The Monterey Peninsula is one of the loveliest sections of California. It lies just south of San Francisco, but should not be used as a day excursion because there is so much to see and enjoy. I suggest spending a least several nights here to fully savor the region.
The most important activity for visitors here is to drive Seventeen Mile Drive, an awe-inspiring route along the rocky shore of the bay with beautiful vistas and numerous tide pools to explore, as well as grand, meticulous homes. The most memorable sight along the road is the Lone Cypress, which stands resolutely on an offshore sea stack, in defiance of wind and weather. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of Pebble Beach, one of America’s premier golf courses.
The city of Monterey was made famous by John Steinbeck in his novel, “Cannery Row.” What was once a rundown, seedy collection of canneries is now a showplace shopping district.
The Monterey State Historical Park contains several buildings which date to the early days of this region.
Vintage, old Spanish churches can still be found here as well.
At the southern end of the bay is the charming city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is also delightful to walk. The city streets preserve the Spanish and classic ambience.
Carmel also has a mission church from the time before California was a state.
For a fantastic excursion, follow Rte 1 South from Monterey Bay to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park where you can view one of the loveliest waterfalls in the world. McWay Falls cascades marvelously into a beautiful cove, producing a perfect picture..