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Weekend Getaway to the Coast (Monterey and Carmel Visitor Guide)

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Here at Whitney Ranch, we are lucky to live just a morning’s drive away from the mountains, the forest, and the coast. Through recent times in isolation, it is good for the mind, body, and soul to break free from the daily surroundings and experience new sights and experiences. This week, we recommend planning your next adventure to Monterey and Carmel. Here, there are many outdoor and socially-spaced activities that are perfect for a weekend getaway with the family.

Let’s start exploring!

 

 

 

17-Mile Drive

take California state highway 1, the coastal route

The 17-Mile Drive is a tourist attraction that you can enjoy from the comfort and warmth of your own vehicle. The popular route takes you from the foggy forest to the open coast on a (you guessed it) 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach. This community is home to sweeping panoramic ocean views, stunning homes, sea lions, golf courses, the Lone Cypress tourist attraction, huge Northern California trees, and majestic wildlife.

Along the drive, you will be immersed in the beauty that is Northern California and will have the opportunity to take family photos all along the way. Throw on your favorite holiday music, grab a PSL, and you’re on your way for a fun afternoon exploring the coast. Tickets can be purchased on-site upon entry to Pebble Beach.

 

 

Carmel-by-the-Sea

stop at carmel by the sea to walk around a cute downtown city near the California pacific coast highway route 1
Photo: Ashley/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Each year, Carmel-by-the-Sea invites tourists to the charming cottage-like downtown that will make you feel like you’re in a Disney storybook fairytale. Here, you can explore fine dining, luxury shopping, and fine Northern California wine. The famous Carmel Beach is just a short walk away from downtown, and the Cottage of Sweets is the fantasy-like candy shop that sells classic Turkish delights. While you’re in town, visit the historic Carmel Mission and make sure to get a view of Clint Eastwood’s estate before you head out.

 

Big Sur Hiking

hiking in Big Sur and hiking in northern california coast as far as the eye can see

The hiking in Big Sur and around Monterey is abundant, so visit this guide for all of the most popular hikes, with their mileage and descriptions attached. Pro tip: Make sure your hike has some sort of ocean view. You can thank us later! 😉

 

Monterey Old Fisherman’s Wharf

monterey bay lights and monterey boats on the california coast, the monterey fishermans wharf has fun for families and spots to eat dinner for date nights

On top of being one of the filming locations of HBO’s Big Little Lies, the Monterey Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a vibrant and colorful spot on the Monterey Bay tour. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, and sailboat views as you take a stroll with your family. If you’re lucky, you will be able to see seals off the pier.

 

Highway 1 Self-Guided Audio Tour

drive over the famous bixby creek bridge in big sur driving the California pacific coast highway route 1

CA Highway 1 is the longest state route in California, running north to south for over 650 miles and taking tourists up and down the golden coast. The Big Sur Highway 1 self-guided audio tour can be downloaded on your Apple or Google device and allows you to learn about the rich history of Big Sur. Start at one of the suggested starting points or start wherever you want, and the audio will play based on your GPS-determined location. It’s easy, fun, and educational. Enjoy!

 

Wine Tasting

relax and unwind with a glass of wine from the wineries in carmel, wineries near monteray, and wineries in northern california

And of course, what is a getaway trip to Monterey County without a glass (or two…or three) of wine. A Taste of Monterey, or one of the many Carmel wineries, will satisfy your craving for an aromatic and flavorful glass of California’s best.

 

We hope this guide helps get you started on your journey to exploring all that Monterey and Carmel have to offer. Do some of your own research and find what is right for your family. The beauty of Monterey County is calling you, and the coastal breeze is waiting!