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Folk singer Joan Baez and author John Steinbeck once lived nearby. So, too, photographer Ansel Adams. Composer Samuel Barber was a regular visitor. Clint Eastwood is seen driving his pickup around the valley. The Monkees’ Michael Nesmith lives here. Yet for all of its celebrity ties, the vibe of California’s Carmel Valley and its 4,407 residents is delightfully down to earth. For 35 years, Road Scholars have flocked to Hidden Valley Music Seminars, an arts training center for young talents — music, theater, dance, opera — and an international hub for learning. Experience the hamlet’s world-class vineyards and local art scene or travel down the valley to the Pacific Ocean and Monterey’s cultural gems. You’ll see why 300 days of sunshine a year keep the locals smiling.