Carmel Beach

Carmel Beach

Romance on a Shoestring

Sweep your sweetheart off their feet without spending a bundle. Monterey County's natural beauty, from rugged seashores to rolling mountains, weaves an alluring charm that money just can't buy. If times are too tight to splurge on your sweetheart, try these budget-conscious recipes for romance. Each escape is under $50 per couple.

  • Drink some wine with a view at A Taste of Monterey on Cannery Row. Sit at one of the tables next to the floor-to-ceiling picture windows and enjoy a breathtaking view of the bay while you sample some of Monterey County's best wines.
  • Fall asleep above the Central Coast's most beautiful beach waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. There's only two hike-in campsites at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and each one has some of the best ocean views in California. These sites are much in demand, so plan to reserve well in advance for your romantic escape. Bring your binoculars; you may even see whales migrating.
  • Arrange a tour of Tor House, the stone home that poet Robinson Jeffers hand-built for his wife. Docent-led tours are limited to a handful of people, and the story of Robinson and Una Jeffers is sure to stir the heart.
  • Snuggle by the fire pits, sip wine and sample the Spanish cuisine at Esteban Restaurant. Every Sunday and from 5-7pm on weeknights, the restaurant offers half off most tapas and $3 glasses of sangria. The outdoor tables, positioned by open fireplaces, are the perfect place for a little clandestine canoodling.
  • Pack a picnic and head on up to Jacks Peak County Park. The Jacks Peak Parking Area is only a few yards from the summit, so you can see the breathtaking views without breaking a sweat. For a romantic picnic, the best spot is on the Jacks Peak Trail, about 50 yards from the intersection with the Skyline Trail. A perfectly placed bench allows you to eat a leisurely meal while taking in sweeping views of Point Lobos State Reserve and Carmel Valley.
  • Just in time for Valentine's Day, take a trip on the River Road Wine Trail with the Valentine's Passport. From 11am to 4pm, tour twelve wineries along River Road. Each one has wine, food and even live entertainment that's made for romance. Your passport (only $20 each if purchased by February 1) is your ticket to taste at every venue.
  • There's a reason it's called Lovers Point! Pack up some pastries from Paris Bakery Cafe, get up very early (or stay up all night), and head to Pacific Grove's Lovers Point to watch the sun rise. Due to a quirk in local geography, it's one of the few places on the West Coast where you can watch a sunrise over the ocean.
  • Spend a few hours on a bicycle built for two. Rent a tandem bike from Adventures by the Sea and ride it along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail for a true experience in togetherness.
  • Pack some wine, cheese and a beach blanket and head to Marina State Beach in the late afternoon. Savor the flavors, and the company, as you watch a magnificent sunset. If you're lucky, you'll get to watch the hang gliders dance through the air as a prelude.
  • Have a romantic hideaway experience, carefully orchestrated for maximum impact with a Romantic Room Design. Their "Romance in a Box" packages give every item you need for a romantic evening, along with step-by-step instructions on how to set up. Entrance your partner with candles, rose petals, music and decoration designed to whisk her away.

Lay of the Land

click to enlarge map

Lay of the Land

LayoftheLand

VIEW MONTEREY COUNTY MAP

County Map

VIEW DETAILED MAPS

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.

WANT TO GET HERE FAST?

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)

x
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

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 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
Sep
19
2014

Monterey Jazz Festival

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

Activities

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 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…

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…

Estate Experience

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

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…

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…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …
Apr 16, 2014
- Dec 31, 2014

See Monterey

Carmel Food Tours
Save 10% on each ticket purchased when you use the code MCCVB

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 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…

Estate Experience

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