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.
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.
- 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.
The city is served by the nearby Monterey Airport.