The Monterey Bay Area

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Monterey Bay Area - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. 17-Mile Drive

    Scenic Drive

    Primordial nature resides in quiet harmony with palatial, mostly Spanish Mission–style estates along 17-Mile Drive, which winds through an 8...Read More

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  • 2. Holman Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room


    Estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are among the standout wines made by Holman Ranch, which pours samples in its chic tasting room and on...Read More

  • 3. Monterey Bay Aquarium


    Playful otters and other sea creatures surround you the minute you enter this extraordinary facility, where all the exhibits convey what it...Read More

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  • 4. Monterey State Historic Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    You can glimpse Monterey's early history in several well-preserved adobe buildings in Custom House Plaza and the downtown area. Although most...Read More

  • 5. National Steinbeck Center


    The center's exhibits document the life of Pulitzer- and Nobel-prize winner John Steinbeck and the history of the nearby communities that inspired...Read More

  • 6. New Brighton State Beach


    Once the site of a Chinese fishing village, New Brighton is now a popular surfing and camping spot. Its Pacific Migrations Visitor Center traces...Read More

  • 7. Ocean Avenue


    Downtown Carmel's chief lure is shopping, especially along its main street, Ocean Avenue, between Junipero Avenue and Camino Real. The architecture...Read More

  • 8. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    A 350-acre headland harboring a wealth of marine life, the reserve lies a few miles south of Carmel. The best way to explore here is to walk...Read More

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  • 9. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Amusement Ride

    Santa Cruz has been a seaside resort since the mid-19th century. Along one end of the broad, south-facing beach, the boardwalk has entertained...Read More

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  • 10. Seacliff State Beach


    Sandstone bluffs tower above this popular beach with a long fishing pier. The 1.5-mile walk north to adjacent New Brighton State Beach in Capitola...Read More

  • 11. The Lone Cypress


    The most-photographed tree along 17-Mile Drive is the weather-sculpted Lone Cypress, which grows out of a precipitous outcropping above the...Read More

  • 12. West Cliff Drive

    Scenic Drive

    The road that winds along an oceanfront bluff from the municipal wharf to Natural Bridges State Beach makes for a spectacular drive, but it...Read More

  • 13. A Taste of Monterey


    Without driving the back roads, you can taste the wines of nearly 100 area vintners (craft beers, too) while taking in fantastic bay views....Read More

  • 14. Asilomar State Beach


    A beautiful coastal area, Asilomar State Beach stretches between Point Pinos and the Del Monte Forest. The 100 acres of dunes, tidal pools,...Read More

  • 15. Bernardus Tasting Room


    At the tasting room of Bernardus, known for its Bordeaux-style red blend, called Marinus, and Chardonnays, you can sample current releases and...Read More

  • 16. California's First Theatre


    This adobe began its life in 1846 as a saloon and lodging house for sailors. Four years later stage curtains were fashioned from army blankets...Read More

  • 17. Cannery Row


    When John Steinbeck published the novel Cannery Row in 1945, he immortalized a place of rough-edged working people. The waterfront street...Read More

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  • 18. Carmel Beach


    Carmel-by-the-Sea's greatest attraction is its rugged coastline, with pine and cypress forests and countless inlets. Carmel Beach, an easy walk...Read More

  • 19. Carmel Mission

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Long before it became a shopping and browsing destination, Carmel was an important religious center during the establishment of Spanish California...Read More

  • 20. Carmel River State Beach

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    This sugar-white beach, stretching 106 acres along Carmel Bay, is adjacent to a bird sanctuary, where you might spot pelicans, kingfishers,...Read More

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