If you’ve never traveled the Pacific coast or just want to experience it from a new perspective, there are few things like a road trip to enjoy the sights and experiences that make the trip a memorable one.
A road trip allows you to set your own pace and enjoy the company of friends or family. When you’re ready to explore, Monterey County, California, known for the scenic, beautiful expanse of the Pacific coastline, offers outdoor adventure, historical experiences, and 100 miles of coastline. From sprawling beaches, verdant vineyards and fields to the peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains, there is plenty of room to roam.
Some of the most beautiful scenic roads in the world run along the California coast, where you’ll find a wide variety of local topography. One example is Highway 1, where heading north you’ll see the state’s second largest wetlands, artichoke fields and rolling sand dunes, as well as cypress forests and rugged coastline. Further south you will encounter towering cliffs, sequoias and impressive bridges.
Other notable sights are fishing ports; Beaches; Wildlife including seals, sea lions and sea otters; the famous lonely cypress; Villas; and several championship golf courses.
When you’re ready for action, there is plenty to discover along the coast. From a mesmerizing 30km recreational trail overlooking the coast to kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, whale watching tours, and more, there are plenty of ways to whet your appetite for seaside adventure. Inland you will find opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, climbing, caving and horse riding.
Along the California coast you will find tens of thousands of acres of vineyards that produce more than 53 different types of wine. In Monterey County alone, you can choose from 65 tasting rooms set against a scenic backdrop. The way you experience the wine country is as varied as the grape varieties you will discover. For example, you can head to the beach with a freshly purchased bottle of your favorite wine, hop in a wine cart to let someone else drive for a while, or plan a behind-the-scenes tour with a winemaker.
No visit to the beach is complete without a visit to the beach, but not all beaches are created equal. From white sand beaches to rocky cliffs, you can plan an entire road trip around the different beaches waiting to discover their beauty. Enjoy bird watching, rock collecting, surfing, tide pooling, and more.
Some of the area’s greatest gems are the lesser-known beaches, including one in the middle of Cannery Row. The sheltered bay of McAbee Beach was used by Portuguese whalers in the 1850s and by Chinese fishermen in the early 20th century. Today, this secret beach is a perfect place to keep kids energized before or after a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Visitors can spot seals and otters playing offshore, and it’s a popular spot for divers exploring the kelp forests.
Wellness for body and mind
When you have absorbed the sights and explored to your heart’s content, you should take time to relax. From spas and meditation retreats to spending time in nature, wellness is easy when visiting the California coast. You can even enjoy food as good as it is delicious with a growing focus on sustainability by visiting the daily farmers and fish markets, which feature an abundance of locally sourced produce, fresh meat, seafood and handcrafted treasures for a truly enriching cultural experience.