Fairy-tale cottages with manicured gardens and tinkling fountains; wooded trails; a white-sand beach with pristine blue waters; art, culture, antiques, nostalgia and golf - you can find it all at Carmel.
Officially named Carmel-by-the-Sea, this consummate getaway was founded in 1771 when Spanish Missionaries established the Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Rio Carmelo, commonly called the Carmel Mission. Since the turn of the century, Carmel has been a haven for artists, writers, actors and playwrights intent on creating an intellectual and cultural oasis. The community continues to live the simple life established by early settlers. You will see no streetlights, sidewalks, neon signs or fast-food chains. Locations are indicated by the nearest intersection, and picking up mail is a daily social event for residents.
Tucked in a pine forest above a spectacular beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea is best seen on foot.
Its one-square-mile area reveals a fascinating variety of architectural styles from quaint cottages to sprawling Spanish colonials. The Carmel Heritage Society and Carmel Walks offer walking tours. You can get maps and directions at the Carmel Visitor Center and customize your walk to suit your fancy. Who knows, you may catch a glimpse of one of Carmel’s famous residents. Luminaries such as photographer Ansel Adams and novelist Jack London have called Carmel home, while actor and two-time former mayor Clint Eastwood still lives there.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is about 120 miles south of San Francisco and 350 miles north of Los Angeles. Driving to Carmel is an especially magical experience; the stunning scenery on coast-hugging Highway 1 enthralls travelers at every turn. Various nearby attractions are well worth the drive. These include Point Lobos State Park with its fantastic murals and sea otters; Big Sur’s redwoods and ocean views; world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium; serene Carmel Mission; and much more. While at Carmel, you can indulge in hiking, horseback riding, wine tasting, whale watching or golfing. Experience fine dining complemented by award winning wine or get a take-out basket and have a picnic while enjoying the incredible views. If you are a golf enthusiast, you will be unable to resist the lure of Pebble Beach Golf Links, site of some of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments, including the 2000 U. S. Open Championships. If you are unable to find something just ask – Carmelites are always ready to share the wonders of their hometown.
Romantic getaway, art-lover’s paradise, family fun vacation – Carmel-by-the-Sea’s creative atmosphere transforms itself to please every visitor.