10 Things to Know about Monterey Bay

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Source: Chad Kainz

Monterey Bay is one of the bays on the California coast.  It is located south of some larger cities like San Jose and San Francisco. The Monterey Bay Area is a local expression often used to portray the Central Coast communities of both Monterey and Santa Cruz. These are some of the facts you would probably like to know before visiting.

1. Carmel

Source: Ken Lund

Carmel or as people often call Carmen-by-the-Sea is a very special spot with some of the most interesting museums and libraries in the historic Carmel Mission. It attracted a lot of artists and today there is one art exhibition at every 35 resident. Some of those notable artists were John Denver, Jack London, Sinclair Lewis, Doris Day, Ansel Adams, Robinson Jeffers, Upton Sinclair and the former mayor Clint Eastwood.


  • Name: Carmel
  • Address: Monterey, CA 93940
  • Website: carmelcalifornia.org

2. Monterey Jazz Festival

Source: Kazuho Okui

This widely known festival happens each September. Monterey Jazz Festival is continuously run since 1958 and has the longest history in those terms. Some of the famous artists who performed here were Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie.


  • Location: Monterey, California, United States
  • Dates: Sep 16 – Sep 18, 2016
  • Genres: Jazz, Blues, Rock music

3. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Source: Justin Ennis

Monterey Bay Aquarium is a big tourist attraction in Monterey and it draws almost 2 million people each year. There are approximately 300,000 animals and plants in this famous aquarium. The Deep Sea exhibit shows sea creatures that were never shown on the surface before. In the Outer Bay Wing, there is a million gallon tank which presents the open ocean in a unique way.


  • Name: Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
  • Phone: (831) 648-4800
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
  • Website: montereybayaquarium.org

4. The National Steinbeck Center

Source: Naotake Murayama

This is also one of the big tourist attractions of the Monterey Bay. The National Steinbeck Center is probably the biggest facility dedicated to one American author with 37, 000 square feet. John Steinbeck was born in nearby Salinas and spent most of his life at Monterey Peninsula.


  • Name: The National Steinbeck Center
  • Address: 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
  • Phone: +1 831-796-3833
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
  • Website: http://www.steinbeck.org/

5. Wine Region

Source: Jim G

This is not an area with such a large production as some others, but Monterey County region produces the most extraordinary grapes in the United States. These are the 40, 000 acres long vineyards.

6. Point Lobos State Reserve

Source: John Menard

Point Lobos State Reserve is full of natural wonders. There are rocks from four epochs with some of those places even 60 million years old (Carmel). Visitors can enjoy remarkable landscapes , diving, hiking, a variety of wildlife and a whaling museum.


  • Name: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
  • Address: Hwy 1 & Riley Ranch Rd, Carmel, CA 93923
  • Phone: (831) 624-4909
  • Website: pointlobos.org

7. The Lone Cypress

Source: Dustin Gaffke

The Lone Cypress is a tree about which locals often tell stories. It is located on 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach and it is approximately 300 years old. These type of trees grow only in this region and they can endure 4,000 years of Californian conditions.

8. The Bixby Bridge

Source: Franco Folini

This bridge hides an amazing story known only to the local people. The prisoners built it to reduce their original sentences. You will agree that this is one of the rare cases. This is also one the highest single span bridges in the world – 260 feet high and 714 feet long.


  • Name: The Bixby Bridge
  • Address: CA-1, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Opened: November 27, 1932
  • Phone: +1 831-646-3799
  • Body of water: Bixby Creek

9. Golf

Source: Doreen O’Donovan

Golf destinations in Monterey Bay are well-known in the whole world. There are 26 private and public golf courses. Three of these courses (Poppy Hills, Spyglass, and Pebble Beach) are in the best 10 golf courses in the United States.

10. Agriculture

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Source: Richard Masoner

This is the most important agricultural region in the country. Salinas Valley is even described as  “Salad Bowl of the Nation” considering the wide range of fruits and vegetables that are grown there.


  • Name: County of Monterey Agricultural Center
  • Address: 1428 Abbott St, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
  • Phone:+1 831-759-7325
  • Website: http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/agricultural-commissioner

Nature. Nice climate. Adventures. History. Wine. Golf. California is truly a treasure for all the explorers and the Monterey Bay is no exception. Plan your trip wisely and decide what are you interested in the most. Remember the golden rule of traveling lightly.

Have a good Trip and Travel!