Your much anticipated vacation has taken you to Carmel by the Sea, the jewel of the Monterey Peninsula, where you will discover this wonderful seaside community on the central Coast of California. Often referred to as just Carmel this world class destination is well known for its shopping, art galleries, boutique hotels and restaurants. A stroll down the streets of Carmel by the Sea with all the interesting sights and architecture can be appreciated by all ages and is one of the best things to do on the Monterey Peninsula. Carmel is also regarded as one of the most pet friendly cities in the USA. Your dog will love an off leash experience on the white sands of Carmel Beach.
Carmel has long been regarded for its artistic and cultural heritage. With a storied past as an artist community Carmel by the Sea boasts of some of the finest galleries and shows in the country. From a performing arts perspective the Sunset Cultural Center brings world class entertainment, hosts the annual Bach Festival as well as shows by the Monterey Symphony. Live theatrical performance can also be enjoyed at the outdoor Forest Theater.
Carmel by the Sea on the California Central Coast features a combination of sandy beaches and rugged coastline. The white sands of Carmel Beach provide a great family activity for an oceanfront experience and the evening sunsets are nothing short of spectacular. Just south of Carmel but visible from Carmel Beach you will find Point Lobos State Reserve which is regarded as one of the finest parks in the California system and a must see for those visiting the area.
An artistic hotbed for over a century, Carmel-by-the-Sea holds some of the greatest arts establishments in Monterey County. The Golden Bough Playhouse, built on the site of the historic Arts and Crafts Clubhouse, is home to the Pacific Repertory Theatre. PacRep and several other theatrical companies also perform at the Forest Theater, which will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2010.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is also home to some of Monterey County's most notable music organizations and festivals. The world-renowned Carmel Bach Festival brings visitors from around the globe to experience over two weeks of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and other Baroque composers. The Monterey Symphony was founded in Carmel-by-the-Sea and performs regularly at the Sunset Cultural Center. For those interested in more modern music, jazz performances take place at restaurants and venues throughout the town.
The Carmel Art Association counts artists such as Mary DeNeale Morgan, Armin Hansen and Francis McComas as its earliest members, and currently features the work of over 120 artists, many internationally known. Smaller galleries throughout Carmel-by-the-Sea also showcase the work of local and international artists. Festivals throughout the year celebrate the visual arts, including the Carmel Art & Film Festival and the Carmel Art Festival.