Ahhh, downtown carmel. Filled with so many quaint and picturesque streets and alleys. Ocean Avenue (otherwise considered Carmel’s main street), slopes from the highway down to the beach, with many shops, coffee houses, and galleries along the way. Many years ago, Carmel’s founding fathers decided they didn’t want to see their village “citified” and decided to bypass the idea of house-to-house mail delivery. With that in mind, there are still no addresses, parking meters or traffic lights.
Carmel was born in 1902- when James Franklin Devendorf and Frank Hubbard Powers filed a new subdivision map, citing the core village of Carmel. The city grew exponentially through 1940, where nearly 350 buildings were built over the course of the 38 years since the city was founded.
A community dedicated to cultivating creativity, Carmel’s founders established the importance of a strong presence of art, drama, and literature. This is why so many galleries call Carmel home. In 1915 the Outdoor Forest Theater was presenting highly renowned performances, making the theater a central part of Carmel life. The Carmel Library served as a symbol of the city’s appreciation for history and the arts, and still does to this day. In fact, all of Carmel’s small-town charm and appreciation for art and culture has remained intact.
Ocean Avenue serves as a perfect representation of Carmel By the Sea. Being home to so many of the city’s firsts, like the Carmel Bakery and the first inn (Pine Inn), the main street has all of the charm and history on display. A large block of Ocean Avenue is taken up by Devendorf Park. Developed in 1932, the park acts as a central gathering for year-round, outdoor events such as concerts and markets. Aside from the history and charm, Ocean Avenue (like all of Carmel) is full of shopping and great food. From outdoor malls to family-owned boutiques, Ocean Avenue alone is an experience packed with great finds among stone-paved alleyways, secret passages, mouth-watering smells, and quaint, picturesque sights.
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