Romantic. Bohemian. Casually Elegant.
These are just some of the words that best describe the gorgeous Central California coastal destination of Carmel, California. Secret courtyards, art galleries galore, and exquisite cuisine are around every corner.
A special thanks to Monta Potter, President and CEO of the Carmel Chamber of Commerce for sharing a glimpse into all of the activities, events, and colorful history of Carmel. Enjoy this week's episode and be sure to stop by the Visitors Center for more tips on how to make the most of your visit.
Also known as Carmel-by-the-Sea, this town will leave you relaxed, artistically inspired, and wondering if you just stepped out of a postcard after witnessing the most spectacular sunset.
There's a reason why famous architects, actors, authors, and musicians have descended on Carmel since it's founding in 1906. Established after the tragic 1906 San Francisco earthquake, locals work hard to keep Carmel authentic to its bohemian roots but welcome visitors and new residents alike with arms wide open in hopes to share the abundance of art, music, and theater. In terms of years, Carmel is still considered quite youthful but trust that this area is rich in history and culture and offers something for all ages.
With near perfect weather all year round, it's hard to decide what time of year to visit. Perhaps you have a deep appreciation for classical music? The Bach Festival will have you clearing the calendar every July to surround yourself in total Bach bliss. Do you love food and wine? Then the Taste of Carmel every October will hit the spot. Or maybe you're just looking for a romantic getaway with nothing on the agenda but to wake and see what the day brings. Carmel delivers on all fronts.
Here are a few things that make Carmel truly unique:
Businesses don't have street numbers so expect an address to include directions like "On San Carlos between 5th & 6th (one and a half blocks north of Ocean Avenue)" for the Visitors Center.
There aren't many street lights. This isn't as obvious as it may sound. We walked around town after dinner and commented that it felt so peaceful and calm. It turns out that not having the buzz and brightness of street lights makes a world of difference for a post-dinner stroll. And don't forget to look up. Minimal street lights mean you can see the gorgeous night sky.
A permit from City Hall is required for wearing high heels. While not technically enforced, a city ordinance was created in the 1920's that requires all that wish to wear footwear which measure more than two inches in height and less than one square inch of bearing surface first obtain a permit. It's more of a ceremonial gesture at this point but just in case, swing by City Hall when you get into town and check this one off the list!
Whether you return every year for a special occasion or it's a destination that's always been on your bucket list, you'll leave Carmel feeling rejuvenated, inspired, and a touch bohemian.
Celebrating the centennial in 2016, Carmel has a deep artistic heritage that stems from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and continues today. Find out more from the Carmel Heritage Society and be sure to give yourself enough time while you're in town for the self-guided historic walking tour.
Sights and Activities
Beach activities (kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, and sunsets)
Discover secret courtyards and passageways throughout downtown
Museum at Carmel's historic San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission
Tours (art, food, walk, driving)
AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm
Carmel Bach Festival
Summer Live Music Series (July-August)
Tor House Fall Festival
Monterey Jazz Festival
Inns of Distinction Tour
Adobe Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Best Western Carmel's Town House Lodge
Candle Light Inn
Carmel Bay View Inn
Carmel Cottage Inn
Carmel Fireplace Inn
Carmel Garden Inn
Carmel Inn & Suites