Welcome to Carmel by the Sea
Magnificent luxury homes in a storybook coastal community.
Along a rugged stretch of Monterey County’s stunning coastline lies the picturesque community of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Officially designated a city, Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply known as “Carmel,” resembles a charming beachfront far more than its city designation. Known for its storybook-like streets and cottages, luxury hotels, and pristine Carmel Beach, the town has long drawn visitors from across the country to enjoy life in one of California’s most idyllic communities.
Originally settled by Spanish mariners and explorers, Carmel later became a self-proclaimed artistic colony where writers, painters, and sculptors could retreat to their tranquil cottages and create masterpieces while reveling in the support of a like-minded community.
Today, the city is still a primarily touristic destination, although those who choose to make Carmel their permanent homes are often loath to leave the romantic atmosphere and scenic landscape for anything more than a necessity. As a result, Carmel’s property market can be rather limited and, at times, incredibly competitive.
What to Love
- Incredible natural beauty
- Pristine, sandy beaches
- Fairytale setting and a laid-back lifestyle
- Tight-knit community of home and property owners
Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for its charming, larger-than-life lifestyle, with residents enjoying days by the beach or strolling through the quaint streets seemingly without a care in the world. With the larger, more amenity-rich city of Monterey only five miles away, most Carmel residents are happy to keep their community as simple and old-fashioned as it has always been, preferring to commute to Monterey for access to modern conveniences and amenities in lieu of inviting modernization and urbanization to a storybook village seemingly left untouched by time.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Despite its village-like appearance, Carmel-by-the-Sea is home to a selection of unique, independent eateries and boutiques. Girl Boy Girl is a beloved specialty store stocking high-end clothing from acclaimed and independent designers. Alternatively, Carmel Plaza is one of the city’s only mall-style retail destinations and offers outdoor shopping in a small, beautifully designed setting. The plaza is home to many designer brands, including Anthropologie, Kate Spade, and Tiffany & Co.
One of Carmel’s most popular eateries, La Bicyclette Restaraunt, is a lovely European-style bistro serving freshly prepared meals and pastries crafted using locally sourced ingredients. The award-winning 7th and Dolores Steakhouse is another unmissable destination, offering patrons a refined steakhouse menu, sustainably caught seafood, and acclaimed local wines in an airy, elegant setting.
Things to Do
Although many of Carmel’s most popular activities involve strolling the enticingly charming streets or lounging in the sun on the beach, the city also hosts a number of highly anticipated annual events, like the Carmel Art Festival. Paying homage to the city’s artistic roots, the festival features exhibits by local acclaimed and aspiring artists and draws crowds from across the county to enjoy a day of wine, good food, and thought-provoking masterpieces in one of California’s most unique cities. Another beloved event is the Carmel Bach Festival, which began in 1935 and has brought classical music enthusiasts together for nearly 100 years since then. The festival lasts for two weeks and features a series of concerts, lectures, and master classes for the public to attend.
For avid foodies and chefs, Taste of Carmel is not to be missed. Taking participants on a month-long tour of the village through tastings of world-class culinary creations and acclaimed wines, the event is one of the city’s most popular to attend.
And, should a more adrenaline-fuelled experience of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s beauty be in order, the Big Sur International Marathon ends in the city and offers fitness enthusiasts a great excuse to be active while enjoying the landscape of the county and the community they call home.
Despite its reputation as a strictly seaside vacation destination, Carmel-by-the-Sea’s permanent residents can enjoy access to many highly-regarded schools, including:
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