Best Reasons To Visit Monterey
Monterey California has a wealth of attractions. Every time I go, I find yet more reasons to come back soon.
Monterey may be the biggest city on the peninsula, but it's still small enough to be easily manageable for tourists and other visitors. The population is around 30 thousand people, and more than doubles during the tourist season.
Check here for ideas on things to do in Monterey.
A Walking Town
The Monterey Aquarium and Cannery Row are within easy walking distance of each other, while Fisherman's Wharf is just a few strides away from the Old Town and it's historic buildings.
Rich Cultural History
The region has a rich and fascinating history behind it. Native American Indians lived there for thousand of years, followed by the Spaniards, who founded the Presidio. The Franciscans founded the second California Mission, which was later moved to Carmel. Monterey California was also the state capital until it was moved to Sacramento sometime during the Gold Rush.
|San Carlos Mission, Carmel, California
There's still a commercial fishing industry, though not as big as in the past. Agriculture is a large employer, as is the services industry. Tourism is booming in the summertime.
Fresh Air And Vivid Colors
Monterey weather, with it's cool sea breezes, is a big attraction for those seeking relief from the hot inland valleys. When the sun is out, the lighting is superb, which is one reason there are so many Monterey Peninsula artists taking advantage of it.
Wine, Music and Sunsets
The Monterey wineries in Cannery Row offer wine tasting, as do the tasting rooms up in Carmel Valley or out in the Salinas Valley.
The Monterey Fairgrounds are host to a number of annual events, such as the county fair, the blues festival and Monterey On Ice.
Several types of musical events on the
calendar also draw adoring fans each year, including the jazz festival and the reggae festival.
Out On The Water
Down by Fisherman's Wharf, you can find a way to get out on Monterey Bay California, whether on a Monterey fishing trip or a Monterey Bay whale watching trip or perhaps a small kayak.
Mansions and the Lone Cypress
Other popular local activities include taking in the area's beautiful natural environment. The famous
17 Mile Drive
, which winds around Pebble Beach, should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Point Lobos State Reserve has lots of trails and beach coves to explore.
Where To Stay
If you want to find someplace to spend a night or a week in Monterey itself, see our hotels in Monterey directory. Some of the more popular hotels include:
If you want to stay within walking distance of the aquarium, see our Monterey Bay Aquarium Hotel guide.
For those who prefer a B&B, see our bed and breakfast Monterey guide.
And check here for our Monterey Motels Directory.
Dining With A View
There's a wide variety of cuisine at Monterey restaurants, reflecting the diverse international cultures, which make up the local community. Many places offer ocean view dining. Find a Monterey Bay restaurant.
Make A Beeline For Monterey California
You can fly into San Francisco or San Jose and then rent a car. It's about a 2 hour drive from SFO. It is also possible to fly into Monterey Airport, which is located just a few miles inland off of the Monterey-Salinas Highway (Hwy 68). There are about five airlines which offer nonstop flights to major western hubs. From there you can transfer to international flights.
Highway 101 is about 20 miles east. You get off in Salinas and take Highway 68 west to the Monterey Peninsula. It's about a half hour drive from there.
Amtrak provides train service on the Coast Starlight route, which runs up and down the state. The train station is in Salinas, where the Amtrak thruway service will take you to stations in Monterey via coach.
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