Why do I keep returning to this area?
Everytime I go to Carmel and Monterey, I find something new or a different story. Yes, I see many changes, with new stores, restaurants, and hotels – I always find one new interest that stands out – my find may even be a familiar shop that has been around for a few years.
On this trip, I found two specialty stores.
Visiting Carmel and Monterey was one of my first day trips after moving to California. There are different experiences to find between my favorite laid back Santa Cruz region thirty minutes away from my Silicon Valley office and the drive over to the southern side of Monterey bay. Same bay, different experiences
I still get goose bumps on my skin as I head south along Highway One looking at the Artichoke fields when I visit these towns, Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove, snuggled along the coast with the white sand and rocks between hills outlined of distinguishing Cypress trees.
On this trip, it was not raining, the weather changed frequently, between sunshine and fog all day. The waves in the bay are huge as they crashed upon the sand and rocks. After a quick stop at Capitola Bakery to get some of my favorite bites, I continued my drive.
Below is a picture of my actual lunch stop with a view along the coast near Pacific Grove.
I continued to downtown Carmel with only a couple of hours to spend on this afternoon. I like to browse and get acquainted with any new shops and galleries on Ocean Ave. I wandered around quietly looking for unusual small gifts.
Socks in Carmel
When I darted down a small alley, I saw this Sockshop Carmel, wondering who would want to buy socks while they were in Carmel?
My error, as I found people smiling in front of the window display while gazing at these different types of socks. I followed these people inside and inched my way around the store taking the time to look at all the goodies. Socks were found on one side and candles (Wicks and Wax) were on the other side.
I admit I am not a fashion diva, I had fun exploring the different type of socks, from designer socks to specialty support of various activities. My five minutes turned into an hour spent in this small shop. And yes, I got some fun purchases.
Gourmet Jams and Jellies
Continuing my walk, I admired the windows of a second store Kurtz Culinary Food Shop before going in. I really wasn’t interested in the tasting of sauces and jellies until I saw the small jar of Cabernet Sauvignon jelly. Yum! I went closer to the display and picked up the jars to find several different types of wine jelly (Cab, Chard, etc). I tasted samples, swirling them in my mouth as I do when I taste wine. The wine flavors were delicious!
I forgot to take a picture, I did talk with the store clerk (part of the family) to find out the location of Kurtz Orchards, (*Will this be another trip for me?) where these products come from is Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada, with two specialty food shops – Niagara and Carmel. Oh, and I now have two delicious recipes, Artichoke Spinach Flatbread and Peanut Butter and Niagara Harvest Jam Cookies.
My Insider tip:
If you forget your map, remember to find the Map Mural of downtown Carmel located behind the small shopping center located on Ocean.
Sockshop Carmel and Wicks and Wax
Doud Arcade, Ocean & San Carlos, Carmel
(They have stores in Pacific Grove and Monterey Cannery Row, too)
Kurtz Culinary Food Shop
SE Corner of Ocean Ave at San Carlos, Carmel
Disclaimer: I found these stores on my own journey, trip to Carmel. I did not receive any incentives or compensation, they do not know (yet) of this story. And, images are mine, please make contact me for permission to use.
Finding fun stores in Carmel CA off the beaten path! The Fun Tour Guru