Carmel, California, actually named Carmel-by-the-Sea, offers breathtaking scenery all in a quaint, yet upscale, beachside residential community. Close to Monterey and Pacific Grove, Carmel is known for its early 1900s art colony and resident artists and novelists such as Jack London and Sinclair Lewis. Clint Eastwood owns several establishments in Carmel and was mayor of the town from 1986 to 1988. Other well-known Carmel residents have included Doris Day, Betty White and Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. Interesting things to do in Carmel include shopping at the Barnyard and Vermillion Asian Arts, visiting the Carmel Mission and driving, walking or cycling the Seventeen Mile Drive.
Experiencing the Seventeen Mile Drive is one of the most popular things to do in Carmel for those looking to take in some amazing California scenery. The road winds from Carmel to Pacific Grove through beach areas, golf courses and the Del Monte Forest which is known for its Monterey Pine trees. You'll find beautiful views of the ocean with beachside cliffs and Cypress trees along the ocean shores. Look-out spots such as the one at the Pebble Beach Golf Club offer a place to stretch your legs and take some photos. Toll fees are required for vehicles, but many Seventeen Mile Drive restaurants reimburse the toll and walking and cycling the Drive is free.
If you're looking for history-related things to do in Carmel, you may want to tour the Carmel Mission and Museum. The Mission, located near the Carmel River, was founded by Padre Junipero Serra of the Order of Franciscan Friars. The Mission was first located in Monterey in 1770 and was called the Mission of San Carlos Boromeo before it was re-established in Carmel in 1771.
Shopping is one of the most favorite things to do in Carmel for those looking for unique items. Vermillion Asian Arts has rare and beautiful home furnishings and artwork. The store displays ceramics, textiles and many other Asian items such as tea sets, kimonos and its popular Japanese Kokeshi dolls. The Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel has art galleries, fashion stores, home decor shops and eight restaurants. The Barnyard features an outdoor patio and a brick-accented courtyard used for many different community events.