The Great California Road Trip

2015 Fall Getaway to Monterey County

Buckle up for the great California road trip. Destination: Monterey County! Autumn on this part of the California Coast is simply magnificent. Gas up, here we go!

The Great Beach Connection: Whether it's sinking your feet into the soft lavender sands at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, cozying up to a bonfire at dog-friendly Carmel Beach, or exploring the turquoise tide pools of Point Lobos State Park, Monterey County makes beach-goers giddy with options: Check out the 7 secret beaches of Monterey.

Food, Wine, Music Fest: Outdoor events hit all the right notes in Monterey, especially the one voted the world's best jazz festival four times over: the Monterey Jazz Festival (September 18–20). Hungry for more? Try Taste of Carmel!

Favorites + Hidden Gems: Surprise! Some of Monterey's most famous spots also harbor hidden gems. Cannery Row has the Monterey Bay Aquarium, whose creative exhibits are a favorite with visitors. But did you know you can enjoy a Monterey County wine tasting experience next door? A Taste of Monterey—set right above the lapping waters of Monterey Bay—serves a variety of the region's top-rated wines. Tip: Pair your tasting with sunset for a Bayutiful moment.

See all the upcoming food, wine, and cultural events, plus find great deals on fall lodging and dining at

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  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

  2. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.

  3. Strolling With Sam

    Most people come to Samuel P. Taylor State Park for the beautiful creekside campground and picnic areas. But the hiking here can be pleasantly peaceful on a short trail featuring old-growth redwood trees.

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    Four Ways to Fall for North Lake Tahoe

    As vivid autumn colors start to line the sky and crowds begin to dwindle, North Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking secret season takes over and is a favorite among locals. With turning leaves, crisp air, and 12 towns to explore, North Lake Tahoe is the place to disconnect.


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  1. Apple of Your Eye

    That fall feeling is definitely in the air and on display at the Oak Glen Preserve. Apple orchards and colorful leaves are a bonus, as are the apple cider donuts and slushies you can enjoy post-hike.

  2. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

  3. Rock Star Hike

    The sandstone giants of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park might be the coolest damn formations in SoCal. Explore the craggy slabs on a 2.5-mile hike.

  4. Clarity in Claremont

    The majority of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is inaccessible, rugged terrain but there’s a 4.9-mile moderate loop that’s well-maintained and feels gloriously far away, despite being close to the city.