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It's an area of Central Coast California that approximately 28,000 people reside in.
Visitors will find this destination approximately 140 miles from Sacramento, the state capital of California. It's also around 25 miles from Capitola.
This place is in a category all on its own. No trip here would be complete if you miss Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Stanford University. Fisherman's Wharf and the California State University Monterey Bay are also iconic sights here.
Give the kids a treat and enjoy some quality time together at Dennis the Menace Park and the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Want more? The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and the MY Museum Monterey County Youth Museum will ensure that the good times keep rolling.
If you enjoy sampling local brews on your travels, be sure to visit the Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. Find out if there are any tours and learn what makes the beer here so distinctive, then taste the finished product.
Motor-racing fanatics will relish the incredible machines and heart-stopping action at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
There's not many things more memorable than a superb glass of wine. Try what this region has to offer at the Bernardus Winery and the Galante Vineyards. Ready for the next stop? The Talbotts Vineyards and the Cowgirl Winery are favorites around here.
When it's time to take five, grab a bite to eat and make your way over to one of the scenic green spaces, such as Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or Point Lobos State Reserve. Lone Cypress Pine and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are two more excellent places to while away a lazy day and finally read that neglected book of yours.
Once you arrive, get up-to-date information about local culture and events from Big Sur Station and Carmel Chamber of Commerce.
To enjoy scenic views of natural landscapes and cascading water, take the trip out to McWay Falls.
Are you after somewhere where you can take a break from sightseeing for a bit? Pack some supplies and head out to Carmel Beach or Capitola Beach for a refreshing day outdoors. Seacliff State Beach and Manresa State Beach are also popular.
Turn off your phone and give yourself a break from the stresses of the modern world at Fort Ord Dunes State Park and Pinto Lake Park. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and Garland Ranch Regional Park are also popular among nature-loving visitors.
The area's exhibition spaces are brimming with interesting stories and quirky facts. The Maritime Museum and the National Steinbeck Center offer a range of collections that are sure to capture your attention. Another two to consider are the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and the Portola Art Gallery.
Stories of this region's nautical history are imbedded on the remains of old vessels found at the Stanton Center.
Take a look at a range of artifacts and learn about scientific discoveries at the Doc Rickett's Pacific Biological Laboratories.
Monterey is a hub of artistic energy, with gallery and exhibition spaces all over. Soak up the hip atmosphere at the Monterey Museum of Art and the Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada. If you have time afterwards, the Grove Homescapes and the Strouse and Strouse Studio-Gallery are also well worth your time.
Enjoy the fascinating artifacts of the Pajaro Valley Historical Association or take a leisurely look at the exhibits at the Capitola Historical Museum. Either are a great choice for the keen historian.
The Naval Postgraduate School and the Filoli are certainly worth taking a look at, even if you're not that into history. When it comes to bygone times, the stories are countless. Tor House and the Cooper-Molera Adobe are two more insightful places to check out.
Bixby Bridge is a grand structure that has been a vital crossing point for residents from both sides of the water.
Discover the region's spiritual side and take in the peaceful atmosphere at Carmel Mission Basilica and St Mary's by the Sea. You could also check for guided tours around Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo or New Camaldoli Hermitage.
After seeing all the principle attractions in and around Monterey, take the time to explore a couple of its less well-known sights. The Henry Miller Memorial Library and the Cherry Center for the Arts could be up your alley. If you can fit it in, also visit Partington Cove or the Big Sur Discovery Center.
The Expedia Monterey hotels page displays no less than 139 upmarket and low-budget hotel options, so it should be easy finding a great place in this popular destination.
Fine examples of slightly more premium places to stay in or near Monterey are the L Auberge Carmel, Monte Verde at Seventh, and the Carmel Valley Ranch, One Old Ranch Road. If those two don't quite match your requirements, the Best Western Carmel's Town House Lodge or the Magic Carpet Lodge are two more budget-friendly places that might hit the right note for you.
If you are in town for just one night and only have time for Monterey's must-see attractions, you might find it more convenient to stay at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa or the InterContinental the Clement Monterey, which are both situated nearby Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Taking a break isn't just about ticking off destinations. It's about the friends we encounter and the adventures we have on the way!
Monterey has loads of activities on offer. Here are some ideas to get you going:
For even more options, check out our Monterey things to do page.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.ca from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.