Gael Gallagher's Monterey Tours

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Carmel Walks
Call: (831) 223-4399 or

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Carmel WalksCarmel Walks - Book online now!


Gael Gallager's Caramel Walks

Tour Information Where to Meet About Your Hosts FAQs Accolades Reviews

Delight in the special charms of Carmel on a leisurely 2-hour guided walk through secret pathways, hidden courtyards, award-winning gardens, and by enchanting storybook cottages.

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HIGHLY-ACCLAIMED AND FEATURED IN:

  • HGTV
  • Bay Area Backroads
  • USA Today
  • Sunset Magazine
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Dog Fancy Magazine
  • AAA Tourbook
  • Movieline Magazine
  • Allen Smith Gardens
  • Frommer’s
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Coastal Living Magazine

Paw of ApprovalCarmel Walks featured in National Geographic’s The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel


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Stone House

Carmel Walks Tour Information

Experience the spirit, characters and customs that make Carmel unique!

  • Feel the presence of early artists and artisans who created this beautiful hamlet – the perfect vehicle for creative expression.
  • Hear the words of California’s poet Robinson Jeffers, Feminist Mary Austin or Nobel Winner John Steinbeck as you are introduced to the locations that inspired them so.
  • Delight in the charms of storybook cottages, the work of famous architects Bernard Maybeck and Charles Sumner Greene, as you meander through fragrant gardens, hidden pathways, and artistically & aesthetically pleasing courtyards and neighborhoods often missed by most visitors.
  • Meet some of today’s creative geniuses while touring their amazing studios of world renowned photography and fine art.
  • Hear the rollicking stories of Carmel’s early days including today’s famous residents such as Clint Eastwood & Doris Day.
  • Inhale the aromas and fragrances of the shops and restaurants as you leisurely stroll through the dozens of fascinating venues.

It’s a treasure at every footstep! Your tour is led by passionate “Carmelites” who look forward to making your visit an extraordinary one.

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Where To Meet

Tours meet in the outdoor courtyard of the “Pine Inn” on Lincoln Street at Ocean Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Map Information

We look forward to welcoming you on our two hour walking tour Tuesday through Friday at 10:00am and Saturday at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Sorry, no tours are available on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day.

$30 per person

For advance reservations: Book online now!

To reserve a personalized group tour, please call us directly at (831) 373-2813.


About Your Hosts

Gael Gallagher

Greetings! I’m Gael Gallagher, the owner and managing director of Carmel Walks since 2012. I am honored to have been personally chosen to take over Carmel Walks after the untimely passing of the previous owner, Gale Wrausman. I strive everyday to continue her legacy, providing an extraordinary introduction to the charms of Carmel.

I am most fortunate to have called the beautiful Monterey peninsula home for the past 40 years. One visit from my native Boston was all it took to capture my heart. My life’s work as a tour director, naturalist and historian being a perfect fit. It is with passion and enthusiasm that I share my beloved Carmel with guests.


My goal is to delight your senses, enhance your knowledge, and exceed your expectations, leaving you feeling like a local and wanting more of this magical village known as Carmel-by-the-Sea.

While I aim to lead most tours, there are times I have to turn to one of my trusted guides to be your leader. A little bit about each of them follows.

We hope to see you soon.
Smiles –
Gael Gallagher

Brooke Bailey Brooke Bailey is a graduate of the International Tour Management Institute in San Francisco, CA and has been conducting tours of the Monterey Peninsula for 20 years. Being a guide for Carmel Walks gives Brooke the opportunity to share her passion for the beauty of this paradise and bring this “fairytale village” to life. Brooke is a recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Monterey County Hospitality Association.

Mary Condry Mary Condry has been a tour guide on the Monterey Peninsula since 1993. She is an active participant in community life in the charming village of Carmel and was instrumental in the formation of the Carmel Mission Docent Association. Mary is past president of the Carmel Residents Association and loves the historic cottage she shares with her husband.

Kelly Steele Kelly Steele makes his home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, having lived here since he was one year old. Though he has spent many summers on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, his travels have only reinforced his appreciation for home. Kelly is an artist and learned to draw through careful observation and on site rendering of Carmel’s unique buildings and landscape. He takes special pleasure in sharing the beauty and history of the town with his fellow travelers.

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FAQ's

How do I purchase tickets?
Advance ticket purchase is suggested so that we may best prepare for the size of the group.  Individual tickets may be purchased online by clicking here.

What about a group tour?
Our specialty is personalized service and we would be happy to accommodate your group!  If you are 8 or more persons, we ask that you call us directly at 831-373-2813.  And if your group happens to be larger than 20 persons, we can accommodate!  But please do let us know in advance by calling this number.

What can I expect from the tour?
Our tours are fun and informative.  You will experience the sprit, characters and customs that make Carmel the unique place that it is. We’ll take you on an exploration of landmarks and off-the-beaten-path spaces, all the while sharing stories of Carmel’s rich history.  At the end of the two hours, you will feel like a local.

Are the tours strenuous?
Mostly, no.  Although Carmel does have its share of hills, narrow sidewalks and bumpy pavement.  We’ll walk at a leisurely pace and our guides are always sensitive to the varying needs of our guests.   Those requiring special assistance with mobility vehicles or strollers are welcome; as are those with service dogs.

How should I dress?
The weather can be variable in Carmel; it is one of the charms of this small city by the sea.  The locals know it is always best to dress in layers, and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.
Note:  Our tour will take place, rain or shine.  Though in the event of an unexpected downpour, we’ll seek shelter in a wonderful nook.

Are dogs allowed?
Absolutely!  Carmel is one of the most dog friendly small cities in the country.  Well-mannered pets are always welcome.

Where can I park?
Free, two-hour parking is available downtown and there is unlimited parking in the surrounding residential area.  Anything east of Junipero, south of 8th and north of 4th is considered residential.  There is a paid parking garage at Carmel Plaza; entrance is on the east side of Mission between Ocean & 7th Avenue.  There is also a free, municipal parking lot at the corner of 3rd & Torres.

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Accolades

360 West Magazine

June 18, 2015 - by Gael Gallagher
Carmel Chic Story and Photos By Michael Hiller Quirky, poetic, timeless, seductive -Carmel is like an enchanted fairytale village filled with delicious food, magical views and, of course, spectacular golf courses. You don’t come to Carmel to spend the day in a spa or lounge by the hotel pool. You come to be wowed. You come to hike along its rugged coastline, explore its leafy passageways and stare out at its wave-lashed horizon. Even when it is swaddled in fog…

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South Bay Accent Magazine

September 15, 2014 - by Gael Gallagher
Intriguing 48-Hour Itinerary By Kathy Chin Leong Once upon a time – in 1924, to be exact – Hugh Comstock built a storybook cottage for his wife Mayotta where she could display and sell her handmade dolls. The 244-square-foot historic Doll House, commonly known as Hansel, was tucked behind gnarled oak trees and featured and off-kilter chimney, rounded doorway and exaggerated pitched roof. A year later, the couple fashioned a matching cottage next door named Gretel. Enamored of the whimsical…

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Taste California Travel Magazine

April 22, 2014 - by Admin
Look All Around in Carmel by Dan Clarke Think you know a lot about Carmel? After a walk with Gael Gallagher, you’ll know a whole lot more. A transplanted Bostonian, she has been leading tours on the Monterey Peninsula since 1984. Tuesdays through Saturdays she meets with visitors in the courtyard of the Pine Inn before leading them on a two-hour tour of Carmel-by-the-Sea. It’s beautiful here. Anybody can see that. But even a frequent visitor will appreciate the area…

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Art and Entertain Me

March 27, 2014 - by Admin
The best way to delve into intriguing historical facts and tales about Carmel-by-the-Sea is to sign up for Gael Gallagher’s Carmel Walks. This informative and enjoyable city tour start at Pine Inn, and explores small and graceful city parks, historic inns, hidden courtyards, secret gardens, and intricate pathways between them. A part of the tour is dedicated to the city’s famous fairy tale houses, designed by Hugh Comstock in his adorably playful architectural style inspired by children’s books illustrations. A…

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Bay Area Reporter

March 27, 2014 - by Admin
“When you see a passageway, try not to go out the same way you came in,” advised Gael Gallagher, who leads the daily Carmel Walks walking tour of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a quintessentially quaint California seaside city just two hours south of San Francisco. I had the pleasure of taking the tour earlier this month and exploring a good part of the Monterey Bay Area. Carmel-by-the-Sea is home to just 3,800 residents and is one of the most unique communities in the…

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Pacific Coast Highway

September 17, 2013 - by Admin
The Pacific Coast Highway was featured in “THE BEST DRIVES” article on CheapCarRental.net. Below is an excerpt about Carmel Walks! “A great way to explore the upscale town’s colorful cottages, art galleries, hidden gardens and famous churches is to take a 2-hour walking tour. Gael Gallagher’s Carmel Walks cover the original fairytale cottages, homes and haunts of bohemian artists and writers, and the oldest art gallery in Carmel. With 30 years experience guiding tours, Gael’s goal is to show you…

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Real Estate Magazine

September 7, 2013 - by Admin

You don’t really know Carmel until you’ve walked it with Gael Gallagher
ONE THING Gael Gallagher doesn’t need is a Dale Carnegie course to bring her out of her shell. This outgoing, enthusiastic, passionate tour guide has been conducting tours, both predetermined and customized, for more than 30 years. Gallagher is a historian/naturalist who saturates her clients with lively patter guaranteed to keep them interested while they’re tagging along with her. - By JERRY GERVASE

“I’m a visitor who decided to stay,” she says. “I came here from Boston in 1970 to visit my brother at Fort Ord and knew this is where I wanted to live.” Since that time Gallagher has been a guide at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and served as a docent at Point Lobos and the National Steinbeck Center. Gallagher is a true Steinbeck aficionado. She often quotes verbatim passages of the author’s writings during her tours.

“Architecturally and aesthetically, this town pops!” is one of the phrases Gallagher uses to rev up people before beginning one of her Carmel walking tours. Then she spends two hours dazzling them with her depth of knowledge about Carmel.

Recently I joined Gallagher and about 20 of her clients for one of her Carmel walking tours. We started in the court- yard of the Pine Inn where Gallagher told us that in 1906 the north wing of the Carmelo Hotel at the corner of Ocean and

Broadway, now Junipero, was dismantled and the main building was rolled on pine logs down the rugged dirt road of Ocean Avenue. With the creative vision of M.J. Murphy it was reborn as the Pine Inn.

Gallagher calls this her “Nooks and Crannies” tour because she keeps us off Ocean Avenue.

“Ocean Avenue is there,” she says to us. “You’re going to discover its shops and restaurants even if it is your first time in Carmel. You don’t need a guide for that.”

Then off we went into nooks and crannies I didn’t know existed. We strolled through the gardens of the Christian Science Church ending up on the deck overlooking Monte Verde Street. There Gallagher urged everyone to tour Robinson Jeffers’ Tor House. She removed her tour guide hat and replaced it with her “acting” hat as she read the famous poet’s “The House Dog’s Grave,” a sad but moving paean written from the dog’s point of view: You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend, I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures to the end and far past the end.

We traipsed through the Richard MacDonald Gallery on Lincoln and Sixth, where we got up close and personal with the famous sculptor’s works, spinning them on their lazy- Susan pedestals. (I didn’t know you could do that)

We explored the Tally Ho Inn, learning that the building was purchased in 1945 by cartoonist Jimmy Hatlo, creator of Little Iodine. The Inn has a wonderful English countryside ambiance with exquisite views of the bay.

At city hall, we rested on benches while Gallagher recounted some of Carmel’s political history, including the Eastwood years. Here she told the story of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson and her mysterious “kidnapping.”

McPherson turned up in Carmel where she had put into practice the Biblical injunction to love one’s neighbor. It was the scandal of the year in 1926. Once again, Gallagher entertained us, this time with the recitation of Pete Seeger’s “The Ballad of Aimee McPherson.” Now I’ll tell you my story in the usual way/About this lady preacher’s holiday/If you don’t get the moral then you’re the gal for me/ Cause they got a lot of cottages down at Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Somehow we managed to get from Monte Verde up to Lincoln, Dolores, San Carlos, and Mission while hardly setting foot on Ocean. We entered shops, restaurants, and galleries where Gallagher knew everyone and we were treated as honored guests. We visited with artist, Robert Knight, out- side his studio on Dolores, and spent several moments at the Steven Whyte Gallery, where visitors can view the creative process in action. At Lulu’s Silk Art Gallery (another first for me), we learned about the history of Chinese Silk Embroidery, an art that dates back to 800 B.C.

There is much more to tell, but you really should discover “Carmel Walks” in person. Actually, you should discover Gael Gallagher in person.

“This is my office,” she says with a broad smile, spreading her arms as if embracing the entire village. “Everything about it is superlative.”

Her ongoing coursework in local history, ecology, architecture, marine biology, and other natural sciences keeps her presentations lively, timely, and accurate. Gallagher customizes extraordinary tours that bring to life the beauty and culture of Carmel and the entire Peninsula. You can contact her at (831) 642-2700 or at www.CarmelWalks.com.

Jerry Gervase can be reached at jerry@jerrygervase.com.

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Reviews

…the ladies had a wonderful time and marveled at your ability to remember so much information! They have been singing your praises all week – you are our hero. - Carolyn, Black Hawk Women

Each woman in the group thought you a wonderful leader, storyteller, and historian. - Marilyn

“A fascinating and fun-filled look at the village of Carmel, with a guide who knows about special places that you would never find on your own.” - Travel Destination Management Co.

Gardens Stone House Bicycle

I never wanted it to end. It was enchanting! - Carmel Resident

I not only learned all about Carmel, but felt like I was being shown around by a good friend…a very interesting and entertaining afternoon. - NY Playwright

I’ve been coming to Carmel for years. Thanks for giving me the gift of seeing it for the first time. - Professor, Stanford University

Casanova Home Garden Cypress Inn

We always recommend this walking tour to our groups as it adds a rich cultural dimension to their experience. - Meeting Planner

We recommend anyone visiting Carmel take this tour first — it was helpful in planning the rest of our stay. - Anniversary Couple

“CARMEL WALKS was the high-point of our trip…we have memories to last a lifetime. Don’t miss it!” - Out-of-State Visitors

“I’ve been on walking tours all over the world, and this is one of the best!” - L.A. Travel Writer

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