Travelers from around the world flock to California’s central coast to experience the world-class sites and activities available in Monterey County. Though travel has come to a near halt in an effort to help minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we invite you to virtually take a moment to be inspired by the destination’s 99-miles of pristine coastline, majestic marine life and more. When the time is right, Monterey County will be waiting for travelers like you to experience its splendor firsthand. In the meantime, here’s how to wander from home.
1. Take in scenic views of the Monterey Peninsula
Play iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links via an online simulation.
Take in views of the Monterey Bay from a live webcam located on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s ocean-view deck. Watch the ocean’s surface for harbor seals poking their heads out of the water or sea otters wrapped in kelp. For a complete tour of the Aquarium from home, click over to Google Street View’s full walking tour.
Golfers preparing for a bucket-list trip to Pebble Beach can play the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links via an online simulation. Or, simply soak up the scenery at the 18th hole – the most renowned finishing hole in golf – by watching a live webcam that captures the crashing surf and rugged backdrop.
Find even more inspiring views of Carmel Valley, Big Sur and even California Condors by watching additional webcams located throughout the County.
2. Join the #MuseumFromHome movement
Follow Monterey Museum of Art on Facebook for projects, virtual tours and Q&A with artists.
The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) team is bringing its museum experience to people at home on Facebook. On Mondays and Thursdays, MMA is sharing family-friendly Remote Art Day projects to keep artists of all ages engaged. MMA projects are designed by professional art educators to teach motor skills, creative thinking, problem solving and more! On Tuesdays, MMA will showcase its special exhibitions via virtual tours and Q&A sessions with artists. Wednesdays are devoted to highlighting pieces from the museum’s permanent collection complete with historical context and curator’s notes.
The National Steinbeck Center has increased its online presence to continue its mission of "building community and celebrating creativity, inspired by the words of John Steinbeck.” People from around the world can #SteinbeckFromHome by taking a virtual museum tour and heading over to the museum’s new YouTube channel featuring videos by archivist Lisa Josephs. After learning about the legendary author, who was born and raised in Monterey County, find a cozy nook at home to read “Cannery Row” and its sequel, “Sweet Thursday,” which are both set in the place Steinbeck called home.
3. Unwind with Monterey-inspired meditation and cocktails
Join the Monterey Bay Meditation Studio's new online community.
Monterey Bay Meditation Studio’s new online community also encourages meditation and reflection from home. Offering everything from single sessions to multi-week courses, the platform is designed to continue the studio’s mission of making mindfulness and meditation accessible for the community.
Take 10 minutes to decompress with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s daily “MeditOcean” – a peaceful, guided meditation with relaxing music and video of exhibits. The sessions are perfect for a quiet break during the day. Find the latest mindful meditation sessions on Facebook and YouTube.
Grab lavender and find some Zen with Carmel Valley Ranch’s signature Lavender Bliss martini. Mix vodka, lime juice, lavender simple syrup and add fresh lavender sprigs for garnish. The cocktail is just one of the many ways the property uses the bounty of ingredients grown on its sprawling 500 acres. Find the Lavender Bliss martini recipe and more in Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s digital cookbook.
4. Take a culinary tour of the County
Order a taste of Monterey included handcrafted ice cream from Revival Ice Cream.
The region offers restaurateurs, chefs and winemakers fertile ground to create an unparalleled food and wine scene. Savor a few of the destination’s delicacies while supporting local businesses by ordering them online to tide you over until visiting. Try Monterey-style clam chowder from Old Fisherman’s Grotto. Established in 1950, the Old Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant ships its thick and creamy chowder for at-home enjoyment. For dessert, have a scoop (or pint!) of locally sourced, handcrafted Revival Ice Cream. Their award-winning Bee’s Knees ice cream combines burnt honey, beeswax and bee pollen with creamy organic custard and a crunchy honeycomb candy.
With 32 varietals from 45,000 acres of planted vineyards throughout the County, there is no shortage of great wines to try and many are available for online purchase. Start with a Wrath Pinot Noir from the Saint Lucia Highlands or a sparkling rosé from Carmel Valley. Folktale Winery and Vineyards is offering $1 shipping for any online purchase of four bottles or more.
5. Be inspired by a Big Sur artist
Find inspiration and be inspired by a Big Sur Artist.
Big Sur has a long history of attracting artists, writers and musicians. Famed cliff-topping restaurant Nepenthe artist-in-residence Erin Lee Gafill is offering free online art classes featuring new art techniques and step-by-step instructions. The Awaken the Artist Within series’ first lesson invites participants to explore the world and find inspiration by hunting and gathering things found in nature. All lessons are posted to YouTube and budding artists are encouraged to share their work with a Facebook group. Looking to bring the beauty of Big Sur home? Browse a selection of Erin’s paintings in Nepenthe’s online gallery, including Big Sur, Glorious Day and McWay Falls.