Discover Old World Taste & White Sand Beaches
With a Mediterranean climate, white sand beaches and charming courtyards and secret passageways it is no surprise Carmel by the Sea, California was rated the "#3 Best City for Romance in the World" by Travel & Leisure. This charming village located on the Pacific Coast, about 330 miles north of Los Angeles and 120 miles south of San Francisco has no streetlights, no sidewalks except in the downtown commercial district and houses have names instead of street numbers. Founded in 1771, the clear vision of the one-square-mile village was not realized until the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1892 Abbie Jane Hunter, a San Francisco based Real Estate Investment Company took over the land from Samuel Duckworth whose vision was to create a Catholic resort town. A promotional brochure went out around 1890 promoting Carmel City as a “Catholic Summer Resort” however once the speculations of the Southern Pacific Railroad extending their tracks to Carmel City was deemed untrue the vision of the Catholic resort town quickly faded. Once it was in the hands of Abbie Jane Hunter she sent out a mass mailing postcard promoting Carmel City as "Carmel by the Sea", an ideal summer resort and from that time on new homes were built and families were making the little village their home and references to Carmel City or a Catholic Resort were gone and Carmel by the Sea was born.
Between 1900 and 1930, Carmel’s population went from 638 people to over 2,000, bringing the bohemian lifestyle to Carmel following the great San Francisco earthquake. The Carmel Arts and Crafts Club was formed to support and produce artistic works of the musicians, writers, painters and other artists after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed the bay city. Amongst them was poet George Sterling known as the "uncrowned King of Bohemia who came to Carmel to help establish the town's literary base and has been credited with putting Carmel by the sea on the map. Today you can still see the bohemian influence weaved throughout the village.
Hugh Comstock was never a builder, nor an architect in fact he was just an ordinary man who wanted to make his wife happy. In 1924 his beloved wife, Mayotta, asked him to build a house for the “Otsy-Totsys” dolls she made and sold and he got busy designing and building what would become a big part of what makes Carmel by the sea the romantic village it is today. Taking his inspiration from the English Countryside, his unique design complete with high pointed roof lines, thatched looking roofs, rolled eaves, asymmetrical storybook stone fireplaces, rounded doors and detailed wooden trim and inlays which he named Hansel. His work got instant recognition and people flowed to him asking to build their house in the same charming style. There are 21 remaining Comstock cottages in Carmel today and strolling through the courtyards to secret passageways, shops, restaurants and wine tasting rooms you can still enjoy the construction of the 1920 English style cottages and fairytale-like architecture.
In 1988 the beloved Doris Day, animal welfare activist and movie star took over the Cypress Inn, a Spanish-style hotel in the center of Carmel with business partner Dennis LeVett making the hotel 100% dog friendly. Her love for animals has made Carmel by the sea the #1 Dog Friendly Town in America today. Dishes full of water can be found along Ocean Avenue along with dog friendly menus at restaurants and dogs enjoying the white sand beaches with their owners.
Doing the research on Carmel by the sea we found this little village to be full of charm, history and dogs and if you’re lucky while visiting, you might even get a glimpse of Clint Eastwood, Carmel’s most famous mayor.