Carmel Valley is home of the Jamesburg Earth Station, used by NASA during its Apollo moon landings as one of the largest tracking satellite dish antennas in the world. This telecommunications facility is now being used by Lone Signal to send messages from Earth to potential extraterrestrial life.
Treasure was hidden in Carmel Valley by Sheriff William Roach’s brother-in-law, Jerry MacMahon. Roach had been involved in a scheme to cheat a wealthy widow of her fortune by promising guardianship. The widow hired a local gunslinger to kidnap Roach and hold him in a jail cell until he returned her fortune, but he bribed a guard to convince his family to hide it instead. Roach’s brother-in-law MacMahon agreed to hide the fortune, but was then killed in a bar fight before he could ever reveal its location.
Folk singer Joan Baez led the 1960s-1970s Cultural Revolution from her local Miramonte Ranch.
Carmel Valley’s Holman Ranch hosted top celebrities in its day, including Marlon Brando, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Vincent Price.
Famed local chef Bert Cutino (of Cannery Row’s Sardine Factory) started as a dishwasher at the Holman Ranch restaurant in 1952. As the story goes, he one day refused to eat the chef’s mediocre spaghetti lunch. The indignant chef challenged him to prepare a better dish and, with no formal training, he did! His “Spaghetti a la Cutino” became an instant hit and permanent menu item.
A public bus called the Grapevine Express Route 24 stops at most of Carmel Valley’s top wine tasting rooms.
The local Carmel River is listed as one of the top 10 most endangered rivers in America. It is the only river in California that made the list.