Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Monterey
With a gorgeous sprawling coastline and the rolling hills and grapelands of Carmel Valley, there is no more scenic place to experience the outdoors than Monterey, California. Enjoy water sports, land activities and even air activities with everything from hang gliding to scuba diving. Warning: adrenaline rush ahead.
Hiking- The famous redwood groves of Northern California are a landmark for both the avid hiker and those in the mood for a leisurely walk. An epic backdrop for recreation, romance and exploration, Big Sur and a number of other state parks capture their beauty. Big Sur has provided inspiration to world famous photographers, painters, writers and musicians like Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac, who chronicled the area in books and Ansel Adams and Edward Weston who captured their ruggedness on film.
Biking- If you want to travel like a local, swap your four wheels for two. With miles upon miles of bike lanes, waterfront trails and off-road tracks, Monterey is considered one of the top 100 places to bike in America. Cruise along a 17-Mile Drive, which takes you by dozens of glamorous mansions and the manicured golf courses of Pebble Beach. Looking for a fun family outing? Grab a surrey, a four-wheeled, canopy-covered cycle perfect for friends and families to ride together sitting side-by-side.
Surfing- Because of the twisting and turning coastline, there is a section of beach that faces literally every direction of the compass. For surfers, this means that at any time of the year, there's at least one beach in Monterey County with great surf. The safest place for beginners to learn is at Del Monte Beach, where the waters are shallower and calmer. More advanced spots include Asilomar Beach for their reliable waves and Carmel Beach for their riptides. If you’re looking to take lessons, head to South Bay Surfriders school, but for those comfortable on their own, boards and wetsuits can be rented at multiple spots along the coast.
Scuba Diving- Rated the “best beach to dive in the US” by Scuba Diving magazine, more than 65,000 divers visit Monterey Bay every year to experience the unique sensations of the kelp forest and underwater canyon. Bluefish and Whalers Coves at Point Lobos, Lovers Point in Pacific Grove, and Monterey State Beach, San Carlos Beach and McAbee Beach in Monterey are all great beach dives for any skill level. Monastery Beach and Carmel River State Beach in Carmel are popular for more experienced folks.
Kayaking on Monterey Bay and Elkhorn Slough- Fun for the whole family, kayaking allows you to get up close and personal with all of Monterey’s sea life. Ride amongst soaring pelicans, sandpipers, loons, and grebes as both areas are calm enough for beginners to feel comfortable. Elkhorn Slough is the inland nursery for a variety of fish and sharks so get a feel of the open water in a safe environment.