Carmel Walks Featured in South Bay Accent Magazine
Intriguing 48-Hour Itinerary
By Kathy Chin Leong
Once upon a time – in 1924, to be exact – Hugh Comstock built a storybook cottage for his wife Mayotta where she could display and sell her handmade dolls. The 244-square-foot historic Doll House, commonly known as Hansel, was tucked behind gnarled oak trees and featured and off-kilter chimney, rounded doorway and exaggerated pitched roof. A year later, the couple fashioned a matching cottage next door named Gretel.
Enamored of the whimsical architecture, Carmel-by-the-Sea residents begged Comstock to build them similar dwellings. And soon up to 20 fairytale-styled structures had sprouted amid the town’s rustic summer cabins.
So began the tale of how a tiny arts colony along the Pacific coast transformed itself into a world-renowned tourist destination drawing 2-million visitors each year. Within its mere one-square-mile environs, the downtown village is packed with half-hidden charms – from its famous Comstock cottages to secluded, picturesque courtyards, romantic European eateries and more than 100 unique shops and galleries.
Luckily South Bay residents looking for a quick getaway are within an easy drive to idyllic Carmel-by-the-Sea (the official name of the downtown city). But, here we suggest you skip the Mission and the usual beach walk and experience the town in a way you’ve never done before. Give us 48 hours, and we’ll show you how.
Lace up your most comfy shoes and set out on a fascinating walking tour. You’ll get all the lowdown on Carmel-by-the-Sea’s early inhabitants and historic development from Gael Gallagher, tour guide extraordinaire and operator of Carmel Walks. This fast paced journey leads you through clandestine alleyways and courtyards and the charming cottages of yesteryear. Gallagher is not just a guide, she’s an impassioned storyteller whose engaging style makes the two-hour walk fly by.