Carmel Valley Ranch, a golf resort quite popular with corporate planners, offers the relaxed atmosphere of home, with the amenities and surroundings only Carmel can provide. Wild turkey roam the grounds, along with deer that can be seen on the greens as you play a round of challenging golf. Bluejays, hummingbirds and butterflies all make this valley and resort surroundings their home. Just down the road is Chateau Julien Wine Estate (chateaujulien.com) with a tasting room in what looks like a French chateau, allows visitors to sample and purchase delicious wines grown in the sunnier valley, versus the fog-shrouded coast.
Traditions such as the Barnyard Shopping Village (thebarnyard.com) are favorites for visitors who return to Carmel Valley time and again. Many things have come and gone. Some fondly remember the Thunderbird Bookstore, which no longer was profitable and had to close its doors. Others may recall the creative wood artist, Paul Wilson, who sculpted in his indoor, outdoor studio work space not far from Carmel Valley Ranch. Wilson passed away a few years back.
If you visit in the fall, you'll want to stop by and see the nursery where pumpkins are displayed in a colorful collection, well worth stopping to buy one as a souvenir.
Carmel Valley is a home for many, and for visitors, it's a home away from home.