Top Ways to Grab Life by the Moments in Monterey County
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Adventure & Outdoor Challenges
- Hike to the top of Garrapata State Park; it's quite the view!
- Borrow a trusty steed and gallop along Moss Landing's pristine stretch of coastline.
- Sleuth the seas via Seven Seas Scuba with a SCUBA training program.
- Don't let the old military base intimidate you, Fort Ord National Monument is outstanding for mountain biking and hiking.
- See where fresh water meets the ocean at the 80-foot McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
- Catch some air with Monterey Bay Skydive and see the Monterey Peninsula with a bird's eye view.
- Hit the trails and explore the rugged beauty of Monterey County with a day hike.
- Get down to earth and pitch a tent at one of these Top 10 Campsites.
- Seek a rendezvous between a rock and a hard place while rock climbing at Pinnacles National Park.
- Roll down the windows, breath the fresh coastal air and venture down spectacular Highway One. Photo opps all along the way include the famous Bixby Bridge on your way to Big Sur for views like you've never seen before.
- Take a rollicking surrey ride with the family along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.
- Take to the sky and give hang-gliding a try above the sand dunes at Marina State Beach.
- Channel your inner cowboy and "dude up" for a cattle drive at V6 Ranch in Parkfield.
Food & Wine Challenges
- Sip a handcrafted wine in one of the many tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel Valley.
- Eat like a local and sample a variety of ethnic munchies from Marina's diverse eateries.
- Challenge yourself to find the best clam chowder on Old Fishermen's Wharf.
- Savor fresh-off-the-farm fruit and veggies at one of our Farm Stands or a local Farmers' Market.
- See why Salinas Valley is the "Salad Bowl of the World" with an Ag Venture Tour through the lettuce fields.
- Take the road less traveled and jaunt around River Road in the Salinas Valley for epic views of the valley and tastings of killer Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
- Wet your whistle with a new local craft brew at Peter B's Brewpub or Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill.
- Try Monterey's favorite thistle at the Pezzini Farm Stand in Castroville or hit up the Artichoke Festival in late May.
Wildlife & Attraction Challenges
- Burn off excess energy at El Estero Park's Dennis the Menace Playground in Monterey.
- Watch sardines dance about the Open Sea exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
- Book an African bungalow at Vision Quest Ranch and have an elephant deliver breakfast in bed.
- Connect with the most massive mammals of the sea on a year-round whale watching tour.
- Test your fear of heights at the Point Sur Lightstation in Big Sur.
- Gaze at the "greatest meeting of land and sea" at Point Lobos State Reserve where you might just spot a spouting whale in the distance.
- Go fly a kite above Monterey State Beach in Seaside.
- Lust over the million dollar mansions and Lone Cypress Tree along Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive.
- Feel miniature next to the farmer sculptures scattered around The Farm.
- Wave to a sea otter from your kayak or stand-up paddle board on Monterey Bay.
- Discover the orange and black beauties at Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary.
Art & History Challenges
- Take a stroll through memory lane and take the self-guided Path of History to many of Monterey's unique adobes and "firsts."
- See why the founder of the California mission system (Father Junipero Serra) found Carmel Mission to be his favorite.
- Visit the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast, aka Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove.
- Learn about the romantic history behind Robinson Jeffers' Tor House in Carmel.
- Hop on a Segway Tour and see the historic sites in Monterey on a 21st century device.
- Recreate a scene from Clint Eastwood's "Play Misty For Me" as you drive pass the iconic Sardine Factory near Cannery Row.
- Munch on lunch at John Steinbeck's childhood home in Salinas.
- Drool over unique art pieces in the galleries and art exhibits in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
- Take in an exhibition of natural history or 19th and 20th century art and exciting work by today's emerging artists at one of the fine museums.
Romance & Relaxation Challenges
- Demand to be pampered at an award-winning spa with a view.
- Feel the "euphoria" after a few rounds of hot and cold plunges at the Refuge.
- Pucker up with your sweetie at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove.
- Cozy up at a beach fire on Carmel Beach and watch nature's spectacular sunset show.
- Kick back and relax in an Adirondack chair at the Big Sur River Inn.
- Tee off at Bayonet Blackhorse Golf Courses; try not to be distracted by the view!
- Romp with "Fido" on beautiful Carmel Beach and afterwards head to Forge in the Forest where he will have his very own doggy menu.
- Take a selfie at Hurricane Point in Big Sur; it's sure to make your Facebook friends jealous.
- Make a wish list of all of the major events and festivals you plan to hit up throughout the year.
- Watch the luminous fog roll in around the banks of Pebble Beach.
- Mark your calendar for one of the adrenaline pumping races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
- Play where the pros play and book a tee time at the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links or one of the other 25 courses in the county.
- Get weird at Sand City's West End Celebration happening every August.
Need more ways to grab life by the moments? Stop by our Monterey Visitors Center at Lake El Estero for personal tips and guidance on your next trip!