Carmel By The Sea, California

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Carmel By The Sea, California

Introduction to Carmel, California

Carmel By The Sea, California, in Monterey county, is 15 miles SW of Salinas, California (center to center) and 53 miles S of San Jose, California. The town is typically called Carmel. It's a charming, small town located on the scenic Monterey Peninsula and is known for its artistic history, upscale shops and restaurants, galleries, cafes, inns, white sandy beaches and beautiful views.

The city has followed a strict plan of development to maintain the "Village in the Forest" image. The houses and cottages do not have street numbers; residents get their mail from the post office. Carmel includes a lot of very expensive homes. Visitors and residents enjoy going to the beach to watch the beautiful sunsets.

Carmel History

The Esselen-speaking people were the original inhabitants but were forced out by the Ohlone. In 1602 a Carmelite Friar, Sebastian Vizcaino arrived in Carmel Valley. He named the region in tribute to the patron saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was established in 1770. The area became part of the Mexican Territory in 1821 after Mexico became independent from Spain. In 1848 it became part of the United States after Mexico gave up California due to the Mexican-American War.

In 1907 the well known Carmel Arts and Crafts Clubhouse was constructed. The notable clubhouse was destroyed by a fire. The Forest Theater was the first outdoor theater situated west of the Rocky Mountains. In the early years, a vast number of the homes in Carmel were constructed by people devoted to the arts. In the past the city councils were filled primarily with artists. The city was incorporated in 1916.

Carmel Attractions

  • Golden Bough Playhouse.
  • Carmel Bach Festival.
  • The Monterey Symphony.
  • Sunset Community and Cultural Center.
  • Forest Theater is an historic outdoor venue which features a variety of theatrical performances.
  • Carmel is well known for art galleries and shops that offer unique apparel and jewelry.
  • Tor House & Hawk Tower.
  • Carmel Plaza incudes popular upscale shops.
  • The Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo is a National Historic Landmark.
  • 17 Mile Drive traverses through upscale communities filled with impressive mansions and charming cottages and along the majestic coastline.
  • Gravity Garden is a sculpture garden made from rocks.
  • The Barnyard is a popular shopping village which features numerous art galleries, antique and clothing shops and a beautiful garden.
  • There are numerous spas in the area.
  • The Carmel Valley Ranch is a large acreage and a well known resort which is surrounded by a scenic forest.

Carmel Activities and Entertainment

Tourists and residents enjoy hiking at the scenic Point Lobos, which is a rocky outcrop situated along the coast and features a collection of small coves. The wineries in Carmel Valley are popular tourist destinations. Golf enthusiasts enjoy playing at the well known Pebble Beach Golf Course. The scenic Big Sir area is nearby.

The sandy white beach is a popular destination. The Hog's Breath Inn, The Forge in the Forest, Allegro Gourmet Pizzeria, Rio Grill and Cafe Stravaganza are some of the popular restaurants in Carmel. Sade's Bar and the Cypress Inn lounge are two popular nightlife destinations.

Carmel Transportation

The city is served by the nearby Monterey Airport.

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High Points

Carmel By the Sea strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in California):

Category Trophy
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Carmel By the Sea Well-Paid Single Women
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Carmel By the Sea Well-Paid Single Men
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Carmel By the Sea College Educated Adults
Median Family Income
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Carmel By the Sea Median Family Income
People in Middle Class or Better
(vs. Peers)
Top 10% Carmel By the Sea People in Middle Class or Better
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 11% Carmel By the Sea Public Transportation Use
Short Commute Times
(vs. State)
Top 12% Carmel By the Sea Short Commute Times

Comparative Profile of Carmel By the Sea, California

Comparing Carmel By the Sea to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in California (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Women 10 10
Age of the Population 10 10
Well-Paid Single Men 10 9
Senior Citizens 10 10
Racial Diversity 8 1
Male Share of the Population 1 1
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 1 2
Average Household Size 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 9
Median Family Income 10 9
People in Middle Class or Better 10 9
People Above Poverty 8 8

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 10 10
Public Transportation Use 9 5
Short Commute Times 8 9
Walking and Biking to Work 2 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 9
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 10 10
Housing Recently Built 2 1
Affordability of Property Taxes 1 2
Affordability of Rents 1 2

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Carmel By the Sea Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 15 miles SW of Salinas, California (center to center)
Nearest Large City 53 miles S of San Jose, California
County Monterey
Metro Area Salinas
Standard Zip Codes 93923
P.O. Box Zip Codes 93921, 93922
Phone Area Codes 831
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 36.56
Longitude -121.89
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Carmel By the Sea Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 4,081 100%
Male 1,777 43.5%
Female 2,304 56.5%
Under 18 403 9.9%
18+ 3,678 90.1%
65+ 1,258 30.8%
Median Age 54.3
Average Family Size 2.39
White 3,860 94.6%
African-American 18 0.4%
Asian 92 2.3%
American Indian & Alaskan 13 0.3%
Other 37 0.9%
Mixed Race 55 1.3%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 120 2.9%

Estimated Carmel By the Sea Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 3,994
Growth -87
Growth % -2.1%

Carmel By the Sea Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
English 23%
Irish 10.3%
German 9.4%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 7.5%
US/American 6.6%
Italian 3.9%
Scottish 3.4%
European 3.3%
Norwegian 3.1%
French (except Basque) 3%
British 2.6%
Scotch-Irish 2.5%
Swedish 1.9%
Russian 1.8%
Polish 1.4%
Danish 1.3%
Swiss 1.2%
Hungarian 1%
Dutch 0.9%
Belgian 0.9%
Lithuanian 0.8%
Brazilian 0.7%
French Canadian 0.6%
Greek 0.6%
Finnish 0.6%
Armenian 0.5%
Austrian 0.5%
Welsh 0.5%
Icelander 0.5%
Basque 0.4%
Yugoslavian 0.4%
Portuguese 0.4%
Latvian 0.4%
Celtic 0.4%
Eastern European 0.4%
Canadian 0.4%
Northern European 0.3%
Ukrainian 0.3%
Croatian 0.2%
Palestinian 0.2%
Czech 0.2%
Alsatian 0.2%
Scandinavian 0.2%
Iranian 0.2%
Slovene 0.2%
Other Arab 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Carmel By the Sea 4,081 $81,259
Del Rey Oaks 1,650 $70,119
Monterey 29,674 $58,757
Pacific Grove 15,522 $59,569
Sand City 261 $37,500
Seaside 31,696 $43,259

Starbucks in Carmel By the Sea

(As of 2005)
555 Carmel Rancho Shop Ctr
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Carmel By the Sea High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 758 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19

A Non-traditional School
Serves 24 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.6

Carmel By the Sea Colleges

(List of California Colleges)

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Pismo Beach, California 84   35.5% 24.5% 37.1% 21 $61,036 4% 8.7% 8,551 9% 54.3 18.9% 5.3
2. South Padre Island, Texas 83.5   33.7% 18.4% 35.5% 20 $53,250 4.1% 5.4% 2,422 12% 270.9 44.1% 16.5
3. Madeira Beach, Florida 83.2   42.3% 22% 22.2% 25 $50,833 2.4% 2.9% 4,511 9.8% 70.5 27.6% 7.5
4. Daytona Beach Shores, Florida 78.1   36.7% 49.2% 24.9% 22 $52,731 0.9% 3.4% 4,299 6.8% 82.1 36% 14.2
5. Surfside Beach, South Carolina 77.9   31.4% 19.5% 27.5% 21 $49,847 3.7% 3.3% 4,425 7.5% 64.9 23.9% 5.9
6. Atlantic Beach, North Carolina 77.3   39.5% 18.2% 30.7% 21 $52,411 2.1% 2% 1,781 7.3% 128 73.1% 9.6
7. Sea Isle City, New Jersey 75.4   38.4% 27.1% 28.3% 23 $62,847 3.3% 2.1% 2,835 7.6% 84.7 73.5% 7.4
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