coffees, and juices, while providing a relaxed atmosphere with a large dining area featuring a full fireplace. If you are looking for a good breakfast spot in the town, look no further.

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Details

  • Cost: $8 – $12 for food
  • Location: San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Getting There

Carmel Belle is located right in downtown Carmel off Ocean Ave on San Carlos St. It is located inside of a small shopping mall, and it has the whole back area.

The Interior

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The decor is like that of a simple yet modern country kitchen with wood tones and curtains separating the dining area from where you order.

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There were lots of spaces for seating, but I imagine it gets busy during the weekends.

The Food

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I like the green eggs and ham for breakfast which is two poached eggs on top of prosciutto and country toast. Add to that a purée of arugula and herbs on top. The prosciutto is excellent and full of flavor while the purée adds a fresh taste to the dish. I was impressed by how well thought out the flavors were, even the country toast complimented the dish well. It is a good way to start the morning as it has protein but isn’t too heavy.

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If you are looking for a simpler meal the avocado toast is another great option. It is thinly sliced avocado sitting on top of artisan toast and drizzled with olive oil. Hard to beat and it is a great item to order with tomato soup for lunch.

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All in all, this is a great spot for a meal in Carmel. The food is light and the unique, the atmosphere is inviting, and the people are friendly, I will be back.

Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo

Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo was the second mission founded of the Alta California Missions. In that, it became a critical building for the success of the missions and ultimately the headquarters for the expansion of the ministry under Father Serra. The mission was founded in 1770 and became a National Historical Landmark in 1966. If you are traveling the coast, then you really should carve out some time to visit this mission, here are all the details.

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Details

  • Cost: $6.50
  • Location: 3080 Rio Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Getting There

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Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo is located in the Southern part of Carmel-By-The-Sea only a few minutes off Highway 1 on Rio Road. There is a large parking area for the mission.

The Mission

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After paying the fee, you will walk into the small courtyard and see the Basilica, which is one of the most beautiful of all the missions.

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This area is also home to a fountain and a lovely garden that you can walk through.

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There is a small museum room with a video on Father Serra here as well and a few artifacts from the area.

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Of course, there is the statue of Father Serra that you have come to expect at each of the California missions in the gardens to see. This mission is of particular importance when talking about Father Serra as it is his final resting place as well.

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After continuing around to the right of the chapel, you will reach the cemetery.

The Cemetery

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The cemetery is along the entire side of the mission and has a lot of unique gravestones with some ornate ones and some that are just small crosses.

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The Chapel

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The chapel is one of the most beautiful you will see on the missions trail.

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The ceiling is rounded, which is unique to this mission. The chapel itself is vast and could fit a lot of people.

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The chapel features a summer solstice window in the shape of a star. During the summer solstice, the light dances across the alter as it comes in through the star. Unfortunately, it is often foggy in Carmel so actually seeing this only happens every five years or so.

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The chapel is also the final resting place of Father Serra who was responsible for founding the first 9 California missions and who is honored with a statue at every mission. His grave is under the main altar.

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They even have wood from the original coffin he was buried in that was dug up to verify it was him over 60 years ago.

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Off to the left of the chapel, there is an area dedicated to Mary, which houses a statue that Father Serra brought over when he came to California on his first trip. It was lost for a long time before eventually being rediscovered, after which this altarpiece was created to hold it.

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After exiting the chapel, you will proceed into the museum which is one of the better ones I saw at the California Missions.

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The first room has a massive stone sculpture and coffin that was designed to be where Father Serra was buried. When it couldn’t fit into the chapel, it was decided that it should just be on display here.

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There is also a large glassed-in exhibit that features many of Father Serra’s items and church relics.

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The museum continues with more artifacts and relics in the next room, as well as a viewing portal for the Grand Sala.

The Grand Sala

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This room has been meticulously recreated to show what it would have looked like during the time the mission was being used. It was created to be the reception room of the mission.

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Continuing on, near the end of the museum, you will see Father Serra’s room furnished to look like it would have when he was there. I found it interesting to see so much about how he lived here.

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After exiting the museum, you will be back out in the gift shop and can proceed out from there. I think you can usually visit the courtyards as well, but they were off limits when I went.

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I do have to note that when I visited there was a painter there working on a painting of the mission. I talked to her for a while and thought it made a great photo to show her painting with the mission behind it. Her name was Julie Khyler, and you can read more about her at http://www.juliekhyler.com/

All in all, this is one of the best of the California Missions, it is incredibly beautiful and has a lot of wonderful history. Be sure to visit it if you are in the are and you can read all about my time at the missions here.

Cypress Grove Trail & Allen Memorial Grove in Point Lobos

Point Lobos is one of the most beautiful state parks in all of California, and while it doesn’t have a ton of trails, it still has a lot of things to get excited about. My favorite spot in the entire park is the Cypress Grove Trail, which heads through Allen Memorial Grove and takes you out to an incredible vista along the coast, all in only 1 mile of hiking. You can get all of the information below.

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Details

  • 1-mile round trip
  • Park costs $10 to enter per car
  • No real elevation gain.

Getting There

After paying the fee, you will be given a park map which shows the trail. There are signs along the road that will direct you to it and it is hard to get lost. There are about 15 parking spots at the trailhead, and it can get busy on the weekends.

The Trail

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This is probably the most beautiful trail in the whole park as it has old growth cypress trees, amazing red moss, and beautiful coastal views.

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The trail is 1-mile round trip, and it heads out from the parking lot and almost immediately reaches a split in the road. Take whichever direction you want as it is a loop and you will come back the other way.

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I went to the left, and this way takes you into the cypress trees which provide shade and an amazing picture of the trail.

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After hiking through the trees, the path will eventually open back up, and you will get fantastic views of the coast and ocean in front of you. This is one of those areas where you just want to plan some time to relax and enjoy the beauty.

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I spent a while here as it was just too perfect and I didn’t want to leave.

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Eventually, I got myself going again and walked down the rocks to go back along the path.

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As you walk back along this route, note the above steps and look back at them when you get there as I thought it was an amazing photo as well.

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The rocks out in front of you in Pinnacles Cove provide another vista that would want to spend some time at. I took way more pictures then I needed too here as well.

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The trees along this part of the path had an amazing red moss that grew on them and a white moss on some of the others. It was crazy to be walking through large collections of red trees, and it is not something you see very often.

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There is another small set of stairs on the way back that takes you to another lookout point over Cypress Cove, which is epic as well.

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After that, the trail heads back the way it came and takes you back to the parking lot. I would recommend heading up the Elephant Seal Overlook Trail that shares the same parking lot as well. After that head over to Bird Rock Trail, which is another great spot to explore before leaving. Let me know what you thought of this trail in the comments.