While you've been staying at home during the covid-19 crisis, staying safe and protecting your loved ones, nature has been healing too. The skies are clearer, oceans purer, and animals are roaming more freely again – reports from all corners of the globe are stating that nature is reclaiming the Earth.
To you wishful wanderers, we know you would rather be out witnessing these phenomena. Here in Monterey, the skies are blue, the beaches are beautiful, and the parks and trails are calling to be explored. And while we are not out the woods with covid-19, we think it's time to head to the woods to reboot and readjust to a new way of life.
The Best Monterey Hiking, Biking, Driving and Outdoor Activities
If you're craving ocean breezes and outdoor adventure, the beaches, golf courses, parks and trails are opening up for summer recreation and wellness. So, get out and enjoy a day of biking, hiking, kayaking, or golf in Monterey and discover one of the most picturesque coastal retreats in California. Of course, with proper social distancing.
One of the best ways to explore the scenic beauty of Monterey County is by hiking its parks, trails, back roads, and by-ways. Pack a picnic and point your compass to our favorite parks and places in Monterey County to experience nature and rejuvenate body and spirit.
Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail
Rent a bike, surrey, or in-line skates from the many local shops and follow the old route of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Walk, bike, and explore the Monterey Bay coastline for 18 miles,
from Castroville to Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. This very scenic coastal trail connects the best attractions in Monterey, including historic Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, with gorgeous ocean views along the way. Stop for a picnic in the grass or go kayaking in the bay. Just one rule: stick to your lane.
Hiking in Pinnacles National Park
Discover the beautiful county coastline of Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, and Salinas Valley from its nature and hiking trails. Pinnacles National Park showcases 30 miles of hiking trails for adventure through the beautiful landscape. Hikes range from flat grasslands to uphill climbs through caves to the rocky spires that park is famous for. Take the Moses Spring Trail through dirt tracks, stone tunnels, small cave systems and giant boulder formations to the Bear Gulch Reservoir. If you have a flashlight, check out the darker Bear Gulch Cave Trail for a fascinating experience.
Jacks Peak County Park
Enjoy a day hike in this beautiful county park with 8.5 miles of walking and hiking trails with postcard views of Monterey Bay. Located in Monterey, the park offers 11 trails including the Skyline Nature Trail, Iris Trail, and Rhus Trail with sweeping views of Carmel Valley and Point Lobos. See fossils embedded in the shale as you walk the Coffeeberry Trail.
Day Hikes in Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur
Down the coast in Big Sur, this breathtaking state park offers 20 miles of trails through dramatic coastal terrain, including the two-mile loop on the Beach and Creamery Meadow Trail. The Beach Trail winds along the Big Sur River to the beach along the Big Sur coast. Take the Bluff Trail and Panorama Trail along the bluffs and woods with spectacular views of the ocean and coastline. Hike the Ridge Trail, with vistas of the Big Sur Valley, North Shore Trail with steep cliffs and views of Carmel and Pebble Beach, or the Cypress Grove loop through cypress trees and seaside cliffs. Explore the Sea Lion Point Trail with sights of sea lions and rock formations.
Day Trips to Carmel and Big Sur
Plan a day trip down the coast to Carmel and Big Sur for some of the most beautiful hikes and vistas on the California Coast. Enjoy walking trails through forests and open meadows traversing the Carmel River at Garland Park in Carmel Valley. Go discover the gorgeous coastal trails in the Point Lobos State Reserve or head south to Los Padres National Forest, Limekiln State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for unforgettable adventures in Big Sur.
Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive
Feel like cruising along the Pacific coast. Between Pacific Grove and the gates of Pebble Beach lies the most picturesque drive on the Monterey Peninsula: 17-Mile Drive. Immerse yourself in awe-inspiring sunsets over the ocean and iconic landmarks like The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, Stillwater Cove, the Del Monte Forest, and the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. Stop off for a picnic on Seal Rock or Bird Rock with deer and barking sea lions.
Relax and Reboot with Inns of Monterey
Need a break from home after all this? A day in nature? A romantic getaway? Head to California's central coast and experience unmatched coastal views, beautiful rooms and suites, incredible cuisine, and amazing sights with Inns of Monterey. Our collection of boutique hotels puts you within steps and minutes of Monterey's beaches, trails, parks, fairways and outdoor freedom so you can recharge in the serenity of nature. Get in touch with our hotels or concierge team to book one of our specials or plan the perfect day trip or getaway to Monterey Bay. Meanwhile, #staysafe. The world is waiting.