Monterey straddles the divide between So-Cal surfer culture and Nor-Cal wine country. From cliffhanger coastal drives to world-famous golf and charming boutiques, the Monterey Peninsula is the perfect place to soak up picturesque California views.
Things to do in Monterey
The 17-Mile Drive along the Pacific Coastline is enough to lure you into Monterey, as it twists and towers above the ocean and weaves through Del Monte Forest. You can spot luxurious mansions tucked into the cliffs and valleys and hike wooden pathways leading to the Spanish Bay shoreline.
Part of the 17-Mile Drive takes you through Pebble Beach, home to the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links and Cypress Point Golf Course. Stop between the two courses to snap a photograph of the Lone Cypress, a single tree twisted by time and wind, resting above the ocean on a granite overhang.
In Monterey, every lane brims with cafes, boutiques, espresso shops and art galleries. Food takes centre stage, especially the city’s signature clam chowder at Old Fisherman’s Wharf. For a low-key seafood experience, walk to the next pier for chowder at LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle.
Traveling with the family? Spend some time at Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you’ll find sharks, sea turtles, reptiles, octopi and more than 40 interactive exhibits. It sits within Cannery Row, a former warehouse district made famous by author John Steinbeck. Stroll the streets and have dinner at one of the trendy eateries thriving within the old sardine warehouses.
Getting around Monterey
You can pick up a rental car at Monterey Peninsula Airport, about a 10-minute drive from downtown Monterey. Taxis and a free trolley offer transportation in town, while public buses run to nearby cities, such as Carmel and Salinas.