Sustainable Moments

Are you expecting more from your holiday than a brief stay somewhere? Perhaps you need to completely disconnect from your routine life and escape into nature. Maybe you are looking for inspiration from another culture and environment. Trying something new may be what you need for rejuvenation. Or perhaps giving back and contributing to the preservation of your host destination helps you tap into the benefits of altruism.

This is all a part of traveling responsibly. In Monterey County, we understand the importance of this practice and what to help you experience a sustainable vacation with truly unforgettable moments.

Monterey County works hard to make our communities the very best places to live and to visit; to support healthy lifestyles, create jobs and surround ourselves with a thriving environment for years to come. We take personal responsibility to protect our destination's incredible natural assets and pristine landscape, recognizing the importance of sustainability and giving back to the community.

With agriculture as our number one industry, we use the freshest locally-grown food and wine in our culinary choices, reducing the carbon footprint from transportation. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Watch program sets standards around the country for responsible seafood menus. Our hotel partners have been awarded designations and certifications for implementing and measuring standards in waste diversion, energy and water conservation and education. And our area businesses lead the industry in sustainable business practices.

Responsible travel minimizes negative impacts, brings economic benefits to host communities, and preserves the cultural and natural resources of the destinations. Responsible travel is about more authentic holiday experiences that enable you to get a little bit more out of your travels, and give a little bit more back to destinations and local people; maximizing the benefits and minimizing the negative impacts of travel.

If you're planning a trip

to Monterey County

Tips for Responsible Travel

  • Choose an eco-friendly tour operator or accommodations
  • Consider local conservation or social projects that you could visit or support during your trip
  • Buy local goods and produce instead of imported goods
  • Hire a local guide
  • Do not buy products from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artifacts
  • Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places
  • Use public transport, rent a bike or walk when convenient
  • Bring a reusable water bottle and shopping bag to reduce the amount of one-time use plastics
  • Always leave a place better than the way you arrived, this includes “pack in, pack out” and “leave no trace” practices
  • When you leave your hotel room, turn off the lights and all electronics
  • Consider leaving the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door so that housekeeping staff won’t clean your room every day
  • Stick to marked trails to avoid harming native flora, and consider taking a bag to pick up trash along your hike
  • Take time to immerse yourself in the local music, art and cuisine
  • Embrace the cultural differences that make it unique

Avoid a #TravelFail

Enjoy our natural beauty and endless activities and be safe. Here’s your handy cheat sheet to help avoid a #TravelFail on your next adventure. Learn more here.

Travel Like a Local Expert

Each of our destinations is unique with its own tips for sustainable travel. Click on the links below for  tips on how to travel like a local expert specific to each area.


Help us provide information on how to help preserve our beautiful destination and amazing lifestyle for generations to come. Click here to submit your feedback.

Statement from Congressman Jimmy Panetta

“Monterey CoJimmy Panettaunty serves as a national example of what can happen when the people, government, and industry work together to sustain the beauty of our surroundings.  The protection of our oceans and public lands provides a special experience to everyone who lives in and visits Monterey County.  As someone who grew up on the central coast of California, I appreciate our bond with the environment and the sustainable tourism in this area.  As a member of the Monterey County community and the United States Congress, I proudly accept the profound responsibility to ensure that all of us and our children have the opportunity to experience and enjoy the most beautiful place on earth.” - Congressman Jimmy Panetta