Monterey's Many Hidden Gems

Monterey is not only stunningly beautiful by nature, it's an historical and ecological cornerstone of California. Experience its less-known state parks, hidden gem hikes, a coastal trail to a lighthouse, marvelous food and culture, and the brilliance of Monterey Bay Aquarium's newest exhibit and special guided tours.

Week: 10.18.2023
Regions: Northern & Southern CA

To the Lighthouse

Bike to Historic Point Pinos Lighthouse Along the Monterey Coastal Recreation Trail

Bike the Monterey Coastal Recreation Trail
Point Pinos Lighthouse
Dustbowl Brewing Monterey
Dustbowl Brewing Monterey
The Monterey Recreation Trail is one of America's most beautiful coastal experiences, accessible to bikers, strollers, rollers, and walkers. This 8-mile (round-trip) bike ride follows premier parts of the trail before detouring to Pacific Grove's storied Point Pinos Lighthouse.
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Deeper Meanings

Monterey Bay Aquarium Behind the Scenes Tour and Into the Deep Exhibit

Monterey Bay Aquarium Behind the Scenes
Monterey Bay Aquarium Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes Monterey Bay Aquarium
Behind the Scenes Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium brings wonder, inspiration, and education to visitors, including its excellent "Behind the Scenes" tour and outstanding new bilingual exhibit, Into the Deep/En lo Profundo.
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Dune It Right

Watch a Beach Sunset at Ford Ord Dunes State Park in Monterey

Paraglider at Fort Ord Dunes State Park
Sunset at Fort Ord Dunes State Park
Sunset at Fort Ord Dunes State Park
Want a beach that will really get you away from it all? Monterey's Fort Ord Dunes State Park is just the ticket. And it often glows golden toward sunset.
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Hike Elkhorn Slough Reserve

Enjoy Quiet Hikes and Wildlife at Elkhorn Slough Reserve in Monterey

woman hiking Elkhorn Slough Reserve in Monterey
pelican flying at Elkhorn Slough Reserve
woman on bench at Elkhorn Slough Reserve
Elkhorn Slough Reserve
Elkhorn Slough Reserve is one of California’s few remaining coastal wetlands. Go on a hike and marvel at one of the state's largest coastal salt marshes, a valued habitat for birds, plant life, sea otters, and marine mammals.
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Path of History Walk (+ Food Bonuses)

Do the Self-Guided Path of History Walk in Monterey

old church on Monterey Path of History
Monterey Path of History medallion
Alta Bakery Monterey Path of History
woman walking Monterey Path of History
Monterey’s 2-mile yellow tiled, multilingual Path of History is a do-it-yourself stroll among some of the area’s most interesting, beautiful, and culturally significant sites, including through the Old Town, past Mexican-era adobes, and to the beautiful Royal Presidio Chapel.
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Trending Stories NorCal

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  1. Cañada Collage

    This 4.3-mile loop through Cañada Del Oro Open Space Preserve showcases all the highlights of the season, thrumming with wildlife and wildflowers.

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  2. The Beauty of Bainbridge Island

    You know a place is special when locals head to it for their in-state vacations. Follow the lead of Seattleites and venture to beautiful Bainbridge Island in the heart of Puget Sound on the Kitsap Peninsula. Hike the Grand Forest here, meet Pia the Peacekeeper, and enjoy tasty food and drinks.

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  3. Little Norway

    There aren’t many small towns in America that look and feel like Europe, but Washington State sure seems to have a few! Lesser known among them is Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula. Dubbed “Little Norway,” this hamlet on the waterfront of Liberty Bay is charmed with Scandinavian influence.  

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  4. old church on Monterey Path of History

    Path of History Walk (+ Food Bonuses)

    Monterey’s 2-mile yellow tiled, multilingual Path of History is a do-it-yourself stroll among some of the area’s most interesting, beautiful, and culturally significant sites, including through the Old Town, past Mexican-era adobes, and to the beautiful Royal Presidio Chapel.

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Trending Stories SoCal

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  1. Sponsored

    A Very Bavarian Spring

    Ready to change up your spring scenery? Pack your bags for this alpine adventure in Washington State’s Cascade Mountains. The Bavarian-style hamlet of Leavenworth could be a stand-in for a mountain village in Europe.

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  2. Be Dune-spired!

    There’s only one urban park on the planet that helped inspire a major theme in Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi book, Dune. Herbert was born and raised in Tacoma, and Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park is named in honor of his famous novel—a tribute to one of the book’s main ideas ...

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  3. Go Big in Bremerton

    Make your way to the largest city on the Kitsap Peninsula, Bremerton. Best known for its naval and maritime heritage, there’s also plenty of outdoors to explore, including a hidden treasure within the Puget Sound Basin: the Keta Legacy Foundation Rhododendron Preserve.

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  4. Dume in Bloom

    During wildflower season, nature puts on a spectacular show, and one the best places to see it is at Point Dume Natural Preserve in Malibu. 

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