Carmel has been said to be one of the most photographed cities in the world. Few places on earth possess the beauty found within the community of Carmel. Its natural magnificence draws people from around the world, whether they're looking to retire or to just experience this distinctive setting.
The small one-square mile village, though seemingly tiny, offers a sight to see for everyone. Exploration of the village can be taken at a slow, leisurely pace. It is a realm where busy, stressful lifestyles can be completely forgotten and where appreciation for beauty is reflected in the area's homes and gardens. It has been said that the best way to explore this exquisite town is by foot. Strolling through the winding streets of Carmel, visitors can enjoy an intimate European ambience as they investigate over 60 hidden courtyards adorned with galleries, antique shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques and first-class cafes.
With its stylish boutiques, and a wide variety of other small shops, Carmel has become a shopper's paradise. It also has earned its reputation as a gastronome's delight. With over 60 gourmet-quality restaurants, you'll never get bored dining out.
It is no exaggeration that the Carmel area is called one of the leisure sport capitals of the nation, with over a dozen championship golf courses, many offering spectacular ocean views. Golfers enjoy putting under beautifully sunlit skies amidst cool ocean breezes. After playing here, not much else compares.
Also within close proximity to the village are various tennis clubs including Gardener's Tennis Ranch, frequented by U.S. presidents, Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch Tennis Club, The Beach & Tennis Club of Pebble Beach, The Carmel Valley Racquet Club, and The Carmel Valley Ranch Tennis Club.
Sailing, surfing and kayaking are popular sports along this scenic coastline. Sailors and kayakers set out from the Monterey Bay Marina and Pebble Beach's Stillwater Cove. Two of the finest venues for scuba diving in the entire State of California are found at Carmel's Monastery Beach and Monterey's Cannery Row. The best local surf spots include Carmel Beach, Pebble Beach's Moss Beach and Pacific Grove's Asilomar Beach and Lover's Point.
Hiking is the favorite pastime at the Point Lobos State Reserve, and backpackers can camp out amid the scenic splendor of nearby Big Sur. If you're a horse-person, you can avail yourself of the outstanding riding opportunities at The Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, Jack's Peak Riding Stables, The Garland Regional Park, The Santa Lucia Preserve, Holman Ranch, or Andrew Molera State Park.
The area also offers the excitement of auto and motorcycle racing at the famous Laguna Seca Raceway, and it annually hosts the nation's most prestigious classic car exhibit, the Concours d'Elegance. Other spectator sports include bird and whale watching. The Carmel River Beach bird sanctuary teams with a multitude of species. Moreover, whale watchers are sure to catch glimpses of California Grey Whales surfacing in the surrounding waters from November through February.
For additional sights to see, Point Lobos, three miles south of Carmel along Highway One, offers visitors the chance to view wild sea otters, explore rich tide pools and hike through stunning scenic trails. The Monterey Bay Aquarium located on Cannery Row is yet another very popular visitor's site and holds its reputation for being the largest aquarium in the world. The Sunset Cultural Center located within Carmel City Limits, hosts a variety of artistic and musical events including the aforementioned annual Carmel Bach Festival.
You also can partake of numerous cultural activities. The Carmel Bach Festival, The Monterey Jazz & Blues Festivals and The Monterey Symphony are among the more renowned musical offerings. Carmel is home to nearly 100 art and photography galleries representing artists from around the world. A walking tour of artists' studios is an event held each summer. Private instruction in all the major arts is widely available from local professionals who have chosen to live and work here.
Carmel has long been known as a place populated by famous writers, artists and photographers who draw inspiration from the surrounding natural beauty. Writers Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson, photographers Ansel Adams, and Edward Weston, and early California painters William Ritschel and Armin Hansen, among many others, made this town their refuge in years gone by. With all that Carmel has to offer, it's easy to see why, today, it continues to attract such famous residents as Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and John Madden.
For those who need to stay in touch with business and the big city life, Carmel is conveniently located between San Francisco, 120 miles to the North, and Los Angeles, 326 miles to the South. The Silicon Valley of San Jose is yet another booming, technologically rich neighbor a mere 75 miles to the North. In fact, many high-tech entrepreneurs choose to telecommute from their Carmel area homes whenever they can. In addition, the Monterey Peninsula has become a center for international studies and foreign language education.
Luxurious golf properties with Carmel addresses are available at nearby Quail Lodge and the Carmel Valley Ranch. Both developments offer townhouses and single-family dwellings; all within a 7-10 minute drive to downtown Carmel. For larger country estates from 1 - 40 acres, you may wish to visit the Santa Lucia Preserve, just 4.5 miles east of Carmel-By-The-Sea. This 20,000 acre gated nature preserve has only 300 home sites, a championship golf course, equestrian center and a large spa and tennis facility among its many amenities. With its green oak-studded mountains, grassy meadows, redwood canyons and a large lake, this former ranch land offers beauty beyond imagination.