With over 500 bird species spotted, spectacular Monterey County is one of the top locations for birders in California and in the U.S. From deep water to shores, sloughs and lakes, grasslands and peaks, there is a diversity of habitats to enjoy. You may even find a free birding trip with the Monterey Audubon Society!

  1.  Point Pinos, Pacific Grove

Along the scenic shoreline of Point Pinos, the Pacific Ocean meets the southern tip Monterey Bay. Admire the seabirds and shorebirds as trails lead you along the coast via lovely boardwalks. The area is a “vagrant trap” where migrating birds stop to refuel. Travel north towards Lovers Point or south towards Asilomar State Beach. You can also take a short walk to the Point Pinos Lighthouse

This is an image of a boardwalk walking path at Point Pinos in Pacific Grove. In the background, the sun is setting above the water

  1. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

An internationally popular location, this stunning intersection of land and sea is frequented by locals and tourists alike. While not as “birdy” as other nearby locales, it is a magnificent California State Reserve that you should visit if you are in the County. Head to nearby Carmel River State Beach to walk and bird the marsh.

This is an image of Brandts Cormorant birds at Point Lobos

  1. Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing

A fabulous coastal wetland, the slough area has tidal salt marshes, oak-covered ridges and a variety of walking paths through various habitats. Visitors can access and explore Elkhorn Slough by kayak, pontoon boat with Elkhorn Slough Safari and 5 miles of walking trails through oak woodlands, wetlands and meadows at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

  1. Deep Water Pelagic Tours

There are many birds to be seen off-shore out on the open waters, with sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions and whales frequently making an appearance! Take a tour with Fast Raft Ocean Safaris and Elkhorn Slough Safari to discover pelagic species.

Fast Raft Ocean Safari

  1.  Andrew Molera State Park

Explore the largest State Park in Big Sur among miles of trails winding through meadows, riparian, and coastal habitats along the Big Sur River.

This is an image of the Big Sur coast taken from Andrew Molera State Park