Carmel on the Central Coast of California Travel guide
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Central Coast - Carmel

Carmel received a lot of press in the mid-1980s when Clint Eastwood was its mayor. Carmel Nestled between 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

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