Explore the Monterey Peninsula
There is much to discover when traveling the beautiful and pristine California coast. Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey Bay are destinations not to be missed, sanctuaries of natural beauty like no other. Take a short stroll along the white sands of Carmel Beach located just four short blocks from the hotel. If you linger there among the forest pines and cypress trees, you can catch the sunset before making your way back to your luxurious room for a private massage or to prepare for the evenings culinary exploration. For those into the art scene, you can spend hours visiting many of Carmel’s many galleries. Shoppers beware for many of the artisan boutiques that line the cobblestone streets of the Village-by-the-Sea will inspire and delight with a treasure trove of textures and unique artifacts. Engage the senses. See the sights. Relax…Explore…Discover.
Arts & Culture
- Bach Festival
Held each year from mid-July through early August, the Carmel Bach Festival attracts performers and attendees from around the world.
- Carmel Art Association
Founded in 1927, Carmel's oldest gallery features the work of more than 120 professional local artists, and is dedicated to presenting only the finest work for sale by artists living on the Monterey Peninsula.
- Forest Theater
Founded in 1910, this is the oldest operating outdoor theater west of the Rockies. Live plays and some films are presented through their May through August season.
- Golden Bough Theater
Home of the 100 year old Pacific Reparatory Theater, a variety of live performances are presented throughout the year.
- Monterey County Symphony
Often performing at the Sunset Center, the Monterey County Symphony performs throughout the year.
- Monterey Museum of Art
Dubbed the “best small town museum in the United States," the Monterey Museum of Art is home to works by famed artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and photographer Ansel Adams.
- Sunset Center
This center for the performing arts recently underwent a $21 million remodel and offers an elegant setting for performances throughout the year.
Food & Wine
Executive Chef Justin Cogley and Executive Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza’s cooking philosophy is built first and foremost on spontaneity. With access to an array of outstanding local products as well as ingredients and artisan purveyors from around the world, Cogley and Mendoza focus on incorporating these elements into their ever-changing menus.
- Cantinetta Luca
The popular restaurant offers the pure flavors of an authentic Italian trattoria in a casual, modern setting. Cantinetta Luca’s ingredients are always fresh and seasonal; presentations are rich and rustic. Chef Balestrieri sources the best available ingredients from local farmers, fishmongers and purveyors. Many items on the menu are made in-house including the breads, many cheeses, artisanal salumi and fresh pastas. Specialties include wood-oven baked pizza, as well as a wide array of antipasti, whole fire-roasted fish and grilled meats, served family-style.
- Salumeria Luca
Salumeria Luca was opened by the owners of Cantinetta Luca restaurant next door. With a passion for either making his own or sourcing the best available artisanal products, Executive Chef / Partner Jason Balestrieri has created a wonderfully authentic Italian deli and bakery offering high-quality imported and delicious house-made items. Salumeria Luca’s seasonal selections are sure to win the heart of food-loving customers. A wide selection of cured meats, Italian cheeses, olives, sauces, fresh-baked breads, wine, pastries, desserts, gelato - everything you’ve ever wanted from a great Italian deli is available at Salumeria Luca.
- 400° Gourmet Burgers & Fries
Featuring mouthwatering handcrafted burgers and fries using only the best ingredients and cooked to perfection on our custom cast iron griddle. Other menu options include shakes, scrumptious salads and a selection of artisan beers and wines. The restaurant’s dramatic, modern interior offers combined counter and table service indoors or outdoors on the dog-friendly patio.
- Carmel Valley
Renowned vineyards and wineries large and small call Monterey County home. The Valley offers a pleasant country road dotted with tasting rooms and vineyards.
- Monterey Wine Country
Approximately 85 vintners and growers call Monterey Wine Country “home”. Monterey County’s lifestyle and wines are defined by the cooling influence of the ocean and especially of Monterey Bay and its very deep marine canyon.
- Monterey's River Road Wine Trail
The River Road Wine Trail is an association of Monterey County winery tasting rooms, located primarily along the River Road / Foothill Road corridor, on the Santa Lucia Highlands bench above the Salinas Valley. Charming and intimate, these tasting rooms specialize in limited release vintages and genuine hospitality. Often, visitors will be sampling with the actual winemaker. Conveniently situated just east of Monterey and Carmel, and about seventy minutes south of San Jose, the River Road Wine Trail has become one of the Central Coast’s premiere wine touring destinations.
- Visit SeeMonterey.com or Carmelcalifornia.com for a complete list of restaurants
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
One of the top family attractions in the country, the aquarium provides a fascinating journey through our sea life and the conservation of it. Summer hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Winter hours are open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The aquarium is open every day of the year except Christmas.
- National Steinbeck Center
Located in John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, Calif., a scenic 17-mile drive from Monterey in the heart of Steinbeck Country. The Center offers three distinct visitor experiences in literature and history, agriculture and art, as well special events and educational programs.
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, February
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is a 72-hole PGA TOUR golf championship dating back to the 1930's when Bing Crosby gathered a few friends to raise money for charity... and have a little fun. Top TOUR professionals team with Hollywood celebrities, world renowned musicians and the captains of industry as they compete for a $6.1 million purse.
- Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest, March
The GourmetFest is an international food and wine festival in the quaint village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The festival features the talents of Relais & Châteaux Chefs from around the world. Events include an opening night welcome party, a cooking demo, wine tastings, off-site tours combined with exciting lunches, featured chefs, world-class wine dinners, a rarities dinner, and a closing seafood grill and Champagne tasting.
- Pebble Beach Food & Wine, April
Enjoy four days of the best in food and wine with an epic epicurean event, Pebble Beach Food and Wine. Over 90 celebrity chefs and over 200 wineries assemble at Pebble Beach to bring you the culinary experience of a lifetime. Enjoy lunches, dinners and wine tastings. Educate yourself with cooking demonstrations. Experience the most legendary grand tasting the California coast has ever seen. And it's all surrounded by the most beautiful scenery in the world.
- Sea Otter Classic, April
A four-day “Celebration of Cycling” that welcomes nearly 10,000 athletes and 50,000 race fans and other bicycle enthusiasts. Professional and amateur athletes make the annual pilgrimage to participate in cycling's best competitive events in various mountain and road bike disciplines. Hundreds of pro cyclists, including national and world champions, come to Sea Otter to race, sign autographs, and share their racing techniques with fans.
- Big Sur International Marathon, April
The Big Sur Marathon is 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world - and, for runners, the most challenging. Named "Best Marathon in North America" by The Ultimate Guide to Marathons, the Big Sur International Marathon continues to sell out earlier and earlier each year and, as a major destination marathon, draws entrants from all over the world. Related marathon-day events include a 21-mile power walk, 5K run, 9-mile walk, 10.6-mile walk, marathon relay, and Just Kids 3K.
- Carmel Art Festival, May
Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the 18th Annual Carmel Art Festival. Centered around the visual arts, the festival features sculpture in Devendorf Park, a juried plein air painting competition, art activities for children, live performances and more. In addition, galleries throughout Carmel will hold receptions and demonstrations during the Carmel Art Festival.
- Cooking for Solutions, May
Celebrate sustainable food and wine with the Monterey Bay Aquarium at Cooking for Solutions. Celebrity chefs known for their work promoting sustainable food will present demonstrations and host events. The event features Chef of the Year Rick Moonen, the Food Network's Robert Irvine, Iron Chef America commentator Alton Brown and more!
- Monterey Wine Festival, June
With over a thousand wines offered for tasting, wine lovers will find an embarrassment of riches awaiting them at the Monterey Wine Festival.
- Carmel Bach Festival, July
Set amidst the stunning architectural and natural landscapes of Carmel, California, the Festival is a 15-day world class celebration of music and ideas inspired by the historical and ongoing influence of Johann Sebastian Bach in the world. The Festival offers a compelling array of rich musical experiences featuring national and international artists in a variety of settings enjoyed by 22,000 attendees each year coming from local, regional, national, and international locales.
- Concorso Italiano, August
Celebrate all things Italian with displays of Italian fashion and art and great Italian food and music, as well as over 800 Italian cars.
- Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, August
Described as a museum springing to life, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a cornerstone of the Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week. Approximately 550 vehicles will be accepted to compete in the world’s premier motoring event, based on the car’s authenticity, race provenance and period correctness.
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, August
A tradition going back over half a century, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is where the world's collector cars meet and compete. Only the 200 best collector cars in the world roll onto the legendary 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links, and only a handful of those will receive official recognition for style, technical merit and historical accuracy.
- Monterey Jazz Festival, September
The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest running jazz festival in the world. It is held annually on the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey Fairgrounds, located at 2000 Fairground Road in Monterey, California. This has been the site of the Festival since its inception in 1958. More than 500 top jazz artists perform throughout the weekend on 9 stages spread throughout the grounds.
- Carmel Art & Film Festival, October
Contemporary art and independent film collide for five days in Carmel-by-the-Sea during the Carmel Art & Film Festival. The festival features art in almost every medium including music, fine art, photography and, of course, film. Events will be scattered throughout the artist’s haven of Carmel-by-the-Sea with the Sunset Cultural Center as the hub for the event.
- Big Sur Food & Wine Festival, November
Indulge in fantastic food, great wines and exquisite scenery at the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival. Local restaurants, resorts and wineries from all over California will team up for dinners and tastings that showcase area produce and wines. Proceeds from the event benefit health, safety and educational programs in the area.
- Big Sur
Some of the most beautiful coastline views in the world are within this 89 mile stretch of Highway 1.
- Carmel Beach
It's locally renowned for good surf and excellent dog-walking conditions, as well as breathtaking sunsets. An annual sandcastle contest is testimony to the quality of the silvery sands, which are punctuated by outcroppings of rock.
Coastal and inland trails abound in Monterey County.
- Horseback Riding
Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley, and Big Sur all offer horse riding trails.
- Point Lobos Natural Reserve
This beautiful state park is only three miles south of Carmel. Take a moderate hike around the point and look for coastal sea life, including sea otters, jelly fish, seals and whales.
- Pebble Beach Golf Links
Named greatest public golf course in America. Par 72, 6828 total yards. Reservations: 48 hours prior to desired tee time.
- Links at Spanish Bay
Scottish style links golf course with rolling hills and deep valleys. Par 72, 6821 total yards. Reservations: six months prior to desired tee time
- Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Spyglass Hill golf course takes its name from Robert Lewis Stevenson’s classic novel, Treasure island, published 1863. Spyglass Golf Course is one of the toughest golf courses in the world from Championship tees. Opened in 1966, Spyglass features two distinctly different kinds of terrain – the first five holes roll through sandy seaside dunes. The following 13 holes are cut through majestic pines and elevated greens. Par 72, 6960 total yards. Reservations: one month prior to desired tee time
- Del Monte Golf Course
Opened in 1897, Del Monte is the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi. Par 72, 6365 total yards. Reservations: six months prior to desired tee time.
- Peter Hay Golf Course
Opened October 1957, Peter Hay is the only public 9-hole par-3 golf course on the Monterey Peninsula.
- Quail Lodge and Golf Course
Opened in 1963. Par 71, 6500 yards.
- Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course
Due to Carmel Valley’s unique microclimate, Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course sees 300 days of sunshine. Signature holes 11 and 13 provide views of the valley below. Par 70, 6234 total yards.
- Poppy Hills Golf Course
Zagat Survey ranked Poppy Hills “12th most popular course” in the U.S. Opened in 1986 and is home to the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA). Par 72, 6857 total yards
- Rancho Canada
Rancho Canada presents an outstanding golf club facility with two 18-hole courses that meander back and forth over the Carmel River. These mature venues were once a prized portion of a 4,366 acre California Rancho named, “Canada de la Segunda.” The 6,125 yard East Course is more a matter of skill than of length. The Carmel River comes into play five different times as you negotiate a front nine with holes that start out deceptively open in nature. The 6,357 yard West Course will test your golfing skills. Fairways range from deceptively broad to needle narrow as you traverse the Carmel River three different times. Par 71, East Course 6,125; West Course 6,357
- Bayonet and Black Horse
Bayonet named after the Army's 7th Infantry Division - the first major unit to occupy Fort Ord, as well as the last. The famed Light Fighters (nicknamed the "Bayonet Division") marched for the last time during inactivation ceremonies in 1993 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Black Horse named in honor of the 11th Cavalry Regiment (nicknamed "Black Horse") which was stationed at the Presidio of Monterey from 1919-1940. Par 72, 6533 yards.
Guided Tours & Walks
- Carmel Walks
Discover the special charms of Carmel-by-the-Sea on a 2-hour guided walking tour. Walks are held Tuesday through Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with an additional walk at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
- Carmel Mission
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission is considered the most authentically restored Franciscan mission, and despite its many events and services, the Carmel Mission's courtyard and gardens are peaceful places to meditate or rest. Self-guided and docent-led tours are available.
- Carmel Wine Walk
Offering a superior wine tasting experience on the self-paced, self-guided stroll to seven tasting rooms on the south side of Ocean Avenue. Visitors can amble to each participating room to sample local estate-grown still and sparkling wines.
- Carmel Food Tours
The Downtown Food Tour is a three-hour, guided tour of Carmel's most interesting attractions. The tour offers food tastings from seven unique eateries coupled with insightful presentations of Carmel's cultural, historical, and architectural highlights provided by knowledgeable and entertaining local guides.
- Monterey Movie Tours
Since 1897, the dramatic beauty of the Monterey Peninsula has attracted directors and cinematographers from around the world.
- Historic Monterey
Self guided tours of historic downtown Monterey or the waterfront start at several landmarks.
- Whale Watching
California is one of the only places in the world where visitors can see whales year-round, and there's no better place for whale watching than Monterey. While in many areas whale watchers have to go far from shore to see a whale, along the Monterey coast whales can sometimes be seen offshore with the naked eye. The Monterey Submarine Canyon, the ocean's answer to the Grand Canyon, provides a perfect habitat for many whale species, allowing them to come close to shore to feed.