Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea, more commonly known as simply Carmel, is one of the most famous and beautiful spots in Monterey County. It's on the Pacific Coast Highway about 120 miles south of San Francisco, 5 miles south of Monterey and a 330-mile drive north
from Los Angeles.

All Photos (c) Donna Dailey

Carmel-by-the-Sea is very much an artistic community, going way back before famous resident Clint Eastwood really put it on the world map when he became the mayor from 1986-88.

Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson was one early visitor who lived in Carmel for a while, as did the acclaimed landscape photographer Ansel Adams.

More recent celebrity residents have included actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and crime writer James Ellroy. It's a very popular tourist spot, a little like a California version of Aspen in Colorado.

One thing Carmel-by-the-Sea is famous for is that its buildings carry no street numbers. That goes way back, when residents decided they didn't want such modern creations as house numbers and street lights. And they've resisted them ever since. If you're trying to find a restaurant or one of the many fine inns that you can stay at in Carmel, you'll need to know the cross streets. If you're thinking of living there you'll have to collect your mail from the post office like everyone else.

There isn't actually a great deal to do in Carmel, as it has remained largely a village whose residents find it charming enough as it is. You won't find museums to visit – galleries, yes, for artists are still attracted to the place. There are fine, white sand beaches, a mission, some historic houses, and... well, that's about it. Fine dining as well, and some luxurious accommodation – but there are budget choices too, comparatively speaking, if you want to stay and get the night-time atmosphere rather than just pass through.

More Information
For further information about Carmel visit the
Carmel Business Association website

The Best Things to Do in Carmel
For what to do in Carmel, see our
Best Things to Do in Carmel page.

Once owned by Clint Eastwood, The Hog's Breath Inn is still going strong in Carmel

You might like these

  • Oceanside

    Oceanside is a typical southern California beach town with a surf culture and with the Pacific Coast Highway running right through it.

  • Carlsbad

    Carlsbad is a beach city north of San Diego in southern California famous for its flower fields, LEGOLAND resort and water park, surfing and SEA LIFE Aquarium.

  • San Clemente California

    San Clemente in California is a small city on the Pacific Coast Highway midway between San Diego and Los Angeles, noted for its beaches and surfing.



Recent Articles

  1. San Francisco to San Diego

    Mar 29, 21 05:25 PM

    Driving from San Francisco to San Diego has two main options, the fast way on I-5 or the scenic route along the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Read More

  2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    Mar 25, 21 03:38 PM

    San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a partner of San Diego Zoo and offers the chance to see wildlife in its natural habitat with a wide range of safaris on offer.

    Read More

  3. 5 Southern California trails that take you to the edge of the ocean

    Mar 24, 21 10:36 AM

    Here are five Southern California trails that do something most hikes don’t — take you to the edge of the ocean. They’re mostly flat, which is why hardcore hikers often scorn them, and some are busy o…

    Read More