Monterey, California
Monterey Map
Monterey County CVB
Explore Monterey County
Monterey County boasts 99 miles of coastline and 3,371 square miles of magnificence, that begs for exploration. From submarine depths to elevations of over 5,500 feet, Monterey County invites you to grab life by the moments and discover an unlimited array of things to see and do.
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
Unforgettable Charm & Natural Beauty
MONTEREY
Historic City on the Bay
BIG SUR
Scenery Beyond Compare
MARINA
Adventure on Land, Sea & Air
CARMEL VALLEY
Revel, Recreate, Relax
SALINAS
Salad Bowl of the World
SEASIDE
Historic Military Community
PACIFIC GROVE
America's Last Hometown
PEBBLE BEACH
In a Word: Iconic
MORE TO EXPLORE
White sand beach at Carmel-by-the-Sea
Monterey County CVB

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

Unforgettable Charm & Natural Beauty

No exploration of California’s central coast is complete without a sojourn to Carmel-by-the-Sea. This quaint town is a delightful fusion of art galleries, boutiques, hotels, white-sand beaches, fine restaurants and whimsically styled homes. Make time to wind down its charming, historic streets and courtyards for a storybook ambiance that can be appreciated by romantics of all ages.

DON'T MISS...

  • Bring your pocketbook and your appetite as you make your way down Ocean Avenue—a mecca for fine dining and charming boutiques of all sorts.
  • Cruise along Scenic Drive, a coast hugging route that more than lives up to its name. Revel in distinct architectural styles, from storybook-esque cottages to über contemporary designs, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Walker Residence and poet Robinson Jeffers’ Tor House.
  • Go back in time at the historic Carmel Mission, the first mission in California to be built from stone in 1771.
  • Purchase a Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport™ for a Wine Walk Flight at your choice of several tasting rooms. Amble from location to location, as you savor some of Monterey County’s finest wines and learn about the grapes and process behind each pour.
  • Stay for the annual festivals: Taste of Carmel, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Carmel International Film Fest and GourmetFest, to name just a few.
Old Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey County CVB

MONTEREY

Historic City on the Bay

Monterey has a robust and remarkable history attracting visitors from around the world since the 1700s. Today, restaurants, boutiques and attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Old Fisherman’s Wharf have helped Monterey continue as a favorite international tourist destination.

DON'T MISS...

  • Historic Cannery Row features former canneries that now house shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
  • The acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium is not to be missed. Get an up-close look at Monterey Bay’s mascot, the spirited sea otter. Catch daily feedings in the Kelp Forest and Open Sea exhibits and watch fish, jellyfish and skilled predators—like tuna and sharks—speeding toward lunch. 
  • Meander down Old Fisherman’s Wharf and indulge in a delicious free sample of clam chowder. Pick up souvenirs and gifts such as salt-water taffy and jewelry.
  • Book a boat tour, whale watching cruise or fishing trip on the Monterey Bay.
  • Go back in time with a visit to nearby Custom House Plaza, Museum of Monterey, historic adobes and Old Downtown Monterey.
  • Gear up at the Coast Guard pier next to San Carlos Beach, a mecca for scuba divers.
  • Light up the night on lively Alvarado Street and Cannery Row, where 13 walkable city blocks play host to more than 20 bars featuring live music, DJs, dancing and Karaoke.
McWay Falls
Monterey County CVB

BIG SUR

Scenery Beyond Compare

Rocky cliffs, lush mountains, coastal redwood forests and hidden beaches combine to create an epic backdrop for recreation, romance and relaxed exploration. Hike trails through fragrant forests to scenic overlooks and beaches. Grab a table with a view, soak in the surroundings and settle into a euphoric state of relaxation. This bucket-list worthy destination with its charming, eclectic populace and cosmic vibe makes for some unforgettable moments.

DON'T MISS...

  • Snap photos of the famous Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 on your way to the Henry Miller Library.
  • Pull a chair into the water and sip your favorite beverage at Big Sur River Inn.
  • Hike to waterfalls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or the Ventana Wilderness.
  • Vacation as celebrities do at luxurious resorts and award-winning restaurants, or try a night of glamping under the stars and redwoods.
Paragliding at Marina State Beach
Monterey County CVB

MARINA

Adventure on Land, Sea & Air

In addition to the Monterey Bay and its bounty, sand and wind are two natural resources that make Marina a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It is hugely popular with hang gliding pilots and captains of colorful parasails, kites and wind-propelled craft of every imaginable shape, size and design. Escape to Marina, a local gem and authentic California beach town.

DON'T MISS...

  • Marina State Beach is an ideal spot for surfers, paddle-boarders and kayakers. Or stay dry and catch a peek of marine wildlife frolicking in the bay from the shore.
  • Check out Monterey Bay from the air—skydive from the Marina Municipal Airport or try out hang gliding.
  • Stroll down to Fort Ord Dunes State Park and explore four miles of paths and access to the north end of Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.
  • Discover Fort Ord National Monument, 14,658 acres of undeveloped chaparral and oak woodlands featuring more than 86 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
  • Saddle up at the Marina Equestrian Center, which offers new or returning rider lessons.
  • Get away from it all at The Sanctuary Beach Resort whose elegant rooms all have partial or full ocean views, gas fireplaces and private patios.
  • Choose from a variety of delectable eateries representing Marina’s diverse ethnic population.
Wine tasting in Carmel Valley
Monterey County CVB

CARMEL VALLEY

Revel, Recreate, Relax

Sun-kissed days make Carmel Valley one of Monterey County’s prized wine appellations, and the perfect rustic wine country getaway. Whether you set off on a self-directed tasting adventure or sign up for a guided tour, you can sip your way down Carmel Valley Road, the main artery of the lush countryside. Dine at award-winning restaurants with menus crafted to showcase local vintages. Get active at one of Carmel Valley’s championship golf courses, tennis courts or fitness clubs that offer day use.

DON'T MISS...

  • 4,462-acre Garland Ranch Regional Park is wonderful for outdoor enthusiasts and trailblazers on foot or horseback. Hike up—around 2,000 feet—and your reward will be amazing views of the ocean.
  • For one-of-a-kind relaxation, take the plunge at Refuge with its “thermal therapy cycle” and variety of optional massage treatments.
  • Escape for the day or overnight to Bernardus Lodge and Spa, one of Carmel Valley’s most acclaimed luxury resorts.
  • Stay and play on one of many picturesque and rolling golf courses or take the wheel at the Land Rover Experience Driving School.
  • Children enjoy the outdoors with a u-pick farm and garden at Earthbound Farms, natural playgrounds, pools, kids camp activities and more.
Lettuce field
David Gubernick

SALINAS

Salad Bowl of the World

A trip to the Salinas Valley is like walking into a John Steinbeck novel. The renowned author was born and raised here—evident in many of his writings, especially East of Eden. Warm weather and cool coastal breezes make the valley a rich California growing region. Agriculture dominates the economy and flavor of this so-called “Salad Bowl of the World.” With 42 varietals including chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot, the Salinas Valley is also an important and growing wine region.

DON'T MISS...

  • Sample some of Monterey County’s wines at Paraiso Vineyards, Hahn Estates, Wrath Wines or one of the many other wineries that have tasting rooms along River Road.
  • Stroll through Oldtown Salinas—the hub of this area’s shopping scene, with unique boutiques, antique shops, coffeehouses, restaurants and art galleries.
  • The National Steinbeck Center occupies a place of honor at the head of Main Street in Oldtown. Steinbeck’s world comes alive through multi-sensory exhibits, rare artifacts, film clips and special exhibitions. Visit Steinbeck’s birthplace and boyhood home at The Steinbeck House, now a favorite eatery.
  • Monterey Zoo, Wild Things, Inc., adopts and provides a loving sanctuary for retired TV and movie animal “stars” that would otherwise be homeless. Spend the night at Vision Quest Ranch, an on-site B&B, and have breakfast delivered via elephant.
Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Course
Monterey County CVB

SEASIDE

Historic Military Community

Seaside began with the Hotel Del Monte in 1880 and was later used by the military. The former site of Fort Ord is now an up-and-coming destination complete with two previously "off-limits" golf courses, an easy entrance to Fort Ord National Monument and some of the best beach access on California’s Central Coast.

DON'T MISS...

  • Foodies will rejoice at the dozens of family-owned dining spots and ethnic eateries for a “taste” of an incredible number of cultures and cuisines.
  • In its heyday, Fort Ord bustled with tens of thousands of soldiers who trained for battle missions from World War II to the Cold War. Today, the grounds are bucolic, fulfilling a peaceful mission as Fort Ord National Monument, where more than 35 species of rare plants and animals live in some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands on the Monterey Peninsula. Traverse the habitat on mountain bike, horseback or foot, taking advantage of the many opportunities to snap spectacular wildlife and wildflower shots.
  • Tee off at Seaside’s two championship golf courses, Bayonet & Blackhorse, with sweeping views of Monterey Bay. The courses and the view were once only available to members of the military but are now open to the public.
Ice plant flowers in bloom
Rick Verbanec

PACIFIC GROVE

America's Last Hometown

Pacific Grove (P.G. to the locals) has a classic Main Street feel. With one of the oldest continually operating lighthouses in the country and a classic 1932 Neville golf course, Pacific Grove holds many old-fashioned charms. Its status as one of the top Monarch butterfly migrating spots has earned it the nickname of "Butterfly Town, USA."

DON'T MISS...

  • Settle in for a night or two at one of the historic and charming bed and breakfasts. Wander on side streets lined with Victorian houses—many with historic markers that show the year built and name of original owner.
  • Visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History—a living field guide to the flora and fauna of the region.
  • Pacific Grove Golf Links offers great play, low greens fees and sweeping views of Monterey Bay.
  • Fall in love with Lovers Point, where betrothed take their vows and honeymooners swoon where picnickers and sunbathers frolic.
  • Cycle or stroll along the scenic Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.
  • Discover hometown charm in downtown Pacific Grove with its locally owned shops, restaurants, galleries and vintage buildings.
  • Discover the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary, where thousands of butterflies make a stop in the eucalyptus grove each winter during their migration south.
17-Mile Drive
Joann Dost

PEBBLE BEACH

In a Word: Iconic

Experience the awe-inspiring, harmonious marriage of golf course topography and coastal majesty at Pebble Beach. From the famed 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links® to 17-Mile Drive® and The Lone Cypress™, a visit here will leave you spellbound. Even before the first commercial automobiles came along, historic 17-Mile Drive® was one of Monterey County's top scenic drives. It began as a carriage road in the early 1880s, and since then has been lauded for its magnificent scenery.

DON'T MISS...

  • A main stop on the famed 17-Mile Drive® is The Lone Cypress™, a 250-year-old Monterey Cypress that has survived against all odds to become one of the planet’s most photographed trees.
  • Mingle among celebrities, heads of state, pro athletes and duffers from around the globe at legendary The Lodge at Pebble Beach™.
  • Best bets for celebrity sightings are during flagship events: The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the U.S. Open Golf Championship and Pebble Beach Food & Wine.
  • Watch the triumph and tribulations of the 18th hole from The Bench, a restaurant with international influences using wood roasting and open-flame cooking.
  • Grab a bite at Roy’s at Pebble Beach, offering a unique Hawaiian-fusion experience or for authentic Tuscan dishes with antipasti and magnifico desserts, try Pèppoli at the Inn at Spanish Bay.
  • Relax by one of the fire pits on the patio at The Inn at Spanish Bay. Order your favorite beverage as the sun dips beyond the horizon and a lone bagpiper beckons the evening from across the golf course.
Horseback riding on the beach
Monterey County CVB

MORE TO EXPLORE

Monterey County’s 3,371 square miles is home to a population of over 415,000 living in its 12 towns and other communities, all with unique personalities and distinct characteristics. Explore these lesser-known Monterey County gems:

Moss Landing, in the north, started out as a wharf in 1866 but is now a bona fide destination. Located at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, it is a quaint, walkable fishing village known for antiquing, art studios, fresh seafood markets and excellent marine wildlife and bird watching. Horseback riding on Salinas River State Beach and kayaking or pontoon cruising in the slough are favorite activities there.

Nestled in the dunes between Seaside and Monterey is Sand City, a closely-knit community and artsy warehouse district. Discover hip craft brews, coffee shops, cafes and thriving businesses. Its West End Celebration in August shuts down the streets for a three-day block party and open-air artisans’ fair.

Cruise down Highway 101 south for beautiful South County scenery through rolling hills and hectares of vineyards. Soledad is called the “Gateway to the Pinnacles” (National Park) with its seismically charged landscape. While there, keep a lookout for endangered California condors. King City showcases rich agricultural history at the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum. For more local history, stop at Mission Soledad (California’s 13th mission) and Mission San Antonio de Padua (California’s 3rd mission), also located in this region.