Made famous by John Steinbeck in his Cannery Row series, Monterey is most recognized now by
people from all over the world for the spectacular views of Pebble Beach, the site of the golf course
that Jack Nicklaus described as "the greatest meeting of land and sea on earth", quite a statement
but one you can verify for yourself if you take the famous 17 mile drive. Discover Nature's treasures
as you explore the serene majesty of Del Monte Forest. Here you'll quickly experience the magic of a
legendary scenic tour that's home to The Lone Cypress, Seal and Bird Rocks, Fanshell Beach, Point Joe,
and the colliding currents of The Restless Sea.
You'll see black cormorants, brown pelicans, California sea otters, harbor seals, and idle sea
lions all in their natural habitat. Colorful native wildflowers dot the scene, adorning the cool,
soothing hues of the seashore and carefully preserved dunescape.
Along the way, you'll encounter the emerald fairways of such famous golf courses as The Links at
Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links.
While in Monterey you must visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium whose non profit making mission is
to inspire conservation of the oceans. Monterey Bay ranks as one of the most diverse and spectacular
marine regions. Other than the sea otters, no marine mammals live in the aquarium. But you can see
them here in abundance every day. More than 30 species of marine mammals live in or pass through
Monterey Bay-ranging in size from the five-foot-long sea otter to the hundred-foot-long blue whale.
To learn their stories, look to the aquarium. In their Marine Mammal gallery you'll find videos
and graphics that tell their tales and reveal why the bay is a haven for so many species. Click
here to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium site.
Monterey has both a rustic charm and a "tacky tourist" atmosphere something you either adore or
abhor, in my case it is adore, you can almost see Steinbeck's characters reeling under the weight of
a gallon of ripple wine, staggering through Fisherman's Wharf. Cannery Row has plenty of shopping
and is worth a visit but check out the prices of the tourist trap restaurants as some of them will
sting worse than the rays in the bay!