5 Things to Do in Monterey, California

There’s no dispute that Monterey and the surrounding area contain some of the most picturesque landscape you’ll find in not only California, but also the U.S. Located in Central California on a peninsula, the area offers a lot to see and do, both inside and outdoors. To begin your Monterey adventure, book a stay at Marina Dunes. Located adjacent to the Marina Dunes Preserve with its stunning dunes, Marina Dunes accommodations include your choice of three rental cottages with queen-sized sleeping options, a separate bathroom and fully equipped kitchen or one of the ultra-unique glamping tents.

  1. Visit Big Sur: It’s a little under an hour’s drive from the resort to Big Sur, but we guarantee the ride will be epic in terms of scenery. There’s so much along the way, you’ll be tempted to stop but we think these places are worthy of their own visit, so let’s just get to Big Sur. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Parks offers amazing overlooks and great hiking while Pfeiffer Beach is home to the unique purple sand. Lunch at Nepenthe promises more great views while Bixby Bridge provides perfect photo ops. It was rated the #1 Instagram Worthy Destination in 2019!

  2. Carmel-by-the-Sea: This town is pure charm – and lots of it! There are art galleries, restaurants, shops, scenic views, and the beach. Consider a Carmel food tour or a self-guided historic walking tour which starts at the First Murphy House, which is also the Welcome Center where you can learn more about the walk and the sites you’ll see. There are wine tastings and plenty of special events including the upcoming 27th Annual Carmel Art Festival set for May 13-15 and the 28th Winemaker’s Celebration, scheduled for May 7. 

Sea Otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium
  1. Marine Things: Of course, as a coastal city, there is plenty of focus on all things water here including whale watching excursions and a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium’s exhibits include the underwater Kelp Forest, playful sea otters and ocean-view decks to watch for humpback whales. Speaking of whale watching, check out the Monterey Bay Whale Watch group that offers a variety of excursions to view whales, orcas, and dolphins. For details visit gowhales.com. You can also go tide pooling at McAbee Beach or kayak the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (rentals available at adventuresbythesea.com).

  2. Drive Time: There are several scenic drives (although what wouldn’t be scenic here) and they include the 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. Photo op stops on the 17-Mile Drive include the iconic Lone Cypress, Ghost Trees at Pescadero Point, and Cypress Point Lookout. Another kind of driving is done here too as the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links are here – while it is a public course, tee-time reservations are typically done at least 18 months in advance and a round can be quite pricey, like $575 pricey!  But, you can stop in at the Visitor Center which has several exhibits and enjoy a drink and a snack on the Visitor Center’s patio.

  3. Soak up the beautiful weather with a walk or bike ride along the 18-mile Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Its’ a great way to see the coastal countryside as well as visit some of the attractions along the way like Fisherman’s Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Cannery Row. Plus, at the end of the day, you won’t need to sneak in a workout since that breezy bike ride doubled as your exercise for the day!
Marina Dunes Cottage
Marina Dunes RV Resort Cottage

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National Beautiful Day

Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA.

Beauty is subjective, thus the saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” What one person sees as beauty may well not be what another person sees in the very same thing. Whatever your idea of beauty may be, make sure you celebrate November 20, which is National Beautiful Day, any way you see fit!

Tiny House Otto at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA.

Beautiful Leavenworth: Without doing much, Leavenworth, Washington, is considered a beautiful town. With its Bavarian-style architecture, mountain backdrop, and quaint downtown it’s quite pretty. Toss in the thousands and thousands of twinkling lights during the holidays and one word comes to mind: beautiful! Plan a stay at the equally beautiful Leavenworth Tiny House Village to enjoy beautiful Leavenworth.

Yurt at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort in Groveland, CA.

Beautiful Yosemite: In a recent poll of its followers, roughguides.com asked them to name the most beautiful locations in the USA. California’s Yosemite National Park topped the list, which also included the Grand Canyon and the entire state of Alaska. Take a trip and see what makes Yosemite a list-maker. For beautiful views, check out El Capitan, Vernal Fall, and Mirror Lake. Stay in a serenely beautiful yurt or cozy cabin at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort while exploring the natural beauty of Yosemite.

Beautiful Crater Lake: Again, a list-maker when it comes to the most beautiful lakes in the US, Oregon’s Crater Lake is known for the beautiful blue color of the lake. The surrounding mountains and towering pines make the views here real stunners! Spend a beautiful day driving the 33-mile Rim Drive which offers breathtaking views of meadows, forests, and the lake.  Book a tranquilly beautiful yurt and stay at Bend-Sunriver RV Campground.

Crater Lake is in Klamath County, OR.

Beautiful Drive: The 17-Mile Drive, which runs along California’s Monterey Peninsula, is a short, but oh so sweet drive of the beautiful kind. With the coast of the Pacific as your companion, the highlights of this drive include Bird Rock (what do you think they are buzzing about?); the Lone Cypress (one of Cali’s most famous landmarks); and Pescadero Point with its fab views of Point Lobos. Check out the unique accommodations at Morgan Hill RV Resort and choose from a cottage, cabin, or safari tent.

Beautiful Sunsets: The Travel Magazine calls them gorgeous sunsets and we all know gorgeous is another word for…beautiful!  Here’s one place to catch the beauty in California, according to the magazine’s list of the 10 best sunsets in the state.  Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara, also called Hendry’s Beach by the locals, offers one beautiful sunset, over and over and over again. On the other side of the country, the sunsets are just as beautiful and some of the most beautiful can be found in Key West, Florida. And Key Westers tend to make it a regular celebration – check out the fun at the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration and catch one of Key West’s spectacular sunsets. For the east coast sunset, consider at stay in a colorful tiny house at Sunshine Key Tiny House Village or colorful cottages at Fiesta Key RV Resort, and for Cali-style sunsets, Rancho Oso has great cabins for rent.

Colorful cottages at Fiesta Key RV Resort in Long Key, FL.

Beautiful S’Mores: True, they are nothing more than some crackers, sugar, and chocolate but who doesn’t think a perfect s’more is a thing of beauty? Some fun ideas to mix it up could include substituting the chocolate for almond butter and banana, switching out the graham crackers for snickerdoodle cookies; or the truly beautiful s’more made with chocolate graham crackers, sliced strawberries, and dark chocolate. Check out some of our favorite gourmet s’mores 1927smores.com.

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