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Itching to skedaddle from the office and get a little loose? Wish you were gazing at the bottom of a Margarita glass rather than that soul-destroying spreadsheet? Time to head to Monterey!
Get ready to meet some new besties! Approximately 28,000 people call this place home.
The state capital, Sacramento, lies 220 kilometres north of this destination, while Capitola is located 40 kilometres north.
Monterey is, as you no doubt already know, where you can visit Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Stanford University. Fishermans Wharf and the California State University Monterey Bay also appear on the pages of almost every Monterey travel guide, and they simply cannot be passed by!
If you're holidaying with the entire family, trips to Dennis the Menace Park and the Monterey County Fairgrounds are guaranteed to be a winner. If you're after even more fun and excitement, the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and the MY Museum Monterey County Youth Museum are a couple of additional options.
You're going to want to keep your eyes wide open as the racers rip around the course at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. One blink at these speeds and you're going to miss it!
Know how to tell your shiraz from your cabernet sauvignon? Whether you're a wine collector or a novice who simply likes a good drop, you'll learn something new at the Bernardus Winery and the Galante Vineyards. For an even deeper look into the industry, continue to the Ventana Vineyard and the Talbotts Vineyards.
Take a break from all that sightseeing and rollick in the grass at Lone Cypress Pine and Toro County Park. Also consider spending a bit of time enjoying the grounds of Ramsay Park and Big Sur Spirit Garden.
Whether you're seeking a city map, brochures or a little inspiration for things to see and do, you’ll find it at Big Sur Station. Carmel Chamber of Commerce is also a great source of local information.
Perhaps you're in need of a space to quieten the endless hum of your mind. If so, the swirling waters of McWay Falls might just be your answer.
If you can hear the sea calling your name, put on your sunglasses and take off to Carmel Beach or Manresa State Beach. Those who would love to discover more should continue to Sunset State Beach and Asilomar State Beach.
Put on some comfy walking shoes and get set to go adventuring. There are a number of nature reserves in the surrounding area that are just waiting to be enjoyed. The fresh, clean air and natural surroundings at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Point Lobos State Reserve are as rejuvenating as it gets. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Fort Ord Dunes State Park are two more that are worth checking out.
If you're looking to learn something new or even just escape a wet-weather day, the National Steinbeck Center and the Presidio of Monterey Museum ought to be on your itinerary. Ask about guided tours or study the eye-opening exhibits at your own pace. The Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum and The Shakespeare Society of America are also leading alternatives.
From the design and construction of ships to the instruments found onboard, the interesting displays at the Maritime Museum and the Stanton Center will entice anyone with an interest in seafaring history.
The interesting scientific artefacts and gadgets showcased at the Doc Rickett's Pacific Biological Laboratories could keep you intrigued for days on end. To get straight to the best stuff, you might like to ask about any upcoming tours.
For an educational day out, make your way over to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Here you can learn about an assortment of weird and wacky things.
With a good range of excellent art collections to choose from, you might need a little push in the right direction. We suggest picking up a strong coffee and heading straight to the Portola Art Gallery or the Monterey Museum of Art. Also check what exhibitions are being held at the Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada and the Grove Homescapes.
Discover exhibits full of artefacts and images that tell the fascinating story of this region at the Pajaro Valley Historical Association.
Taking time to visit historical sights is a superb way to gain a real understanding of bygone times. Immerse yourself in Monterey's past at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Filoli. If that doesn't satisfy the history buff in you, also check out Tor House and the Boronda Adobe History Center.
A piece of architecture that has spanned the waters of Monterey for what seems like an age, Bixby Bridge is a crucial aspect of the city's history that no one should overlook.
Fascinated by religion? Learn about the city's relationship with faith at Carmel Mission Basilica and St Mary's by the Sea. Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo and Mission Soledad will also interest anyone wanting some quiet reflection.
They're unlikely to be on the front cover of the inflight magazine, but the Henry Miller Memorial Library and the Cherry Center for the Arts are still well worth an outing. Partington Cove and the Big Sur Discovery Center are two more options.
With such an awesome range, you won't have any issues getting your hands on your Monterey hotel. At the mo, lastminute.com.au lists more than 139 digs.
Whether you're looking for a simple room or one with the whole kit and caboodle, Monterey has you sorted. For great service that won't cost you an arm and a leg, check out the Best Western Carmel's Town House Lodge (NW corner of San Carlos St & 5th Ave) or the Magic Carpet Lodge (1875 Fremont Blvd). But if a little luxury is more what you are after, the L Auberge Carmel or the Carmel Valley Ranch ought to do the trick.
With an attraction like Monterey Bay Aquarium, it's no wonder you're eager to visit Monterey. Why not squeeze the most out of this renowned icon and stay close by? The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa and the Martine Inn are both within a short stroll.
Reviewed on 16 Aug. 2019
^Savings based on all package bookings made with Flight + Hotel on lastminute.com.au from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.