8.7 out of 10

Carmel

36.5522487284848 -121.92082556349
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Shopping Options
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
  • Parking
  • Medical Facilities
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Affordable beach town aesthetics"

Carmel, also known as Carmel-by-the-sea, is a quaint beach town plotted against the backdrop of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Its located within Monterey County which sits along the Monterey peninsula and is about 120 miles south of San Francisco. The city embraces its popular tourist reputation by providing dozens of hotels and lodging options for the constant stream of visitors it hosts every year. In fact, Carmel affords visitors with acres of fine dining options, retail shopping areas, white sandy beaches and a dog-friendly community. Demographically speaking, the community is largely white (92%) and made up of about 4,000 residents.

What was once a Spanish Mission settlement, Carmel has turned into a petite, middle-class community. Its residential aesthetics are mostly affordable and come with a natural coastal beauty hard to find for the price. Most homes differ drastically in size. They usually are plotted along secluded, forestry streets and/or hidden amongst the lush, treed landscape. Moreover, front yards are typically small, but pleasant and set nicely with attractive house fronts. For more fashionable/appealing homes, head west of Junipero Street and browse the grid-like blocks close to the ocean.

Carmel’s commercial quarters are made up of modest and plain shopping centers, most of which fit along the southeastern corner of Carmel. The area includes a handful of boutique stores, moderately expensive restaurants, a wine tasting venue, an art gallery, a Safeway, a pharmacy and an enormous parking lot for shoppers. For young families, Carmel Unified School District serves the city’s four above-average schools. This includes Carmel River School, Tularcitos Elementary School, Carmel Middle School and the more recognized Carmel High School.
Pros
  • Beautiful Seaside Location
  • Great Restaurants
  • Outstanding Schools
Cons
  • A Bit Foggy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Harrys Town"

So this is my main stomping grounds these days. As far as I am concerned this is really one of the most beautiful places on earth-certainly one the most beautiful in California. It is no surprise that artists flocked here to make into an artist’s colony way back when and I can definitely see what Clint Eastwood saw in it to spend a couple of years being the mayor here.

Now, of course, it isn’t perfect. It is definitely a little bit touristy and very, very expensive. How expensive, punk?! Well, I would say that on average homes in the Carmel area are over $1 million. And yes, down on the main drag of town you do get lots of tourists through the summer until it starts tapering off a bit in the Fall.

The other thing that sometimes surprises people around here is that there is a bit of a rush hour when people let off from work and the Cabrillo fills up with people heading home.

But with 17 mile drive just to the north and the incredible Carmel Beach (the last great beach, imo, before you hit the freezing cold Nor Cal beaches that are only usable by sea lions and surfers). Pebble Beach is also nearby. You are also far enough from the city that you get that small town feel without small town boredom.

For example, if you want to have a fine dinner here, you don’t even have to drive up to Monterey—you can go to Pacific’s Edge the kind of pricey romantic place where people go to propose. There are a ton of amazing restaurants like this: Casanova, PortaBella, La Bicyclette, and Flying Fish Grill. There are also a ton of high end stores in the down town area where you could easily spend a small fortune in an afternoon.

And by the way, what you have heard is true. This is the most dog friendly place in the world. They not only have doggy bags and welcomes poaches in the outdoor seating area, but many places actually have a doggy menu too.

And, as you might expect in such an affluent area, the schools are fantastic too. Carmel High is pretty much as good as any private school. (Though there are some private schools too.)

Put simply, this is one of the great places to live in Califonia and I feel lucky to live here.
Pros
  • Beautiful Seaside Location
  • Outstanding Schools
  • Great Restaurants
Cons
  • Expensive
  • A Bit Foggy
  • A Little Far from the Main Action
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers

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