Walking around Carmel by the Sea is like stepping into a fairy tail. It’s kind of hard to describe our first impression of this town. It’s a very unique, wonderful place. One of the first cottages we noticed was the Cottage of Sweets. Cottages like these are commonplace. The best way to describe it is walking into a story book.
Carmel by the Sea was founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. It’s located on Monterey Peninsula. It’s 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco. We took the shuttle bus from SFO airport and it brought us to our inn. We wished we stayed longer than 3 nights. This is the trip that made me realize I have to try harder to experience the outdoors. Victor had been asking for a while and I won’t lie, I’m a sissy city girl with a lot of fears and phobias. Monterey Peninsula has a rugged and wild beauty that made me fall in love with it. If we never took this side trip from San Francisco, I’d probably never have gone to Iceland and British Columbia.
This quirky little town is amazing. We loved the art galleries and my favorite folk artist, George Rodrigue has a gallery here. I’ve loved Blue Dog since my mom and I stumbled upon an exhibit on one of our many walks through NYC’s art galleries when the artists used to populate SoHo. I didn’t get to take a pic of the gallery but I made sure we walked by everyday in Carmel so I could visit my dear Blue Dog. We really loved the artsy vibe about this town.
Another fun quirk is that the cottages and houses have no street numbers. The early artists who built the first homes named them instead of giving them numbers. It’s cute that this is still retained and all residents have to go to a centrally located post office to get mail.
Pavement is irregular and uneven. You have to get a permit to wear heels. You can get the permit at City Hall for free. In the 1920s women would trip in their heels on the pavement and tree roots. A city lawyer came up with this to defend against lawsuits.
There are no chain stores or restaurants. Next time we’d like to stay a week to give us more time to explore, enjoy the eateries and check out the Spanish Mission.
Make sure you bring a flash light, there are no street lights. I read about it this somewhere on-line before we came and it was a handy tip. We really needed our flashlight when we walked to the beach to light a campfire. If you have time, buy wood and light a campfire. Follow the fire management rules, you don’t want to start a wildfire.
To get an up close and personal experience with this area, book a tour with Gael Gallagher. We really enjoyed our time with her; on our tour, we visited art galleries, art studios, walked through passages and learned about the area. We plan to book more tours with her when we return.