Photo courtesy of Joseph Kumzak

The Olympic flame is officially lit for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020! The Olympic Games are the pinnacle of world sports, and as a mecca of outdoor recreation, Monterey County is beaming with opportunities to practice your skills and get in on the action.

Paddle the Monterey Bay on a canoeing adventure, swing for the waterʻs edge at our world-class golf-courses, surf the Central Coastsʻ incredible swells–there are so many ways to experience Olympic-level sports in Monterey County. Let the games begin!

Surf

California's state sport is making its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, and with easy-rolling point breaks, wedgy swells and left and right peaks, the Monterey Bay coastline is cut above the rest in terms of surfing. Beginners and veteran surfers alike can enjoy pitch-perfect surfing conditions with great winds, reliable waves, and all-around incredible views.

Mountain Bike/ Road Cycling

If you want to get to know the Monterey County that locals love, trade in your 4-wheels for 2. With miles upon miles of bike lanes, waterfront trails and off-road tracks, you can get exactly where you want to go on the scenic (bike) route. You can also make the annual pilgrimage to Laguna Seca Recreation Area on October 7-10 to join hundreds of pro cyclists, including Olympic champions at the "Worldʻs Premier Cycling Festival," the Sea Otter Classic.

Golf

From the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links to Del Monte Golf Course, Monterey County offers some of the finest fairways in the world. With 26 public and private courses (over 450 holes in all) set in one of the country's most breathtaking locations, youʻre sure to be swinging like an Olympian by the end of your stay. 

Equestrian

Numerous equestrian trails through rugged mountain terrain or sandy beaches make it surprisingly easy to discover Monterey County on horseback. Itʻs really no wonder that Olympian Lauren Billys, who grew up in Central California, trained for the Tokyo Olympics with her horse Purdy at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley. Saddle up, and discover Monterey County the Olympian way by Horseback Riding.

Canoe/Kayak Flatwater

We doubt youʻll want to speed through a kayaking adventure on the Monterey Bay or Californiaʻs second largest estuary, the Elkhorn Slough, but the option is there to get in a great workout! Otherwise, take your time as you paddle your way around to see amazing wildlife, including endagered sea otters and soaring pelicans, or catch a view of Cannery Row from the water. 

Sailing

Thereʻs nothing quite like a day on the water, being swept up with the peaceful winds and deep blues of Monterey Bay. Prevailing northwest winds on the bay make conditions ideal for sailing almost every day. Whether youʻre looking for a short sail out, a romantic sunset cruise, a private charter or sailing lessons, you can do it all on Monterey Bay. Now thatʻs something to sail-abrate! 

Skateboarding

The Tokyo Olympics welcome Skatebording to the roster of games this year, and Monterey County is the perfect place to shred. With quarter pipes, a stair set with hubba ledge and rails with smooth flow throughout the park, the City of Seaside Cutino Skatepark is an excellent place for some Olympic-level training. Learn more about skateboarding around Monterey County here.

Once youʻve explored all of Monterey Countyʻs outdoor experiences, youʻll be ready for the Olympics, right? Well, even if youʻre not headed for the podium, the torch is always lit for you in Monterey County, and you are guaranteed to score a gold medal for a lifetime of outdoor adventures and fun.