Bucket List Worthy Moments Await in Monterey County

Resolve to check some items off your bucket list! Here are a just a few “bucket list worthy” moments in Monterey County to get your planning started.

Escape to Carmel Beach
Iconic Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for its many attractions, but perhaps none more so than its incomparable, white-sand, dog-friendly beach. Whether remaining on the path along the picturesque Scenic Road lined with cypress trees or feeling the sand beneath your feet, Carmel Beach remains awe-inspiring to visitors seeing it for the first time or locals making their daily pilgrimage.

Sip with the Cellar Pass to Carmel Valley
The Carmel Valley Wine Experience (CVWE) offers a unique opportunity to visit Carmel Valley and taste your way through a plethora of wine tasting rooms with the exclusive Cellar Pass. Pass holders can enjoy all sorts of benefits, including discounted wine tastings, access to CVWE festivals, wine dinners and much more.

Visit the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
Coming to Monterey for the holidays or beyond? Stop by Pacific Grove and say hello to several thousand of the Monterey Peninsula’s favorite winged tourists, the monarch butterfly. Pacific Grove is an overwintering ground for monarchs coming from across the continent, who take refuge on the grove’s eucalyptus trees and fly around the city. Stop by November through March to get your best monarch moment.

Spend the day at Lovers Point
There are few spots on the Monterey Peninsula that give you a better view than the beach and park at Lovers Point. Stop by the Lovers Point Beach Café at the Beach House Restaurant and grab a waffle with coffee and take in spectacular ocean and mountain views. Alternatively, pack your own lunch and camp out on the beach. Dip your toes in the water or bring your camera and keep your eyes on the horizon for whales and otters! You can also grab a bike, kayak or surfboard from Adventures by The Sea and get moving for an even better view.

Take to the sky
Skydiving in Monterey Bay is a once in a lifetime experience, so go all out! To achieve the thrill ride, you’ve got to get far, far up above the clouds. Just how far is that? It’s 18,000 feet in the air! There is no other experience that comes remotely close to taking the plunge at almost three-and-a-half miles heaven-bound.

Discover purple sand
That's right, purple sand. Patches of amethyst hued pebbles scatter the majestic Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, something you truly need to see to believe. This beach is also home to the iconic rock arch making this a hot spot for photographers.

Climb to the top
Encompassing an area of about 26,000 acres, Pinnacles National Park is home to an abundance of plant and animal life for visitors to enjoy. The Pinnacles offers a bevy of activities, including over 30 miles of hiking trails, bird watching, camping, cave exploring and rock climbing.

Surround yourself with sea otters
Book a trip with the Elkhorn Slough Safari or rent a kayak in Moss Landing to find an abundance of wildlife out on the slough. A large population of sea otters, seals, sea lions and migratory birds call this protected area home.

Go behind-the-scenes
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-see attraction and their behind-the-scenes tour is definitely one for the bucket list. Unlock the secrets of what keeps this world-class aquarium running and peek inside the “staff only” doors.

Go where the wild things are
Lions, and tigers and bears - oh my! The Monterey Zoo is home to all of these animals and then some. This unique animal sanctuary situated in the Salinas Valley is a haven for exotic animals who can no longer participate in the entertainment industry.

-Manisha Sharma

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