7 Reasons to Stay One More Day in Monterey County

Known as being home to some of the Golden State’s must-sees including Big Sur, Highway 1, Pebble Beach, Carmel and the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey County it is firm fixture on a California road trip.


However, there are plenty of reasons to linger longer here – here are just a few for starters:

1.       Monterey is best known as Steinbeck country and there are many ways that visitors can follow in his footsteps, including renting his cottage in Pacific Grove. However, this is a place that has inspired many more creatives. Henry Miller made Big Sur his home and at the Henry Miller Memorial Library you can enjoy a game of ping pong, one of his favourite pastimes, or contribute to the live wall mural. It’s also said that one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspirations for Treasure Island was Point Lobos - this classic tale celebrates its 140th anniversary this year.

2.     Artichokes are one of the oldest known superfoods thanks to their powerful medicinal properties. Monterey County produces two-thirds of the world’s crop and has a dedicated Artichoke Trail to demystify this edgy veggie. One of the stops on the trail is Castroville, known as the ‘Artichoke capital of the world’ and where Norma Jean (or Marilyn Monroe) was crowned Artichoke Queen aged 22. Aside from artichokes Monterey County is home to thriving agricultural industry in the Salinas Valley which feeds restaurants across the region, and the US.

3.     Pinnacles National Park was elevated to National Park status by President Barack Obama 10 years ago. The park is home to the 4 Cs of caves, camping, climbing and condors all without the 5th C, crowds. Enjoy the wildflowers in spring, hike the trails over and under the volcanic formations or become a citizen scientist reporting sightings of the endangered California condors in the skies overhead. Pinnacles is the only National Park Service site that releases these captive bred birds currently managing 86 of them - at their lowest numbers there were just 27 remaining in the wild.

4.     Monterey County is home to 10 wine growing AVAs and just under 350 wineries and 53,000 acres of vineyards. The varied microclimates and terrain are influenced by the Blue Grand Canyon, an enormous submarine canyon 60 miles long and 2 miles deep that creates a climatic pathway connecting the deep sea to Monterey’s wine growing regions and a unique terroir.

5.     Accommodation here ranges from the sublime to the seasonal - many with deep roots in sustainable and regenerative practices. In Big Sur alone there’s the Post Ranch Inn, a luxury icon that was designed by an architect who camped out on the land to ensure it blended in the with the environment; Deetjens, an historic guest house which is the legacy of Grandpa Deetjen and recently successfully crowdfunded to rebuild two rooms lost in the wildfires; and Treebones’ Autonomous Tents, two stunning and striking tents that push off-grid glamping to new levels.

6.     Not one, not two, but three new boutique hotels have opened in Carmel-by-the-Sea this July! Enjoy a stay at Carmel Beach Hotel or one of Palisociety’s first two guesthouses under their new Le Petit Pali brand at Ocean Avenue and at 8th Avenue. These join Villa Mara Carmel which opened in 2022 to provide yet more reasons to visit this picture-perfect village and explore its 41 hidden passageways and courtyards.

7.     Monterey Bay Aquarium lets you explore the wonders of the Pacific ocean on terra firma but there are many ways you can experience the big blue IRL. From a leisurely kayak around the sea otters, year-round whale watching or an eco-tour on an electric catamaran all the way to diving in Monterey Bay to become certified in kelp forest restoration.

Will just one more day be enough?

To find out more about Monterey County visit

Posted on: 19/07/2023

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