Beautiful Monterey on the waterfront, lovely all year round
Monerey's infamous Cannery Row, the poor, stinking sardine-packing area of town immortalised by Steinbeck, is very different these days. Now it's a vibrant strip of tourist heaven with varied gift shops, seafood restaurants and bars carved out of the old factories. It's also home to Monterey Bay Aquarium, loved by all for its vast collection of fascinating living marine creatures and brilliant interactive exhibits.
Love late nights? Cannery Row itself is packed with great pubs including the Cannery Row Brewing Company.
You can stroll from historic Cannery Row to Fisherman's Wharf, a legendary destination in itself. Or take a segway instead, wheeling along the beautiful Recreation Trail. It's an amazing trip, rich in sightings of harbour seals, sea otters and pelicans.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary comes with some of the planet's best wildlife viewing opportunities
Explore history - there are lovely old adobe homes on many streets, some open to visitors
20 world class golf courses to experience
The city is proud of its numerous museums, art galleries and performing arts spaces. And, after an afternoon lounging on the beach, there's plenty of exciting nightlife to tap into.
Northern California From £3019.00 (inc flights and hotels)
Delve into the cultural offerings of lively San Francisco before heading to Sonoma and Napa for California’s world-class wines. Soak up the jaw-dropping scenes found at Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, and head to California’s famous coast for Monterey and Big Sur.
Paint the town red Monterey-style and head for Alvarado Street and Cannery Row, where thirteen blocks of pedestrian-friendly entertainment awaits: live music bars, DJs, salsa clubs, comedy, karaoke and more.
The locals adore trivia, and you can join in with quiz nights across the city 7 days a week
Grab a pint and a bite at the city's best British pub, the Britannia Arms, run by ex-pat Brits
Visit nearby Carmel, Big Sur, Pebble Beach and Steinbeck's famously lush Salinas Valley
Fancy a road trip? Try the 99 mile long Monterey County coastline on for size, equally breathtaking in both directions. Moss Landing is great too, a fishing wharf dating back to the 1800s and now a feast of antique shops, art studios and fresh seafood.
Beach-bound? Sand City is your destination with its spectacular sand dunes, the highest on California's entire Central Coast. There's also excellent surfing and paragliding.
The West End lies a short way from the dunes at Monterey Bay, and exciting things are happening there. A community of artists is slowly regenerating the old industrial neighborhood, setting up studios as well as cool restaurants and coffee houses. It's perfect for unusual artistic souvenirs. Pacific Grove moves at an even slower pace, home to one of the USA's oldest continually operated lighthouses and a particularly fine classic 1932 golf course. Then there's the legendary Big Sur with its massive cliffs, towering rocks, huge redwood trees and endless frothy surf, a truly epic backdrop for holiday adventures. Top it off with a trip to Soledad with its wine tasting rooms, nearby Pinnacles National Park and Los Padres National Forest, both jam packed with thrilling opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The Salinas Valley lies just inland from the city, the agricultural heart of the USA as far as lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli are concerned. And it's wine country too, which makes this a splendid destination for lovers of great wines. It's full of respected vineyards and numerous wine tasting rooms, many with breathtaking views of the valley, one of the most lush and verdant you can imagine. There's romance in the air at Monterey, a prime destination for honeymooners as well as family holidays. A choice of sunset cruises, beach bonfires, long moonlight strolls and varied spa treatments delivers an unforgettable experience.
Dedicated California experts with a passion for the Golden State and the USA
Our team have all had their own California adventures, ask them for a few stories!