Carmel Secret Walk

Carmel-by-the-Sea Travel Blog

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City Hall!

We finally saw Carmel proper today! Short on time since it is our last day in Carmel and we hadn't yet seen the town, we got up "early" and headed out for the Carmel Secret Walk. A longtime resident named Grace leads 2 hour walks through the nooks and crannies of this very interesting village, hitting highlights, places you would not think to visit and mostly going through secret alleys instead of taking major streets. She charges $25 per person, which I thought was a little pricey but not terrible.

Carmel-by-the-sea a gorgeous small village near the ocean that is the definition of quaint and original. Small shops and homes that are 1 story tall stand along tree lined streets that boast all sorts of fall colors. I believe this town is one of the inspirations for Thomas Kinkade paintings, and sure enough - his first art gallery is located here.
Doris Day's Hotel - Cypress Inn


Carmel-by-the-sea has a population is just over 4,000 and the town is approximately 1 square mile large. Many art galleries and wonderful little places to eat can be found here, but it is not really a place to spend more than a day. It is one of the more interesting little American towns you will find for 4 reasons. Old movie stars' continuing presence (such as Doris Day and Clint Eastwood), being America's most dog-friendly town, having been founded as a hippie art colony and all the strange and whimsicals laws they have that promote its natural beauty and quaint atmosphere.

There are more than a handful of hotels that welcome dogs, most restaurants have an actual dog menu, and practically all the stores have a water dish and dog treats right outside their front door.
One of the restaurants in Carmel.
Our canine friends are so celebrated here that they have limo rides for birthday parties and parades on certain holidays where they get all dressed up!

So onto the strange laws. One of them is that no neon or plastic signage is allowed. Therefore you will see all shops (gas stations included) have hand carved wood signs. Another rule is that high heels are not allowed, but if you go to city hall and sign a waiver that you won't sue the city if you trip on their sidewalks, you are welcome to wear high heels and get a certificate indicating this.

Another interesting rule here is that there are no addresses! The community at large makes daily trips to the post office to collect their mail and interact with their neighbors. Because of this, you can call your home anything you like, and indicate the cross streets.
Heart shaped slate footstones!
A retired math professor apparently calls his house "Aftermath" so I can only imagine the corniness/cuteness that abounds here. I looked on the restaurant receipts and sure enough - no addresses!
 
There is definitely no scarcity of restaurants in this little town. We literally had more than 5 suggestions from our tour guide ended up eating at 2 of them - one right after the other =) We went to the Hog's Breath because it had an interesting saloon vibe and had 7 fireplaces! Then we went to a French Boulangerie to try the best French onion soup in town - which actually exceeded our expectations! I think it's safe to say that though the variety is limited to Italian, French and American - the quality is very, very good.
mellemel8 says:
i miss this place.
Posted on: Dec 27, 2007
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City Hall!
City Hall!
Doris Days Hotel - Cypress Inn
Doris Day's Hotel - Cypress Inn
One of the restaurants in Carmel.
One of the restaurants in Carmel.
Heart shaped slate footstones!
Heart shaped slate footstones!
A commonly found chimney in Carmel…
A commonly found chimney in Carme…
One of the many details youll fin…
One of the many details you'll fi…
Wine bottle Christmas tree!
Wine bottle Christmas tree!
Some obvious taste for standard sh…
Some obvious taste for standard s…
An alley leading to Thomas Kinkade…
An alley leading to Thomas Kinkad…
same alley
same alley
First ever Thomas Kinkade gallery
First ever Thomas Kinkade gallery
A Cooperative art gallery
A Cooperative art gallery
Carmel walk ends!
Carmel walk ends!
Interesting fairytale houses
Interesting fairytale houses
Same restaurant in C armel.
Same restaurant in C armel.
Real estate office
Real estate office
Clint Eastwoods Hogs Breath Inn
Clint Eastwood's Hog's Breath Inn
They really like dogs here - look,…
They really like dogs here - look…
Carmel-by-the-Sea
photo by: livelovelaugh87