Carmel is like a picture you would see on a cover of an English classic: of a brightly painted door or an wood-framed window peeping out of a green facade of shrubs and creepers decked with flowers.
Take a walk around the town and you see brick house here, an English cottage there, some Mission-styled architecture, some half-timbered structures; each of them prettied up with a garden full of flowers or planters overflowing with flowers. There are decorative lamps adorning the stone and brick buildings, and flower-laden vines taking over many a wall and roof.
Carmel is a seaside town in California that you could easily mistake for an English village with some Spanish touches.
Also called Carmel-by-the sea, this charming town is also known for being home to several artists and poets and authors and musicians. The most famous resident of this city however must be Clint Eastwood. Mr. Eastwood had even served as the Mayor of Carmel in the 80s.
It has been a while since I was in Carmel. But I remember, like it was just yesterday that I was there, how charming and picturesque the little town was. Even the businesses in the downtown area were housed in the story-book type houses this place is known for. Carmel looked like a good place to buy art, specially crafted jewelry and unique pieces of home decor. The city also seemed to have several inns, Italian restaurants and coffee shops with wrought iron patio furniture outside, painted in white and looking like they belong in a period drama.
Another thing I must tell you is that there are no fast food chains here, almost no swanky buildings and no door numbers. In a long time, I hadn’t seen houses with names written on the gates or at their front doors. It really did feel like another place, another country.
I also couldn’t help noticing was that this city seemed an extremely dog friendly city. There were so many dogs out on the streets, big ones, tiny ones and dogs of every breed and colour. Several shops had doggie bowls with water at their doors, so that the canine tourists walking around town could take a sip if thirsty.
When I was reading up about the place, I found that this place had this rather unheard of law of prohibiting the use of high heels without permit. I hear that the idea is to prevent people from suing the city for uneven pavement of the side walks. Unfortunately I had come across this piece of information only after I got back from my visit, or I could have taken notice of what kind of footwear everybody was wearing. I’m not even sure many people know about the law. Maybe I’d have known if I had gone in heels. That was day I was wearing the most comfortable flats I had (with soles like that of a running shoe) and so I got to really enjoy the walk down Ocean Avenue.
Ocean Avenue is a road that turns off Highway one, passes through downtown Carmel and then goes all the way down to the beach. If you like scenic drives, you can continue down past Carmel City Beach and embark on a seaside drive past several sea-front homes and inns and beaches and finally get to Carmel River Beach.
|Carmel City Beach.|
|Carmel City beach is a white sand beach.|
|And almost a mile in length.|
|Some seaside homes beside Carmel City Beach.|
|Carmel River State Beach.|
|Also from Carmel River State Beach.|