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Marina, CA 93933

Monterey County Cities and Regions

Monterey County is a study in contrasts. From its dramatic coastline to its fertile farmland, from its stunning beaches to its sun-kissed valleys, from its Victorian houses to its vibrant wharf, Monterey offers the visitor a wealth of experiences. Artists and writers have painted, photographed and written about its breathtaking cliffs and agriculturally rich valleys, valleys that supply fresh veg and salad greens to the entire nation. Monterey abounds with a variety of fascinating sea and land creatures as well.

Year-round, outdoor activities vie with cultural events, farmer's markets and luxury resorts for the visitor's attention. A tour of Monterey's flourishing wineries is a pleasantly visual and gustatory experience. The people of Monterey County have a diverse and lively past.

Come and explore the contrasts of Monterey, "one of the most beautiful meetings of land and sea in the world."

  • 120 miles south of San Francisco, 60 miles south of San Jose and 345 miles north of Los Angeles.
  • Monterey County is bordered by Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz County to the north, the Gabilan Mountain Range and San Benito
  • County to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and San Luis Obispo County to the south.
  • Monterey County is comprised of 12 incorporated cities and several unincorporated locales. It is divided into the following regions: Monterey Peninsula (Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Valley, Seaside, Sand City, Del Rey Oaks, and Pebble Beach); Big Sur; North County (Marina, Moss Landing, Prunedale, Castroville and others); and the Salinas Valley (Salinas, Soledad, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, and others).
  • All the Peninsula incorporated cities are within 3 to 10 miles of each other.

Population / Facilities:
  • Total County population is about 400,000 (Calif. State Dept. of Finance estimate at 1/1/99).
  • Total Peninsula population is just over 130,000, concentrated in seven incorporated cities.
  • The population of unincorporated areas totals about 25,000*
  • Monterey County visitorship was about 4 million in 2000**
  • Total number of lodging facilities on the Peninsula is 210, with 9,588 rooms. There are a total of 253 commercial lodging facilities with 12,000 rooms countywide.
    • *Population figures from the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments
    • **Visitorship figures from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and California Division of Tourism

  • Average summer temperatures range from 51 to 68 degrees F
  • Average winter temperatures range from 44 to 61 degrees F
  • Warmest months are July through October
  • Average yearly rainfall totals 18 inches, and is concentrated primarily between the months of November and April
  • Spring and Fall months are known for the most pleasant weather conditions
  • Summer months on the coast can often be foggy due to the chilly and unchanging water temperature of the Pacific Ocean

  • Monterey Peninsula Airport (831-648-7000), 3 miles east of Monterey off Hwy 68. United Express, America West and American Eagle offer direct flights into Monterey via San Francisco, Los Angeles or Phoenix.
  • Marina Municipal Airport (831-582-0102), 2 miles east of Marina. Serves local and transient light aircraft.
  • Greyhound Bus Lines (831-373-4735), 1042 Del Monte Avenue, Monterey. Service to and in the county, including Gonzales, King City, Salinas, and Soledad.
  • Amtrak (800-872-7245), 11 Station Place, Salinas. Direct service from Seattle or Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight, with onward bus connections to Monterey and Carmel.

  • US Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey. Housed in the old Del Monte Hotel and adjacent buildings, this institution offers graduate-level education for career officers of the US and Allied Armed Forces. Defense Language Institute (DLI), Monterey. Headquartered at the Presidio of Monterey, DLI provides foreign language training for members of the US and Allied Armed Forces and other governmental agencies; DLI is the largest foreign language school in the free world.
  • US Coast Guard Station, Monterey. Based in the Monterey harbor, the US Coast Guard patrols the waters from Año Nuevo, just north of Santa Cruz, south to Point Sal near San Luis Obispo. Fort Hunter Liggett, South County. Located 25 miles SW of King City, Hunter Liggett is an active military training facility that encompasses 165,000 acres of grasslands, woodlands, chaparral and part of Lake San Antonio. It offers some recreational facilities to visitors and residents.

Recreational Activities:
  • Golfing 25 golf courses throughout the county, concentrated on the Monterey Peninsula
  • Beaches There are many public access areas for walking, picnicking and tide pool explorations.
  • Scuba Diving* The variety of sea life and the National Marine Sanctuary designation (831-647-4201) makes the ocean and bay popular for all levels of diving
  • Boating* Kayaking, sailing or just rowing along the shoreline are popular activities on the bay Whale Watching Whales can be observed seasonally from land or by boat; many chartered whale watching tours are available from
  • Monterey and Moss Landing. Fishing* Deep sea, rock and surf fishing are popular activities; many charter fishing trips leave from Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf. Lake fishing also available at Lake San Antonio. Fishing regulations and license information can be obtained from the state Fish & Game Department (831-649-2870).
  • Camping The Los Padres National Forest and many state beaches and parks provide hundreds of varied campsites throughout Monterey County; RV camping is widely available in county, and in Pacific Grove, Marina, Laguna Seca and the Carmel Valley. Horseback Riding* Several riding stables around the county provide beach and trail ride packages; locations include Big Sur, Carmel Valley, Pebble Beach, and Salinas.
  • Skydiving Skydiving Monterey Bay (1-888-BAY-JUMP) offers a variety of airsport opportunities and lessons.
  • Hiking & Biking Monterey County is full of parks and recreation areas offering a variety of well-kept trails for the day-tripper as well as the seasoned back-country traveler. The Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail, running along 19 of the county's shoreline, is an excellent opportunity for walkers, bikers, roller-bladers and runners alike.
    • *Many vendors rent out recreational equipment

Culture and Entertainment:
  • Art Galleries There are more than 100 galleries and studios located throughout the county, concentrated in Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey and Salinas.
  • Theatre Several theatrical companies and stages offer a variety of live productions year-round: California's First Theatre (831-375-4916), Pacific Repertory Theatre (831-622-0100), Forest Theatre Guild (831-626-2845), Wharf Theatre (831-649-2332), The Western Stage (831-755-6816), and others.
  • History Monterey County's rich historic heritage is accessible through its many preserved 18th- and 19th-century buildings and landmarks, including Monterey's State Historic Park, which offers several guided and self-guided tours; Monterey History & Art Association (831-372-2608).
  • Events Monterey County hosts more than 100 special events annually; a complete Calendar of Events is found on this website, and a partial listing is included in the MCCVB's Visitor's Guide.
  • Wine Country The county has more than 40,000 acres of quality vineyards, and Monterey Wine Country is the third-largest fine wine producing region in the US, formed as a coalition of more than 40 vineyards and wineries, many with public tasting rooms**. Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association (831-375-9400) is an excellent information resource for this fascinating regional industry.
    • **A Taste of Monterey regional wine tasting room (831-646-5446), located at 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, and on Main Street in Salinas, pours wines from over 30 different area wineries and exhibits educational wine and produce displays.

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