Spend ten minutes with a local "Carmelite" talking about our town, and the characters that live here, and you will hear some amazing stories. Folks here are passionate. Sometimes those passions make sense and sometimes they result in rules and traditions that end up on a list of fun facts.
- A post office was built but mail delivery service was never established in an attempt to maintain Carmel’s small-town feel. To this day, homes in the 93921 zip code are not numbered and do not receive mail. Unnumbered houses carry names that date back to their origin – to change them is considered bad luck.
- No chain or fast food restaurants are located within the city limits. There are also no parking meters, neon signs, streetlights, nor sidewalks outside of the downtown commercial areas.
- Shoppers may not wear bikinis.
- Hugh Comstock sparked Carmel’s fairytale cottage craze when he designed and built a 300-square-foot cottage to house his wife’s doll collection in 1924.
- Since the 1920s, the city has banned the wearing of shoes with heels higher than two inches without a permit. This was to prevent accidents from walking over uneven pavement. Although the law is no longer enforced, free permits are still available at City Hall.
- Actor and director Clint Eastwood was the mayor of Carmel between 1986 and 1988. Upon election, one of his first orders of business was to overturn a curious law that had prevented the sale and consumption of ice cream on public city streets.
- The city does not have a jail nor a cemetery. The sole official grave is that of Pal, the town dog, on the Forest Theater grounds.
- Carmel is known for being dog-friendly. They are welcome in many of the village pubs, restaurants, and shops. After actress Doris Day became part owner of the Cypress Inn, she updated its policies to allow dogs in the rooms – other leading hotels to follow suit.