The Monterey Peninsula is a true all-rounder destination, covering everything from windswept beaches to history, art, fine dining, cosy B&Bs, seaside activities, world class golf and water sports. The historic Cannery Row in the town of Monterey was made famous by author John Steinbeck and consists of a collection of old fish canning warehouses which have since been transformed into bustling shops, restaurant and hotels. Jellyfish, otters, rays and penguins can be seen at the brilliant Monterey Bay Aquarium, alongside over 35,000 creatures representing over 550 sea life and marine species.
The scenic route along 17 Mile Drive – with around 21 stops, will provide plenty of opportunity to take some amazing photographs. For golf fans, there is the star-studded course at Pebble Beach and, if motoring is more your passion, then August sees the annual Monterey Classic Car Week.
A 15-minute drive away from Monterey on the south side of the peninsula, you will find the picturesque village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Mixing local history with contemporary new wealth, Carmel is an art lover’s heaven with a vast array of galleries, fantastic restaurants and wine tasting rooms lining the streets. The incredible beach is a particular highlight and features a mile-long crescent of gorgeous, pale sand where you can stand and allow the clear turquoise waters to lap at your toes.
If wildlife is more your thing, then the beautiful coastal park of Point Lobos State Reserve is a must see, where otters, sea lions and harbour seals may pop by to say hello. Whale watching can be enjoyed all year round here, with summertime bringing humpback and blue whales, and the southbound migrating gray whales during the winter time.