Monterey Spotlight

Featured Events


Carmel Bach Festival

Jul. 19-Aug. 2
The Carmel Bach Festival has a 75-year history of artistic excellence and community…more

Feast of Lanterns

Jul. 23-Jul. 27
For over one hundred years the citizens of Pacific Grove have celebrated its…more

Moss Landing Antique Fair

Jul. 27
Moss Landing becomes the antique capital of the world the last Sunday of July.…more

Salinas Valley Half Marathon

Aug. 2
The Salinas Valley Half Marathon begins at the historic Soledad Mission, established…more

Monterey Auto Week

Aug. 11-Aug. 17
Classic automobiles take over the Monterey Peninsula during Monterey Auto Week and…more

Concours On The Avenue

Aug. 12
Sixth Annual Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours On The Avenue......Carmel's world famous…more

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Aug. 14-Aug. 17
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a cornerstone of Monterey…more

Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally

Aug. 15
The colorful 20th Annual Pacific Grove Concourse Auto Rally will be held on Friday,…more

Concorso Italiano

Aug. 16
A celebration of Italian style, featuring the most spectacular display of Italian…more

Concours d'Elegance

Aug. 17
This spectacular event exhibits some of the most unique pre-war and post-war cars,…more

Sand City West End Celebration

Aug. 22-Aug. 24
The streets of Sand City come alive for the West End Celebration! Sand City is…more

First City Festival

Aug. 23-Aug. 24
Experience a weekend of music, food, and fresh ocean air at the site of the iconic…more


Carmel on a Shoestring

Carmel’s distinct architecture, secret courtyards, haute dining and art galleries have graced the glossy pages of high-end travel magazines around the globe. But fear not, fellow travelers! Spending time in Carmel doesn’t require spending your children’s college savings. We’ve rounded up some secret (and not so secret) ways to get away to this TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice destination without breaking the bank:

  • During the summer, take a free ride on the trolley! This free, old-style vehicle travels a 30 minute scenic loop around Carmel. The trolley stops at hot spots like Carmel Beach and the Carmel Mission, one of the oldest and best-preserved missions in California.
  • For a historic and wallet-friendly experience, explore the Carmel Mission Basilica. Founded in 1771 by Father Junipero Serra, the mission is beautifully restored. Don’t miss the onsite museum and peaceful garden that are open daily.
  • Stop by the Carmel Visitor Center and pick up a self-guided walking tour map. Visitors can choose either the Historic Tour or Hidden Courtyard Tour. Both are free and fascinating.
  • Carmel Beach is known for its white sand, its dog friendly atmosphere, and as a great spot for snuggling up next to a beach fire. Pack a picnic and get a front row seat for Nature’s best show, a sunset over the Pacific.
  • A 15 minute drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea, Earthbound Farm in the sunny Carmel Valley has a free Walking Labyrinth made from living aromatherapy plants that kids go crazy for. While there, don’t miss the gourmet goodies at their farm stand, and indulge in a guilt-free splurge on their organic frozen yogurt.
  • A.W. Shucks Oyster Bar serves a dozen freshly shucked oysters for just $20. Locals and visitors alike come here for the hearty clam chowder, reasonably priced seafood and laid-back setting.
  • Happy Hour at Doris Day’s hotel, the Cypress Inn, features swanky martinis and live jazz in an ultra-fabulous setting. Or, stop by Clint Eastwood’s Carmel Mission Ranch to kick back by the outdoor fireplace with a glass of local Pinot Noir at sunset. You may even get to see him tinkling the ivories at the piano bar.
  • Make a beeline for the Carmel Plaza’s Cheese Shop for free samples of gourmet cheeses from around the world.
  • New urban wine tasting bars are popping up around Carmel, including Caraccioli Cellars and Wrath Vineyards. Taste by the sip, the glass, or pick up a bottle to enjoy later.
  • Hop aboard the Grapevine Express, a public transportation line that takes passengers to 11 distinct tasting rooms in the beautiful Carmel Valley. A day pass costs $8 and travelers can get on and off as much as they wish. The daily shuttle picks up every hour at Carmel Rancho off scenic Highway 1.
  • Discover some of Carmel’s poetic roots at the charming Tor House and Hawk Tower. These local gems were built by poet Robinson Jeffers, crafted from boulders gathered from the rocky shore of Carmel Bay.
  • In Carmel, not only can visitors catch a live theater or musical performance that they would expect to find in a metropolitan area, tickets to these shows are typically  far less than what would be paid at a big city box office. Head to the Pacific Repertory Theatre or Sunset Center for an experience that’s rich in culture, not cost.
  • Play a challenging round of golf at Rancho Cañada, situated on the Carmel River just a few miles inland. This course is home to some of the lowest green fees on the Monterey Peninsula.
  • Wild and ruggedly beautiful, Point Lobos State Reserve is perfect for day hikes and a short drive away from Carmel-by-the-Sea. Views throughout this stunning piece of coastline explain why painter Francis McComas called it "the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world.”


Lay of the Land

click to enlarge map

Lay of the Land

Close Window


County Map


Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.


Fly direct from these five airports:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)

Free Travel Guide
Get your digital guide now!
Find out everything there is to see and do in Monterey County with the 2014 Offi... more

Monterey Highlights
Monterey County's scenic drives range from the legendary to the little-known, from Highway One to ... more
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is consistently ranked #1 in the United States for its innovative ... more
This is a great place to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Monterey. ... more
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is an 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course best known for The Corkscrew and ... more
The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission (Carmel Mission) was founded in 1770, making ... more
Cannery Row houses an eclectic blend of specialty shops, local artists' galleries, more than 25 ... more
Home to museums, galleries and performing arts venues, Monterey County is a hub for artistic ... more
The antique restored adobes make Monterey the most historic city in California. ... more
Monterey County's shopping scene is full of great deals and extraordinary surprises, from fine art ... more
Sign up for our eNewsletter!
Monterey County's monthly newsletter keeps you up-to-date with upcoming event information, itinerary ideas, occasional contests & more. more