Monterey, California,

One of the most stunning, natural locales on earth, the Monterey Peninsula, with its jagged coastline, deep blue waters, marine sanctuaries and cooling cypress forests, is so jaw-droppingly beautiful it has inspired artists and writers Robert Louis Stevenson and John Steinbeck on its fabled shores. Just 120 miles south of San Francisco, Monterey was first settled by the Rumsien, a Native American tribe; then, European settlers established a Royal Presidio and Mission in 1770, today one the most authentically restored Franciscan missions. Monterey's friendly community takes pride in its maritime heritage. A walk down iconic Cannery Row reveals its past as the West's sardine capital, and the world renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium is a celebration of all creatures of the sea. Top it off with freshly caught seafood and a tasting of local, hand-crafted wines for a perfect day. Nature lovers will relish the opportunity to bike along tree-lined trails or drive the 17-mile road, a spectacular stretch of coastline real estate that includes Carmel, the seaside, star-studded town that boasts cottage-style curio shops, tiny candy stores, cafes and fashionable boutiques, and the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Course. From sandy beaches to salt-water taffy, Monterey offers the quintessential California experience to those lucky enough to grace its shores.

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Points of Interest

  • Carmel-By-the-Sea
  • 17-Mile Drive
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Cannery Row
  • Carmel Mission
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
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More about Monterey, California, Points of Interest

  • Carmel-By-the-Sea

    A favorite getaway for the Hollywood crowd, this charming, European-style village with some of the world's finest scenery is nestled above a sparkling white-sand beach. It offers everything from shopping to art galleries and restaurants, all within walking distance.

  • 17-Mile Drive

    The famed coastal route winds its way past the prestigious Pebble Beach Golf Links, the barking occupants at Seal Rock, the iconic Lone Cypress tree and a string of gorgeous mansions overlooking awe-inspiring ocean vistas.

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

    Explore the wonders under the sea at this world-renowned aquarium, home to incredible tanks filled with sea life and kelp beds. Say hello to penguins, otters and sharks, and interact with hands-on displays and activities.

  • Cannery Row

    Stroll this historic, waterfront district made famous in writer John Steinbeck's colorful stories. Renovated fishing shacks and cannery buildings now showcase a plethora of souvenir shops, art galleries and wine-tasting venues pouring the fruit of the vine from local vineyards.

  • Carmel Mission

    California's rich heritage is found among the blooming gardens that frame this classic, faithfully restored Franciscan mission built in the 1700s. Admire the Moorish architecture, then peruse the artifacts displayed in the small museums and chapel gallery.

  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

    One of the most revered state parks in California, Pfeiffer Big Sur features the majestic California coastal redwood trees. Visitors marvel at these red-barked giants who can grow beyond heights of 300 feet. The central & northern California coasts, along with a few areas in Oregon are the only places in the world where these trees can be seen growing in their natural habitat.

  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

    Designated in 1992, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast. Known as the "Serengeti of the Sea," this remarkably productive marine environment harbors an incredible variety of marine life.

  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

    Acclaimed as the "crown jewel" of California's 280 state parks, the 350-acre headland boasts dramatic rock formations rising from the ocean, patches of pine/oak woodland, and flower-filled meadows and grassland.

11 EXCURSIONS

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Monterey Bay Whale Watching

4.25 hours | Monterey | MRY-640
  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Have a whale of a time in search of whales and dolphins. Have your camera ready as you get up close to these gentle creatures in their natural habitat inside the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

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$49.95

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Monterey Movie Tour

3 hours | Monterey | MRY-220
  • 17-Mile Drive
  • Cannery Row
  • Carmel Mission

Cinema buffs will get a real kick out of this fun and friendly, guided motorcoach tour showcasing all the movies that have immortalized Monterey on film. Travel through such show-stopping areas as Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row, Pacific Grove and Carmel, among other backdrops, for such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, and many more.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium On Your Own

5 hours | Monterey | MRY-210
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

Enjoy the marine life of California at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Begin with a drive through picturesque Monterey to the aquarium. One of the world's most prestigious centers for marine life is home to sharks, seals, otters, exotic fish, and a host of amazing sea creatures.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$74.95

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17 Mile Drive & Carmel

4.75 hours | Monterey | MRY-205
  • Carmel-By-the-Sea
  • 17-Mile Drive

Travel the famed 17-Mile Drive, one of America's most picturesque roads that winds along a rocky coastline. This bucket list drive includes a stop at Bird Rock and Seal Rock for wildlife viewing and a chance for a photograph at the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Club. Explore Carmel-by-the-Sea, an idyllic European-style village with local art galleries, unique restaurants and quaint architecture.

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Travels with Steinbeck

6 hours | Monterey | MRY-215
  • Cannery Row

The Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley were the home and inspiration for Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck. Journey through Steinbeck's California to view the area through his eyes and to see the places that impacted his writing. Stroll Cannery Row, drive through Salinas Valley and tour the Steinbeck House and National Steinbeck Center.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

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Local Connections: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Hike with Expert Guide

4 hours | Monterey | MRY-470
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Join local guide Monica Hudson for a trek through breathtaking Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Hike through the forest, past scenic lookout points and along a rocky coastline. Bring binoculars and a camera to capture native Monterey cypress trees and possible wildlife sightings of sea lions, harbor seals and herons.

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Redwoods & Vineyards

5.75 hours | Monterey | MRY-315
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Travel along the stunning central California coast with its beautiful vistas. After crossing the famous Bixby Creek Bridge, you'll arrive at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for a chance to walk amongst the coastal redwood trees before heading north to the Carmel Valley for wine tasting and tour of local vineyard located in the plentiful wine producing region of Monterey County.

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Guided in Japanese: 17 Mile Drive & Carmel

4.75 hours | Monterey | MRY-207
  • Carmel-By-the-Sea
  • 17-Mile Drive

Travel the famed 17-Mile Drive, one of America's most picturesque roads that winds along a rocky coastline. This bucket list drive includes a stop at Bird Rock and Seal Rock for wildlife viewing and a chance for a photograph at the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Club. Explore Carmel-by-the-Sea, an idyllic European-style village with local art galleries, unique restaurants and quaint architecture.

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AUD$169.95

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Monterey Aquarium & Carmel Mission

6 hours | Monterey | MRY-105
  • Cannery Row
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Carmel Mission

Enjoy the marine life and human history of California with two famous attractions – the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the beautiful Carmel Mission – in a perfect day on California's Central Coast. Begin with a drive through picturesque Monterey, past Cannery Row, to the aquarium. One of the world's most prestigious centers for marine life is home to sharks, seals, otters, exotic fish, and a host of amazing sea creatures. Then, drive into the northern California hills to visit the Carmel Mission. Stroll its lush gardens and see relics from the 1800s in the church museums.

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