Responsible Tourism is all about having an authentic holiday experience that enables you to maximize the benefits from your travel and give a little bit more back to the destination and its community, minimizing the negative impacts of travel. And there is no better place to do so than Monterey County, San Francisco. Monterey County works hard to make its community the absolute best place to live and to visit by supporting healthy lifestyles, creating jobs, and fostering a thriving environment. Monterey County’s hotel partners have been awarded designations and certifications for implementing and measuring standards in waste diversion, energy, and water conservation and education.
Discover life in Monterey’s bay without leaving dry land at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Dedicated to marine research and conservation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is known throughout the world for its interactive exhibits and ability to present marine life on a truly grand scale. Its Sustainable Seafood Watch program sets standards around the country for responsible seafood menus.
You can take in the wonders of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary by scuba diving, kayaking, or bike riding along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail.
Fisherman’s Wharf in downtown Monterey should definitely be on your “must-do” list visiting the area where you can take in the sights, sounds and smells of Monterey. The neighbouring Wharf 2 is the heart of the area’s thriving fishing industry, and you can usually watch the working trawlers unloading the catch of the day. You can stroll down the wharf with a cup of hot clam chowder or stop by one of several restaurants featuring fresh Monterey Bay seafood. You can photograph sea lions and otters frolicking in the calm inner harbor waters, or, if you are feeling more adventurous, you can take to the waters with a glass bottom boat tour, deep-sea fishing trip or whale watching tour in season.
Monterey County, once the capital of Alta California, is the epicenter of California history. You can explore the heritage of the California mission era at the three historic missions. Walk the Path of History to learn about the Mexican era, as well as the area’s early literary history. Immerse yourself in the artistic legacy of Central California at the Monterey Museum of Art. Experience the works of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and the agricultural history of Monterey County at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. You can also learn about the region’s flora and fauna at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.
The 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach is one of the best-known scenic drives in the world. It will take you past dream homes and the world’s greatest golf courses, as well as miles of scenic coastline and the serene majesty of Del Monte Forest. If you want to experience ‘a road trip of a lifetime’, take the Highway One from Monterey through Big Sur.
Regional, State and Federal Parks
Monterey County’s hundreds of thousands of acres of parks range from the “mini-Yosemite” of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to the austere beauty of Pinnacles National Park, the coastal beauty of Point Lobos State Reserve and everything in between. You can walk or ride your bike on the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, which stretches 18 miles along the coast and connects many of the coastal parks. You can also go for hang gliding, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, surfing, birding, diving and more at the more than 30 parks in Monterey County.
Whether you’re looking for the quintessential sandy California surfing beach, stunning cliffs with spectacular views of the ocean, or a picture-perfect rocky shoreline, you’ll find it all along Monterey County’s coast. Dive, surf, sail, kayak or watch wildlife at any of our 13 beaches – or just enjoy the scenery.
Agriculture is Monterey County’ s number one industry and you can savour the freshest locally grown food and wine in culinary choices, reducing the carbon footprint from transportation. With sustainable seafood, organic farms and pioneering restaurants — amid vineyards and charming towns famed for their coastal views — Monterey County, California, can inspire a personal food and wine celebration.