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Carmel Pop Culture

Even though it’s entirely possible to run into former mayor Clint Eastwood when you’re in Carmel, your best bet for seeing both at the same time is watching "Play Misty for Me," with additional scenes shot in neighboring Monterey and Big Sur. The coastline between Carmel and Big Sur stood in for England in Alfred Hitchcock’s "Suspicion." Scenes from  "The Muppet Movie" were filmed on Rancho San Carlos in Carmel Valley, which doubled for Louisiana swampland.

Jack London’s book "The Valley of the Moon" describes the lives of artists in Carmel in the early-20th century. John Steinbeck was influenced by, and in turn influenced, California. "A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California" by Susan Shillinglaw looks at how landscapes and towns in this area affected the writer, whose "Cannery Row" was set in next-door Monterey. Ansel Adams lived in Carmel in his later years, when he built a studio in the Carmel Highlands. Fans of his photography should read "Ansel Adams: An Autobiography." If you’re planning to visit Tor House, pick up a copy of "Robinson Jeffers: Selected Poems" or any anthology of his work that includes poems from his time in Carmel. The world-famous Carmel Bach Festival, held each July, is a way for classical music fans to immerse themselves in all things Bach. Choose CDs from any of the featured artists to bone up. Jazz musician Joe Sample’s musical tribute to the town is his recording “Carmel.”

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