Carmel-by-the-Sea may be the only North American example of what a town run entirely by artists looks like. While Carmel’s neighboring cities are also artistically-rich, they feature other historical components that differentiate their communities, such as Monterey’s once-bustling fishery and Pacific Grove’s long-lasting spirituality. Carmel has no such components - it is entirely artistic. Many poets, actors, and writers have visited or made Carmel their home, including greats like Jack London and Upton Sinclair, and over the years many, like Clint Eastwood, have held a political office.
Carmel today hosts tourists year-round; people come from around the world to dive into the local art scene. The community has a few quirks (as could be expected from a community comprised of so many artists), such as a law prohibiting the wearing of heels without a permit due to the irregular pavement in town. Those minor drawbacks don’t seem to affect aspiring residents at all, however, as the price tag for Carmel homes remains one of the highest in the state.