Enhance Your Itinerary
Ansel Adams once mused: "You don't take a photograph, you make it." Perhaps we can all take a cue from the celebrated photographer, who lived on the Monterey Peninsula from 1962 to 1984 and found immeasurable inspiration in its breathtaking beauty. In many ways, we don't just book a reservation for a getaway; we make a memorable journey by getting away. Rest assured, any trip to this Central Coast paradise offers endless opportunities to create experiences of a lifetime. There are few places on the planet where you can begin a day with a farm-to-table breakfast by the sea and later find yourself walking along trails in a forested haven among the largest remaining native Monterey pine groves in the world, only to top it all off with a celebratory toast with local, award-winning wine surrounded by friends and loved ones — and stellar ocean views to boot.
Still, it never hurts to have a guide to enhance the sojourn. If there is one thing I have discovered about my tenure living on the Peninsula, it's that there is always a winning trifecta at work. It comes in the form of inspiration, renewal, and connection. A thriving local arts scene and live entertainment are grand, but knowing more about the backstory of a renowned local artist, photographer, or performance venue is a definite perk. A day-spa getaway may feel even more revitalizing if you know where to find one that is thoroughly costeffective. And heading out to Carmel Valley for a one-of-a-kind experience in — what's this? — beekeeping might become even more interesting when you discover that it's run by an enterprising soul who waved goodbye to Silicon Valley tech life and found bliss connecting locals with nature on a pastoral lavender farm.
It is all here, and we unravel it in this outing of GuestLife Monterey Bay, which also links you to the area's diverse mix of locals who enrich the Monterey Peninsula experience. (Oh, they are a friendly bunch — and the stories they will share are inspiring.) And, like any Ansel Adams photograph, you are bound to discover many other surprising nuances, too. This glorious arena is filled with remarkable beauty, yes, but keep exploring, and you are bound to experience something downright magical. Enjoy the journey! — Greg Archer
Photo by Michelle Magdalena
No other place in America matches the breathtaking majesty of the Monterey Peninsula. Newcomer or frequent visitor, lifelong memories are created in every town within this inspiring haven. Explore at will.
Pacific Grove »»
In A Nutshell: Über-friendly proverbial American hometown with a penchant for monarch butterflies.
Carmel Valley »»
In A Nutshell: Country ranch portal with more than a dozen wine tasting rooms, scenic hiking trails, boutique shops, great meals, and some of the friendliest locals
in Central California.
In A Nutshell: California’s original state capital turned idyllic destination for awardwinning cuisine, festive nightlife, and a wharf worthy of repeat visits. Oh, and plenty of Steinbeck influences.
In A Nutshell: Dog-friendly. Dog-friendly. Dog-friendly. All that in a scenic European-like village setting with a multitude of art galleries, high-end shopping, charismatic boutiques, and charming cafes and restaurants.
Pebble Beach »»
In A Nutshell: Photo-friendly coastal dreamland with lush forests, scenic drives, and upscale yet approachable lodges, golf, and dining.
Big Sur »»
In A Nutshell: Rustic paradise with a boho vibe and centuries-old forests. All that plus hiking trails, campgrounds, scenic adventures, and ambitious dining experiences.