Carmel by the Sea Adventures of a Home Town Tourist
(with no stops or lollygagging 20 minutes)
Tour bus drivers give their fare one hour (sometimes less) to tour town on their own. In this overview of our main street Window Shopping Ocean Avenue I have listed 23 suggested stops from cafes, to shopping, quaint courtyards, to art galleries, and wine bars. The rest of the businesses that you will pass I have listed by name and linked to a web site if available. This is just an overview with a variety of options, don’t expect to see them all in one hour. Window Shopping Ocean Avenue will hopefully leave with you with a good impression of our town and encourage you to come back another time and stay longer.
Begin your tour by crossing Ocean Avenue. You will be avoiding the “tour bus traffic” by heading down the north side of Ocean toward the beach. Look for the big green area, this is (3) Devendorf Park named after the Father of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Frank Devendof.
Besides a bust of Frank, we have monuments to those who have paid the highest price for our freedom from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. There is a public restroom at the northeast corner of the park behind the statue of another important figure of our community, Blessed Junipero Serra.
In the southwest corner of Devendof park is one of the largest trees in the Village, a Coast Live Oak. If you want to explore the park, this map will point out where everything is located.
From this edge of the park, cross Mission Street to (4) Palomas Home Furnishing. This stucco and tile building began its life in 1932 as Graft’s Carmel Dairy. The original dairy sign is painted to the right of the front door.
Above the door notice the iron light fixture, now that is really original to the dairy. Earl Graft ran the dairy for 27 years. Next, this prime corner spot was the ever popular, as well as aromatic location of the Mediterranean Market for over 48 years.
Today it is Palomas Home Furnishing, a store filled with one of a kind hand crafted products such as hand blown glass to reclaimed teak furniture. The owners of Palomas are also happy to create a piece to match your specific needs. Just ask.
Three doors down past Hedi’s Shoes (one of two locations), Wyland Galleries and the Ocean Avenue entrance to Zantman Art Galleries (this gallery runs the entire city block on the second floor) is (5) Cafe Carmel Coffee House. Look for Mona Lisa sitting on top of a cup of coffee.
with delicious treats,
Out in front of Cafe Carmel is a large wooden newspaper stand which will have the Pine Cone, our local newspaper, and other free items related to the downtown area. Pick up copies to read later.
If you need to bring something home that says Carmel on the front, this is one of two places on Ocean that will meet that need. The other is Laub’s Country Store on Ocean and San Carlos. You will pass Laub’s near the end of your walk.
To the right of the arch is (11) Preferred Properties. If you are interested in buying a home in Carmel please stop in and chat with Carol Crandall of Preferred she has a way of making this process so easy.
the Pine Inn restaurant.
The current owners, Richard and Mimi Gunner, working with their decorator, Max Davis from Honolulu, have brought back an elegant feel of years gone by. But there is no time to sit and day dream, we still have the other side of Ocean Avenue to explore.
to enter the enclosed brick lower courtyard of what used to be The Golden Bough Theater. To the right is the ever changing inventory at Mon Amie Women’s Consignment Boutique. On the left, The Peninsula Realty Group and Marie’s Garden Cafe, reside in the building which was originally the Golden Bough Theater.
the upper courtyard. You are standing behind the Carmel Weavers Studio (also constructed by Lee Gottfried) which began life in 1922 on the southeast corner of Ocean and Dolores and in July of 1923 it was rolled on logs a block and a half down Ocean to its present location where as well as being the Weavers Studio, it “moonlighted” as the ticket booth for the Golden Bough Theater.
Today the box office window for the theater sits at the back of the Cottage of Sweets which has been selling yum yums since 1959.
You have arrived at (16) The Ocean Avenue entrance to the Court of the Golden Bough. When Edward Kuster planned his theater he envisioned it surrounded by small shops with a medieval European style. Kuster commissioned Michael J. Murphy to build the cute pastel pink building with mini turrets in 1923 that today is the home of The Tea Rose Collection.
Walking east up Ocean (toward the Bus stop) you will pass the eastern border of the Court of the Golden Bough. This building built for Kuster by Lee Gottfried in 1925 today is the home of Porta Bella and The White Rabbit. The White Rabbit houses one of the largest collections in the world of items dedicated toward all things Alice in Wonderland. I suggest not counting on their clock to give you the accurate time.
Demetra Cafe (open 11AM) where you will always find a line out the door during business hours.
Next up on this block will be Boatworks another ever changing unique shop, this one dedicated to nautical items and fine cigars. Next door Burns Cowboy Shop, headquartered in Salina Utah, Burns Cowboy Shop is the oldest same family owned (since 1876) western retail business in the world.
If the gate under the sign is open, enter…
During the winter months when the sun sets early, the twinkle lights add a magical glow to the archway. Pass B & G Jewelers, where you will find high quality jewelry – they also do custom work and repairs.
Pat Areiars and B & G Jewelers share the store that was originally named Der Ling, hence the name of the alley Der Ling Lane. Der Ling was owned by Hallie and Adolf Lafrenz who decided on the name after a buying trip to Peking in 1920 where they met Chinese Princes Der Ling.
At the end of the alley is the inner courtyard with a cute English style cottage. The artist Thomas Kinkade was so enamored by this cottage that it became the subject of his sold out collectors piece “Studio in a Garden.” Today this is the Thomas Kinkade Studio in the Garden (open 10AM -5PM).
To the left of the entrance of Thomas Kinkade Studio in the Garden is a wrought iron gate decorated with grape bunches. Pass through the gate and turn right to
home of the famous Blue Dog. The Blue Dog, is Tiffany, artist George Rodrigue’s companion for 12 years. Tiffany is now attempting to reunite herself with George through the Blue Dog. She turns up all over town.
The patio of The Blue Dog Gallery opens onto Piccadilly Courtyard where you will find a public restroom.
Exit Piccadilly Courtyard at Dolores Street. Look to your right across the street and find the fairy tale style building with the red and white striped awning.
This is (20) The Tuck Box. Constructed by Hugh Comstock in 1927, it was first used as a restaurant in the early 1930’s by the name of Sally’s. In the early 1940’s two sisters from England opened a small tea room in the building, which they named The Tuck Box. (Open 7:30AM to 2:30PM) Hugh Comstock built a cluster of 11 fairy tale style homes in the Comstock Historical Hill District of Carmel. I have put together a walking tour and map here.
From the Tuck Box head north toward Ocean Avenue. This short half block has the highest concentration of wine tasting rooms in the Village with five! Puma Road and Ray Franscioni Wine are in the kiosk across from the Tuck Box, Figge Cellers is inside the Winfield Gallery, and Trio Carmel (wine and olive oil) is next door to Lan de luz Linens, where you can have beautiful linens machine embroidered, and finally Caraccioli Cellars. Most wine bars do not open to 1 or 2PM.
At the corner of Dolores and Ocean, turn right. The Bus Stop is three blocks away. But there is still a lot to see. Pass Paloosh (Open 10AM to 6PM) which carries Laundy, BCBG, Juicy Couture, Nicole Miller, Lacoste and more. And while I am name dropping, next is Lloyd’s Shoes which carries, Anyi Lu, Eric Michael, FSNY, Jeffrey Campbell, Rebecca Minkoff, Sam Edelman and more.
Follow the brick path to Carmel Coffee House, almost the last place to get a cup of coffee or snack before getting back on the bus. Almost…
Back out on Ocean between Kris Kringle of Carmel, where it is Christmas 365 days of the year and A W Shucks Cocktail and Oyster Bar is the (21) Doud Arcade.
An arcade is a covered passageway with shops on both sides. Which is exactly what you will find here, 12 shops, 2 restaurants, and an ATM machine (near the entrance to the right). Need to check your time? There is a large clock on the wall opposite Wicks and Wax.
Exit Doud Arcade at San Carlos, turn left up the street toward Ocean, past Nico Restaurant, Sanctuary Vacation Rentals, and Keller Williams Realty. At the corner is Laub’s Country Store the second and last place to purchase something that says Carmel.
this store changes with the seasons…
From Carrigg’s you will pass Bittner Fine Pens and Paper, Mountainsong Galleries, and Kurtz Culinary. At Kurtz you will find tasting samples spread throughout the store. Try their wine jelly, jalepeno jelly or apple butter.
Next pass Adam Fox, Romanoos Fine Jewelry, Star Child, Jazzy Sassy Apparel, St. Moritz Sweaters, Carmel Sport to Jewels on Ocean. If you have a dog or cat in your family, you might just need to turn right on Mission (if there is still time on the clock) and go to Diggity Dog.
And even if your dog minds, they don’t mind at Diggity Dog how many outfits you try on. This store also changes with the seasons.
If there is no time for Diggity Dog, cross Mission and you are back to the Carmel Plaza in front of Tiffany and Co.
Continue to the end of the block past (2) the statue and fountain to where your bus is waiting. At least we hope it is still waiting.
Thank you for visiting!
Black and White Photo of Carmel Dairy – Monica Hudson, Images of America Carmel by the Sea, Arcadia Press, 2006, p. 47. Photo from Pat Sippel Collection.
Black and White Photo All Saints Church on Monte Verde between Ocean and Seventh, Sharon Lee Hale, A Tribute To Yesterday, (Valley Publishers 1980) p 63, Photo by George Cain.
Black and White Photo of inside of Golden Bough Theater 1925 from Pacific Repertory Theater files.
Black and White Photo of inside Golden Bough Theater after fire in 1935 from Pacific Repertory Theater files.
Black and White Photo of the Carmel Weavers Studio and Golden Bough Ticket Booth from 1923 from Pacific Repertory Theater files.
All other photos L.A. Momboisse http://www.carmelbytheseaca.blogspot.com