"Clinton Eastwood's Hamlet is Worth the Visit" Carmel-by-the-Sea by atufft
Carmel-by-the-Sea Travel Guide: 422 reviews and 1,232 photos
The mission is second oldest in Alta California after San Diego and is located along the north side of the open grasslands of the estuary of the Carmel Valley. The town of Carmel grew to the north of the Mission and reaches down to the coast. The downtown is within a long walk or short bicycle ride of the mission. For many years, the mission was neglected but after an earthquake virtually destroyed it in the last century, a complete restoration was undertaken. Regular Catholic Mass services are held in the mission, and there's a gift shop that has a good collection of books on the missions, California Indians, and Rancho Life.
In the 20's through the 40's, Carmel was a artist's get-a-away where beach bungalows were built to maximize landscape views of the sea. Now, these bungalows are virtually all completely rebuilt and expanded, but local codes forbid building higher than a neighbor's view of the coast. These homes are now very pricey, and so their restoration is something of an architects dream. Browse through Sunset magazine to see regular contributions. Much of the lifestyle an ambiance of the area has its roots in the relaxed Mission life.
The Mission was much less productive of fruits and vegetables than, for example, Mission Santa Clara. However, the pine trees and natural vegetation were mixed with ornamentals from around the world. The bouganvia is a popular ornamental in Carmel. Although Carmel has been the haunt of the rich and famous for several generations, Hollywood actor, director, and former mayor Clint Eastwood is perhaps the town's most famous resident.
- Pros:Wonderful landscapes mixed with quaint residential architecture
- Cons:Can be touristy on summer days
- In a nutshell:Window shopping along the quaint downtown is worth a day
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The beach houses in Carmel have been restored, expanded, and otherwise enhanced from the tiny bungalows of the 1930's to... more travel advice
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