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Top Things to Do in Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove


Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove offer a lot of variety and lot of things to do. This list is a summary of the cream of the crop, the very best things to do around the Monterey Peninsula

Monterey Bay Aquarium

© Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation/Randy Wilder
One of California's most popular attractions and often rated as a top family destination in the U.S., the Monterey Bay Aquarium is good for a half-day of fun... more

Point Lobos State Reserve

© 2009 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
Land and water meet in dramatic style at rocky Point Lobos. It would be well worth a visit if only for the hiking and shoreline views, but it also harbors a wide variety of fascinating creatures to watch... more

Downtown Carmel

©2013 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
Depending on your budget, you may do more window-shopping than buying in Carmel, but checking out downtown Carmel's boutiques and art galleries, peeping into flower-filled courtyards and enjoying the sights is a pleasant way to spend some time.

Sunday Brunch at Mission Ranch

© Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
Our out-of-town visitors (and local friends, too) always enjoy Sunday brunch at the Mission Ranch. The food is reliably tasty, the views never fail to impress - and there's even a live jazz ensemble... more at their website

17-Mile Drive

Courtesy of the Pebble Beach Company - Photo by Joann Kost
This famous scenic drive passes some gorgeous scenery, over-the-top houses and the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links... more

Take a Harbor Cruise

©2007 Betsy Malloy Photography. Licensed to About.com
A harbor cruise on the glass-bottomed boat Mermaid is the best way to get a sea lion's-eye view of the harbor. In fact, this simple pleasure has made it on the list of things we do every time we're in Monterey. You don't need reservations and the cruises go out about every half hour... more at their website

Side Trip to Big Sur

Courtesy of the Monterey Visitors Bureau
It's about a half hour drive from the south side of Carmel to Big Sur village, enough to take in some pretty spectacular coastal scenery... more

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