FACT SHEET

Location:

  • Monterey County is situated on California's central coast with its northern border approximately 100 miles south of San Francisco and 45 minutes from San Jose, and its southern border about 200 miles north of Los Angeles.
  • The Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz County border to the north; the Pacific Ocean is to the west; San Benito County, Fresno County and Kings County border to the east; and San Luis Obispo County borders the south.

Population / Facilities:

  • Total County Population: 433,898 (2015 Census)
  • Monterey County Visitation: 4.5 million visitors a year
  • Total Number of Lodging Facilities: 222 with 11,934 hotel rooms

Climate:

  • Average summer temperatures range from 50º F to 70ºF
  • Average winter temperatures range from 44º F to 61º F
  • September is on average the warmest month, and January on average is the coolest month
  • Average yearly rainfall in Monterey is 21.3 inches and falls primarily between November and March
  • Source: The Weather Channel.

Transportation:

  • Monterey Regional Airport (MRY): (831) 648-7000, www.montereyairport.com. Non-stop flights to and from Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO).
  • Marina Municipal Airport (OAR): (831) 582-0102, www.ci.marina.ca.us.  
  • Salinas Municipal Airport (SNS): (831) 758-7214, www.cityofsalinas.org.
  • Monterey-Salinas Transit: (888) MST-BUS1, www.mst.org. MST provides bus service to the greater Monterey and Salinas areas as far south as Paso Robles and Big Sur and as far north as Santa Cruz and San Jose.
  • Monterey Airbus: (831) 373-7777, www.montereyairbus.com. Airport transport to San Francisco and San Jose from hotels and locations throughout the Monterey Peninsula.
  • Greyhound Bus Lines: (831) 424-4418, www.greyhound.com. Stops in Monterey, Salinas and Sand City.
  • Amtrak: (800) 872-7245, www.amtrak.com. 11 Station Place, Salinas.

Major Attractions:

  • 17-Mile Drive: www.pebblebeach.com. Scenic driving tour of Pebble Beach, scenic lookouts and famous golf courses. Entrance fee.
  • Big Sur: www.bigsurcalifornia.org. Scenic area of Monterey County encompassing a 90-mile stretch of breathtaking dramatic coastline from Carmel to Hearst Castle. Inns, restaurants, camping spots, beaches and hiking trails can be found along the iconic Highway 1.
  • Cannery Row: www.canneryrow.com. One of the most popular destinations in the Central Coast and named for Steinbeck’s novel, Cannery Row offers waterfront luxury hotels, boutiques, restaurants and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea: www.carmelcalifornia.com. Charming village with boutique shops and 110 art galleries. Quirky laws including no street addresses, live music, neon lights or high heels without a permit still exist.
  • Fisherman’s Wharf: www.montereywharf.com. Popular attraction with seafood and chowder vendors, unique shops, restaurants, whale watching tours and sailing and fishing.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium: www.montereybayaquarium.org. Featuring daily shows, feedings, tours and a dozen exhibits including Monterey Bay Habitats and new for 2016 - ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge.
  • Monterey Wine Country: www.montereywines.org. Monterey County is home to more than 175 vineyards, nearly 60 wineries and tasting rooms, and 42 varietals. There are wine tasting opportunities throughout the county including in Salinas, Carmel Valley, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey.
  • National Steinbeck Center: www.steinbeck.org. Museum devoted to the life and works of John Steinbeck.
  • Pinnacles National Park: The national park is a popular spot for outdoor activities ranging from hiking to birdwatching to stargazing to rock climbing. It is also a perfect outdoor classroom for lessons in geology, botany and biology. Pinnacles Campground offers tent, group and RV sites.

Activities:

  • Beaches: Many public areas for walking, picnicking, surfing, snorkeling, kite flying and tide pool and sand dune exploration.
  • Biking: From the rugged challenges of mountain biking at Fort Ord Public Lands to the cliffs of Big Sur to the gentle, paved coastal Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, there's a ride in Monterey County for every level of cyclist.
  • Camping: The Los Padres National Forest, Pinnacles and many state beaches and parks offer campsites throughout Monterey County. RV camping is also available at select sites.
  • Fishing: Deep sea, surf and freshwater fishing are popular activities. Fishing regulations and license information can be obtained from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.
  • Flightseeing Tours: Explore scenic Monterey County from the sky by helicopter or plane.
  • Golf: Monterey County is a world class golf destination with 26 public and private golf courses playable year-round and in a variety of scenic settings.
  • Hiking: Monterey County’s parks and recreation areas feature various hiking trails for the day visitor and the backcountry traveler including trails along the coast and redwood forests. 
  • Horseback Riding: Guided tours and beach and trail ride packages are available in Big Sur, Carmel Valley, Moss Landing and Pebble Beach. Those who have their own horses can also explore equestrian trails throughout Monterey County.
  • Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddle Boarding: Guided tours, lessons and rentals are available in Monterey, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach.  
  • Sailing: Tours and charters leave from Monterey Harbor, giving visitors the opportunity to take in local wildlife like whales, seals, sea lions and otters and enjoy coastal views.
  • Skydiving: Available in Marina at the Monterey Municipal Airport. Jump from 18,000ft with views of Monterey Bay.
  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: With more than 6,000 sq miles of water and 276 miles of coastline, there are plenty of areas to snorkel or dive in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary including the Breakwater in Monterey, Lovers Point in Pacific Grove and Whaler's Cove in Point Lobos State Park.
  • Whale Watching: Many chartered whale watching tours are available from Fisherman’s Wharf and Moss Landing and can be enjoyed year-round. Sightings include: gray whales, humpbacks, blue whales, minke whales, fin whales, orcas, dolphins and more!

Culture and Entertainment:

  • Art Galleries: From Moss Landing to Monterey to Big Sur, galleries and art studios are located throughout Monterey County including 110 galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Art festivals include the annual Carmel Art Festival and the Sand City West End Celebration.
  • Events: www.SeeMonterey.com. Nearly 300 special events take place in Monterey County annually including AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Classic Car Week, Monterey Jazz Festival, races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Big Sur Marathon and other food, wine, cultural and family festivals.
  • History: Discover Monterey’s rich historic heritage through guided and self-guided tours of 19th century buildings and landmarks, historic missions and museums.
  • Music and Theatre: Several live performance theaters offer a variety of productions year-round. Resident musical groups include the Monterey Symphony Orchestra, and the Carmel Bach Festival, California Roots Music and Art Festival and Monterey Jazz Festival are among popular music events. Monterey County will also be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017.

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