Activities

Welcome to the Monterey Peninsula, one of the most diverse and beautiful areas in the world. Its colorful cities and historic locations make it an ideal getaway.

The magnificent Monterey Peninsula has been called the greatest meeting of land, sea and sky and is recognized as a premiere vacation and business destination. This beautiful seaside community combines all the charm of small town America with an endless variety of recreational and cultural activities. Monterey's rich history, the saga of California's Mission Trail, historic Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row, 19 championship golf courses, the world's best aquarium, a unique variety of shops and galleries, world renowned restaurants, wineries, and a spectacular assortment of parks and natural areas combine to provide a truly unrivaled place.

The Monterey Peninsula offers a treasure of diverse recreational activities. The Monterey Bay, twice as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon with an abundance of sea life, such as sea otters and sea lions, is a scuba diver's dream. For surfers, the Bay offers fast-breaking and challenging waves. And the fishing, well, it's world renowned with salmon as the favorite catch. Sailing and whale watching are also big favorites of visitors. For the golf enthusiast this is paradise. There are 19 championship courses spread out amidst the world's most beautiful settings. And if you like tennis, our year round mild climate will allow you to play anytime.

The Monterey Peninsula is a perfect place for a romantic weekend or exciting adventure. There are so many year-round activities, that you're limited only by your time and sense of adventure. From historic landmarks and unbelievable natural beauty to Fisherman's Wharf and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Peninsula has something for everyone.

According to Monterey Peninsula Golf, the Monterey Peninsula is a world-renowned golf destination, offering the most dramatic, natural settings for golf anywhere in the world. Coveted among golf enthusiasts, this breathtaking region hosts more world-class golf courses than any other, with a beautiful year-round climate. Get more information on golf courses.

Monterey was the first capital of California after it was claimed by the United States. Visitors enjoy strolling the streets and absorbing the historical and cultural past. From historic adobes and landmarks to Fisherman's Wharf and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey has something for everyone. Visit Steinbeck's Cannery Row, Colton Hall and the Monterey Museum of Art which boasts one of the premier photographic and early California painting collections in the world. Monterey features an array of fine restaurants, golf courses, boutiques, galleries, inns and recreational opportunities. It is host to a wide variety of festivals and world class events including the annual Monterey Jazz Festival, the Monterey Bay Blues Festival, Cherries Jubilee Car Show, Historic Car Week and Wine Festivals, as well as major automobile and motorcycle races at nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, with a population of 5,000 residents, plays host to thousands of visitors each year. By the 1920s, Carmel had already achieved its international reputation as an artists' colony and one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Now its biggest attractions are the downtown shopping district and its spectacular beaches. You won't find many sidewalks, street lights, neon signs or mailing addresses, but you will find specialty shops, boutiques, art and photography galleries and great restaurants. Quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea boasts Point Lobos, Carmel and Lagoon Beaches, Ocean Avenue with its bevy of shops, galleries and restaurants, the Tor House, Carmel Mission Bascilica, and a variety of great annual events.

Carmel Valley is a combination of sunshine and countryside. The valley retains the agricultural character of its history: Rustic barns, fields of lettuce, vineyards and grazing animals. The village is 12 miles east of Carmel and is home to Garland Ranch Regional Park. The Carmel Valley Appelation has helped to attract many wine lovers to the many wineries and their tasting rooms throughout the Village. The valley has some great golf courses and the weather and scenery aren't bad either. You can choose from three different courses, each one offering something special.

Pacific Grove, better known by locals as "America's last hometown," is also known for its thriving population of Monarch butterflies, Asilomar State Beach, historic bed and breakfast inns, Lover's Point and Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. A walk through the residential neighborhoods reveals many well-preserved, turn of the century Victorian homes. History buffs can visit the Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest facility of its kind on the California coast. The Monterey Bay recreational trail passes by Lover's Point, offering many opportunities to view sea otters, sea lions and occasionally passing whales.

Pebble Beach, accessible by the spectacular 17-Mile Drive, provides, perhaps, the most scenic setting for golf and recreation in the world. With its famous championship golf courses, it is hailed as a mecca for golfers. Pebble Beach hosts a variety of world class golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open and the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. It is also home to the annual Concours d'Elegance, considered to be one of the most prestigious showcases of the world's finest classic automobiles. Its stunning coastline includes Cypress Rock, Bird Rock and the Lone Cypress, one of the most photographed landmarks on the California coast.

Big Sur, with its Esalen Institute, Henry Miller Memorial Library, Point Sur Lighthouse, camping, hiking, beautiful redwood groves and excellent whale-watching was formed of volcanic peaks which rise from the surf and towering redwoods which meet with the rugged coastline. It is California’s most dramatic stretch of coastline. Its wild natural beauty can be experienced at numerous private and public campgrounds, parks, ocean and river beaches which include three million acres of untouched wilderness and three hundred miles of trails on state and federal land. Big Sur is a great place to hike and camp. Attractions you don't want to miss are the Point Sur Lighthouse, Henry Miller Memorial Library, the popular Nepenthe Restaurant, Pfieffer State Park and Pfieffer Beach.

Salinas and the Monterey Wine Country. Explore the Salinas Valley, Steinbeck’s “Valley of the World.” This fertile agricultural region is home to the National Steinbeck Center, the Steinbeck House, Wild Things, The Farm, the California Rodeo and award winning wineries. Experience the remarkable wines and breathtaking vineyards of Monterey Wine Country. This world-renowned growing region is comprised of a collection of seven unique appellations that create superior wines. Monterey County's coastal valleys and beach lands are naturally blessed with cooling fogs and fresh breezes emanating from the Monterey Bay. The resulting long, gentle ripening season leads to intense varietal flavors and a diversity of wines found in few regions of California. A day spent touring the Monterey Wine Country will prove to be a memorable experience. The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas is cultural tourism at its best, offering a journey through author John Steinbeck's life and works with interactive exhibits for all ages.

Seaside/Sand City/Marina are the fastest growing cities north of the Peninsula itself. Within their borders you'll find the California State University at Monterey Bay, Seaside State Beach, Marina State Beach and two championship golf courses. A variety of eclectic restaurants and unique shopping areas make these cities open to explore and discover.

Historic Cannery Row, once a raucous industrial street famous for canning sardines and for the haunts of characters in John Steinbeck's 1945 novel Cannery Row welcomes you to a fascinating world of seaside exploration, shopping, dining and activities on its ruggedly beautiful shoreline of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – known all over the world as John Steinbeck's Cannery Row.

Cannery Row’s reputation as the Monterey Peninsula's hot spot is well earned. Over thirty restaurants, clubs and pubs—all within walking distance—make it the place to be, as well as the place to meet. The world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium and hundreds of shops and activities cater to every interest, day and night. A visit to the Monterey Peninsula isn't complete without a visit to the canneries, beaches and back streets that still hold the nostalgia of a long-idle fish canning industry now alive with new vigor and excitement. From the finest accommodations to comfortable inns, Cannery Row invites you to stay a while and stroll our beaches or kayak the spectacular Monterey Bay. There's something for everyone to enjoy on America's Most Famous Street.

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers a unique kayaking adventure, combining views of the spectacular coastline and encounters with local sea life inhabitants like whales, sea lions, sea otters and an interesting array of aquatic bird life. Hundreds of miles of superb hiking trails are. For a spectacular view of the peninsula coastline, try hang-gliding or cruise the coast in a plane. Biking or walking along the path from Lover's Point in Pacific Grove to Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey and on to Castroville is a favorite pastime. No matter which recreational or sporting event you choose, it will be a unique, exciting and memorable experience that you won't soon forget.