Carmel - Greatest Place for Photos on California Highway 1
Whales and Ice Cream on the Pacific and on Film
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 for a time 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.
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, Mayor Eastwood 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
Carmel-by-the-Sea Began as an Artists' Community
Local Art Installations You Do Not Want to Miss
- Carmel Art Festival
A variety of musical festivals are also held yearly.
- CARMEL - Art Galleries in California
Carmel Art Galleries is the Premier website for viewing a wide variety of galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
- Center for Photographic Art: Fine Art Photography Exhibitions, Photography Workshops and Lectures.
Center for Photographic Art promotes excellence in photography through exhibitions, communication, and education. Historic Sunset Cultural Center.
- The Nancy Dodds Gallery
This art business features contemporary artists including Beth Van Hoesen, Leslie Toms, Gail Packer, Anita Toney, Stephen McMillan, Stephen Mc Millan, Carolyn Lord, Randall Sexton, Teresa Onoda, Esther Baran, Bruce Botts, and others.
Historic Spanish Mission from 1770
A third feature in Carmel that makes it unique is the Mission San Carlos. Historically important, this mission church is also Number 22 on the list of Greatest Places to Stand in America, chosen by readers of StoodThere.com 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 eight indigenous languages living on the Monterey Peninsula. These indigenous groups helped to build many Catholic Missions in this part of California. Their history is divided into section periods on the following website:
End Points of 17-Mile Highway or 17-Mile Drive
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 Carmel California. If you go to the downtown district, for any activity, you can enjoy the free trolley car around town and to Carmel Beach as well as the San Carlos Mission.
Monterey Peninsula Sights
- California Rodeo Salinas: This is the largest rodeo in California.
- Historic California Military Posts: Fort Ord
Fort Ord operated as a permanent installation of HQ Department of the Army, Forces Command. Its overarching mission was to train army troops. It provided command, administration, and logistical support and other functions.
- (Mazda/Weathertech) Raceway Laguna Sports Car Championships: Actor Steve McQueen raced here in 1959 in a Lotus Lemans XI in the time trials on October 24th. An annual series of racing events are presented year round today at 1021 Monterey Salinas Hwy, Salinas, CA 93908.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940. Open every day to 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm.
- Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad Museum
- National Steinbeck Center in Salinas: The installation's mission is to tell the story of John Steinbeck's literary legacy and to present stories of the human condition.
- The Steinbeck House: Enjoy lunch and a tour of the historic home and birthplace of John Steinbeck, renowned author of the Salinas Valley.
Historic Salinas Colleges Serving Carmel
- Central Coast College, 480 South Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901
- Hartnell College:Hartnell College, 411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901
- Salinas Beauty College, 916 South Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901
- Salinas Heald College, 1450 North Main Street, Salinas, CA 93906
- Wayne's College of Beauty Inc, 1271 North Main Street, Salinas, CA 93906
Views on Highway 1, San Simeon to Monterey
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Patty Inglish MS