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.
  • Romantic Restaurants
    Best romantic restaurants in Monterey County for any budget size more

  • 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

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Lay of the Land

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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

May
1
2015

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

May. 1-May. 3
This new series created by the merger between the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series…more
May
1
2015

Wildflower Triathlon

May. 1-May. 3
One of the premier triathlons nationally and internationally, this course will test…more
May
2
2015

The Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

May. 2-May. 3
Held in the heart of Old Monterey, this inaugural "Language Capital of the…more
May
2
2015

Winemakers' Celebration

May. 2
Over 30 Monterey County wineries from 9 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) will…more
May
10
2015

Mother's Day Brunches in Monterey County

May. 10
Score some points with Mom this Mother's Day and treat her to a fabulous brunch in…more
May
14
2015

Carmel Art Festival

May. 14-May. 17
Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the Carmel Art Festival.…more
May
14
2015

Salinas Valley Fair

May. 14-May. 17
Enjoy the atmosphere of an old-fashioned county fair, complete with carnival,…more
May
15
2015

Monterey Rock n' Rod Festival

May. 15-May. 16
Featuring hundreds of 1975 and older classic and custom hot rods, street rods,…more
May
22
2015

California Roots Music & Arts Festival

May. 22-May. 24
The 6th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival is a three-day event packed…more
May
23
2015

MayFest Monterey Bay

May. 23-May. 25
This FREE admission 3 DAY FESTIVAL created for the community at large will occur…more
May
30
2015

Artichoke Festival

May. 30-May. 31
In 2015 the Castroville Artichoke Festival will celebrate it's 56th year at the…more
Jun
6
2015

Monterey Wine Festival

Jun. 6-Jun. 7
With hundreds of wines offered for tasting, wine lovers will lfind an embarrassment…more
Jun
6
2015

Spartan Race

Jun. 6
Spartan RaceTM, the global leader in Obstacle Racing since 2005, was designed by…more
Jun
13
2015

Monterey Beer Festival

Jun. 13
The Monterey Beer Festival is celebrating its 14th year. Breweries from across…more
Jun
20
2015

Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration

Jun. 20
The Art & Wine Celebration will showcase over 50 artists, local wines and…more
Jun
27
2015

Monterey BaconFest

Jun. 27-Jun. 28
It's bacon! The inaugural Monterey BaconFest showcases all things bacon on June…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 …

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…
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