With its rugged coast, vast beaches and rich agricultural land, the Monterey Peninsula is one of California's most picture-perfect destinations. While the town of Monterey is famous for its abundant marine life, the adorable village of Carmel attracts visitors with its many art galleries and shops.
California's first capital, Monterey is a gracious piece of small-town America with a wealth of attractions. Stroll through historic Fisherman's Wharf, explore sea life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and feel the spirit of native son John Steinbeck along Cannery Row. Improve your swing at any of 17 world-class golf courses, or glean some local history at one of the many charming house museums.
Located south of Pebble Beach and north of Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a colorful seaside village perched above a white sand beach. Founded by Bohemian artists and writers, the town still reflects their enormous influence. Instead of billboards, nightclubs or neon lights, Carmel greets you with art galleries, boutiques and quaint restaurants. The Carmel Mission, founded in 1771, is a must-see.
Just 10 miles inland from Carmel, Carmel Valley is an idyllic river valley nestled into the Santa Lucia mountain range. One of California's finest wine growing regions, the area is a picturesque paradise for diners, shoppers and athletes alike. Along with its three championship golf courses, Carmel Valley boasts the 4,000-acre Garland Ranch Regional Park, where you can hike, bike and ride horses.
The Monterey-Carmel coast remains consistently mild, with an average temperature of 57 degrees all year. Spring and autumn boast warm, clear days and cool nights, whereas summer is known for its foggy mornings and evenings. The rainy season falls between November and April. Visit in early autumn for sunny beach days.