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Click to enlarge this picture Carmel Highlands from the Big Sur California Coast PCH 1 Road Trip
Information: I am not complaining but it is a long twisty drive when you go all the way from Cambria to Carmel in one stretch; the natural scenery is phenomenal but the populated areas are sparse and spread out; to me this helps make the signs of civilization at Carmel Highlands seem so welcome and refreshing. The location of this small community is beautiful and enchanting; the real estate there is some of the most expensive in the country but many vacationers can afford to at least eat, stay, or visit there if they choose; it is this that makes this area special to the traveler and lodgings like the Tickle Pink Inn and the world class Carmel Highlands Hyatt California Hotel. No they are not cheap but more so than most the Big Sur Lodgings you get what you pay.
Near Points of Interest: There are many vacation photo opportunities in the next 3 miles between here and Carmel by the Sea and there are two beautiful coastal California State Parks along the way, one is a nature reserve the other a nice white sandy state beach.
Beach Access and Day Use Parks & Picnic Areas: There are two wonderful coastal California State Parks just up the highway, Point Lobos State Reserve- www.pointlobos.org , and Carmel River State Beach (about 2.5 miles).
Best places to Eat: Hyatt Carmel Highlands has two restaurants and a cocktail lounge. If you are looking for world class $$$$ dining with a breathtaking view of the rugged California Coast Pacific’s Edge Restaurant is a marvelous choice, they feature delicious dishes prepared with fresh local seafood, high quality meats and seasonal produce as well as an extensive wine list, but they will frown on your hiking shorts and Hawaiian shirt. If you are looking for a delicious gourmet lunch, California Market at Hyatt Highlands Carmel provides al fresco dining $$$ on a terrace that overlooks Carmel’s gorgeous Yankee Point, or dine inside enjoy the warm atmosphere and savor bistro fare and gourmet sandwiches. For burgers and more affordable fair I usually go a few miles north north on PCH 1 until just after the Carmel River Bridge where there are two shopping malls, the first Crossroads Shopping Village has R.G. Burgers and other side of the road Carmel Barnyard Shopping Village has From Scratch Restaurant. and Island Tacos Mexican Grill.Going south the closest other restaurant is The Big Sur River Inn Restaurant (about 21 miles).
Nearby Hotel Lodgings & Resorts: If you have the money there are the Tickle Pink Inn and the world class Carmel Highlands Hyatt California Hotel. they are not cheap $$$$. If you are going south on PCH the Big Sur River Inn is about 24 miles; I prefer the reasonably priced lodging next to the river, go north about 3 miles on PCH just past the bridge to the Carmel River Inn .
Near Campgrounds: The closest camping if you don't mind heading inland is up Carmel Valley Road, Saddle Mountain RV Park (831-624-1617) is primarily an RV park but they do have some tent sites, it’s about 9 miles from Carmel Highlands. Monterey County run park the Laguna Seca Recreation Area (888-588-2267) is about 15.5 miles on highway 68 which offers Salinas Valley views with both RV and tent camping with hookups, running water restrooms with showers and miles of trails on the Fort Ord Public Lands. About 20 miles south then east is Botcher's Gap Campground; about 21 miles south on PCH is Andrew Molera State Park trail camp.
Other Facilities, Services or Activities:
You are right on the southern edge of an area rich in history and famous for the natural beauty and artistic culture. For the vacationing visitor the list of great places to stay, eat, things to see and do is almost endless…have fun and enjoy…Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas etc…