State Parks
Local Activities
Area Attractions
Galleries & Museums
Calendar of Events

State Parks

Asilomar State Park is a proud part of the California State Parks

Andrew Molera (State Park)
The Big Sur River and miles of trails wind through Andrew Molera State Park. An equestrian concession allows visitors to enjoy much of the area on horseback. (831) 667-2315.

Asilomar (State Beach)
Open year round. Conference Grounds, rolling dunes, rugged and sandy coastlines, and historical buildings on the Monterey Peninsula. Conference facilities and individual lodging: (831) 372-8016. Ranger's office: (831) 646-6440.

Carmel River (State Beach)
This coastal strand, near its charming namesake town, offers a lagoon, fishing, and birdwatching. Extremely dangerous surf. (831) 624-4909.

Fremont Peak (State Park)
Mountain and astronomical vistas come together here, where an observatory with 30- inch telescope is available on some evenings. Picnicking, camping, and educational exhibits and programs are also offered. (831) 623-4255; Observatory 623-2465.

Garrapata (State Park)
There are miles of Big Sur coast and trails from ocean beaches through stands of cacti and redwood groves. There are no entrance signs; park at Soberanes Point. (831) 624-4909.

John Little (State Reserve)
The purpose of John Little State Reserve, in Monterey County, is to preserve and protect an area of steep, rugged cliffs on the Big Sur coast where Lime Creek enters the Pacific Ocean.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns (State Park)
Encompasses some of Big Sur's most spectacular coastline. (831) 667-2315.

Marina (State Beach)
This beach offers a ranger station, concession building, and accessible hang-gliding service. Hazardous rip currents. (831) 384-7695.

Monterey (State Historic Park)
As an early capital under Spanish and Mexican rule, this area is filled with showcase historic buildings and sites, as its museum and educational exhibits can attest. (831) 649-7118.

Monterey (State Beach)
Enjoy scuba diving, kayaking, surf-fishing, kiteflying, an accessible boardwalk, and volleyball at this park's 3 beaches. Please note: While impressive, the dark, churling water is known for its hazardous rip currents. (831) 384-7695.

Moss Landing (State Beach)
East of the park, a reserve offers great opportunities for birdwatching. Surfing and surf-fishing are popular here, but water recreation is hazardous. (831) 384-7695.

Pfeiffer Big Sur (State Park)
Here, the Big Sur River, giant redwoods, and rugged coastal mountains coincide, providing spectacular camping and hiking. (831) 667-2315.

Point Lobos (State Reserve)
Sea lions, harbor seals, gray whales, sea otters, and seabirds make this reserve their home. You can make a great day of it by hiking or picnicking. (831) 624-4909.

Point Sur (State Historic Park)
Home to the only complete turn-of-the-century light station open to the public in California, this historic park truly captures the state's seafaring past. (831) 625-4419.

Salinas River (State Beach)
The park includes protected habitats of snowy plover and other native dune animals and plants. Swimming and water sports are hazardous. (831) 384-7695.

Local Activities

Enjoy these great Monterey Bay activities

Monterey Bay and Pacific Grove California provide an abundance of activities for those visiting Asilomar.

Locals know Pacific Grove as "America's Last Hometown." Its historic downtown offers wonderful Victorian architecture, quaint shops, gourmet restaurants, bakeries, museums and art galleries. For those interested in learning more about the environment and natural beauty of Pacific Grove, the city's Natural History Museum welcomes tourists with a life sized sculpture of "Sandy the Gray Whale" at its entrance. Opened in 1881, this award-winning museum includes collections of exhibits dedicated to marine and wildlife, and California Indian artifacts.

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay itself is twice as deep and as wide as the Grand Canyon, and is world-renowned for its wonderful mix of sea creatures. Along the bay is a trail that passes Lover's Point, a perfect spot to watch playful sea otters and sea lions, and even a passing whale or two. At the northern most tip of the peninsula is Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operated lighthouse on the Pacific Coast.

Another "must see" museum is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, nestled along the shoreline overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A leading institution for research and education, the aquarium offers exhibits as grand as the ocean it depicts. The centerpiece is its Outer Bay gallery with a million gallon indoor ocean, viewed through the largest window in the world. For the Monterey Bay Aquarium upcoming schedule of events, click here.

Carmel by the Sea

No visit to this region would be complete without a visit to Carmel by the Sea, CA. Famous for its world class shopping and galleries, Carmel is a gorgeous place to spend a day. Further inland is Carmel Valley, an enchanting combination of sunshine, countryside and the agricultural charms of rustic barns, fresh produce fields, vineyards and grazing animals.

Area Attractions

Discover the Monterey Bay Aquarium, go diving and more!

Check out some of the exciting activities available in the area, by clicking here or by scrolling down the page.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Located in Monterey's historic Cannery Row, right on the edge of beautiful Monterey Bay the aquarium offers a unique look at the beauty of marine life in nearly 200 galleries and exhibits.With each visit, you'll find something new and your visit supports the Aquariums efforts to inspire conservation of the oceans.
Open every day except December 25
10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. Regular Hours
9:30 a.m. -6:00 p.m. May 28-Sept. 5 & Holidays

Click here to visit The Monterey Bay Aquarium's website. or Click here to download info on the Aquarium Adventures.


Diving is permitted in various areas throughout the Monterey Bay area. It is recommended that you do not dive alone, even if you are an experienced diver. There are dive centers and dive charters where you can rent equipment and dive with a group, and where you can also receive instruction.

  • Monterey Bay Dive Center, 225 Cannery Row #M, Monterey (831) 656-0454, 1-800-GO-SCUBA
  • Twin Otters Dive and Charters, Monterey (831) 394-4235

  • Bicycling

    The Recreation Trail is a great place to go bicycling in California. It is the least crowded before 9 a.m., and can get congested on weekends after 10:00 a.m. You can ride on city streets, and there are some areas where you can bicycle on off-road trails. At Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, you may bicycle on paved roads only. Bicycles and helmets can be rented at the Asilomar Park Store.


    Monterey sport fishing is regulated by the California Department of Fish and Game. No commercial fishing is allowed in reserves or refuges. A current California sport-fishing license is required for any person 16 years of ago and older to take fish and invertebrates. Fishing seasons, bag and size limits are enforced.

    To obtain a fishing license, you may contact the California Department of Fish and Game in Monterey at (831) 649-2870, Twenty Lower Ragsdale Drive, Monterey, CA 93940, or log onto their website.

    Special regulations apply in the Hopkins Marine Refuge, the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens Fish Refuge, the Carmel Bay Ecological Reserve, and the Point Lobos State Reserve. Boating and diving are allowed at all four locations, but contact Fish & Game regarding fishing (831) 649-2870.

    You may want to consider taking a Fishing Charter. Here are a couple to start you off:

  • Whale Watching & Fishing Trips
    48 Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey (831) 375-5951
    Email us at:
  • Randy's Fishing Trips
    66 Fisherman's Wharf #1, Monterey (831) 372-7440
    Email us at:

  • Golf

    Monterey County
    is a haven for golfers, with 14 beautiful courses, starring the world famous greens of Pebble Beach Golf Club®. Also notable are Spyglass Hills, the exclusive Cypress Point Golf Club®and the new Poppy Hills®.

    Those new to the game may want to play the gentle greens of Old Del Monte, the Peninsula's first golf course, or the Rancho Canada in Carmel Valley.

    Here are several other nearby golf courses:

  • The Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course is both challenging and a great value, only seven blocks north of Asilomar's gates
  • Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Courses, Seaside (831) 899-7271.
  • Carmel Valley Ranch, One Old Ranch Road, Carmel (831) 626-2510.
  • Golf Club at Quail Lodge, 8000 Valley Greens Drive, Carmel (831) 620-8808.
  • Monterey Peninsula Country Club, 3000 Club Road, Pebble Beach (831) 373-1556
  • Old Del Monte Golf Course, 1300 Sylvan Road, Monterey (831) 373-2700
  • Pacific Grove Golf Course, 77 Asilomar Boulevard, Pacific Grove (831) 648-3177.
  • Rancho Canada Golf Club, Carmel Valley Road, Carmel (831) 624-0111

  • Horseback Riding

    There's nothing more calming than riding horseback by the sea. Whether you prefer to ride solo or to enjoy a group trail ride, local equestrian centers can arrange the perfect riding opportunity.

  • Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, Portola Road, Pebble Beach (831) 624-2756. Scenic trail rides.
    Call ahead for groups.
  • Carmel Valley Ranch Trail rides, 1 Old Ranch Road, Carmel Valley (831) 625-9500, ext.306. Trail Rides.
    Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley (831) 659-6054. Trail rides and lessons.
  • Molera Horseback Tours, Big Sur (831) 625-5486

  • Water Activities

    One thing that Monterey has plenty of is water!
    You can take a whale watching cruise on the bay or beyond, kayak, fish, or stay close to home and brave the shoreline waters or the gently inland estuaries.

    Here are a few places to try:

  • Adventures by the Sea, 299 Cannery Row, Monterey (831) 372-1807; Kayak rentals and tours.
  • Baywatch Cruises & Glass Bottom Boats, 90 Fisherman's Wharf #1, Monterey (831) 372-7153
  • Carrera Sailing, 66 Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey (831) 375-0648;
  • Chris' Whale Watching & Fishing Trips, 48 Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey (831) 375-5951;
  • Elkhorn Slough Safari/Guided Nature Boat Tour, Moss Landing (831) 633-5555
  • Kayak Connection at the Elkhorn Slough, (831) 724-5692; Click here for website.
  • Monterey Bay Kayaks, 693 Del Monte Avenue, Monterey (831) 373-5357
  • Monterey Bay Whale & Nature Cruises, Pacific Grove (831) 375-4658
  • Olympus Sailing Charters, 48 Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey (831) 647-1957
  • Pac Star Charters, 529 Central Avenue #206, Pacific Grove, (831) 656-9336
  • Just remember to call first to maximize your experience.

    Galleries & Museums

    Discover the Monterey Art Scene!

    Art lovers and collectors will fine no shortage of original paintings and sculpture in the over 100 art galleries on the Monterey Peninsula alone, all very close to the Asilomar Conference GroundsSM.

    Some galleries do not maintain regular hours so we advise you to call ahead to be sure they are open and for directions.

  • Alexander of Florence Gallery, Mission bet. 5th & 6th, Carmel (831) 620-0732; Contemporary Italian art.
  • Anderle Gallery, Carmel (831) 624-4199;
  • Avalon Gallery, Lincoln St. bet. Ocean & 7th, in Morgan Court, Carmel (831) 622-0830; Handmade prints
  • Bohemian Fine Arts House, 6th bet. Lincoln & Dolores, Carmel (831) 626-1100; Contemporary art
  • Carl Cherry Center For The Arts, 4th & Guadalupe, Carmel (831) 624-7491
  • Carlson Gallery, 24702 Upper Trail, Carmel (831) 626-3888
  • Carmel Art Association, Dolores Street bet. 5th & 6th, Carmel (831) 624-6176; Local art.
  • Christopher Bell Studio, 200 Alvarado St, Monterey (831) 649-0214
  • Cottage Gallery, 6th & Mission, Carmel (831) 624-7888;
  • D.E. Craghead Gallery, 6th bet. Dolores & Lincoln, Carmel (831) 624-5054; Fine art
  • Dyansen Gallery, Carmel Plaza, Carmel (831) 625-6903
  • Erickson & Erickson, San Carlos, Carmel (831) 626-3048
  • G.H. Rothe Gallery, Lincoln & 7th, Carmel (831) 624-9377
  • Gallery 1000, Dolores between Ocean & 7th, Carmel (831) 624-9094
  • Gallery Americana, Lincoln & 6th, Carmel (831) 624-507:Contemporary art and sculpture
  • Gallery Sur, Dolores & 6th, Carmel (831) 626-2615;
  • Gallery Twenty One, east side of Dolores bet. Ocean & 7th Avenues, Carmel (831) 626-2700; Fine art by Eyvind Earle
  • Harrison-Keller Fine Art, 12 Center St, Carmel Valley (831) 659-7307
  • Hauk Fine Arts, 206 Fountain Ave, Pacific Grove (831) 373-6007; Early California art
  • Howard Lamar Studio, Dolores bet. Ocean & 7th, Carmel (831) 626-6725
  • Hunter Art Gallery, 26364 Carmel Rancho Lane, Carmel (831) 625-4130
  • James J. Rieser Fine Art, Dolores bet. 5th & 6th, Carmel (831) 620-0530; Early California art.
  • Jim Miller Gallery, Dolores & 6th, Carmel (831) 625-0425; Fine art by Jim Miller.
  • Jones & Terwilliger Galleries, 2 locations, San Carlos bet. 5th & 6th, Carmel (831) 626-9100; Traditional fine art.
  • Le Vernissage Gallery, Mission bet. 5th & 6th, across from Katy's, Carmel (831) 626-9272; Modern and contemporary art.
  • Monterey Museum of Art®, 559 Pacific Street, Monterey (831) 372-5477
  • New Masters Gallery, Dolores bet. Ocean & 7th, Carmel (831) 625-1511
  • Pitzer's Of Carmel, Dolores & 6th, Carmel (831) 625-2288
  • Richard Thomas Galleries, Dolores & 6th, Carmel (831) 625-5636
  • Silver Light Gallery, San Carlos at Ocean, Carmel (831) 624-4589;
  • Simic-Regal Gallery, 6th bet. San Carlos & Dolores, Carmel (831) 624-8155
  • Trotter Galleries, San Carlos nr 7th, Carmel (831) 625-3246; Early California art.
  • Weston Gallery, Inc., 6th Ave bet. Dolores & Lincoln, Carmel (831) 624-4453; 19th and 20th century photography.
  • Whittakers, Lincoln N of Ocean, Carmel (831) 624-1801
  • Winfield Gallery, 6th & Dolores, Carmel (831) 624-3369; California contemporary fine art.
  • Zane Skylar Gallery, 260 Alvarado Street, Monterey (831) 642-0840
  • Zantman Art Galleries, 6th & Mission, Carmel (831) 624-8314;

  • Wineries

    See what California's Central Coast Wineries have to offer!

    Vinophiles will love Monterey wine tasting. The Central Coast area of Monterey County has over 50 wineries, most of which have tasting rooms, and some of which offer tours of their vineyards and facilities. Some of the wineries on the list below are local, and others are a half-day trip. We recommend that you call first for directions, tasting hours, and tour schedules.

  • A Taste of Monterey Wine Visitors Center, 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, (831) 646-5446. Tasting hours: 11am-6pm, daily.
  • Ag Venture Tours & Consulting, P.O. Box 2634, Monterey, CA 93942, (831) 761-8463.
    Specializing in wine tasting, sightseeing and agricultural education tours of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties.
  • Baywood Cellars® Winery Tasting Room, 381 Cannery Row, Suite C (across from Monterey Plaza Hotel), (831) 645-9035. Hours: 11am-8pm, daily.
  • Bernardus Winery, 5 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, (800) 223-2533 or (831)659-1900. Hours: 11am-5pm, daily.
  • Chateau Julien® Wine Estate, 8940 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, (831) 624-2600. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm; Sat & Sun, 11am-5pm.
  • Chateau Sinnet, Carmel Valley Village, 13746 Center Street, Carmel Valley, (831) 659-2244, Tasting hours: 11-5, Fri, Sat, Sun & Holidays (and by appointment).
  • Galante Vineyards®, tasting room at Delores between Ocean and 7th, Carmel-by-the-Sea, (800) GALANTE.
  • Heller Estate/Durney Vineyards®, 69 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley (831) 659-6220.
  • Joullian Vineyards, Ltd., 20300 Cachagua Rd., Carmel Valley, (831) 659- 8100.
  • Taste Morgan, 204 Crossroads Boulevard, Carmel, CA 93924. Thursday - Monday, 10am - 6pm.. Phone 831-626-3700.
  • Talbott Vineyards, 53 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, CA 93924. (831) 659-3500. Tasting room hours: Thursday - Monday, 11am-5pm.
  • Ventana Vineyards®, 2999 Monterey-Salinas Hwy, Monterey, (831) 372-7415.

  • Tours

    Enjoy a Carmel & Monterey Tour by bus or bike

    Walk, bicycle, or rent a car and see the sights on your own, or you can take a guided tour of Carmel or Monterey California. Bike tours or a Monterey wine tour are just a couple of the options you can choose from below:

    Adventures by the Sea, 299 Cannery Row, Monterey (831) 372-1807;

    Ag Venture Tours & Consulting, P.O. Box 2634, Monterey, CA 93942, (831) 761-8463.
    Specializing in wine tasting, sightseeing and agricultural education tours of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties.

    Bay Watch Cruises, 96 Fisherman's Wharf #1, Monterey (831) 372-7153;
    Cannery Row Historic District, Monterey (831) 373-1902;

    Carmel Mission Basilica, 3080 Rio Road, Carmel (831) 624-3600;

    Carmel Walks, Carmel (831) 642-2700;

    Laguna Seca Raceway, 1021 Monterey-Salinas Highway, Monterey (831) 648-5111;
    Maritime Museum of Monterey, 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey (831) 375-2553;
    Monterey Bay Aquarium®, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey (831) 648-4888;
    Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 299 Foam St., Monterey (831) 647-4201;

    Monterey Bay Whale Watch, 655 Pine St., Pacific Grove (831) 375-4658;

    Monterey County Fairgrounds, Fairgrounds Road, Monterey (831) 372-5863;

    Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, 165 Forest Av., Pacific Grove (831) 648-5716;

    Calendar of Monterey Events

    Make plans to attend Monterey Peninsula social events during your stay. Contact local chambers of commerce including Monterey County:

    For a complete list, click here.

  • Big Sur Chamber of Commerce (831) 667-2100
  • Carmel Tourist Information Center (831) 624-1711
  • Carmel Valley Chamber of Commerce (831) 659-4000
  • Castroville Chamber of Commerce (831) 633-6545
  • Gilroy Chamber of Commerce (408) 842-6437
  • Marina Chamber of Commerce (831) 384-9155
  • Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (888) 221-1010
  • Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (831) 649-1770
  • Moss Landing Chamber of Commerce (831) 633-4501
  • Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce (831) 373-3304
  • Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce (831) 424-7611
  • Seaside/Sand City Chamber of Commerce (831) 394-6501

  • The above information is accredited to