Bixby Bridge on Highway 1
Look through our list below. Drive times listed for most locations.
If you’re driving up or down through California, as most of our guests are, you may want to check out this website first!
The 15 most beautiful places in California – by Thrillist
SIGHTSEEING & HIKING
Jamesburg Earth Station
This 34-Ton, 10-story antenna dish is focused on a satellite more than 22,000 miles away and serves as a vital communications link in North America. Guided tours of the facilities are provided form 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Call (831) 659-2293 for information and reservations. http://www.jamesburgearthstation.com
Driving Time: 5 minutes
Los Padres Reservoir
Hiking Park next to the Cachagua Community Park, itself a pleasant picnic spot along the Carmel River. From the parking lot, it’s a half-mile hike to the lake, where trout fishing, swimming and rowboating are allowed. From the reservoir there is a variety of hiking trails that lead into the Los Padres national Forest and Ventana Wilderness. This is a popular starting point for overnight backpackers heading toward Big Sur. Overnight backpackers should sign in at the Rangers Station at China Camp out Tassajara Road. For Day trippers, a good day hike is along the Church Creek Trail above the dam.
Driving Time: 5 minutes
Garland Ranch Regional Park
Hiking The “granddaddy”’ of the MPRPD properties, representing the Monterey Park District’s first parkland acquisition. This park is home to a variety of landscapes that occur at elevations from 200 to 2,000 feet. From the willow covered banks of the Carmel River through the cottonwood-sycamore stands of the old floodplain, the trails ascend steeply. Atop the northern crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the trails encounter open oak savannas and spectacular vistas. Along the way, you will travel through maple-filled canyons, dense oak woodlands, and thick stands of chaparral. Garzas Creek gently bisects the park and provides a peaceful, shaded trail that reaches a secluded side canyon of redwoods. Day use activities include hiking, photography, horseback riding, jogging, walking, bird watching, painting and simple solitude, and limited mountain bike riding in the Cooper Ranch area.
Driving Time: 40 minutes
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Leisurely walks “The greatest meeting of land and water in the world.” That was famed landscape artist Francis McComas’s bold but justified claim for Point Lobos. All who come here agree that the beauty of this tree-clad headland is unequaled. People wax poetic about Point Lobos. The Point Lobos Foundation has created this website as a vehicle for you to get important information that will help make your visit all the more enjoyable. Walk the trails. Breathe the clean air deeply. Reflect at your leisure. Discover Nature’s spirit for yourself. They also provide you with the opportunity to share your artistic interpretation of this incredible spot. You can upload your Point Lobos photography, fine art, and literary offerings, yes even your poetry to their site
Driving Time: 55 minutes
Julia Pfeiffer State Park
Leisurely walk ￼For most visitors, “Big Sur” is synonymous with popular Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Often overlooked is a smaller slice of Big Sur located ten miles south—Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It’s a shame to overlook it. A redwood grove, dramatic coastal vistas, and the only major California waterfall to tumble into the Paciﬁc are some of the park’s attractions. The park is a tribute to hardy pioneer Julia Pfeiffer Burns, remembered for her deep love of the Big Sur backcountry. Her father, Michael Pfeiffer, started a ranch in the Santa Lucia Mountains in 1869. In 1915, Julia Pfeiffer married John Burns, and the two ran a cattle ranch while living at their home located south of the present park. Driving Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Monterey Bay Aquarium ￼
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day. For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org
Driving Time: 60 minutes
Monterey Bay Equestrian Center
Offers a full range of equestrian services from an exhilarating ride along the beach to a romantic horse-drawn carriage for your wedding or special occasion.
19805 Pesante Rd., Salinas, CA 93907 831/663-5712