Nestled in the forest between the Monterey Peninsula to the north and the majestic Big Sur coast to the south, Carmel offers a wealth of activities and attractions. Officially named Carmel-by-the-Sea, this Charming one-square mile village is located above the beautiful white-sand Carmel City Beach. This is a town famous for its art galleries, which overflow with a diverse selection of art from acclaimed local and international artists. Carmel features fine dining, incredible natural beauty, and great shopping. It is a charming little town with a European feel. Carmel-by-the-Sea has some unparalleled beaches; bordered by cypress trees and with soft white sand, they are some of the most picturesque in the world.
Since the turn of the century Carmel has attracted artists, writers, and musicians; this is apparent through the abundance of art galleries throughout the town. Carmel's residents have always embraced the natural beauty of the city, and have strived to preserve the strikingly beautiful natural environment. In keeping with its quaint feel, Carmel-by-the Sea prohibits neon signs, billboards, streetlights, and parking meters. You won't find mailboxes, or even street addresses in Carmel, either; residents gather at the post office to pick up mail each day. The famous actor, Clint Eastwood, was mayor of Carmel between 1986 and 1988, although his connections with the city began many years prior to his political position. Clint Eastwood directed his first movie here in 1971 which is entitled 'Play Misty For Me'.
Carmel hosts a number of artistic festivals and events each year, including the Carmel Bach Festival, the National Chamber Music Competition, the Art Festival, the Shakespeare Festival, the Performing Arts Festival, and Carmel Art Walk. Other local events include the Masters of Food and Wine at the Highlands Inn and the Great Sand Castle Contest on Carmel City Beach.
Twelve miles east of Carmel-by-the-Sea you will find Carmel Valley, full of beautiful oak trees, rolling hills, and grassy meadows. Carmel Valley offers a variety of excellent hiking trails. When the weather is foggy on the coast it is often sunny in the valley, making it an ideal place for a summer hike. With dry and mild climate suitable for cultivating rich vines, the area also presents many opportunities for wine tasting experiences at many of the exceptional wineries of the region.
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