Monterey County prides itself on being an inclusive destination that warmly welcomes individuals with physical or sensory challenges. With many accessible amenities and accommodations, Monterey ensures that everyone can fully enjoy the beauty and charm of this coastal paradise. Read on to learn more about some of the accessible attractions, hotels, and transportation options.

Getting Around

Whether you use a wheelchair or have another physical or sensory need, getting around Monterey County is convenient and affordable. Monterey boasts free disabled parking options as long as you display a parking placard or have a disabled license plate. 

Our regional bus system also accommodates people with accessibility challenges. All Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) routes are equipped with wheelchair lifts, so you can rest assured that exploring the area via bus is quick and easy.

Beaches & Things to Do

Carmel River State Beach

Monterey County boasts many accessible attractions for both adults and children. Read on to learn more about our favorite accessible activities!

Beaches

You may be curious to know what beaches are accessible in Monterey. The most accessible beaches are Pfeiffer Beach at Los Padres National Park in Big Sur, Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove and Carmel River State Beach. These beaches boast either hard-packed sand or paved trails, disability parking, and some have beach wheelchairs available on-site. Del Monte Beach in Monterey features a wheelchair mat to provide better access.

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail

One of the most exciting and accessible attractions in Monterey County is the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. This 18-mile paved trail runs along the coast from Pacific Grove to Castroville and serves as a gateway for other attractions, like Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. On the Coastal Trail, you’ll find stunning ocean views, marine animals, and plenty of beach access points (hard-packed sand paths.)

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail

Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row

Both of these popular tourist hubs, made famous by John Steinbeck's classic book Cannery Row, boast numerous wheelchair-accessible restaurants and shops that appeal to every taste and sensibility.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

One of the most beloved tourist attractions in Monterey County, the Aquarium is accessible to people of all needs. Namely, they offer manual wheelchairs and bariatric wheelchairs available to use free of charge. They also have complimentary sensory bags, noise reduction headphones, and welcome trained service animals.

Monterey Bay Eco Tours

The Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour gives guests a one-of-a-kind experience on the El Cat, a fully electric catamaran to see the wildlife of the Elkhorn Slough. The El Cat is equipped with a ramp that is set up for a stepless entry onto the boat.

Monterey Bay Eco Tours Moss Landing

Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary

The peak time to see the Monarch Butterflies is between the months of November - January. The sanctuary is ADA accessible including accessible parking and restrooms. Get more information here.

Tatum’s Garden

Tatum’s Garden in Salinas is a fully-accessible playground. Their mission is to cultivate accessible and inclusive play.

Tipsy Putt

Play a game of mini golf while drinking local beers and enjoying delicious food using sustainable farm-fresh ingredients. Tipsy Putt is fully ADA accessible following all ADA compliance and is wheelchair accessible.

Where to Stay

Monterey has no shortage of accessible accommodations. The recommendations below represent properties that provide ADA-compliant rooms and go above and beyond to provide a comfortable, inclusive experience for all guests. 

Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove

Asilomar Conference Grounds recently went through a renovation to improve access and to meet the guidelines set by the American with Disabilities Act as well as state and federal laws. This update included renovated public restrooms, stage lifts at Merrill Hall and Chapel Auditorium, accessible lift at the pool, accessible picnic and campfire area and beach wheelchair for accessibility to Asilomar State Beach. Find more of their accessibility and safety features here.

Asilomar Boardwalk

Cypress Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea

This landmark boutique hotel boasts a lovely ADA-accessible room and a fully accessible property. The route to the room is easy to access (meaning no steps), and there are accessible routes from the public entrance to the registration area, meeting rooms, and restaurant. The hotel also offers a 24-hour phone line for those who require additional assistance. 

Monterey Bay Lodge, Monterey

This well-appointed hotel was designed with inclusivity in mind. All hallways and corridors are free of steps or abrupt level changes, and all areas of the hotel are accessible by wheelchair, including a route from the parking lot to the facility’s main entrance. Signage throughout the property also includes Braille for visually impaired guests.

Monterey Peninsula Inn, Pacific Grove

Located near the Asilomar coastline and the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, this hotel offers two ADA-accessible rooms on the first floor and nearby handicapped parking. 

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

This breathtaking hotel offers two fully accessible suites and accessible public areas, including its restaurant, lap pool, hot tub, meditation rooms, and spa treatment rooms. Although the hotel doesn’t allow pets, it welcomes service animals at no charge. The hotel also offers a fully equipped van with an automatic ramp for up to three wheelchairs. 

Sanctuary Beach Resort, Marina

The Sanctuary Beach Resort offers ADA-compliant rooms with wider doorways and height-adjusted handles and mirrors. There are also select Partial Ocean View Deluxe rooms that have grab bars in the bath tubs. The main public areas are also accessible and designed to accommodate specific requirements.

Sanctuary Beach Resort deluxe ocean view

The Inn at Moss Landing Point, Moss Landing

This boutique hotel is only a short walk away from delicious fresh seafood and gorgeous views. The Inn at Moss Landing Point provides accessible features both on property and on their website. Following the same ADA-compliance, their sister property, Villa Franca Inn in Monterey is another great place to stay.

The Monterey Hotel, Monterey

Located in downtown Monterey, this hotel provides hotel accessibility to all. From accessible public spaces like their entrance and elevator to their accessible guest rooms with accessible door knobs/handles, visual and audible fire alarm, accessible privacy latch and more. Monterey County offers a range of activities and accommodations that are accessible to all, ensuring that you can fully enjoy the beauty of this coastal community.

Given that Monterey County has a number of accessibility-friendly activities and accommodations, you can plan your trip knowing that you’ll be able to experience the richness of this coastal community without limitations.