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.



Total Population3,834
Male Share of the Population43.8%
Female Share of the Population56.2%
Senior Citizens33%
Employed Population 16+
Age of the Population54


% of people married61.7%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher58.6%
Median Earnings25+$0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$0
Median Earnings With High School Degree$0


Median Family Income$103,841
% Above Poverty Level91.9%
% Below Poverty Level8.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time21 minutes
% Working from Home14.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work7.2%
% Using Public Transportation2.4%


People Living Alone32.4%
Median Gross Rent$1,752
Median House Value$1,165,200


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)30.3%
French Except Basque7.3%
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Carmel By the Sea Almanac

Nearest Medium City 15 miles SW of Salinas, California (center to center)
Nearest Large City53 miles S of San Jose, California
Metro AreaSalinas
Phone Area Codes
Time Zone
Daylight SavingsThe city observes Daylight Saving Time.

Carmel By the Sea Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Del Rey Oaks1,673$108,667
Pacific Grove15,505$98,571
Sand City312$32,679
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Sources :
Study Online in Carmel By the Sea
Additional Resources
Info for Carmel By the Sea Government Officials

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