You'll find both golf and the good life in Monterey, California

By S. Adam Cardais, Contributor

Since the 1880s, visitors have been enjoying the spectacular beauty of the Central Coast. Located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Monterey County's dramatic ocean scenery, pristine pine forests and historic communities continue to beckon adventure-seekers, seafarers, artists, writers and vacationers. And no other California county can boast 99 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline.

Clint Eastwood - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Local Clint Eastwood participates in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Clint Eastwood - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AmPacific Grove, CaliforniaLinks at Spanish Bay - Bagpipe PlayerSteinbeck PlazaTiger Woods at Pebble Beach

Golfers, of course, will be in heaven in Monterey, what with Pebble Beach Resorts' four world-class golf courses at their fingertips. There are also great off-course activities such as scuba diving, a matchless range of art galleries, fine restaurants and wineries. Families or couples, singles and groups of friends, Monterey County has something for you, year-round.

Golf courses in Monterey

Pebble Beach Golf Links has been an American classic since the early 20th century and is among Jack Nicklaus' favorite golf courses. The Links at Spanish Bay brings a taste of Scotland to the California coast - and a design by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom Watson and Sandy Tatum - while Spyglass Hill Golf Course boasts a range of terrains and a true challenge for even the scratch golfer.

Carmel Valley Ranch Resort's golf course was designed by Pete Dye and is known for being extremely women friendly. And Monterey Country Club offers 27 holes of excellent golf.

Click here for a list of golf courses in Monterey.

Getting to Monterey

By air is the quickest way to get to Monterey County. Allegiant, American Eagle, United Express and US Airways offer direct service to the Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) via international and domestic connecting routes. Airports with direct flights include Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), San Diego (SAN), Phoenix (PHX), Denver (DEN) and Las Vegas (LAS).

By train, Amtrak's Coast Starlight travels through Salinas each day on its route between Seattle and Los Angeles. There are packages to fit every budget. Free bus service is provided from Salinas to downtown Monterey. A Greyhound station in Salinas also offers connecting service to Monterey.

Two main highways lead into Monterey County. Highway One runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles and offers stunning views of the Pacific coastline. Highway 101 runs down the valley corridor and affords the motorist an opportunity to see the rich land that has made the Salinas Valley "the Salad Bowl of the World."

Accommodation and dining in Monterey

Looking for a place to stay? Monterey has it all: bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, inns and hostels. Located right on the water, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a world-class resort with a Mediterranean ambience. It's an upscale traveler's playground.

Whether you're a gourmand or gourmet, Monterey County won't disappoint on the food and wine front. You'll find excellent seafood here as well as a rich viticulture.

Visit the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau ( for accommodation, food and drink listings.

Weather in Monterey

The weather in Monterey County varies depending on the time of year, the time of day and the area visited.

The coast is consistently mild. The autumn and spring months are filled with warm, clear days and cool nights. Between November and April there is a rainy season, and the summer tends to bring fog, especially early and late in the day.

Early fall is the coast's sunniest time of year, but inland areas are much sunnier throughout the year. Dressing in layers is advised since the variations in climate are so great. Generally, light- to medium-weight clothing is appropriate, but jackets and raincoats are a good idea in winter.

S. Adam Cardais, Contributor

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment