7x7 | The Carmel Valley Food Trail: World-Class Wine and Farm-to-Table Eats
With this sunny and laid back destination, come for the wine, stay for the food.
Carmel Valley, a rustic and rural inland retreat just over two hours south of San Francisco, is often confused with its better known neighbor, the European-style, seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. But the valley, with its rolling hills lined with grapevines and endless sunshine, is a picturesque destination deserving of its own visit. Best known for its award-winning wineries, Carmel Valley packs in more than 20 tasting rooms in just 11 miles spanning from Highway 1 to Carmel Valley Village.
While the wine will draw you in—especially the world-class cabernet sauvignon and merlot—it's the fresh and surprising dining scene, reflective of the community's warmth and agrarian nature, that will leave you smitten. The area has a deep history rooted in ranches, farms, orchards, and dairies, so it's no surprise it was one of the first regions to embrace the farm-to-table mindset, long before it became the end-all catchphrase it is now. Today, the restaurant scene continues to thrive as area chefs innovate with organic and seasonal produce.