In January 1958, the City of Monterey officially re-named Ocean View Avenue "Cannery Row" in honor of John Steinbeck. Today's Cannery Row is anchored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and features restaurants, hotels, specialty shops, local artists' galleries and wine tasting rooms, all stretching along the historic streets and waterfront. Visitors can take in the wonders of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary by scuba diving, kayaking, or bike riding along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail. Learn more...
Discover life in Monterey’s bay without leaving dry land at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Dedicated to marine research and conservation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is known throughout the world for its interactive exhibits and ability to present marine life on a truly grand scale. It's been called "one of America's most captivating aquariums" by ForbesTraveler.com. Learn more...
This internationally-renown event is a premier gathering of chefs and winemakers and features wine and champagne tastings, unique culinary events, extravagant luncheons and dinners and cooking demonstrations. This year's event features chefs including Rick Bayless, Mark Miller, Charlie Palmer, Bradley Ogden and Alice Waters. The festival is held in February at the Highlands Inn, Park Hyatt in Carmel, just 20 minutes away.
The enchanting hilltop retreat of William Randolf Hearst is one of one of the world’s greatest estates and a California Historical Monument. Located on 127 cares in San Simeon, on top of a hillside of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Hearst Castle offers tours of the magnificent estate’s 165 rooms, unique artifacts, Renaissance art, ornate swimming pools, fanciful gardens and walkways. Walk up to the observation deck to view Hearst Castle on the crown of the mountain. Call 800-444-4445 or visit www.hearstcastle.org.
Masters of Food and Wine - This internationally-renown event is a premier gathering of chefs and winemakers and features wine and champagne tastings, unique culinary events, extravagant luncheons and dinners and cooking demonstrations. This year's event features chefs including Rick Bayless, Mark Miller, Charlie Palmer, Bradley Ogden and Alice Waters. The festival is held in February at the Highlands Inn, Park Hyatt in Carmel, just 20 minutes away.
Located on a mile-beach between Monterey and San Francisco, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a hot spot for beach vibes and classic rides. This historic seaside amusement park offers 30 carnival rides, games, arcades, miniature golf, a climbing wall, a motion theater and laser tag. Experience the heart-pounding rush of the Giant Dipper - one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the US, and ocean view thrills on Fireball and Cliff Hanger. Visit www.rwsplash.com.
Works of literary art created by Monterey County's favorite native son, Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, are on permanent display at this Salinas museum. Let the interactive exhibits take you into the heart of Steinbeck’s novels - Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and Cannery Row. The Steinbeck Center features rotating art exhibits and the Valley of the World agricultural wing, which share stories of the
The largest California wine region, Monterey County consists of 45,000 acres of seven winegrowing appellations. Visit the tasting rooms of Bernardus, Chateau Julien, Talbott and Galante vineyards in Carmel Valley. Drive south to Riverland Vineyard, Smith & Hook/Hahn Estates or Chalone Vineyards. In November the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association hosts the Annual Great Wine Escape Weekend, which features wine and food tastings, winery tours, and winemaker dinners.
Witness the wintering phenomenon of thousands of Monarch butterflies clustering in pines and eucalyptus in Pacific Grove. Beginning in late-October, when the Monarchs spend the winter in " Butterfly Town, U.S.A.,” you can visit Pacific Grove's Butterfly Trees to see the spectacle. The Pacific Grove School District holds the annual " Butterfly Parade " to celebrate the return of the Monarch.
Bordering Monterey Bay, the ocean and Del Monte Forest, the Pacific Grove community offers breathtaking views, abundant recreational activities, a world-famous 18-hole golf course, a monarch butterfly sanctuary, beaches, 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and Pt. Pinos Lighthouse. Historic downtown is decked out with Victorian-era houses and wonderful shops. Visit Lighthouse Avenue’s boutiques and stores. Asilomar State Beach on Sunset Drive and Lover’s Point are favorite spots for tide-pooling, kite flying, watching the sunsets, diving, kayaking, picnics and beach volleyball.
The Monterey Conference Center features 58,000 square feet over three levels of outstanding meeting space including an exhibit hall, ballroom, a 490-foot theater, a luxurious boardroom, breakouts, patios, galleries, terraces and banquet facilities. The conference center is steps away from Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
There are so many unique attractions in Monterey that it can be hard to pick just one! Here's an overview of Monterey County’s top attractions.