Carmel received a lot of press in the mid-1980s when Clint Eastwood was its mayor.
the world famous Pebble Beach golf course to the north and the spectacular Big Sur coast to the South,
Carmel has created a European style retreat away from all the headaches of everyday life. This
exclusive town, originally an artists colony, is just a few miles/kilometers south of Monterey.
The town has a refreshingly calm atmosphere that results, in part, from strict zoning laws that
ban neon, traffic lights and other trappings of urban development. The residential district has
no sidewalks or streetlights, and there is no mail delivery. Carmel's rural setting and leisurely
pace help you relax, and its small elegant inns, restaurants and shops make sure your stay is a
memorable experience. Travelers are drawn to the town for its old-world feel and its meandering
streets of cafes, restaurants and antique stores. Visit the Carmel built in 1793. Father Junipero
Serra, the Majorcan born, priest, who built the string of missions along the California coast, is
buried there, and Pope John XXIII elevated the mission to the rank of minor basilica in 1960. It
now contains a museum that covers the history of the California missions
Carmel is surrounded by beautiful white-sand beaches. Start with lovely Carmel Beach City Park
or Carmel River State Beach and then head south to Point Lobos State Reserve. The beaches there,
like those in Big Sur, are dramatically beautiful. Plan to spend a day at Point Lobos, the parks
well-defined and paved walking trails capture the best of the entire region, passing rocky ocean
cliffs. Take along binoculars to look for otters, sea lions and whales. China Cove's beach is one
of the few places along the northern coast that is (relatively) free of dangerous riptides, and
Whalers Cove is one of the safest places for scuba diving.
Just inland from Carmel proper is expansive Carmel Valley, an upscale resort and residential
area particularly famous for its golf and tennis resorts. In and near Carmel Valley are the
Monterey Wine Country wineries, which are gaining distinction in the industry. From July to
August, Carmel hosts the Carmel Bach Festival, concerts and events honoring the great composer
and his contemporaries
Plan your day so you can drive on to Big Sur 20-30 miles south on Hwy 1 where the scenery
demands that you take as many photographs as you can. Make sure that you fill up with "gas"
as the price of petrol is more expensive in remote and rugged Big Sur