About Us


We’re different and have been doing this for a long time. We are independent through-and-through; without a hint of a corporation or franchise. Our environment reflects that. Our selection of items for sale are chosen with great consideration. Many items are one-of-a-kind, hand-made (some by local artists), sustainable, made in America, and at a fair price.

We value a focus on education beyond school; the sacred rather than the religious or secular. We get excited when visitors discover new things or “alternative thought” in books or gifts. Their world just got a little bit bigger and their choices expanded.

Come on in to our space of favorite things for you to explore and discover.  We’d like to meet you!


Our History

For over 50 years, locals and tourists alike have cherished Pilgrim’s Way allowing it to be the only remaining bookstore in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Continuing to evolve with the times, this little store is proud to provide a constant source of literary materials for the adventurous at heart. With a wide variety of new titles and merchandise, the selection is as eclectic as the town’s residents. From new release bestsellers to classics, personal growth to children’s titles, it is always an experience exploring these shelves.

As the selection has grown, so has the physical store. In 2001, Pilgrim’s Way expanded into The Secret Garden and found a hidden oasis. Let the sound of fountains draw you into this charming garden shop with a collection of statues, plants, and assorted local-made gifts allowing visitors to bring the tranquility of Carmel home.

Under the ownership of the husband and wife team, Paul Fridlund & Cynthia Fernandes, the store has become a thriving center of the community. Their goal is to cultivate a space of peacefulness, inspiration, and exposure to alternative ideas while also supporting historic Carmel through its appreciation of local historic organizations. This is the perfect location to educate, empower, inspire, and enliven oneself while finding a special reminder of this seaside village.