Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea is a great place to get out of your car and stroll the streets, peering in the windows of the boutiques and countless galleries.
Carmel boasts more art galleries per capita than any other town in the United States. Accordingly, shopping in the downtown pedestrian area means “checking out the galleries.”
Gallery Diamante (Dolores St. betw. 5th and 6th, 831/624-0852, www.gallerydiamante.com) represents a typical Carmel Gallery, with a large collection of landscape paintings by different artists and interesting sculptures scattered about. The most popular modern styles in painting, sculpture, and even art glass and jewelry are on display. Jewelry here can be reasonably priced, but expect to spend more for an original painting.
Bucking the current trends in Carmel art is Boban Bursac, sole owner of the tiny EX-tempore Gallery (Dolores St. betw. 5th and 6th, 831/626-1298, bobanart [at] yahoo [dot] com). Burasac’s amazing large-format paintings evoke feelings in even the most casual passerby; lucky visitors might even get to chat with the artist. Sadly, these works of art do not come cheap, understandable given their size and the skill and devotion with which they are painted.
For something altogether different and perhaps less intimidating, there’s the Sports Gallery (Dolores St. betw. Ocean and 6th, 831/624-6026, www.sportsgalleryweb.com). In this more casual and down-to-earth space is memorabilia, signed photos, and even paintings of your favorite sports heroes and legends, many at reasonable prices. This is a great spot to look for gifts for that sports fanatic back home.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition