MONTEREY IS MORE than a classic California destination with a wharf and whale-watching tours (though, yes, those are awesome). It’s also a county comprising a network of towns and villages, each with its own compelling back story and intriguing quirks — not to mention the countless miles of sand and surf, the wineries, the clam chowder bowls, the tidal pools, the artsy festivals, and the monarch butterflies.

If you’re not convinced you should make Monterey County your next destination, here are 11 surprising facts about the region that will change your mind.

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