Situated about 100 miles south of San Francisco, Monterey is a historic and picturesque town along California’s rugged central coast. With year-round temperatures averaging in the mid-60s and negligible rainfall, Monterey offers a host of great outdoor activities that take full advantage of the area’s stunning landscape.
The scenic Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is ideal for biking or running, and it winds past top local attractions, including Monterey Bay Aquarium, with more than 200 exhibits that showcase some 35,000 creatures. The trail also runs through iconic Cannery Row, the one-time center of the sardine-packing industry that’s now a popular strip of gift shops, seafood restaurants and bars in converted factories.
The 14,000-acre Fort Ord National Monument has more than 83 miles of hilly trails that traverse coastal oak tree forests. Protected by the Bureau of Land Management, the former military base has an array of endangered and rare plant and animal species, including black-tailed deer, turkeys, bobcats, coyotes, badgers and red-tailed hawks. About 13 miles from Monterey Peninsula, Toro Park in Salinas is another great option for biking or hiking.
The oceanfront Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches along the central coast from San Francisco to Cambria and includes pristine beaches, tide pools and lush kelp forests. It’s an ideal destination for kayakers, sailors, anglers and surfers.
Where to Stay
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a 290-room luxury waterfront hotel steps from epic hiking and biking trails, scenic parks and vibrant commercial corridors. It also includes more than 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.