Harbor Seals

Harbor Seals

Animals and Wildlife

Scenic Monterey County is one of the richest ecological regions along California's central coast, as proven by the diverse species that call it home. Whether you take your joy in spotting the creatures of land, air or sea, there's plenty to see here.

Whales, Sea Otters, Seals & Sea Lions

As spring progresses and the days grow longer, the great migration of gray whales heading south from the Bering Sea to the calving lagoons off Mexico's Baja Peninsula draws to a close. During the season's peak (roughly December through March), as many as 7,000 gray whales pass south through the offshore waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Their place in the binoculars and spotting scopes of whale watchers is later taken by a multitude of other marine mammals. This abundance of marine life attracts year-round whale watching cruises that depart from Monterey and Moss Landing in Monterey County. They're led by experienced captains and naturalists who are delighted to introduce visitors to the fascinating and beautiful creatures who call our California waters home.

Sea otters delight all with their playful antics and can be seen at Municipal and Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row, the Breakwater, Lovers Point, Otter Point, Point Piños, Point Joe, Bird and Seal Rocks, Cypress Point, Pescadero Point, Carmel Point, and Point Lobos. Listen for the distinctive tap-tap of rock on shell-it's likely to be an otter cracking open a lunch of abalone or clams.

Harbor seals, sea lions and elephant seals are fascinating residents of the Central Coast. They often bask-and bark!-on local beaches and rocks. These lackadaisical sea creatures inhabit the same areas as otters, and can often be seen piled on mile markers, dinghies, floating docks, and any other available spaces around the harbor. Especially during the birthing season, these mammals' privacy must be respected, and screens may block your view on 17-Mile Drive. They are protected by law, so remember to keep your distance.

Lay of the Land

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Lay of the Land

LayoftheLand

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County Map

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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.

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Monterey Spotlight
 
 

Featured Events

Aug
22
2014

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
Aug
23
2014

First City Festival

Aug. 23-Aug. 24
Experience a weekend of music, food, and fresh ocean air at the site of the iconic…more
Aug
27
2014

Monterey County Fair

Aug. 27-Sep. 1
The annual Monterey County Fair is always fun for all, with livestock exhibition,…more
Aug
30
2014

Marina's Labor Day Parade & Festival

Aug. 30
Join us in celebrating the Labor Day holiday. Enjoy the largest Labor Day parade in…more
Aug
30
2014

Monterey Bay Greek Festival

Aug. 30-Sep. 1
The St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church of Monterey County will hold its 28th…more
Sep
5
2014

Festa Italia

Sep. 5-Sep. 7
Festa Italia will include Italian food booths, beer & wine, calamari, pasta,…more
Sep
12
2014

Triathlon at Pacific Grove

Sep. 12-Sep. 14
The City of Pacific Grove and Tri-California Events would like to invite you to come…more
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Activities

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

FREE APPETIZER or 1 HR of POOL

Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards
Choose a FREE APP or 1Hr of Pool with any $20 purchase on selected items *Mention…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…
Apr 16, 2014
- Dec 31, 2014

See Monterey

Carmel Food Tours
Save 10% on each ticket purchased when you use the code MCCVB
Aug 1, 2014
- Dec 31, 2014

20% discount off any treatment 50-minutes or longer

Vista Blue Spa at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Located over the tranquil Monterey Bay, Vista Blue Spa is on the top floor of the…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

Fisherman's Wharf Association
The “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card and Special Offers Campaign includes a…
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