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Carmel - Greatest Place For Photos on California Highway 1

Updated on March 8, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish offers 30 years successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

The altar of Mission San Carlos
The altar of Mission San Carlos | Source

Whales and Ice Cream in Carmel

The City of Carmel sits on Carmel Bay at the Pacific Ocean, off both Highways 1 and 101. It is much nearer to Highway 1 in beautiful Monterey County in Central Coastal California.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium here was used as the fictitious Cetacean Institute, where the humpback whales George and Gracie lived in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

The aquarium gained notoriety during the filming and the first run of the film. Today, the aquarium is even more popular. Programs and exhibits have expanded to accommodate an increasing tourist and local attendance.

Back in 1986, many of us were trying to find the film's Cetacean Institute, before the days of the Internet and free cross-country phone calls. People were frustrated, but media publicity (and a WATTS line) finally caught up to them with the correct information.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellyfish Exhibit
Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellyfish Exhibit | Source

Another celebrity that makes Carmel - or Carmel-by-the-Sea - famous is Clint Eastwood, who was elected mayor, also in 1986 and served two years.

In news reports, I heard that at the first Carmel City Council Meeting under his administration, a vote was called on approving a specific flavor of ice cream to be placed for sale in the community. Supposedly, he refused to have the measure even discussed, feeling it a waste of council time. However, I found that a law was on the books that ice cream could not be sold or eaten on the public streets of Carmel and that this law was eliminated during his term.

Carmel is such an interesting and colorful place, with lots of history and scenic beauty!


Carmel on the Pacific Coast of California

A markerCarmel, California -
Carmel, CA, USA
get directions

Carmel is on the Monterey Peninsula, east of Pebble Beach, two miles SW of Seaside and Fort Ord Cal. Military Museum. Salinas is two miles further NE.

Mission San Carlos in 1913

Historic Spanish Mission from 1770

A third feature in Carmel that makes it unique is the Mission San Carlos. Historically important, it is also Number 22 on the list of Greatest Places to Stand in America, chosen by readers of in 2009. The mission served the residents of Monterey in 1770, then of Carmel after 1771, especially local Native Americans, and offered (what would become the State of) California's first library.

Native Americans of the mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo belonged to a number of separate bands within the Costanoan Language Group that contains 8 Indigenous Languages living on the Monterey Peninsula. These Indigenous Peoples helped to build many Catholic Missions in this part of California. Their history is divided into section periods on the following website:

Lone Cypress at the Pacific Ocean.
Lone Cypress at the Pacific Ocean. | Source

17-Mile Highway or 17 Mile Drive

show route and directions
A markerDel Monte Forest, California -
Del Monte Forest, CA, USA
get directions

B markerCarmel, California -
Carmel, CA, USA
get directions

Scenic 17-Mile Drive

Carmel is adjacent to Pebble Beach to the west, an upscale resort area that is famous among Californians and the world for golf and golf tournaments as well as shopping. However, perhaps the most spectacular feature of the community around Pebble Beach is the scenic route called 17-Mile Drive.

This is a scenic byway next to the Pacific Ocean, full of natural attractions of geography, native plants, and local native wildlife. Some of the examples of plants and wildlife are endangered, threatened, or vulnerable by category and the latter includes the specific species of the 250+-year-old Lone Cypress on 17-Mild Drive. This Monterey Cypress grows only two places in the world - both here in Monterey County, on 17 Mile Drive and at Point Lobos to the south.


Pebble Beach itself is famous for golf courses and golf tournaments. Our own Jack Nicklaus from Ohio loves the Pebble Beach course, although Pebble Beach operates four additional courses nearby in California. Each course is part of a resort locale, with accommodations, dining, and shopping.


Carmel has been chosen as a top Girlfriend's Getaway by southern Californians. See the website at If you go to Downtown Carmel for any activity, you can enjoy the free trolley car around town and to Carmel Beach as well as the San Carlos Mission.

Same species of cypress at Pebble Beach.
Same species of cypress at Pebble Beach. | Source

Historic Salinas Colleges Serve Carmel-by-the-Sea

show route and directions
A markerHeald College Salinas -
Heald College Salinas, 1450 North Main Street, Salinas, CA 93906, USA
get directions

B markerSalinas Beauty College -
Wayne's College of Beauty Inc, 1271 North Main Street, Salinas, CA 93906, USA
get directions

C markerHartnell College -
Hartnell College, 411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901, USA
get directions

D markerCentral Coast College -
Central Coast College, 480 South Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, USA
get directions

E markerSalinas Beauty College -
Salinas Beauty College, 916 South Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, USA
get directions

Views Along Highway 1, San Simeon to Monterey

Big Sur Coastline

South of Carmel about 25 miles on Highway 1.
South of Carmel about 25 miles on Highway 1. | Source

© 2011 Patty Inglish

Comments and Additions

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    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      Small world LambServant!

      My husband and I honeymooned in Carmel in 1973!! And went back each year for a long time! Although we are now divorced, we are good friends, and still remember it fondly!

      I'm fortunate to be able to visit Carmel, Carmel Valley, Point Lobos, the Aquarium and Monterey about half a dozen times a year!

      It's still as lovely as it was in the 1970's! A few more shops with little trinkets than I would like, but the tourists love them! Still mostly great eateries and tons of stunning art galleries! Clint Eastwood still lives there and you can find him and his family from time to time walking around! Especially on the golf courses!

      Patty did a wonderful job of highlighting Carmel and the surrounding area! That's the one thing about Patty; her Hubs are sooooooo complete, each and every one, you'd think she lived where ever she is writing about!!

      The secret is out Patty, you have many clones of yourself living parallel lives in all these places! And I for one, a huge fan of yours, vote for thousands more just like you!

      Blessings always on this wonderful weekend!! Earth Angel!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      My former husband and I honeymooned in Carmel back in 1974. It was a trip I will never forget. We went back every couple of years for a while. Our kids loved it. The beach was breathtaking. Loved Monterey's 17 mile drive and Pebble beach. Mostly, I loved the quaint little eaterys, businesses, and motels. We took the kids to Hogsbreath Inn, the restraunt owned by Clint Eastwood. Nice place. My kids were very disappointed that Clint did not make an appearance.

      It has been a few decades since I've been, but I hope one day to return. I am sure it has changed over the years. Thanks for a lovely hub about a lovely place.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I still remember the newscasts on TV about the ice cream. Too funny!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Patty, you don't know how much I enjoy reading your hubs. I find that they have a lot of historic facts and interesting info.

      I am such a huge fan of Clint Eastwood and am glad he had that stupid ice cream law abolished. I don't live in the US so I can't apply for any of those jobs. But I wouldn't mind having one just to work in Carmel.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      Ahhhhhhhhh, dearest Patty!

      I just love it when you are in our neck of the woods! And this is a perfect time of year to enjoy the great beauty the west coast has to offer!

      The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a national treasure for sure!

      Too funny about the ice cream cones ~ although fully understandable with Carmel's tiny steep uneven sidewalks and several million visitors a year!

      YOU are just the BEST!

      Blessings Always, Earth Angel!

      P.S. This weekend I will be Carmel Valley! And Point Lobos!

    • emdi profile image

      emdi 6 years ago

      u have a lot of hubs on jobs. U are the job expert of hubpages :-)

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Looks like a gorgeous place with an interesting history. If I'm ever in or near the area I'll definitely check it out, thanks for hubbing this.