Monterey + Carmel
When the desert got too hot to handle I decided to stay a few nights with friends who live along the coast.
It had been several years since I’d been to Monterey and Carmel but I remember liking it a lot. There’s not much not to like about it. For starters it’s pretty picturesque especially if you take the famous 17-Mile Drive to Pebble Beach, one of the most scenic drives in the world. You twine through the impressive Del Monte Forest and take in the hypnotic coastline and golf’s greatest landmarks. Which leads me (and everyone else who does the windy drive) to the beach town called Carmel-by-the-Sea. The name has a nice ring to it don’t you think?
Carmel is a fairytale. It’s known for museums, art galleries, a library and little cottages strewn along cobblestone streets. Unique local shops and restaurants complete this charming village built on the Monterey Peninsula. A great plus is it’s also dog friendly, even on the beach. Thank you Doris Day. She was responsible for making Carmel doggy heaven here on earth. One more reason to want to move there.
Five Fun Facts about Carmel
Clint Eastwood was once the mayor but it has been more than 30 years and visitors continue to ask Is Clint Eastwood still the mayor?
No chain restaurants.
Whaaat? With no fast food restaurants the city’s enchanting eateries and tasting rooms offer a full range of cuisine and wine tasting all within walking distance from the over 40 hotels and inns.
I love this one: No street addresses. Unwilling to see their village become citified, Carmel’s founding fathers rejected the practice house- to-house mail delivery in favor of a central post office. To this day, there are still no addresses, parking meters or street lights, and no sidewalks outside of Carmel’s downtown commercial area. Those seeking directions receive hints such as fifth house on the east side of Torres Street, green trim, driftwood fence or by the legendary names adorning most houses, such as Hansel or Sea Urchin. It is, by the way, bad luck to change the name on a Carmel cottage. And why would you? Afterall I want to be Carefree .
There used to be an unusual law of prohibiting selling and eating ice cream on public streets. In 1986 Clint Eastwood and the new council elected along with him, overturned the ordinance and other similar laws that they considered to be too restrictive to businesses and visitors. Dirty Harry to the rescue!
This is the best:
You need a permit to wear high heels?
Though often mistakenly thought of as an urban myth, the municipal code of Carmel bans wearing shoes having heels more than 2 inches in height or with a base of less than one square inch unless the wearer has obtained a permit for them. While the local police do not cite those in violation of the ordinance, this seemingly peculiar law was authored by the city attorney in 1963 to defend the city from lawsuits resulting from wearers of high-heeled shoes tripping over irregular pavement distorted by tree roots. Permits are available without charge at City Hall.
Whew! I was worried for a sec. But for safety purposes I’ll definitely carry a measuring tape in my bag.
Images: d. king (except for the one I’m in – someone else took that).