Where you will find information that will enhance your overall experience in Carmel California.
A local’s perspective…
Having the privilege to live in one of the most amazing places on earth when it comes to things to do we residents have the ability to get out and take advantage of some of the counties unparalleled attractions and activities. From a local’s stand point, the following six activities are a great representation of what this region has to offer to locals and visitors alike.
Pt. Lobos State Reserves: Discovered by the Portuguese in the 1800’s, Pt. Lobos has transformed from a small whaling station to a National protected reserve and sanctuary. Set in the back drop of the unparalleled coastline, opportunities to view hundreds of animal, plant, and marine life are limitless. Pt. Lobos provides outstanding recreational and family activities from photography, painting, picnicking, hiking, jogging, scuba diving, and of course sightseeing. Said to be the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world touring the park is one of our favorite things to do in Monterey CA. Docents are available upon request: http://www.pointlobos.org
Whale Watching: This spring alone has been a very eventful season to view some of the largest and amazing mammals in the world! Just outside our front door opportunities are endless to view whales and other sea animals in their natural environment. From Orcas, gray whales, blue whales, humpbacks, sperm whales, not to mention dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and our favorite sea otters. Tours are available year round.
Board one of Monterey’s famous whale watching charters
Wine Tasting: Perhaps, taking to the streets of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s famed Ocean Ave. is more your forte, Well you’re in for a treat! Introducing the Carmel Wine Walk; this self-paced self-guided tour allows you to experience seven of Carmel CA’s famous tasting rooms to sample an array of local estate grown still and sparkling wines.
Carmel-by-the-sea Wine Walk
On the sunnier/warmer side of things, explore Carmel Valley’s exquisite wine region, where you will find a host of wineries to satisfy the pickiest wine extraordinaire. Travel to local wineries including Chateau Julien, Talbott, Heller Estate, Georis, and Parsonage just to name a few. The Carmel Wine Trolley is a great alternative for those of you who can’t seem to find a designated driver, plus this makes for a much happier bunch! This is one of my favorite things to do in Carmel CA.
Carmel Wine Trolley
Hiking: Another one of my favorite things to do is enjoying the array of hiking options. Monterey County has some of the most favored and scenic hiking and biking trails in the US. Whether you are looking for an easy stroll or a challenging hike, the diverse topography of this region is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Soberanes Canyon – A local favorite. Just off of Highway 1 along the The Big Sur coast is an absolute must see. This moderate/difficult hike is nothing short of superb with ocean vistas, alluring redwood forests, bubbling creeks, and gorgeous wildflowers. Be sure you bring plenty of water and good shoes, the entire loop can take about 3 hours to complete.
Garland Park – Is home to some 3,500 acres of hiking and recreational trails, nestled into the Santa Lucia Mountains and home to a wide variety of insects, birds, plants, and animals. An impressive network of trails with elevations ranging from 200-2,000 feet, the park features a variety of landscapes, from maple filled canyons to oak savannahs and hosts a number of easy to difficult hikes. Garland Park is the perfect spot to enjoy the great outdoors.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – This short one-mile hike may be the easiest and most beautiful of the bunch. Follow the shady waterfall trail, wrapping along the gorgeous coastline to McWay Falls and McWay Creek. Make sure you bring your camera to capture some of Mother Nature’s finest work.
Top 10 hikes in Monterey day hikes
Golfing: Monterey County was recently ranked the number one golf destination by Golf Digest magazine. Offering some of the most dramatic, natural settings in the world with beautiful year round weather, making Monterey County and Carmel CA a renowned golf location.
Rancho Canada – Situated in Carmel Valley and providing two outstanding 18-hole courses that stroll along the Carmel River. Fairways range from deceivingly broad to sliced-thin narrows that glide alongside the perfect manicured greens. www.ranchocanada.com
Quail Lodge – Provides 6,500 yards of rolling green fairways decorated with rustic oak trees, a beautifully challenging course for golfers of all skill-set. Located in pristine Carmel Valley, Quail Lodge affords views of the Carmel River and sunny skies year round.
Carmel Valley Ranch – Located just a few miles from the coast and offering over 300 days of sunshine per year, this championship course offers tactical challenge, playability, not to mention Carmel Valley’s breathtaking scenery.
Kayaking: What better way to set out into the sea then to climb into a kayak and cruise the famous Monterey Bay. Explore the largest marine sanctuary and gaze back at historical Cannery Row and Monterey Bay pier. Kayakers get an up close look at some of the oceans most playful animals, from harbor seals gliding through the water, to furry sea lounging otters, kayaking the Monterey Bay is an amazing experience for all ages and a great family activity.
Tours or rentals are available daily
And there you have it, six great activities sure to appeal to everyone if you are looking for things to do in the Monterey or Carmel area! Please remember to visit the Carmel Mission Inn website for the best rates and a great value on hotel accommodations in the Carmel area.