Wine Tasting on the California Coast with the Carmel Wine Walk

Wine tasting is one of my favorite activities to get to know a new place when I’m traveling. The challenge is often traveling solo or in small groups, you have to limit how many places you try in order to have a safe driver. While that is never something you should risk, working around needing a driver is a great way to enjoy a wine tasting experience. That’s exactly what you can do on the Carmel Wine Walk.

Tucked in the beautiful town of Carmel-By-The-Sea along California’s Monterey Bay, you’ll find a wine lover’s paradise. With winemakers from all across Monterey County within a few blocks, you’ll find nine wineries that showcase the best of the region.Find some of California's best wine tasting without a car on the Carmel Wine Walk. One of the best things to do in the Monterey, California area.

Note: Some stays, tours, passes, and meals were provided at no cost to the author. As always, all opinions remain my own. You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article is useful for you. 

High-quality winemakers along the Carmel Wine Walk

Many of the wines you’ll come across are make just up the road in the Carmel Valleys, other will be in the Soledad region, and more from along the Monterey Coast. Whether you’re looking for Pinot Noirs or big reds you’ll be able to find them around the area.

The Carmel Wine Walk includes 15 different tasting rooms, all located on an easy walk around Downtown Carmel. While 15 sounds like a lot of spots, you don’t have to make it to all in one day. The wine walk is done through the Chamber of Commerce and gives you nine tickets for just $65, that’s only $7 a tasting which is a steal when they range from $10-15 on their own.Find some of California's best wine tasting without a car on the Carmel Wine Walk. One of the best things to do in the Monterey, California area.

What makes the pass even better is you can split one pass between two people, or one pass over more than one trip. Or even a little of both. You’ve got nine passes and you can use them as you’d like!

On top of the wine itself, you’ll find tasting rooms you just want to hang out in like Galante Vineyards. The first tasting room in Downtown Carmel gives you a chance to taste some of the bolder reds in the region and relax in the laid-back vibe. You’ll get a country flare so don’t feel afraid to wear your boots! Don’t miss a chance to chat with Jack Galante if he’s hanging out in the tasting room. He’s tied in with not just the winemaking community but the entire city and will be happy to teach you a little history about the area and make some great recommendations on where to eat.Find some of California's best wine tasting without a car on the Carmel Wine Walk. One of the best things to do in the Monterey, California area.

Exploring the beautiful streets of Carmel-By-The-Sea

Since you’ll be walking around Downtown Carmel it will give you a perfect chance to explore not just the wineries but also the restaurants, galleries, and shops that make up the area. Make sure to plan some time to just walk and pop in wherever catches your eye.

Also, you’ll want to fit in a few meals. If you’re traveling with a few friends consider a progressive style meal between wine tastings. Grab an appetizer or two at each place for a chance to try a variety of what the area has to offer. A few of my favorites in the area are Flaherty’s Seafood Grill, Forge in the Forest, and Terry’s Lounge at the Cypress Inn.Find some of California's best wine tasting without a car on the Carmel Wine Walk. One of the best things to do in the Monterey, California area.

Stay the night in one of the local bed and breakfasts

After the tasting rooms close at 5 or 6 pm you might not be ready to head home just yet. Instead, find a restaurant to grab dinner or dessert and then rest up at one of the great bed and breakfasts that make up the area. For some restaurant ideas, don’t miss my favorite in the area here.

The area is filled with quaint spots for you to enjoy right in downtown and the surrounding streets. Making it easy to walk home or catch a quick Uber back after your day of wine tasting on the Carmel Wine Walk.

If you’re looking at staying close to the water check out the Edgemere Cottages, you’ll enjoy being just a block off Scenic Drive where you can enjoy some of the best views of the area. Or another favorite of mine will continue with your wine themed getaway at the Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites, the area’s only wine tasting themed hotel. Read more about my stay at Vendange.Find some of California's best wine tasting without a car on the Carmel Wine Walk. One of the best things to do in the Monterey, California area.

Everything you want in a wine tasting experience without needing a driver

On wine tasting getaways you’re normally looking for a chance explore a beautiful area, relax, taste delicious wine, eat some good food, maybe shop some boutique, and overall just enjoy the time with the people you’re traveling with. The Carmel Wine Walk gives you a chance to do each of these without some of the hassles that come with wine tasting.

Skip the need for a driver, the high tasting fees, and the long drives between wineries. Instead, relax and explore Carmel-By-The-Sea while getting in some of the best wine tastings on California’s coast.

For more information about Monterey & Carmel check out these great books on Amazon including Day Hikes On the California Central CoastFodor’s Northern CaliforniaLonely Planet Pacific Coast Highways Road Trips, and Lonely Planet Coastal California.


Traveling to Carmel & Monterey Soon?

Above are a few of my favorite places to stay in the Monterey & Carmel area.
Learn more about and book more fantastic hotels in Monterey on Priceline and TripAdvisor.

Find some of California's best wine tasting without a car on the Carmel Wine Walk. One of the best things to do in the Monterey, California area. Find some of California's best wine tasting without a car on the Carmel Wine Walk. One of the best things to do in the Monterey, California area.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.