Ready to venture beyond Cannery Row? Monterey Bay and Peninsula are home to a wealth of amazing attractions and activities. From surfing meccas and enchanting wineries to the stunning seascapes of Big Sur and 17-Mile Drive, head in any direction to find just the Central California coast you came to see.
Just 45 miles north of Pacific Grove, California, Santa Cruz is a surfer’s dream come true – if that surfer doesn’t mind chilly Pacific Ocean waters. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, boasting free admission, also combines old-school amusement park rides like the 1924 Giant Dipper roller coaster with 21st century entertainment.
Forty-five minutes south of Pacific Grove is Big Sur, a true California coastal bohemian town. Laid-back and mellow, the vibe in Big Sur is one of relaxation. Explore Big Sur’s breathtaking seascapes, funky art galleries, and eclectic restaurants as you cruise down Highway 1.
California’s state Highway 1 twists and turns along the coast, hugging the cliffs as it seems to challenge the Pacific Ocean below. Often the setting for TV car commercials, Highway 1 is itself a destination for those who love putting wheels to the road – and that includes car enthusiasts, cyclists and bikers, too.
With its mild year-round weather, the wineries and vineyards of the Monterey Peninsula produce some of the finest varietals on California’s central coast.
Oenophiles will enjoy touring the areas fine wineries in Carmel Valley, Soledad, and Salinas. If getting out to the vineyards isn’t possible, try the wine shops in town.
Monterey Peninsula College
Also known as MPC, Monterey Peninsula College is part of the California Community College system, which provides local students with affordable educational opportunities. Located in Monterey, MPC boasts a diverse mix of students from all over the state.
Monterey Peninsula Airport
A small “medium-hub” airport, Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) services the surrounding communities on the Peninsula, including Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Pacific Grove. Charter flights as well as commuter flights are available to and from the airport from cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas.
Take a walking tour of the fabled cottages of Carmel-by-the-Sea. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped out of Northern California into a fairytale storybook, where a princess like Snow White might be just around the corner.
Dining in Carmel
From the casual to the upscale, Carmel-by-the-Sea is home to dozens of divine local eateries, with a wide range of cuisines from all over the world. If you’re hoping for a celebrity sighting, former mayor as well as award-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood might just show up at the Hog’s Breath Inn, the restaurant he used to own.
Rain or shine, a visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea is not complete without a walk down Ocean Avenue to Carmel Beach. Dogs romp, picnickers feast, and the young and young at heart play on its soft sands while taking in a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and the bluffs of Pebble Beach and beyond.
Asilomar Conference Grounds
Situated in Pacific Grove, CA along the Monterey Peninsula, The Asilomar Conference Grounds is a one-of-a-kind conference center enveloped by both forests and beaches. Designed by world-renowned architect Julia Morgan, Asilomar has a history that’s as rich as its stunning surroundings. For nearly 100 years, this charming conference center has beckoned thousands of visitors who have participated in business meetings, corporate seminars, weddings and family reunions.
Asilomar Conference Grounds Dining
Savor first-class meals at this first-class conference center. Country-style menus offer delightfully delectable options for all tastes. Crocker Dining Hall provides a casual atmosphere and can seat up to 850 guests. Twenty event rooms allow for diners to enjoy a custom planned menu. Fans of barbecue will opt for the Boardwalk Barbecue menu, which features St. Louis-style pork ribs, roasted chicken and grilled salmon.
Asilomar Conference Grounds Activities
Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will be in heaven at Asilomar. Activities range from kayaking, surfing, and scuba diving to deep sea fishing, horseback riding, and biking. During the winter months, thousands of must-see monarch butterflies make their way to Monarch Grove Sanctuary. Bird watchers will also be drawn to this exceptionally beautiful Monterey Peninsula paradise.
For golfers, the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links needs no introduction. The annual home of the prestigious AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and occasional site of the U.S. Open Championship, Pebble Beach is one of the most iconic - not to mention stunningly beautiful - golf courses in the world. Even for non golfers, the spectacular coastal beauty surrounding the course is something to behold. From the legendary Lone Cypress to the 18th green, a journey along 17-Mile Drive will leave you breathless. Other well-known Pebble Beach events include the epicurean celebration, Pebble Beach Food and Wine, and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, an internationally renowned classic car event.