Monterey, California and the Monterey Bay are located on the Central California coast south of San Jose and San Francisco and north of Los Angeles (see map). Known for its unique scenery, Monterey features rugged coastline mixed with some sand beaches in the area where 600-mile long California Coast Ranges mountains split into the northern and southern Coast Ranges.
Ranking as a top tourist destination for global trekkers, there's a certain charm that the foggy mists, Monterey pine trees, and sometimes rocky shoreline offer. The weather combined with the scenery provide an experience that is completely unique, romantic, and unforgettable.
Many vacationers come to the see one of the nation's top Aquarium attractions, Monterey Bay Aquarium. Built in an historic cannery building, this nonprofit institution isn't just a beautiful place to visit, to learn and to be inspired about the marine life and the ocean. This window on the world also is a leader in research to create policies about healthy fish consumption, and it produces a guide that recommends what fish to eat and what to avoid. The guide has been adopted by hundreds of restaurants throughout the U.S., and thousands of consumers.
In addition to visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row where it sits is an historic district once lined with sardine canneries. The surviving buildings have been converted for restaurants, hotels and shops.
Monterey is also one of the gateways to the splendid 17 Mile Drive that twists and winds around some of California's most expensive coastal residences and golf courses. Pebble Beach is one of a them you may have heard of.
Downtown Monterey includes a theater, farmer's market held each week, dining, and shopping. It is the heart of the business district and contains some of California's most significant history.
You can rent kayaks and take fishing boat trips from Monterey's wharf area to enjoy the bay setting which is filled with plant and sealife.
Many like to wander Monterey's beaches that range from coves to sand dunes. Connected to the other beaches such as Pacific Grove and Carmel that comprise the Monterey Bay, don't limit yourself to Monterey alone when visiting.
Take time to explore all three cities, and be sure to take the 17 Mile Drive. It is just amazing.
Dining is always a treat along the Monterey Bay. One favorite is Bubba Gump.