90 Minute Walking Tour of Carmel-by-the-Sea From Carmel Visitors Center

For an interactive map from GPSmyCity for many
of my walking tours please visit this site.  

(1) Centennial Sign

This is a 90 minute self-guided walking tour starting and ending at the Carmel Visitors Center.  The tour will cover historic hotels, shops, art galleries, wine rooms, fairy tale architecture, Devendorf Park, Carmel Beach, and quaint courtyards and passageways that beg to be explored. Numbers in this post correspond to those on this Google Map.  Or use this tinyurl https://tinyurl.com/y8pzos84.

A few words on parking - There is plenty of parking in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Just make sure that you follow the time limits or you will get a parking ticket.  Parking in the central business district is free for 2 hours in most places.  There are also three places for free unlimited parking: Vista Lobos 3rd Avenue and Torres, center of median on Junipero Avenue between 3rd and 5th Avenues, and Sunset Center North Lot on 8th Avenue between Mission and San Carlos Streets.  Finally if you want to pay for parking, we do have one paid parking garage under the Carmel Plaza at Mission Street just north of 7th Avenue.  

Once you are parked make your way to the (2) Carmel Plaza south side Ocean Avenue between Junipero and Mission Streets.  

The (3) Visitor Center is on the
 same level as Ocean Avenue
on the west side of the Plaza.

Coffee & Cocoa Bar

Coffee and pastry may be purchased at Coffee & Cocoa Bar  or picnic snacks at The Cheese Shop.  Both are on the first level of Carmel Plaza.  

Exit Carmel Plaza from the first level on the west side to Mission Street, turn left and pass Patisserie Boissiere.  They also have a yummy take-out picnic menu available starting at 11:30am.  

Cross Mission Street to (4) Court of the FountainsWalk in one side, past two copper-roofed gazebos which were added in the 1960's. 

Tudor Wines 

One gazebo is the art studio of Carmel artist Lisa Bryans, the other Tudor Wines. Around the fountain and pool is the outdoor dining space for Anton & Michel.

Exit the Court of the Fountains at the Mole Hole, a unique boutique.  Right on Mission Street and right again at 7th Avenue.   

At the north east corner of 7th and San Carlos look for (5) Nielsen Brothers Market.  They have a cool mural of Carmel on the wall outside their store. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this mural map they are available inside Nielsen Brothers Market. 

Cross San Carlos at the cross walk 
to Thinker Toys and turn right 
continuing north on San Carlos.

Arrive at (6) Paseo San Carlos, one of Carmel's many courtyards and former home of the first Birkenstock outlet in the United States (at least this is the rumor).  Now instead of sandals you will find Kocek Jeweler, Basil Seasonal Dining, Manzoni Cellars and Shale Canyon Wines for wine tasting.  At the very end of this courtyard look for Trotter Galleries which features California paintings and artists from the Carmel/Monterey area dating from 1875 to 1950.    

The (7) Doud Arcade is a covered passageway with restaurants and shops. Notice the mural California de Norte El Camino Real  on the side wall.  This was painted by Mary Miller Klepich in 1955 and restored in 2002 by Earl Bozlee.

Enter the Doud Arcade off San Carlos Street

and pass Carmel Belle counter restaurant. 

The Doud Arcade was completed in 1961 by Jim & Toland Doud.  Originally this arcade housed small craft studios for sculpting, printing, and ceramics.  One of my favorites was Mr. John Caldar the glassblower.  As a child my father would take me there to watch Mr. Caldar make delicate figures out of liquid hot glass. Today you will find a sock shop, hat store, candle store, and many others. 

Exit (8) Doud Arcade on Ocean Avenue between A. W. Shucks Cocktail and Oyster Bar and Kris Kringle of Carmel where it is Christmas 365 days a year.  At Ocean Avenue turn left. 

Next door to Doud Arcade is the Spanish style stucco building, (9) Las Tiendas.  Las Tiendas, which means "the stores", was designed by Swartz & Ryland and built by M. J. Murphy in 1929 for Ray De Yoe a former California State Assemblyman.  To read more about M. J. Murphy, one of Carmel's most prolific early builders, please visit this blog post.    

Turn into the Las Tiendas courtyard. Take notice of the light fixture, iron work, tiles, and murals that are featured in this pass way before passing The Club a premier clothing store. Exit through the archway to Carmel Coffee House and their pet friendly patio.  Most patios in Carmel are pet friendly.  The only place outside that I know of that dogs are not allowed is Devendof Park.  

At the end of the courtyard is the art studio of Robin Winfield.  If her door is open, stop for a moment and look at her work.  Robin takes photographs all over the world and then paints an imagined scene around the image. Next turn right and pass Mulligan Public House outdoor patio.  

Pass under the arch and walk by the door to the indoor bar of Mulligan Public House.  Exit the ally way on Dolores Street and turn left. 

On Dolores you will pass the front entrance to Mulligan's, and Trio Carmel a unique shop for wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and art.  

A little further down the block find Winfield Gallery (owner Christopher Winfield is the brother of Robin). Inside the Winfield Gallery enjoy winemaker Sabrine Rodems fruit of the vine, Scratch Wine.  

Next stop, (10) The Tuck Box.  This fairy tale style building was constructed in 1926 by Hugh Comstock, Carmel's "builder of dreams," for Bonnie Lee at a cost of $1,200.   Comstock added a building that was used as a garden shop to the rear of the property in 1929 for Stanford art professor Pedro Lemos. The kiosk to the right of the patio was added in 1931.  Around 1940, two sisters from England, Mrs. Bumbridge and Mrs. Watson, established this as an English Tea room and named it the Tuck Box.  It has changed hands over the years, but remains a little English tea room tucked back off the street.  To learn more about Hugh Comstock please visit these blogs.    
 Tuck Box (left) Little Napoli (right)

El Paseo Building 

Next door to the Tuck Box is the (11) El Paseo Building.  Here you will find  Little Napoli restaurant, and Vino Napoli wine bar.  This Spanish Eclectic building was designed by architects Blaine & Olsen of Oakland and built in 1928 for businessman L. C. Merrill.  

Step back into the El Paseo Courtyard to view a terra cotta sculpture of a pair of early Californios entitled El Paseo.  L. C. Merrill commissioned artist Jo Mora to design this piece for the courtyard in 1928. This is one of three public works by Mora in the Carmel area.  The other two, the Junipero Serra statue at Serra Avenue and Camino del Monte, and the Serra cenotaph at the Carmel Mission.  

El Paseo by Jo Mora

Kocher Building - La Bicyclette 

At the corner of 7th Avenue and Dolores, cross Dolores to the Kocher building. This Spanish Colonial Revival building was built for Dr. Rudolph Kocher in 1927.  It too was designed by Blaine & Olsen.  Today it is the home of La Bicyclette restaurant.  

Continue down 7th Avenue past Twigery florest.

Here find some unique iron work by 

Carmel blacksmith Francis Whitaker.  

Our next stop is the (12) Cypress Inn. This Spanish Eclectic style building built in 1929 was also designed by Blaine & Olsen for Dr. Kocher.  You may read more about the history of the Cypress Inn on my blog here.  

Cypress Inn was Carmel's first dog friendly hotel.  It is co-owned by animal lover Doris Day and businessman Dennis LeVette. If time permits you should come back at 4:00pm for "Yappy Hour!"

Enter the side patio off 7th Avenue and notice the painting of Charlie Chaplin.  This was painted by French street artist Mr. Brainwash. We have one other Mr. Brainwash original in town.  On the north wall of the Forest Inn, Mr. Brainwash has painted Einstein who stands proudly holding a sign that reads "Love is the Answer." 

Continue through the lobby to view all of the film posters of Doris Day, then exit the front entrance of the Cypress Inn on to Lincoln Street.   

Lincoln Street entrance Cypress Inn 

Cross Lincoln to the (13) Church of the Wayfarer (United Methodist).  Their church is always open for prayer.  The church bells are hand rung at 12 noon here at the Church of the Wayfarer, as well as three other churches in Carmel (All Saints Episcopal, Carmel Presbyterian, Carmel Mission).  If you don't get carried away you can ring the bell - - the bell rope is just inside the front door to the left.  

Take some time to walk the path through the Church of the Wayfarer garden, where there is always something beautiful blooming.  Exit the garden on 7th Avenue and turn right.

At Monte Verde turn right again to (14) The L'Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Chateaux hotel.  This was originally built in 1929 as Carmel's first apartment building, the Sundial Court Apartments.  If the front door is open go ahead and peak in it is worth the visit. If not you may learn more of the history and view pictures in one of my blog posts here

Next door to L'Auberge is the (15) Carmel City Hall where Clint Eastwood held court as mayor from (1986 - 1988). This building looks like a church, because it originally was All Saints Church.  Designed by Albert Cauldwell of San Francisco and constructed by M. J. Murphy in 1913, it became the Carmel City Hall in 1946 when then Mayor Fred Godwin accepted the offer by All Saints Church for the City to purchase the building.   All Saints Church relocated to Dolores Street. 

Back track on Monte Verde to 7th Avenue and turn right.  One block later turn left on Casanova.  Pass the (16) Green Lantern Inn and enjoy a walk of our quiet residential streets. 

Carmel's residential avenues are filled with unique homes of many different styles - -  no tract housing here in Carmel.  There are no  sidewalks, street lights, or addresses either. Homes are located by compass coordinates or their name, such as Sea Haven, The Toad's House, A Change of Latitude, or Dolce Incanto to name a few.

So how does UPS or FEDEX find us?  Let me explain.   Let's take the address of Cypress Inn which is NE Corner Lincoln & 7th.  NE stands for northeast.  The Church of the Wayfarer is NW Corner of Lincoln & 7th. NW stands for northwest.  What happens if something isn't on the corner?  Then we add a number to the address.  L'Auberge would be Monte Verde Street 2NE of 7th.  Meaning L'Auberge would be on the east side of Monte Verde two properties north of 7th.  It takes time to fully grasp this, but it works for Carmelites.  

Anyway back to the walk. At 8th Avenue turn right and take in your first view of the deep blue water of Carmel Bay on the horizon.

At the next street, Camino Real turn left and enter the lobby of (17) La Playa Carmel. This hotel was originally built as a home by Christian Jorgensen in 1907 for his wife Angela Ghirardelli (as in the chocolate). 

Currently La Playa hosts one of Carmel's most unique Happy Hours (or at least 10 minutes), called the "Bud Allen Hour."  From 5pm to 5:10pm you may purchase well drinks for 10 cents.  It is only 10 minutes and you have to purchase with a dime!  Those are the rules!  Anyway you may read more about the history of the La Playa in my blog here.  

To the left of the fireplace in the lobby is a stairway that leads to a door  out to the La Playa gardens.  Walk the path past the giant chess set, pool, and fountain to Carmelo Street.  Turn left on Carmelo.  One block later turn right at 9th Avenue.  One block later make a left on San Antonio.

French Normandy Style Cottage SE Corner San Antonio & 9th

Okay let's practice what we have learned about address coordinates.  The next home we are looking for is (18) Las Ondas.  The address is SW Corner San Antonio & 9th.  It may not seem technically like a corner, but it is. This is the house where Clint Eastwood lived while he was mayor of Carmel.  

Gate of Las Ondas (the wave in Spanish)

Backtrack on San Antonio just a few feet to the "corner" and turn left on the (19) 9th Street pass through alley which is access to Scenic Road.

 Welcome to the white sands of Carmel Beach! 

Carefully cross to the Scenic Bluff Walkway,
 and stop here to take in the breath-taking views.   

To your left will be Carmel Point and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.  Behind you will be one final view of the stone house Las Ondas peaking over new construction.  

Now continue north along this walkway back toward Ocean Avenue and look for (20) Anything Goes, Scenic Road 2 NE of 9th.  This historic Monterey colonial was the childhood home of Richard Cox.  Richard took the stage name Dick Sargent.  He stared as the second Darrin Stephens on the television show Bewitched.

Cox House/Anything Goes 

Along the walkway you will pass stairways that lead down to the beach.  If time permits take the (21) Eight Street Stairs down to the beach and enjoy the sand between your toes. 

Eighth Street Stairs to Carmel Beach 

Carmel Beach Parking Lot Foot of Ocean Avenue

At Ocean Avenue turn left then cross the
 beach parking lot to the
(22) Carmel Beach Overlook

Make your way to the front of the overlook
 for views of Point Lobos to your left and 
 Pebble Beach to your right.

Then walk back up Ocean Avenue past the restroom and (23) Dune Restoration Project The Carmel Garden Club began this project in 2009 to "correct a century of human disturbance which had greatly affected the natural state of the dunes."  The Garden Club and other volunteers removed the invasive ice plant (though the battle continues)  and natural dune plants are beginning to come back.  For the majority of the year the dune sagewort is the most prominent.  But in the spring and summer we get glimpses of the other native plants poking their head out of the sand, delicate pink and yellow sand verbena, and beach evening primrose. 

At the corner of San Antonio and Ocean you will be at the foot of one of Carmel's oldest trees, a Blue Gum Eucalyptus. 

Cross Ocean here back to the south side and continue up Ocean two steep blocks to Camino Real.  Then pass two of Carmel's quaint historic inns, Lamp Lighter, a Tudor style hotel built in the 1920's, and Normandy, a Tudor revival style built in 1925.  

After the Normandy Inn make a right on Monte Verde.  On the north side of the street enter the parking lot of Casa de Carmel and look for the stairs to the (24) Monte Verde entrance to Court of the Golden Bough. This is one of Carmel's quaint courtyards.

Stairs from Monte Verde to Courtyard of the Golden Bough

"In Carmel-by-the-Sea, on Ocean Avenue, there is a group of little shops that might well be transferred to an artist's canvas labeled, A Bit of Old Europe.  They have curving, graceful roofs, some with mottled colors, some thatched, some reflecting copper tints when the sun filters through the pine trees...

Over the sidewalk marking the entrance to the stone pathway between two of these shops, and projecting from a tree, is an old wrought iron sign representing a graceful bough, its leaves worked out in delicate traceries and its main branch following the double curve of the line of beauty.  It was the oldest and most beautiful of the signs in Lucerne, Switzerland, and was brought to Carmel with great expense and difficulty and marks the entrance to the new Theatre of the Golden Bough.” (1)

The Court of the Golden Bough was designed in 1923 and built by Lee Gottfried around Edward Kuster's indoor Theater of the Golden Bough.  

Kuster opened his theater in 1924 and had many successful shows.  On May 17, 1935 he presented “By Candlelight,” critics hailed the production.  Two days later on the 19th, with no production scheduled, the Theatre of the Golden Bough was destroyed by fire.  Arson was suspected. 

To read more about the history 

of Edward Kuster and his Theatre 

of the Golden Bough please visit this site.  

(25) Exit Court of the Golden Bough on Ocean Avenue in front of the Cottage of Sweets. Turn left, walk to the end of the block and cross Ocean to Diggity Dog for gifts for your furry friend.

Then enter the double glass doors of (26) Pine Inn.  Climb the red carpeted stairs to the Victorian decorated sitting area. 

To the right of the sitting area is the entrance to Il Fornaio restaurant.  In the restaurant continue to your right through the gazebo - - a favorite hang out for locals. 

Exit the gazebo into the Pine Inn Courtyard for a number of shopping experiences, Fjorn-by-the-Sea a Scandinavian Design store, and Fourtane Estate Jewelry

The Pine Inn opened July 4, 1903. To learn more about the history of this hotel please visit this blog post

Exit the Pine Inn Courtyard to Lincoln Street turn right.  Cross Ocean Avenue to Carmel Bay Company, which carries an eclectic collection of art, home furnishings, and books.  Cross Lincoln to Dametra Cafe and continue on Ocean Avenue. 
Just past the Carmel Bakery, established in 1899, look for Der Ling Lane. The sign for the lane will be over the Thomas Kinkade sign.  This leads to another secret passage way through the back alleys of Carmel.  The door to this passageway opens around 10am.  
Walk though the archway to the Thomas Kinkade Gallery then turn left and follow the signs to Galante Wines our oldest wine room.  This is run by Jack Galante, the great grandson of Carmel's co-founder Frank Devendorf.  To learn more about the history of Frank Devendorf and the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea please visit this post.  
Galante Wine Room - Piccadilly Park 

 Rodrique Art Studio - Piccadilly Park 

From Galante Wine Bar pass the
Rodrique Art Studio, home of the Blue Dog to Piccadilly Park.  

Soiled Dove Bath House in Piccadilly Park

Exit Picadilly Park on Dolores and turn left. Pass The Soiled Doves Bath House, Edward Montgomery Fine Art, and Ladyfingers Jewelry to Ocean Avenue. 

Cross Ocean Avenue on the west side to Alain Pinel Carmel.  This building was built in 1905 and became Carmel's first City Hall in 1916.  Cross Dolores here to the east side and you are at the site of the former Bank of Carmel. This art deco building was constructed in 1938.  The two bas relief carvings are by artist Paul Whitman.  

Continue north on Dolores past Albatross Ridge wine room, and Village Corner Restaurant, to Pilgrim's Way book store.  

There are two passage way options back to San Carlos Street.  So pick one or double back and do them both. 

Option one (30) the Secret Garden Walkway opens at 11am and may be found just north of the Pilgrim's Way. 

Enter the narrow walkway lined with
 bamboo and follow this past the geometric dome
to a gate leading from the courtyard and
 up a long flight of stairs.  This brings
 you to San Carlos Street.  

Option two the (31) Hog's Breath Inn Walkway which also opens at 11am.  Just north of Pilgrim's Way find Lafayette restaurant.  Walk through their dining patio past Kathy Sharpe art studio

go to your left and enter a narrow dark walkway.  At the end of the hallway is the Hog's Breath Inn sign.  Walk toward that sign.  

Turn the corner and enter the patio
 dining area for Hog's Breath Inn

In 1971 when Clint Eastwood was directing and staring in Play Misty for Me, he and his friends, Paul Lippman, and Walter Becker dreamed of opening their perfect Carmel watering hole.  In 1972 Eastwood, Lippman, and Becker in partnership opened Hog's Breath Inn.  

The partnership lasted 27 years.  Though Mr. Eastwood no longer owns this establishment, you can still find his portrait on the wall of the old-world style pub complete with a wild boars head. 

If you are looking for a hotel and restaurant that Mr. Eastwood does own, check out Mission Ranch on Dolores.  To read more about Mr. Eastwood's history with Carmel and Mission Ranch please visit this blog.  

Exit Hog's Breath Inn on San Carlos

So whichever way you choose to get to San Carlos, turn right and pass Classic Art Gallery, Bennett Sculpture Carmel

and stop at  (32) Kerry Lee Jewelry.

At 6th Avenue and San Carlos turn left to
(33) Carmel Fire Department built in 1936. 

At the corner cross to (34) Devendorf Park.  In this park look for commemorative monuments honoring military veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as a memorial to the victims of 911.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure. 

Until next time Happy Adventures! 

For an interactive map from GPSmyCity for many of my 
blog post please visit this site

Photography by L.A. Momboisse unless listed below:
Picture of Clint Eastwood under the Hog Breath sign from Pinterest 

(1) Bostick, Daisy. Carmel Pine Cone, April 5, 1924.  Edward Kuster Collection – Harrison Memorial Library Henry Meade Williams Local History Department. 


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