HomeCommunityHidden Gems – A Guide to Carmel’s Secrets

Hidden Gems – A Guide to Carmel’s Secrets

Published April 3, 2023

BY MINNA TROKEL

Even locals get lost in Carmel-by-Sea’s endless corridors and courtyards, and it can feel like there is an infinite amount of secrets hidden within this small town. In the Easter spirit, this guide will sho

The backside of Ocean Avenue’s Cottage of Sweets has an informative plaque and a replica of the original ticket booth. (photo by MINNA TROKEL)  

w those who are curious some of the many easter eggs of Carmel.

Court of the Golden Bough 

A ticket booth and information plaque are all that remain of this long-gone theater, nestled into the corner of a courtyard off Ocean Avenue. The court opened almost 100 years ago and burnt down only 10 years later, after a performance of “By the Candlelight.” The ticket booth sat at what is currently the Cottage of Sweets, and the never-rebuilt theater rested on the courtyard

The sculpted duo sit at the entrance of First Murphy Park, also known as Parque Carmelo. (photo by MINNA TROKEL)

behind it.

The Valentine 

One of 21 identical sculptures spread across the nation in private collections or parks, this romantic duo rest on a bench overlooking the crossroads of 6th and Lincoln, maintained by the Carmel Heritage Society since its unveiling in 1994. Be sure to take a moment to admire sculptor George Lundeen’s attention to detail—the woman’s right hand grasps a Valentine’s card—and let your imagination create a story for this sweet

The wooden bench overlooks the Carmel River Beach and Point Lobos, offering a beautiful view while one sits. (photo by MINNA TROKEL)

couple. 

The Magic Mailbox 

There are many benches along the beaches of Carmel, but one along the stairway leading down to Carmel River Beach holds a secret. What makes this bench unique is the mailbox hidden under it, holding journals inside where locals and tourists alike share their thoughts, dreams or drawings. If you want

Each door is unique and varying in size and style. (photo by MINNA TROKEL) 

to take part in this tradition, you should try to find the mailbox quickly, since the journals are nearly full.

Tree Doors

The Cypress trees along Carmel Beach mostly hold leaves, cobwebs and the occasional trash bag, but a select few branches, lining the footpath next to the beach, are home to numerous tiny doors. These colorful

Many visiting and local dogs, such as golden doodle Leo Nesbitt, take advantage of the offered water on their walks.
(courtesy of MACKENZIE NESBITT)

doors, all handmade from miscellaneous natural materials and painted, can be easy to walk by, so keep your eyes up when passing through.

The Carmel Dog Bar 

One of Carmel-by-Sea’s charms is its hospitality towards dogs, in all forms. If you are taking a stroll down Scenic Road, you can see the openness to the furry pets in the form of a small water station nestled into a stone wall that runs along the portion of Scenic connecting Carmel Beach and Carmel River Beach. It may only have a dog bowl and a faucet, but the care that went into making it is charming. Keeping your pet hydrated is always a good idea. 

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