Monterey Travel Guide

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Califnornia's Big Sur

Califnornia's Big Sur


Highways 1 and 101 nearly converge in Monterey County. Here, rugged California headlands shelter numerous campsites in Pfeiffer Big Sur, Julia Pfeiffer Burns, and Andrew Molera state parks at world-famous Big Sur. The jagged shoreline of Point Lobos State Reserve, an underwater ocean preserve, is home to a variety of sea mammals. For more civilized pursuits, the quaint community of Carmel-by-the-Sea offers inviting shops and restaurants and the 1770 mission, San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.

Cruise 17-Mile Drive, a loop along the coast from Carmel through Pebble Beach to Pacific Grove. Continue up the peninsula to Monterey. Visit the Maritime Museum; the Custom House, the state's oldest government building; and Fisherman's Wharf, where you can stroll among fish stalls, shops, and restaurants. Drive Lighthouse Road to Cannery Row. Here, old cannery buildings house shops, galleries, and restaurants. John Steinbeck's novel Cannery Row was set here when the bay flowed with "silver rivers of fish." Today, the fish are at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, home to more than 6,500 marine animals. The aquarium's Outer Bay exhibit, a million-gallon indoor sea behind a vast window, opens this year. Monterey Bay is a national marine sanctuary.

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