Architecture, Carmel Beach, Carmel Point, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Clint Eastwood,, Scenic Bluff Pathway, Scenic Loop Walking Tour, Scenic Road, Self Guided, Self Guided Walk

Carmel-by-the-Sea Scenic Loop Walking Tour – Part I – Scenic Bluff Pathway Along Carmel Beach

Scenic Loop Walking Tour – Part I 

Scenic Bluff Pathway Along Carmel Beach
1 mile 

Those who visit our village may only have a few hours to spend in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Some enjoy shopping, some love to eat, others enjoy a walk.  The Scenic Loop Walking Tour is a series of two blog posts.  They are a self-guided walking tour of what I believe feature three miles of natures most impressive beauty.  If time does not permit, this first part can be walked as 1 1/2 miles round trip – Just turn around at the new restrooms on Santa Lucia and Scenic where this blog ends.

So that you are not constrained by the two hour parking limit in town,  I suggest you park in the parking lot at the end of Ocean Avenue by Carmel Beach.  There is no time limit here on parking during the day.  

There are three public restrooms along this walking tour. One at the beginning, base of Ocean Avenue, at the end of Part 1 at Santa Lucia and Scenic, and next to the parking lot at Carmel River Beach.   

This walk is fairly level but weather conditions can be windy and cold.  A windbreaker or sweater is recommended, dark glasses, camera, and binoculars are useful.

Follow along on this google map which marks highlights of the Scenic Loop Walking Tour of Carmel-by-the-Sea.  

Start this walk at the Carmel North Dunes Habitat Restoration Site (northwest corner of Ocean and San Antonio* next to the Carmel Beach parking lot) under one of Carmel’s heritage trees, a Blue Gum Eucalyptus. 

This tree, the largest in the Village, (the trunk measures over 22 feet around) just underwent a haircut in readiness for (hopefully) the impending El Nino.  This Eucalyptus is thought to have been planted in the 1850’s. 

Before we continue on to Carmel Beach take a moment to look beyond the ropes at the Habitat Restoration project. The Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club began this project in 2009 to “correct a century of  human disturbance which had greatly affected the natural state of the dunes.”

The non-native and invasive ice plant was removed.  Though the battle continues – as ice plant pushes through the native Pacific Dune Grass shown below.

With the ice plant gone (for the most part) the natural dune plants have begun to reappear.  For the majority of the year I have to say the natural dune plants are not much to look at. Still I understand and embrace the concept – at least in small doses.  

At times during the spring, summer, and fall we now see glimpses of native plants, delicate Pink, 

and Yellow Sand Verbena, 

Beach Evening Primrose,

and the Dune Sagewort. 

Continue your walk down Ocean Avenue toward the ocean. After the restrooms, follow the boardwalk past the Ghost Tree (a dead Monterey Cypress planted early in the 1900’s)

to the Carmel Beach Overlook.  

Take in the unobstructed view of Pebble Beach to the north (shown below) and south to Point Lobos.

Walk, back tracking to the parking lot and cross the street following the brick path to the south side of Ocean Avenue.

Here you will find a unique rusted steel sculpture attached to the fence.

This is actually the second sculpture at this location, the first one designed by Mark Periman was damaged over the years and replaced in 2005 with this one by artist Michael Largent.
For fellow Geocachers, (I know you are out there) this is the site of one of our numerous caches in town, called The End of Ocean Avenue

Continue one block back toward town to Scenic Drive.  On the southeast corner is a large Spanish style home.  

In 1937 this two story home was built for the President of Zellerbach Paper Company, Harold Lionel Zellerbach. Harold’s grandfather, Anthony Zellerbach founded the paper company in 1868. 

 Continue south along Scenic Drive to Eighth Avenue.  

It is here you will start the walk along the Scenic Bluff Pathway which parallels Scenic Road on the bluffs above Carmel Beach.

Just in case you are interested, here is a little background on how the Scenic Bluff Pathway came to be.  

In March of 1983 a disastrous storm (part of the 1982-83 very strong El Nino weather system) thundered through Monterey County. Almost overnight the beach slopes along Carmel Beach became beach cliffs.  Sixteen large cypress trees fell and five beach stairways were damaged.  Four of which were reduced to rubble. 

In 1983, Mayor Charlotte Townsend formed the Beach Task Force to clean up the damage.  Phase I completed in 1985, consisted of beach clean-up, installation of long-term stabilization of the bluffs, and a new storm drain system.  The cost, $816,283.  

In January 1988, under Mayor Clint Eastwood, City Council approved the work for Phase II which would include a decomposed granite bluff-top walkway beginning at Eighth Avenue and ending at Santa Lucia, reconstruction of five stairways, addition of handicapped ramps, benches, landscaping and irrigation.  The cost, $825,000.  

Mayor Jean Grace, who had worked on the Beach Task Force before becoming mayor, cut the ribbon for the walkway in June 1988.  It had taken five years but Scenic Bluff Walkway was finally open. This pathway, marked by the blue and silver ocean sign, is a small section of the 1,200 mile California Coastal Trail from Oregon to Mexico. 

While  you enjoy the beauty of this first half mile, here are a few things to keep an eye out for.

If you are able to take your eyes off the breathtaking beauty of Carmel Beach, the houses that line Scenic are quite stunning themselves. We have many styles, no tract housing here, and some have had famous residents. 

The three story Spanish Eclectic style home, with the massive brick chimney named Anything Goes**, was the home of Richard Cox.
Richard was born in Carmel in 1930, his father Elmer was a WWI veteran, his mother the silent film actress Ruth Powell. Richard majored in Drama at Stanford and took the stage name Dick Sargent. For those of my generation we remember Richard as Darrin Stephens from the TV show Bewitched.  
Just after the Ninth Avenue pass-through to San Antonio Avenue is Las Ondas, a three story house with tile roof. Built in 1933, this was the home of former Carmel mayor, Clint Eastwood during the 1980’s and 90’s.  The name Las Ondas is visible on the gate on San Antonio Street which you will pass on Part 2 of the Scenic Loop Walking Tour.
In the next block (between Ninth and Tenth Avenues) there is a proliferation of mid-century modern homes.  This style has grown on me over the years.  Ad Tearman a 1,950 square foot Japanese-style two-story wood home was featured in the January 2011 Architectural Digest.  Here is a slide show of the interior.      
Between Twelfth and Thirteenth look for the white stucco cottage with tile roof named Periwinkle and Sea Urchin. They were originally built in 1915 as two fisherman’s huts. Between 1930 and 1981, five different additions and renovations were made to the dwellings.  My mother told me stories of visiting them in the 1930’s. I took the picture below in the 1990’s when the homes were still divided as two separate units. 
In 2000 Periwinkle and Sea Urchin were united as one by a hall. You can see this in the picture below. 
At Thirteenth Avenue Carmel stone stairs lead to Cooke’s Cove. 

Named after the MacGowan – Cooke sisters who lived in the large Tudor style residence two blocks east of the cove on Thirteenth.

Alice MacGowan and Grace MacGowan Cooke came to Carmel in 1908, prior to that they lived in Helicon Hall, in Englewood, New Jersey.  Helicon Hall was a social experiment in socialist living designed by Upton Sinclair which burnt down five months after its inception.

After the failed experiment, Sinclair Lewis came to Carmel, and the MacGowan sisters followed.  They purchased the large home, which was built in 1905, on the bluff above the cove.  At the time, it was the only house in the area. In Part 2 of this walking tour we will have a chance to see their house. But for now we continue south on the Scenic Bluff Walkway to Santa Lucia and Carmel’s newest public restroom.

As with everything in Carmel, things take time.  Our new restrooms began life in 1991 as a suggestion by the 2016 Centennial Committee. Twenty-three years after the suggestion, in December of 2014 they opened to the public.

Built to blend in with the architecture and geography of Scenic Road they are hardly visible from the beach level or Street level. Cost to the village $595,000.

This is where we leave off Part 1 of the Scenic Loop Walking Tour. Part 2 will loop around Carmel Point to Carmel River Beach and back to the Carmel Beach parking lot via San Antonio Avenue.


* Carmel-by-the-Sea does not have addresses we have coordinates.
** Many houses in Carmel-by-the-Sea are referred to by their name.

All photography by L. A. Momboisse unless listed below:
Black and white photo of Mayor Eastwood’s swearing in, from Carmel Magazine, Spring/Summer 2012. 

Audrey Hepburn, Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Clint Eastwood, Happy Landing Inn, Marilyn Monroe

17th Annual Carmel Heritage Society Inns of Distinction – 2015 – Part 2 – Happy Landing Inn

Happy Landing Inn
North Side Monte Verde between Fifth and Sixth
Amenities:  Complimentary Breakfast In Your Room,
100% Dog Friendly, 7 Unique Rooms 

Happy Landing Inn was originally constructed by master builder M. J. Murphy in 1926 as a private home for two San Jose families, the Leeb’s and the Blauer’s.  The building permit estimated the cost to build this home in 1926 at $11,000. 

The June 5, 1926 edition of the Peninsula Daily Herald described the home this way: “… unique in design, and is built in three separate parts.  In front facing the west, is a large living room, with dining room and kitchen on the north.  The living room is large with beamed ceilings and a fine rock fireplace.  

Under this part is the servants quarters and the garages.  
To the rear is a large patio with two houses on either side.

  One for the Blauers 

and the one on the south for the Leets. There are four bedrooms in each cottage with standard bathrooms and showers and built in dressers.” 

During the 1930’s the compound was sold to Velma Craig who used the property as her personal residence and at times as a boarding house.  In 1975 the property was sold the the Thorngate family who began running the property as the Happy Landing.

In 2014, Mark and Shari Lasher purchased the inn and remodeled the entire property giving it a sleek new look.  The main building is now the lobby of Happy Landing Inn, and the two cottages in the back serve as the guest rooms for the bed and breakfast. 

On the day of the tour I walk up the stone steps, past the striking Japanese maple in full color into the festively decorated lobby. 

Crispy Spring Rolls and Prawns Tempura made by The Grill on Ocean Avenue call to me. 

Check out The Grill on Ocean Avenue for lunch or dinner on Ocean Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln.  But I digress.  I take a few moments to sit by the fireplace while enjoying my Spring Roll before being drawn to the courtyard by the sultry voice of Debbie Davis, who has the tour guests under her spell.

“Well hello Mr. Manzoni.  Yes I don’t mind if I do.” 

Mark Manzoni of Manzoni Vineyards cheerfully pours me a taste of his award-winning 2013 Pinot Gris.  He also had on hand a 2013 Pinot Noir.

When time permits you should pay a visit to Manzoni Wine Bar in Carmel in the Paseo Courtyard w/s of San Carlos between Ocean and Seventh.  Ms. Vina runs the place.  Here she is sitting in front of her antique bar. 

Anyway, it is time to tour six of the seven unique guest rooms at Happy Landing Inn.  Each one is designed to honor a different American icon.  So come along with me on this sentimental journey.  

Next up in Part 3, the Pine Inn and Lobos Lodge. For a map of this years tour and the location of all restaurants and wine rooms which provided food and wine for our tour please visit this google map
All pictures are by L. A. Momboisse unless listed below: 

Early brochure for the Happy Landing from Harrison Memorial Library History Department.    

Anna Mary Hatton, Carmel, Carmel Mission Ranch, Clint Eastwood,, William E. Martin

Carmel – Mission Ranch

This is where I would have liked to have been raised if I had had a choice…I figured this would be the place…It kind of gets into your blood, this countryside and the people.  So to me it represents my family.  And it just represents a quieter life.  That is why I guess I bought the Mission Ranch to begin with, because I wanted to preserve the history here.” (Clint Eastwood)(1) 

If you happen to walk south from Ocean Avenue on Dolores all the way to the end (about nine blocks) you will be inexplicably drawn by the serene beauty, right – into the driveway of the Mission Ranch, a historic inn, restaurant and lounge. 

While stationed at Fort Ord in the 1950’s, current Mission Ranch owner, Clint Eastwood would experience this same mesmerizing attraction.

If you happen upon the Mission Ranch around 4:00PM, have a seat on the patio, order your beverage of choice, enjoy the sheep who peacefully graze the open meadow land,

and the awesome view of
Carmel River Beach
Point Lobos. 

while I expound on the
fascinating history 
of Mission Ranch. 

Carmel Mission

In August of 1771, Blessed Father Junipero Serra moved the location of his mission in Monterey to a site at the mouth of the Carmel River. The acres surrounding the newly founded Carmel Mission would become a ranch used for farming, grazing and housing. 

In 1834 the Mexican government secularized the missions and divided the mission lands into land grants. Juan Romero would come to own the 160 acres surrounding Carmel Mission.

In 1852 Romero deeded the acres to William Curtis, a Monterey store owner, for $300.  The deed was signed by Romero with an “X” and his name written by someone else.  

This land encompassed the Carmel Mission, the old pear orchard which is now the Carmel Youth Baseball Field, a lean-to house directly below the mission, land up to Santa Lucia Avenue, half of the Carmel Point area and across the Carmel River to land bordering the old Odello artichoke field.

In 1856, Mr. Curtis sold the property to one of his clerks, Mr. Loveland.     

William Martin

News of gold in California, enticed 60+ year old William Martin (originally from Scotland, via Canada) to immigrate to the United States.  He brought along his wife and six children.  

“They took a boat down the Mississippi River to New Orleans; another ship across to Central America. Then across the Isthmus, and still another boat up the Pacific Coast.  They were on “Captain Josselyn’s Schooner”, in the month of March, 1856 when it stopped in Monterey for a half day, to unload some cargo.  The Martins went ashore, past the adobe buildings that comprised the village of Monterey, up the hill, and spread a picnic lunch under the oaks and pines.  They felt the power of the”circle of enchantment”, and they liked the land.  They stayed!” (2) William Martin purchased land at the mouth of the Pajaro, and Salinas Rivers. 

John Martin

In 1859, William Martin’s son John purchased the property surrounding the Carmel Mission from the Loveland’s.  

Due to neglect, the Mission lay in ruins, but John found a small adobe still habitable on the property.  The structure consisted of a kitchen with cook stove and lean-to living room. This adobe was most likely the lean-to built in 1812 to house the Carmel Mission orchardist and caretaker.  

Later in 1859 John and his brother Robert purchased their father’s land interest near the Pajaro and Salinas river to raise stock for dairy.

Martin Farmhouse

In 1871 while visiting Canada, John met Elizabeth Stewart, a 31 year old widow with three sons, and convinced her to marry him and come to California.  

In the 1880’s John and Elizabeth built a one story farmhouse on their property. 
As the Martin family grew to nine members, a second floor was added to the farmhouse.

The picture above, taken by Marcia De Voe, shows the Martin Farmhouse in 1969.  The picture below shows the farmhouse in 2014.

Current owner of Mission Ranch, Clint Eastwood restored the Martin Farmhouse to its former glory… 

with six quaint bedrooms, a delightful common living area with fire place and…

baby grand for
sing alongs.

The Farmhouse is perfect for family reunions or wedding parties.  My niece and her groom rented the charming Martin Family Homestead for their wedding party.  

Martin Dairy
Improper recording of the Pajaro deed, caused the Martin Brothers to lose the land they were using to raise their dairy stock. To avoid this happening with the Martin Ranch John had the property recorded with the U.S. government in 1874.  

The dairy stock was moved to the Martin Ranch and shortly thereafter, the industrious Martin Brothers opened one of California’s first dairies.

They built barns for milking.  The original cow barn is now the Patio Barn. 

And a creamery, now the Mission Ranch Dinning Room, to supply the county with cheese and butter. 

Walker Track
The Martin family worked this land for 60 years.  In 1918 they sold their now 216 acre ranch to Mr. and Mrs. Willis J. Walker for $150,000.  The Walker’s earned their money in lumber and were prominent San Francisco socialites. 

The 216 acres were bordered on the north side by Santa Lucia, the east by Hatton Fields, and the south by Carmel River.  The Walkers subdivided the land into what was called the Walker Track, and sold many of the lots.

The Walker’s who had no interest in farming, turned the ranch into a private riding and recreation club.  They built the large barn, now used as the Mission Ranch Office, for Muriel Vanderbilt Phelps to board her riding horses.

Carmelites did not take to the private recreation club idea, and Mrs. Phelps moved her horses to Carmel Valley.  

But as the saying goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” In 1936 Mrs. Walker converted the ranch into an informal country club with swimming, tennis and badminton

The old ranch house became the clubhouse.  And with the addition of a stage and dance floor, the old milking barn became a swingin’ dance hall. 

In 1937 Allen Knight (Carmel mayor from 1950 – 1952) and his orchestra were the first to open on the new stage at what was then called, the Valley Ranch Club and Dance Hall.  

Today this is the Patio Barn, with stage, dance floor and rustic full cocktail service bar.

The historical milking barn has been fully restored and makes a lovely venue for wedding receptions, cocktail parties or corporate events.

A wall of glass doors on the south side opens to a brick patio with views of the meadow.

See You At The Ranch 
In 1940 Margaret and Bert Dienelt bought the ranch from the Walker’s estate for $40,000.  The track of land now only 100 acres was in a state of disrepair. 

The Dienelt’s decided to keep the property as a club.  After some refurbishments they were ready to open to the public.   

“It was great – even we teenagers could afford the dues of $1 a year.  The big barn was turned into badminton courts, the small barn was used for roller skating, there was also an archery court, and the swimming pool was a real gift to us kids.” (3)   

The Dienelt’s sold about 20,000 $1 memberships and operated the property for about 40 years.  Charles “Skip” Heebner, Mrs. Dienelt’s son managed the cottage ranch and dinner-house until 1976.

 “For years it was a place of enjoyable memories for many, with a homey restaurant and piano bar, with nights of dancing in the bar – the place Carmelites and Valleyites meant when they said, “See you at the Ranch.”  (4)   
War Years 

During World War II and the Korean War, the big barn was used as an Officer’s Club for the Army and Navy.  With its bar, stage and dance floor, it proved quite a popular night spot for off duty service men and women.

In 1950, off duty from Fort Ord, twenty-one year old Clint Eastwood made his way to the Mission Ranch and it was love at first sight.

“The first time I saw the place I thought it was terrific,” he says. “Visually it was something else, and I thought it was the place I’d like to call home.  So I kind of adopted Carmel.”(5) 

100 Acres to 20 Acres

Around 1980 the State of California acquired by eminent domain, the land and lagoon rights to the beach. Carmel School District purchased the property to the west of Mission Ranch where River School resides. The Dienelt’s sold four acres south of the mission for the Carmel Youth Baseball Field, and gave the Carmel Mission four acres.

The Dienelt Family sold the remaining 20 acres to the Mission Ranch Corporation, a group of professionals, most living in the San Francisco Bay Area, for $3 million.   

Mission Ranch Corporation
The City Of Carmel 

Early in 1984 Mission Ranch Corporation won a decision to rezone the Mission Ranch property for the building of a 61 plus unit residential development on 8.24 of the 20 acres.

In the spring of that year, the city of Carmel filed a lawsuit to block development of the wetlands and entered into talks with Mission Ranch Corporation to purchase the property.
City Manager Douglas Schmitz said Mission Ranch Corporation originally asked for $8 million but lowered the price to $6.5.  

In October of 1984, Monterey Superior Court Judge Maurice Jourdane ruled in favor of the city and overturned the rezoning decision for Mission Ranch.  The Mission Ranch Corporation immediately filed an appeal.  

On May 13, 1985, the Carmel City Council secretly offered to buy Mission Ranch for $3.75 million.  Mission Ranch Corporation president Doug Tuck counted with $5 million. 
A number of private and public entities felt that the purchase of Mission Ranch would be a good acquisition for the city of Carmel.  

The city could keep the tennis courts and some property for recreational use.  The Coastal Conservancy would buy the wetlands area so the environmentally sensitive habitat remained open space.The Frohman Academy, a musical theater education organization, would use the facilities for rehearsals, and shows.  And the Carmel Heritage Society was interested in using some of the space for a museum.

Even after petitioning concerned citizens to contribute to the fund to purchase Mission Ranch, the price of $5 to $6.5 million was just too much for the city to come up with.    
Carmel Heritage Society
 Save The Ranch
“About 1983 rumor had it that the property was going to be sold and condominiums would be built there.  All that history gone!  This is a project for Carmel Heritage – Save the Mission Ranch. 

Helen Wilson and Marjorie Lloyd, who were on the Carmel Heritage Board at the time, invited Clint Eastwood to attend a meeting regarding the Mission Ranch.  He was asked if perhaps he could get some of his friends together to form a group that would purchase the Mission Ranch so that it could be preserved.  

At the next meeting Clint reported that he was not able to get anyone to invest – a big groan went up – and then Clint said, “But I will buy the Ranch and it will be preserved.” What a cheer then went up.  And Clint did, he made improvements…”(6) 

Mayor Clint Eastwood

In December 1986, Mayor Clint Eastwood purchased Mission Ranch under the umbrella of one of his production companies, Tehama Productions, Inc. Eastwood vowed to keep the buildings and grounds as they were, except for the upgrading of plumbing and electrical and the eviction of the termite population. Which, according to Eastwood, were keeping some “buildings standing by holding hands.” 

“I think the majority of people in Carmel would like it (Mission Ranch) to remain the same,” said Eastwood.  “Hopefully it can be a place where people can come back in 20 years and it will still be here.” (7)  

“Doug Tuck called Eastwood’s offer an ‘altruistic’ one. “We had never dealt with anyone who was more of a gentleman, more sincere, more easier to get along with than the mayor,” Tuck said.” (8)

“Locked In Time” 

Clint Eastwood and Carmel Development Co., virtually rebuilt the white clapboard dairy ranch, reserving the flavor and facades dating back to the 1850’s, keeping the historic ranch, “locked in time.”

The renovation, which began in 1989, took three and one-half years to complete.  The Martin farmhouse, the Dance Barn, bunkhouse and restaurant were restored.  

Those that were too dilapidated to be saved such as the cottages behind the bunkhouse were replaced with new housing units that look like the original structures. 

In 1992, Alan Williams and Michael Waxer of Carmel Development Co., won an award for excellence in architecture from the American Institute of Architects Monterey Chapter, for their work on the renovation and restoration of Mission Ranch.  

On September 20, 1992, the Carmel Heritage Society presented Clint Eastwood with the Historic Preservation Award for saving the Mission Ranch, and preserving it for future generations to enjoy. 

And that is the history of Mission Ranch.

See you at the Ranch!!  

All Photos by L. A. Momboisse unless except those noted below:
– Black and White photo of land around Carmel Mission c. 1877. (Morgado, Martin. “Junipero Serra’s Legacy.” Mount Carmel, Pacific Grove, 1987, pg 115.
– Black and White photo of Martin farmhouse with Elizabeth Martin (sitting). (De Voe, Marcia. The Martins and The Hattons.” Carmel-by-the-Sea, 1979, pg 14)
– Black and White photo of Martin farmhouse taken in 1969 by Marcia De Voe. (Courtesy of Harrison Memorial History Library)
– Black and White photo Mission Ranch Cottages behind the bunkhouse in 1986. (Pine Cone, December 11, 1986.  Photo Holly McFarland.)

(1) Ed Broyhill. “Ed Boyhill and Clint Eastwood Team Up: Mission Ranch Collection.” Online Video Clip. You Tube. You Tube October 5, 2009, April 11, 2014.
(2) De Voe, Marcia.  “The Martins and The Hattons.” Carmel-by-the-Sea, 1979, pg 9.
(3) Prine, Kay. “Mission Ranch.” (Memories of Kay Prine on a plaque on the wall in the office of Mission Ranch)
(4) Hale, Sharon Lee.  “A Tribute to Yesterday.” Valley Publishers, 1980, pg 120)
(5) Cheever, Susan. “Architectural Digest Visits: Clint Eastwood.” Architectural Digest July 1993: 84 – 91. Print.
Prine, Kay. “Mission Ranch.” (Memories of Kay Prine on a plaque on the wall in the office of Mission Ranch)
(7)Leland, David. “Eastwood Intends to Preserve the property as it is now.” Pine Cone, December 11, 1986.

Other Resources
Wilson, Helen. “The Mission Ranch – A Brief History.” The Herald Weekend Magazine, April 20, 1986.
Barron, Betty. “The Mission Ranch Story.” The Big Sur Gazette, July 1980.
Gardner, Michael. “City of Carmel made $3.75 Million Secret Offer to buy Mission Ranch.” Carmel Pine Cone, November 28, 1985.
Gardner, Michael. “City’s Mission Ranch Offer: Folly or Genius?. Carmel Pine Cone, November 1985.
Gardner, Michael. “Want to Develop Property Say Mission Ranch Owners.” Carmel Pine Cone, January 16, 1986.