Through a curious mixture of spontaneity and careful planning, Carmel-by-the-Sea became – and remains – something that is increasingly hard to come by in a globalized world: a city that is uniquely, authentically, and consciously itself.

So what is Carmel-by-the-Sea? According to the city’s general plan, it is a “village in a forest overlooking a white sand beach.” Even as the decades turned into a century, Carmel-by-the-Sea retained this original character, and retains it still.

The city owes much of its modern character to its past life as an arts colony. Founded in 1905, the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club attracted much talent and some genius, including that of Jack London and Sinclair Lewis. Today, the emphasis on art is still there, perhaps nowhere more so than at the Carmel Art Association, the oldest art gallery in Carmel. But there is no shortage of art galleries, especially downtown. At a few of them, visitors can meet the artists whose galleries double as their studio and workspace. For a different kind of art, visit the Sunset Center, Carmel’s venue for live music and theater.

Carmel-by-the-Sea would not be what it is without its white sand beach. Whether you’re walking down Ocean Avenue or driving down Scenic Road, you will certainly remember Carmel Beach as one of the prettiest on the West Coast.

Worth Checking Out

  • Carmel Beach
  • Sunset Center
  • Carmel Art Association

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