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The Area

Activities Near the Monterey Bay Peninsula

Looking for things to do during your stay at Sunset Inn near Monterey Bay? A wide variety of attractions and destinations await your Central California Coast getaway.

Pacific Grove
Surrounded by stunning landscape, it’s no wonder Pacific Grove and the Monterey Peninsula area a prime area destination. Take a whale watching boat tour and experience those magnificent creatures. Stroll along romantic Asilomar State Beach – just steps from Sunset Inn – and watch the sunset. Walk through the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, and enter a world of fairytale enchantment. It’s all here in Pacific Grove.

Cannery Row – 2 miles
Made famous by John Steinbeck’s roman a clef of the same name, Cannery Row is a tourist’s heaven on the shores of Monterey Bay. Explore one of 84 shops, grab a hot fudge sundae at Ghiradelli’s, or savor a sampling of clam chowder at Fish Hopper, one of 20 restaurants.

Local Favorites

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.

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.

Big Sur
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.

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 and commuter flights are available to and from the airport from cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Carmel-by-the-Sea
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.

Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach is a home to the famous golf courses of Cypress Point Club, Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Spanish Bay, Spyglass, Poppy Hills, Peter Hay, and Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Pebble Beach has attracted visitors throughout its history, From Samuel F. B. Morse to Clint Eastwood. Teddy Roosevelt to Sir Winston Churchill. Jay Leno to Chef Thomas Keller. Bing Crosby to Bill Murray. Justin Timberlake to Don Cheadle. Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus to Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Legendary people drawn to a legendary setting.

Asilomar Conference Grounds
Situated in Pacific Grove, CA along the Monterey Peninsula, 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’s history is 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.

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts find their personal heaven at Asilomar. Activities range from kayaking, surfing, and scuba diving to deep sea fishing, horseback riding, and biking. Throughout the winter months, thousands of must-see monarch butterflies make their way to Monarch Grove Sanctuary. Bird watchers are also be drawn to this exceptionally beautiful Monterey Peninsula paradise.

17-Mile Drive
For an unparalleled driving experience, take a trip down 17-Mile Drive. This awesome road follows the shores and cliffs around Monterey Bay and through the tiny neighborhoods of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. For additional information click here

Monterey Bay Aquarium
At Monterey Bay Aquarium, visitors can watch a great white shark in captivity, a rare occurrence. They can also watch otters from all over the globe, see a wave crash overhead, and learn more about our planet’s oceans.

Cities and Towns Near Pacific Grove, CA

  • Monterey – 3.5 miles
  • Carmel By the Sea – 7 miles
  • Pebble Beach – 6 miles

Nearby Attractions

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium – 2 miles
  • Pebble Beach Golf Course – 6.1 miles
  • Asilomar State Beach – 0.1 mile
  • Asilomar Conference Center – 0.5 miles
  • 17-Mile Drive – 0.1 mile
  • Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History – 2 miles
  • National Steinbeck Center Museum – 25 miles
  • Point Pinos Lighthouse – 1.5 miles
  • Laguna Seca Raceway – 15 miles
  • Chateau Julien Winery – 10 miles
  • Whale Watching – 5 miles
  • Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary – 1 mile
  • Pacific Grove Golf Links – 0.1 mile
  • Cannery Row – 2 miles

Golf

Pebble Beach and the AT&T National Pro-Am – 6.1 miles
For golfers, the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links needs no introduction. This annual home of the prestigious AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and occasional site of the U.S. Open Championship is one of the most iconic – not to mention stunningly beautiful – golf courses in the world. Even for non-golfers, this course’s spectacular coastal beauty surroundings are 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.

Pacific Grove Golf – 0.1 miles
Maintained by the city of Pacific Grove, the Municipal Golf Course is one of Monterey Peninsula’s best-kept secrets. These 18 holes boast sweeping ocean views and a lovely wooded area as well.

Spanish Bay Golf – 2 miles
Spanish Bay has been compared to the downy landscapes of Scotland, the birthplace of the game of golf. What’s so similar? The ocean views, for one, and the sandy links. To learn more about the Links at Spanish Bay, click here.

Spyglass Hill Golf Course – Pebble Beach

Poppy Hills Golf Course – Pebble Beach

Hiking

Asilomar Beach – 1.1 miles
Walk the sandy coast trail: .75 miles through rocky coves along the Pacific.

Rip Van Winkle Open Space – 2 miles
A mile-long trail (one-way) next to 17-mile Drive meanders through cypress, pine and oak trees.

Jacks Peak Park – 10.4 miles
While further away, Jacks Peak Park offers over eight miles of trails wind through the forest and climb ridges for spectacular views.

Pt. Lobos State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Andrew Molera State Park

Horseback Riding

Pebble Beach Equestrian Center – 5.2 miles
Experience Pebble Beach via horseback on a guided tour that follows the 30 miles of trails in the Del Monte Forest.

Theater and Art

Paper Wing Theatre Company – 2.3 miles
Exploring human views and moral dilemmas, the Paper Wing Theatre Company offers entertainment that calls to both the heart and mind.

Golden State Theater – 3.8 miles
Home to musical concerts and special film features, this historic 1926 castle provides a rich and unique setting for entertainment.

Museum of Monterey – 3.7 miles
With an emphasis on local talent and lore, the Museum of Monterey hosts artists’ work from the surrounding areas.

Monterey Museum of Art – 3.6 miles
This museum takes on more of a worldly view, occasionally hosting art some very big names in the art world.

Beaches

Santa Cruz
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.

Carmel Beaches
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 they enjoy stunning Pacific Ocean and Pebble Beach bluff views.

Asilomar State Beach – 0.1 miles
Located within walking distance of the Sunset Inn, Asilomar Beach is open to walkers, (leashed) dogs, and cyclists. Our State Beach boasts rocky outcroppings and ample sand.

Monterey Wineries

With its mild year-round weather, Monterey Peninsula’s wineries and vineyards produce some of the finest varietals on California’s central coast.

Oenophiles love our area’s fine wineries in Carmel Valley, Soledad, and Salinas. If a vineyard trip is not possible, try the wine shops in town.

Bargetto Winery – 2.3 miles
Winemaking has run in the Bargetto family since 1910, and today’s third generation is just as skilled and proud of their family heritage as the brothers who started the endeavor.

Pierce Ranch Vineyards – 2.5 miles
A small, family owned winery concentrating on Spanish and Portuguese flavors.

De Tierra Vineyards – 6.8 miles
Another small endeavor offering vintages from local grapes.

Bernardus Winery

Galante Vineyards

Carmel Road

Paraiso Vineyards

Chalone Vineyard

Shopping

There are ample opportunities for a little “retail therapy” on the Monterey Peninsula. Stroll along Cannery Row or Del Monte Center in Monterey, and get a taste of the area John Steinbeck made famous in his book of the same name. You can also take home a memento of your visit to the Monterey Peninsula from one of dozens of fun shops and boutiques and restaurants, both romantic and family-friendly.