Leisure Activities on the Monterey Peninsula

Adventures By The Sea

Want to see sea lions, seals, and sea otters from your kayak – or bicycle some of our great bike paths? Then head over to Adventures and suit up. Also rent the surrey bike – Great for families. 201 Alvarado Mall in Monterey or Lover’s Point Beach in Pacific Grove. 831-648-7235

Asilomar State Park and Beach

This park has miles of boardwalks through beautiful white dunes. The property has many buildings designed by Julia Morgan of Hearst Castle fame. Check-out the extraordinary tide pools at lovely Asilomar Beach. 800 Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove 831-372-4076

Butterfly Tree Sanctuary

The winter home to tens of thousands of migrating Monarch Butterflies. They congregate in a grove of pine, eucalyptus, and cypress trees and take to the air when the temperature rises above 55 degrees. October-March. On Lighthouse drive 1 block west of 17 Mile Drive. Turn left on Ridge Road.
Tours call 831-375-0982.

Cannery Row

Once home to 21 fishing canneries, the area that John Steinbeck made famous is now home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and many local shops and restaurants. See our Cannery Row page.
Carmel Beach. Quite simply one of the prettiest beaches in California. Take Ocean Ave. off Highway 1 and exit west to the beach.

Carmel Mission

Founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1771 it is considered the most authentically restored of all the Franciscan Missions. A must see piece of California history. 3080 Rio Rd., Carmel 831-624-1271 (masses) 831-624-3600 (tours)

City of Carmel

Only one square mile in size, this famous town has a storybook atmosphere and great shopping. You might even run into Ex-Mayor Clint Eastwood. Take Ocean exit off of Highway One South.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Home to historic buildings and many colorful shops and restaurants.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Have a nose to nose encounter with a sea otter or shark at the most visited aquarium in the country. Over 100 beautiful exhibits. Quite simply a don’t miss stop. 831-648-4800 Automated information 831-646-4888. 

Old Monterey Market Place

Every Tuesday between 4-7p.m. (4-8 p.m. summers) Downtown Monterey becomes an outdoor market with over 100 vendors selling fresh foods, flowers & crafts. Alvarado Street from Pearl to Del Monte.

Point Lobos

This crown jewel in the California State Park system has been called “the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world.” 550 acres of great trails and spectacular views. Take Highway 1 two miles south of Carmel’s Rio Rd. 831-624-4909.

Point Pinos Lighthouse

The oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast offers tours 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Take Lighthouse west to dead-end at Asilomar Blvd. and turn right. Parking available near the Golf Course. 831-648-3116

17 Mile Drive

Visit the thirty or so enchanting stops along this stunning stretch of Pebble Beach’s famed scenic road. A must see. 

Victorian Homes Tour

Stroll down the many streets lined with homes dating back to the 1800’s on this colorful and historic tour. Stop by the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce at 584 Central Avenue for details. 831-373-3304

Whale Watching

See majestic California Gray Whales on their migrations to and from Mexico. Cruises Dec-March. Randy’s Fishing Trips 831-372-7440

Big Sur Adventure

Highway 1 South of Carmel to Big Sur and beyond is the most majestic stretch of road in the country. The drive to Big Sur is about an hour and twenty minutes. Here is a list of recommended stops along the way.

Big Sur River Inn

Music in the Summer. Dangle your feet in the cool river water and sip a cocktail while you listening to festive live music. Call for summer music schedule.

Bixby Creek Bridge

Was once the largest single span concrete arch bridge in the world. A lovely landmark poised against the backdrop of the majestic pacific ocean.

Big Sur Lighthouse

Explore this historic and windswept landmark. A short hike is required but the stunning views make this well worth the effort. 831-624-7195

Garrapata State Park

Hiking trails through mountains of purple sage and pacific ocean vistas make these hiking trails a tonic for the soul. 4.6 miles south of Rio Rd. on Highway 1. Beginner to advanced hiking trails. 831-624-9423

Molera State Park

Hiking through 4,800 acres of pristine wild lands. 831-667-2315


A must see! Fabulous views. Relaxing indoor and outdoor dining with bar. 831-667-2347

Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park

26 miles South of Carmel. This state park offers gorgeous hiking trail through redwood forests and beaches known for their purple sands. 831-667-2279

Point Sur State Park

19 miles south of Carmel. 831-625-4419