Coastal Destinations

Monterey County Travel and Visitor guide with hotel and vacation information for Big Sur, Carmel, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas and Seaside.

Monterey County occupies 99 miles of the wonderous California coast. Located approximately 85 miles south of San Francisco, Monterey County is home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and Big Sur.

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The first stop and a must see for everyone is the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium - an experience you won't soon forget. Enjoy Steinbeck's Cannery Row, Colton Hall and the Monterey Museum of Art. Stroll the recreational trail along the coast or see the wildlife close-up with a kayak adventure on the Bay.

A short drive south from Monterey you'll find Carmel-by-the-Sea, a well known artist community featuring Point Lobos, Carmel and Lagoon Beaches, Ocean Avenue, The Tor House, Carmel Mission, and a variety of art and photography galleries. Carmel Valley, a scenic drive inland, is home to many wineries, farms, ranches and the beautiful Garland Ranch Regional Park.

Further south is Pacific Grove where the Monarch butterflies are a favorite attraction in the winter. Visitors will enjoy Asilomar State Beach, historic bed and breakfast inns, Lover's Point and the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.

At the southern end of Monterey County is the spectacular Big Sur coastline with its Esalen Institute, Henry Miller Memorial Library, Point Sur Lighthouse, camping, hiking, beautiful redwood groves and excellent whale-watching. The coastal drive from Monterey to San Luis Obispo is another "must do" for central California.