Local Cities & Towns
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:
© 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.
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
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.