Carmel-by-the-Sea - A beautiful ocean-side town on California's Highway 1, where you’ll get away from it all without sacrificing the big-city lavishness of art, theater, music, dining, shopping, spas, and more.
Once a bohemian haven for artists... including photographer Ansel Adams and writers Upton Sinclair and Sinclair Lewis... now it’s the perfect place to dine at four-star restaurants or eat al fresco at the beach.
Collect art or just yearn for art and artifacts at almost 100 galleries and antique shops.
Buy anything from trinkets to Tiffany’s.
Even if you’ve travel the world... you're not likely to encounter another place that offers so much in one location.
There are no street addresses... so you navigate your way around by heading north or south of Ocean Avenue.
Homes and business locations are described as situated on the east or west side of the street. West is always toward the beach.
Dress is usually casual. Ties are seldom required. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
Heels higher than two inches are illegal to prevent women from stumbling on Carmel’s cobblestones.
Though it’s not enforced... "permits" from City Hall are popular souvenirs.
Stroll through the town and admire the incredibly diverse architecture. But the most charming are the fairytale cottages built by Hugh Comstock in and around 1924-ish time.
You see Hugh’s wife - Mayotta - created and sold rag dolls that she named "Otsy" and "Totsys" in the area. And when her dolls outgrew their home , she asked Hugh to build her a Doll House to use for her sales and showroom.
Now Hugh was a rancher... not an architect or a builder.
So the teeny-tiny cottage that he built had a sloping roof of hand-cut shingles and a stone chimney that wasn't quite straight.
He covered the walls with plaster mixed with pine needles.
Afterwards... the demand for his cottages grew so strong that folks in the area asked him to build one for them.
Some 20 or so cottages still exist around Carmel.
His magical creations became so popular that - today - people travel from all over the world just to see them.
They are so whimsical and fanciful... it’s like popping into a Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs storybook.
Can you imagine... what it was like building one of those cottages? Steam-bending the cedar shingles to curve and meander along the surfaces of the roof.
It obviously takes someone who knows what they’re doing... just to re-shingle the roof alone.
When you visit Carmel-by-the-sea... stop into the California Visitor’s Center on San Carlos between 5th & 6th and they’ll give you a list of all the cottages and their locations.
‘The Tuck Box’ on Delores between Ocean and 7th is one of Hugh’s tiny cottages.
You see... the "tuck box" had a warm and special place in British student hearts.
Since the food served in their dining rooms was so appalling and tasteless... they hoarded candy and cakes in their boxes to eat.
Forty-two passageways and courtyards pepper the downtown area... each one different.
Many of them lined with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants... all waiting for you to discover them.
For example... Pine Inn Courtyard & Passageways - One of Carmel’s hidden courtyards and secret passageways has long been the social center of Carmel.
The Secret Garden Passageway - Narrow steps down to a small door... a secret garden... leading to magical passages... indeed a place of beauty in every nook and cranny.
Romance comes easy in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Walk hand-in-hand through town or along the beach.Sip an evening cocktail at the Highlands Inn while watching the sunset over the Pacific.Or cuddle with a nightcap beside the outdoor fireplaces at the Forge in the Forest Restaurant located on Junipero at 5th Street.
Whether it’s fine dining, strolling along on the beach, boutique shopping, wine tasting, picturesque sightseeing, or a night in one of the charming inns... Carmel sets the mood for romance.
Overlooking the meadows, wetlands, and more... Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch is much more than just a restaurant, this historic farmhouse also features a thriving local bar, banquet facilities, live jazz music and pianists, tennis courts a health club and ample accommodation.
The historic Mission Ranch sits on 22 acres with spectacular views of Point Lobos, Carmel River Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
An oasis of serenity and relaxation... the ranch has a variety of unique lodging options ranging from the rustic Bunkhouse... the 1850's Farmhouse... or the new Meadowview rooms with whirlpool tubs, fireplaces and private patio decks or balconies.
You see... Carmel-by-the-Sea is an amazing, European-style village nestled above a picturesque white-sand beach where everything is within walking distance.
This tiny village offers dozens of art galleries to savor... exclusive restaurants... shops and boutiques unique to the area... and more...
Whether you want to enjoy the performing arts, wine tasting... or hundreds of Carmel shops... it’s THE place to relax and stay a while.
So... what are you waiting for... let’s go!