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Located on the world renowned Big Sur coastline Monterey/Carmel is wrapped by the Pacific Ocean on three sides of the Monterey Peninsula and offers wind-tossed beaches, quiet coves, fine dining, casual eateries, history, postmodern art, romance and a big blue sea.

First stop along the coast is artsy Carmel-by-the-Sea, (locals just call it Carmel). Stroll the sands of Carmel Beach, explore the bluffs/cliffs and wind-twisted trees at nearby Point Lobos State Reserve. Visit Carmel Mission, one of the state’s most beautiful old missions. Enjoy Carmel’s main village and gallery-lined streets, cosy gastropubs and even cosier inns.

Continue around the arc to Monterey Bay. Being the former capital of Spanish California the town has a great sense of history to it with the classic buildings adding a certain historic charm to the town. Visit the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and see why it enjoys a great reputation for its interactive exhibits and ability to present marine life on a truly grand scale. Step outside and find yourself among hotels, shops and restaurants along Cannery Row, the waterfront street made famous by local author John Steinbeck. Rent bikes to follow the coast around the peninsula to Pacific Grove, Asilomar State Beach, see the million-dollar homes and celebrated Pebble Beach golf courses along the 28km drive.

Top Tips

Big Sur, welcome to one of the world’s most unforgettable stretches of coastline. This 145km-long stretch of redwood and fog-trimmed waterfront between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle is quite simply a place you want to be!


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