|California Destinations - Monterey
Home to the cities of Monterey, Carmel by the Sea,
Pacific Grove, and the Pebble Beach Resort, the Monterey
Peninsula is one of the most popular destinations
The Monterey Peninsula offers some of the most gorgeous
coastal scenery in California, a smorgasbord of activities
for families and adults, and access to both Big Sur,
and the diverse wildlife of the Monterey Bay Marine
|WHAT'S TO SEE ?
||17-mile Drive: Dramatic
windswept seascapes, luxurious mansions and the
striking settings of fairways and greens of Pebble
Beach's world-famous links courses combine to
make the drive around Lover's Point and 17-mile
Drive one of the most scenic in the world.
||Cannery Row: Cannery row
is an historic stretch on the Monterey waterfront
where sardine canneries from a once-thriving fishery
now host shops, restaurants, and other attractions.
The subject of local author John Steinbeck's book
by the same name, Cannery Row's scenic location
and vibrant atmosphere make it a favorite for
Monterey visitors. Cannery Row is also home to
the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is a popular
addition for a day tour.
||Fisherman's Wharf: A haven
for seafood lovers, marine life enthusiasts and
souvenir shoppers, Fisherman's wharf is an exciting
place to meander around and enjoy the sounds of
the sea lions and seafood cocktails, or to use
as a launching point for a variety of water-based
activities, including nautre cruises, kayaking
and whale watching.
||Monterey Bay Aquarium: This
world-class aquarium is among the largest, and
most highly-regarded in the world. It features
a variety of excellent exhibits focused on marine
life in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Popular attractions include the sea otters, the
enormous pelagic tuna tank, and the surreal jellyfish
||Carmel Mission: Final resting
place of California's famous missionary and mission
founder, Father Junípero Serra, Carmel's
Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo
represents one of the best-preserved of California's
||Pebble Beach: Home, once
again, to the US Open in 2010, the golf links
at Pebble Beach remain hallowed ground for golfers
Carmel by the Sea is famous for the charm of its downtown
architecture, its sidewalk cafès and the myriad
galleries that draw art aficionados en masse every
year. A gorgeous beach at the bottom of town completes
a world-class romantic setting.
Point Lobos State Park:
A hidden gem for hiking and beach-combing enthusiasts,
Point Lobos features miles gorgeous, accessible trails
through along unspoiled rocky coastline. Sea lions,
harbor seals, otters and waterfowl are here in abundance.
A remarkable round-trip migration that takes several
generations to complete begins and ends in Pacific
Grove, where millions of Monarch Butterflies congregate
Monterey Historic State Park:
Once a Spanish, then Mexican settlement, Monterey
was the first capital of California. The Historic
Park features the state's first theatre, customs house,
and several other 19th century historical buildings,
as well as the maritime museum.
Point Pinos Lighthouse:
The oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the
west coast of the United States, the Point Pinos lighthouse,
in Pacific Grove, is open to the public.
Upscale bars, taverns, restaurants and hotels, define
Monterey's vibrant downtown area.
Downtown Pacific Grove:
Pacific Grove's quiet and understated streets, feature
quaint restaurants and shops, along a beautiful stretch
of the peninsula's coast.
|WHAT'S TO DO?
Kayak: Sea kayaking tours, offered both along
the Monterey waterfront, as well as 15 miles to the
north through the marine wetlands of Elkhorn Slough,
are a great way to see the local scenery and wildlife
up-close. Sea otters, harbor seals and an abundance
of waterfowl are among the things you'll see while
kayaking in the area.
Go whale watching: The Monterey Bay Marine
Sanctuary is a haven for not only the migratory species
like the humpback and gray whales that wend their
way up and down the west coast of North America each
year, but also for year-round pelagic species like
blue and right whales, orca, and several species of
dolphins. A morning on the Bay with these incredible
creatures is one for the memory vaults.
Golf: The links courses of Pebble Beach are,
of course, among the most revered golfing destinations
in the world. Several other excellent courses, both
on the peninsula and within easy striking distance,
offer plenty of attractive alternatives as well.
Dine: Enjoy culinary delights from seafood
cocktails on the wharf to a wide array of gourmet
options available throughout the peninsula and surrounding
Sail: A few outfitters offer sailing trips
out of Fisherman's Wharf. These are a wonderful way
to get out onto the bay, minus the hum of the diesel
engines on the power boats, and enjoy the bay and
its wildlife with only the sound of the wind to accompany.
Taste wine: The peninsula is a short drive
from the wineries and tasting rooms of Carmel Valley,
and a midland drive of 45 minutes to an hour from
the wineries of the Salinas Valley and the Santa Cruz
Mountains. Several wineries also feature tasting rooms
in and around the peninsula.
Cycle: The peninsula is a great place to enjoy
by bicycle. Rental shops are in handy locations, and
there are great trails along the coast, as well as
mountain biking opportunities for the more adventurous.
Gallery hop: Carmel is home to a thriving
artist community. Dozens of galleries host a dazzling
array of paintings, sculpture, jewelery and other
offerings from local artists.
Comb the tidepools: With starfish, anemone
and shore crabs headlining a long list of intertidal
species, tidepool combing is fun, relaxing, and a
wonderful way to introduce kids to nature.
Go horseback riding: Scenic guided walking
tours are available in Pebble Beach and in nearby
Big Sur. For more experienced riders, full gallop
beach experiences are available north of town.
Take a narrated nature cruise:
A narrated tour on the waters off Fisherman's Wharf
and Cannery Row gives you a chance to see some of
Monterey's most engaging wildlife (otters, harbor
seals, sea lions and more) up close.
Hike: Coastal and inland trails are plentiful
both within the populated area of the peninsula, and
in the more natural settings of Point Lobos and Andrew
Molera State Parks to the south.
Fish: Depending on the time of the year, salmon,
albacore tuna and rockfish can all be caught in abundance
on trips departing from Monterey's harbor.
Stroll: With picturesque beaches, yacht-lined
docks and historic Victorian and Spanish architecture,
there are myriad venues to simply relax and enjoy
a quiet stroll.