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© Monterey County CVB

Coastside golfing near Pacific Grove


Top Destinations  ·  Northern California  ·  Monterey Area

About Monterey Area - Monterey Bay - Monterey County

Find a hotel, an inn, a motel, a restaurant, a spa – whatever you need to plan your vacation to the Monterey Bay area, including the surrounding towns. Monterey is the center of Monterey Peninsula, overlooking the magnificent Monterey Bay, home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and historic Cannery Row, made famous by author John Steinbeck. Monterey offers visitors a wide range of activities for families, couples and travelers of all ages, along with a complete range of lodging, dining and shopping options.
Explore lodging, dining, shopping and recreational options in the Monterey area:

Local Cities & Towns

© Ron Niebrugge

Harbor seal relaxing along Monterey Bay coast

Every visit should include the Monterey Bay Aquarium with its unique integration of local sea life and history in its permanent and special exhibits. Music lovers come for the annual Monterey Blues Festival (June) and the Monterey Jazz Festival (September) events. Golfers love the ocean views and range of course to choose from, including the nearby world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Course. Wine lovers in the know have discovered Monterey County wineries in the nearby valleys and hillsides – many welcome visitors.
Print the free Scenic Drive map below to tour the Monterey Bay area’s many indoor and outdoor attractions. Click on "Monterey" to see a printable Monterey map in more detail.

Monterey Area Scenic Drives

Scenic Drive
Carmel-by-the-Sea Monterey
Destination Index Print/Zoom

SCENIC DRIVES: It doesn’t matter if you are traveling north or south, the main road hugging the coast is Highway 1. This drive takes you as close to the ocean as possible, with side trips into the destination towns of Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel. If you stay on the direct route (1), you’ll miss everything! Instead, head into Monterey for a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf. Those traveling with kids will want to stop at the Dennis the Menace playground near the Wharf. You’ll see tour boats in the Bay, scuba divers and kayakers amid the kelp beds and beachcombers on the shoreline path.

In winter, ask in Pacific Grove to find out where to view the resting monarch butterflies (quietly, please).

Continuing along the Pacific Grove coast, stop to take in the views from Point Pinos lighthouse and Asilomar beach walk, keeping an eye out for otters near shore. The 17-Mile Drive starts nearby and continues amid amazing architectural grandeur with mansion after mansion facing the Pacific Ocean. Watch for the famous cypress tree clinging to a cliff above the sea. Pebble Beach, the unparalleled and exclusive golf course commands some of the best views, especially for sunsets.

Exit to explore quaint Carmel and its many shops, galleries and restaurants or loop back north to complete the 17-Mile Drive. From Carmel, head south to see the Mission or take a picnic and a camera to Point Lobos State Reserve for one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
SIDETRIP: Back on Highway 1, you may wish to explore inland, following Carmel Valley Road to scenic overlooks and wineries amid the mountains.

If you go south, you’ll be following the Big Sur coast, a stretch of road to savor by stopping near the Bixby Bridge and one or both of the State Parks. There are small beaches, inland waterfalls, a lighthouse, numerous trails but few services.


© Monterey County CVB
Big Sur's dramatic coastline features awesome views, idyllic beaches and dense inland forests

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