UNITED STATES  |  Monterey, California Travel Guide
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Monterey Peninsula, California

California First Theatre, Monterey, California
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Monterey Peninsula Travel Guide

Introduction

The Monterey Peninsula, as landscape artist Francis McComas once observed, is "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world." Indeed, it is an area of stunning beauty, encompassing thousands of acres of unspoiled wilderness along the Central California coast, with cypress forests and low, coastal hills, white-sand beaches, sand dunes and craggy cliffs, and nature preserves with sea lion colonies and shorebird habitats. There are fabled oceanfront greens and fairways here, and charming little towns with quaint inns and art galleries, together with mounds and mounds of California history, and fertile valleys fanning out inland to offer up one of the most varied agricultural regions in the state. There's even an Amalfi-type coastal drive along the southern end of the peninsula, with twists and turns and fabulous vistas, which fairly leaves the motorist-tourist entranced.

Location

The Monterey Peninsula is situated at the southern end of Monterey Bay in central California, approximately 125 miles south of San Francisco, or 345 miles north of Los Angeles. The peninsula itself is roughly 35 square miles in area, largely consisting of the Del Monte Forest, a beautiful, 8,400-acre cypress forest.

How to Get There

The Monterey Peninsula can be reached more or less directly on Highway 1 from the north or south. An alternate route is by way of Highway 101 south to Salinas some 110 miles, then Highway 68 southwestward another 15 miles or so to the Monterey Peninsula. There is also a commercial airport at Monterey.

Sightseeing

Main Towns

  • Monterey - Principal town on the Monterey Peninsula, with historic colonial buildings and Mexican-era adobes. There's also a popular Fisherman's Wharf with seafood joints and souvenir vendors, by the piers of which you can see sea-lions basking on the rocks. The celebrated Cannery Row and Monterey Bay Aquarium are located here.

  • Pacific Grove - Charming little town adjacent to Monterey, filled with restored Victorians and bed and breakfast inns. Known, too, for its annual Butterfly Parade which celebrates the migration of Monarch butterflies to the town's Butterfly Park, seen hanging like dried leaves from the "butterfly trees.".

  • Pebble Beach - Fabulous coastal strip with some of California's most prized real estate and prestigious championship golf courses, famous the world over as the home of golf. The scenic 17-Mile-Drive courses through here.

  • Carmel - Pretty little town with the charm of an English village, often promoted as Carmel-by-the-Sea. Famous for its compact downtown packed with shops, boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. This is where actor-director Clint Eastwood was once mayor.

  • Big Sur - Spectacular 90-mile coastal strip along the Santa Lucia Mountains at the southern end of the Monterey Peninsula, offering in it one of the world's most famous coastal drives with dramatic vistas at every turn. Writer and painter Henry Miller lived here.

  • Salinas - Main town in the fertile Salinas Valley, birthplace of novelist John Steinbeck (author of Grapes of Wrath, Tortilla Flats, East of Eden and Cannery Row).

How to Get Around

Where to Party

Where to Eat

Where to Stay

Know Before You Go

  • Best Time to Visit: May-November
  • Cost Per Day: $-$ (€-€)
  • Currency: Dollar USD (€1 ~ US$1.30)
  • Electricity: 120V - 60Hz | T-slot socket with 2 flat parallel prongs and a round pin
  • Phone Code: +1 831
  • Population:

Nearby Destinations

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Last updated December 3, 2013
Posted in   United States  |  Monterey
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