California Central Coast - Turn the
Monterey Bay Area
Into Your Own
Playground For
Surfing, Golfing,
Whale Watching & More...

Road trip! Head over to the California Central Coast and visit the
northernmost region of...

  • Monterey County
  • San Benito County
  • West Fresno County
  • West Kings County

It has some of the wildest coastline and largest unspoiled open spaces in the state.

Bixby Bridge & Big Sur at Monterey Bay California

The California central coast around the Monterey Bay area is home to many world-class destinations. Like...

  • Big Sur - the world’s most beautiful coastline. The coastal Highway 1 zigzags along Big Sur's 70-mile-long coast.

    So... bring your camera, ‘cause you’ll be stopping at every turnout and grabbing a picture - or even a video - or two.

  • Pebble Beach - provides some of the greatest golf courses anywhere.

    You don’t have to be a golfer to fall in love with the beauty of Pebble Beach.

    From the legendary "Lone Cypress" to the famed 18th green of Pebble Beach Golf Links.

    And a trip along 17-Mile Drive is awe-inspiring.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea - a leading artists colony of the California central coast for more than a century.

    Window shopping along the cobblestone streets or going on a full-out shopping spree is definitely a must.

    Sample some of the more than 12 new tasting rooms along the Wine Walk-by-the-Sea.

  • Carmel Valley - the center of the rugged yet elegant vineyards, ranches, and galleries. 

  • Monterey - with its popular restaurants, wine tasting rooms and shopping areas - like Cannery Row - is a center for visual arts.

    The galleries and the Monterey Museum of Art - house bits of American and early California painting, photography, and contemporary art.

    Don't forget the Monterey Bay Aquarium - California central coast's world premier aquarium and a global leader in marine conservation.

    Waterfront hotels along Cannery Row treat you to amazing wildlife displays - without leaving your balcony.

    Imagine seeing... sea otters drifting with the swells, and sea lions barking from jetties.

The central coast offers us plenty of action. Want to parasail or scuba dive? Then check out...

  • Sand City - comes by its name honestly - the dunes here are the region’s tallest. Providing some of the state’s prime paragliding spots.

  • Seaside - offers easy ocean access that draws kayakers, scuba divers, windsurfers, and parasailers.

  • Pacific Grove - embraces both its traditions and natural setting.

    Narrow lanes of century-old cottages lead from a historic downtown to a waterfront. 

    Bicycle, run, or walk along Pacific Grove’s section of the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

    Explore the tide-pools and beaches in one direction or walk toward Cannery Row in the other.
Windsurfing at Seaside California
  • Del Rey Oaks - is nestled between the California coastal splendor of Monterey and the lush bounty of Salinas.

    Stop in at Tarpy’s Roadhouse, and hear the tales of 19th century vigilante Matt Tarpy over a glass of local Syrah.

  • Marina - a paradise for photographers.

    Marina State Beach is a popular place for pilots of hang gliders, kite flyers, and surfers.

    The towering wind-sculpted dunes gives you the perfect perch for watching the gray whales and dolphins.

The California coast is perfect for more family time...

  • Moss Landing - is filled with antique shops, art studios, seafood markets and restaurants serving fish pulled straight from Monterey Bay.

  • Gilroy - known as the "Garlic Capital of the World". With historic buildings and quaint antique shops.

    If you love garlic then there's no better place to go and dine on their cafes and restaurants garlic-laced dishes.

    Their "Field of Dreams" provides six acres of experimental flowers - many one-of-a-kind.

    The 'Gilroy Garden Theme Park’ offers more than 40 attractions for families with kids around 10 and younger.

  • Morgan Hill - ideal for easy weekend getaways. Hikers and mountain bikers head into the rolling hills to explore Henry W. Coe State Park - Northern California’s largest - or Anderson Lake, a boating and fishing paradise.

Of all the world’s great coastlines, none can compare to California’s Central Coast - for its truly unique combination of beauty, variety, and accessibility and the extraordinary range of ways to enjoy the landscape.

So... escape for your favorite weekend getaway or take a family vacation and head into natural areas for bicycling, hiking, bird watching, fishing and more.

Return from California Central Coast to Home

Related Pages

Panning for gold