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Escape the City: Unforgettable Road Trips from Monterey, CA

By Mia Bach, Posted on 26 Apr, 2020 at 07:31 am

Escape the City: Unforgettable Road Trips from Monterey, CA

Monterey, California, is not only a captivating city in itself but also a gateway to breathtaking landscapes and charming towns that are perfect for road trip adventures. If you're looking to escape the city and embark on a memorable journey, here are some top road trips from Monterey that will take you through stunning scenery, coastal beauty, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
 

1. Big Sur: Highway 1 Coastal Drive

A road trip along the iconic Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, is an absolute must for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Heading south from Monterey, you'll embark on a scenic drive that hugs the rugged cliffs of the Big Sur coastline. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, dramatic cliffs, and pristine beaches. Make stops at notable landmarks such as Bixby Bridge, McWay Falls, and Pfeiffer Beach. Camping, hiking, and beachcombing opportunities abound, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Big Sur.
 

2. Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pebble Beach

Take a short drive from Monterey to the picturesque town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Known for its quaint charm, pristine beaches, and art galleries, Carmel offers a delightful escape. Explore the enchanting streets lined with fairy-tale cottages and visit the famous Carmel Mission Basilica. Continue your journey to the neighboring Pebble Beach, home to world-renowned golf courses and stunning coastal scenery. Marvel at the iconic Lone Cypress and enjoy a scenic drive along the 17-Mile Drive, where you'll be treated to panoramic ocean views and picturesque landmarks.
 

3. Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Mountains

Head north from Monterey to the vibrant city of Santa Cruz, known for its laid-back atmosphere, iconic beach boardwalk, and surf culture. Take a stroll along the Santa Cruz Wharf, ride the vintage carousel, or catch some waves at the famous Steamer Lane surf spot. For a change of scenery, venture into the Santa Cruz Mountains, where you'll find picturesque redwood forests, charming wineries, and quaint mountain towns like Felton and Boulder Creek. Explore Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, go wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region, or embark on a scenic drive along Highway 9.
 

4. Monterey Wine Country: Carmel Valley and Salinas Valley

Discover the wine regions surrounding Monterey by taking a road trip through Carmel Valley and the Salinas Valley. Drive east from Monterey into Carmel Valley, a hidden gem known for its scenic vineyards, boutique wineries, and upscale resorts. Indulge in wine tasting and sample the region's acclaimed Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Continue your journey south into the Salinas Valley, often referred to as the "Salad Bowl of the World." Explore the agricultural beauty of the region and visit wineries, farms, and farmers' markets that offer a bounty of fresh produce.
 

5. Pinnacles National Park

If you're seeking outdoor adventure and unique landscapes, a road trip to Pinnacles National Park is a must. Located east of Monterey, this national park showcases towering rock formations, expansive caves, and diverse wildlife. Hike through the park's rugged trails, keeping an eye out for California condors, the park's iconic inhabitants. Experience the thrill of spelunking in the talus caves or enjoy a scenic picnic surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Pinnacles National Park is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility.
 

Embark on these unforgettable road trips from Monterey, and you'll discover the wonders that lie just beyond the city's borders. From coastal drives to mountain retreats, each journey promises awe-inspiring landscapes, charming towns, and unique experiences. Hit the road, embrace the freedom of the open highway, and let the beauty of the Central Coast and beyond unfold before your eyes.

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About Author

Mia Bach

Mia produces the best blogs when it comes to the cuisines of different countries. She's a foodie-cum-travel enthusiast, which makes her one of the best food travel bloggers!

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