The Monterey Peninsula packs more sightseeing into its small area than any place has a right to. Three charming communities, compelling seaside vistas, great golf resorts and a world-famous aquarium are only the beginning of what the Monterey Peninsula has to offer.
Monterey Peninsula Communities
The Monterey Peninsula is home to four distinctly different communities. These short descriptions will help you get oriented:
- Monterey: Former sardine-canning town, scene of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Sitting on the south edge of the Monterey Bay with scenic views, shopping and the famous aquarium, this Monterey Peninsula town has a rumpled, live-in look and feel.
- Carmel: A charming, small town, filled with art galleries, upscale shops and architecture that looks like it came out of a fairy tale. Home to one of California's oldest missions.
- Pacific Grove: Less well-known than its neighbors, with beautiful coastal scenery to rival the famous 17-Mile-Drive, an affordable golf course with views similar to those in Pebble Beach and a scenic lighthouse.
- Carmel Valley: Inland valley with wineries, golf courses, and the cute town of Carmel Valley.
Monterey Peninsula Famous Residents
- Nearby Salinas is John Steinbeck country, and his fans may recognize Monterey Peninsula locations from his books. Take a self-guided tour of John Steinbeck's Pacific Grove or visit the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.
- Clint Eastwood is no longer mayor of Carmel but still lives in the area, and he owns Carmel's Mission Ranch in Carmel.
Monterey Peninsula Sights
The Monterey Bay Aquarium
, Cannery Row
and the 17-Mile Drive
are among the Monterey Peninsula's most popular attractions. Discover the best of the rest
in our guide to the best things to do in Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove.