8 Reasons Why You Need to Pack Your Bags for Monterey
From coastal drives to world-class wines, here’s why you need to pack your bags and explore Monterey County. Like, right now.
1) There are 99 miles of coastline, so that means 99 miles of this:
Oh, and this!
2) Between the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the bay itself and the county’s direct access to the Pacific Ocean, there are plenty of opportunities to see these:
And, because it’s winter and its their migrating season, these!
3) Gorgeous coastlines make for unbelievable beaches. And you know what that means…
And shell and sea glass collecting.
The best time to have fun in the sun is during Monterey’s warm season, which lasts from July to mid-October and has an average daily temperature above 67 degrees. If you visit anytime from December to April, it will be a bit chillier, but usually not below 40 degrees.
The county even has secret beaches that look like this!
Pfeiffer Beach (pictured) is one of the most beloved places in Big Sur, but also one of the hardest to find. Sycamore Canyon Road leads to the beach, but is unmarked. To find it, you’ll want to drive a quarter mile south of Sur Station or 1.1 miles north of the Ventana entrance. Turn west on Sycamore Canyon and follow that for around 2 miles to the parking area. Once you’re there, you can revel in the beach’s lavender sand, splash in the creek or just sit back and take in the sunset. The tide is strong, so save the swimming for an other beach.
4) There are over 85 vintners in Monterey. That’s a lot chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah and cabernet.
And you can sip them while staring at this…
Monterey County is one of the largest growing and producing regions in California, in part thanks to the “Blue Grand Canyon,” the deep marine canyon on Monterey Bay. The deep, cold waters of the bay bring fog and moderate temperatures to the area throughout the farming season and ensure a rich diversity of growing conditions. Try one of the 42 varieties of wines grown here, and you’ll see what we mean.
5) The county is home to dozens regional and state parks, including Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, which is “the crown jewel of the State Park System,” according to Lonely Planet, thanks to its mountainous terrain and sandy beaches.
It looks like this:
Plus, it’s the top spot for sea otter sightings!
The park is also home to sea lions, seals, deer, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and a wide variety of songbirds. You can enter the park on California Highway 1 about 3 miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Passenger cars are charged $10 to enter.
AND there’s Big Sur State Park, which looks like this:
It also has this!
And tons of these.
Located 26 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, Big Sur boasts forests of giant redwoods, a diverse array of wildlife and miles upon miles of scenic trails.