This town was established in 1904 by a group of artists and writers as a retreat center. The original flavor of the town is still preserved today. It has a unique individuality and small village charm. There are many different architectural styles, many incorporating international styles. Carmel is quite a bit smaller then Monterey but a wealthier enclave.
Clint Eastwood used to be mayor of this town for two years.
Businesses in town have no mailing addresses – all mail is delivered to the post office. When giving directions, simply refer to locations as a block of a certain street surrounded by the cross streets.
Every summer the 90 year old Outdoor Forest Theatre plays host to a variety of cultural events for tourists and residents. In mid July you can enjoy a 3 week celebration of Bach’s music. Then from the beginning of August through the first week in October Carmel plays host to the Shakespeare Festival.
Parking can sometimes be challenging around the downtown area. Speaking of cars this is a good town to keep an eye out for expensive and rare automobiles driving around the streets. There is a free parking lot on Third Street and Torres Street.
The most popular areas for shopping are in and around the center of town located along Ocean Avenue. The Barnyard is a shopping and dining complex located several miles away from town at the intersection of Highway 1 and Carmel Valley Road. It features many fine galleries and specialty shops.
Another neat place to visit for shopping is the Crossroads, just east of Highway 1 and the Carmel Mission. They offer almost 100 boutique shops, specialty shops, and some cute restaurants.
Carmel Beach is located at the end of Ocean Ave (main street that runs through central Carmel). This is a popular hangout with both locals and visitor’s alike. Volleyball courts. Very soft white sand. We’ve always spotted beach bums hanging out here during our numerous visits over the years.