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

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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

Sep
21
2014

Monterey Jazz Festival

Sep. 19-Sep. 21
Wheter you prefer jazz, blues, folk, or American song, the discerning jazz music…more
Sep
23
2014

First Tee Open at Pebble Beach

Sep. 23-Sep. 28
This competition, broadcast on The Golf Channel, earns money for The First Tee, a…more
Sep
27
2014

California International Airshow

Sep. 27-Sep. 28
The California International Airshow Salinas returns to the Salinas Municipal…more
Oct
2
2014

Taste of Carmel

Oct. 2-Oct. 5
The Taste of Carmel on October 2-5,2014 will have a new look this year. It will…more
Oct
3
2014

Monterey HistoryFest

Oct. 3-Oct. 5
The Monterey History Fest has grown into a festival that offers a variety of…more
Oct
4
2014

Monterey Beach SportsFest

Oct. 4-Oct. 5
The Monterey Beach Sportsfest is a celebration of wellness both for people and for…more
Oct
5
2014

Pacific Grove Historic Homes Tour

Oct. 5
A tour of prime and selected historic homes, the PG Lighthouse, and selected civic…more
Oct
10
2014

2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs

Oct. 10-Oct. 12
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs has crowned Club Racing National Champions in…more
Oct
11
2014

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival

Oct. 11
Join us for what has become a growing celebration of the Salinas Valley Lifestyle.…more
Oct
15
2014

Carmel International Film Festival

Oct. 15-Oct. 19
The Carmel International Film Festival will screen at least 50 independent films…more
Oct
18
2014

Celebrate Harvest 2014

Oct. 18
Celebrate the fruits of harvest and raise scholarship funds for the children of our…more
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Activities

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…

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…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

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

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…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 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

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…

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…
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