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Paradise Found

Carmel Valley used to be one of the best kept secrets on the Monterey Peninsula. Not any more. The “Valley” runs in an West to East orientation from Highway 1 to the west and meanders along the Carmel River for some 40 miles where it meets Arroyo Seco Rd in the foothils of the Santa Lucia Range in the east.

“The Valley” is home to ranchers, farmers, winemakers, actors, heads of State, a few luxury resorts and a general population that is wonderfully diverse. They all have one thing in common, they love where they live. This is an area that offers sunshine 300+ days of the year, vineyards, golf courses, and of course Garland Regional Park that features many miles of hiking trails that range from 200 feet in elevation to 2,000 feet in elevation over the 1,000 + acres of varied landscape.

Just 12 miles east of Highway 1 you will find Carmel Valley Village which is reminiscent of Ojai in the early days and is home to 20+ wine tasting rooms, many fine restaurants, a complete lumber and hardware store (Murphy’s Lumber one of the early pioneers of Carmel and Carmel Valley), Robbie Talbott’s new Motorcycle Museum, small shops and stores and all of the other comforts of home.

You will find a great many equestrian operations here as well and many of the homes have horse facilities. One of the notable facilities is run by Jessica (Farr) Fisher who ran the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center for years and trains olympic bound equestrians. There also is the venerable Carmel Valley Trail and Saddle Club that hosts its weekly “Cattle Night” on Monday nights and hosts the renown “Hoopla” every year. You don’t have to be a cowboy or cowgirl to enjoy yourself in the “Valley” however!

For those of you who want to be pampered and catered to, there are several fine resorts you can visit. Bernardus Lodge has recently undergone a facelift and offers 4 star accommodations and a spa as well as fine dining inside or outside on their patio by a raging fire. There is also Carmel Valley Ranch which offers golf, tennis, swimming, a full gym with steam and hot tubs and fine dining overlooking the bucolic Carmel Valley. There are also wedding venues such as the Holman Ranch and Gardiner’s Resort that will accommodate both large and small weddings and events. If you’re a car lover there is the “Quail” held every August at Quail Lodge and Resort and features the finest on 4 wheels in the world. This event sells out every year despite the ticket price of $400.00 per person.

Carmel Valley has been an integral part of Monterey Peninsula life since the early 1800’s and is also know as the birthplace of “Monterey Jack Cheese” which was developed and produced for years off of Boronda Rd. For years the “Valley” was a place of orchards, small farms and ranches that supplied the surrounding penensula with meats, cheeses, fruit, nuts, dairy and vegitables, but in the mid 1950’s home building started in earnest. Today you will find homes starting at $800,000.00 and topping out around $6.0 to $7.0 million. There are properties that offer staggerng views and panoramas and properties that offer rolling pastures and forests of oak, madrone and redwoods.

It’s no wonder that so many people call this place “home”.

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Terrence Pershall