The seaside communities along the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, California, present a delightful mix of eclectic lodging choices for your stay in the Monterey Bay area. A large selection of hotels are located within the city of Monterey, but also along the Cannery Row docks, near the Monterey Pines Golf Course, out on Pacific Point, and along the beaches of Carmel. The hotel style along the beaches, especially near Carmel, shows off the quaint sophistication of the communities with unique properties featuring a variety of amenities.
Golf course resorts and beachfront properties come with the highest price tags, but affordable options are located just a few blocks from the ocean. Some of the most expensive include hotels in Pebble Beach and those clustered along the cliffs and water near Carmel. The higher price tags include exceptional views, in-room spa pools, fireplaces, designer linens, lush bath amenities, golf courses, and luxury hotel spa features.
For a historic stay in the Monterey area, be sure to check out the Inn at Depot Hill in Capitola. With just 12 rooms, exquisitely appointed in unique detail, it defines train travel as envisioned by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1902. Carmel’s grand dame, La Playa Carmel, began life as a mansion for the Ghirardelli family in 1905, transforming into a hotel in 1916. The property has been welcoming guests to its divine perch by the sea ever since. The 75 rooms still exude the air of a simpler, easier time, with all the modern updates needed to pamper and please contemporary guests.
National chains are well represented in the Monterey, Capitola, and Salinas areas. The chains offer you affordable options to the extraordinary beach and golf resorts of Carmel and similar oceanfront hotels, allowing you to tailor your stay in Monterey to your lifestyle and budget.
Hotels in Monterey, CA
Monterey is known for its rugged coastline and marine life, world-class aquarium, and rich history and culture. Monterey is known as California's First City, as it boasts many historic "firsts" for the state, including California's first theater, public school, public library, and printing press. Whether you're in town for the Big Sur International Marathon or making a stop en route to San Francisco, Monterey is well-worth a visit. No matter what time of the year you're visiting, when you book with Travelocity, you can find great deals on hotels in Monterey, CA. Hotels vary in price and type, but you can filter your results based on these criteria as well as by star rating, guest rating, and amenities.
Marine Life and Aquatic Attractions
The Monterey Bay is known for its abundance of marine life, including sea lions, sea otters, pelicans, dolphins, and harbor seals. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the largest of its kind in the United States, stretching for 276 miles and covering 5,322 square miles of the Pacific Ocean. It's the perfect spot for whale-watching expeditions as well as for scuba diving. Whale-watching is a popular activity for tourists and locals alike, as the Monterey Bay is one of the few locations where you can see whales all year long. Several local companies offer narrated group tours you can take to see whales and other marine wildlife up close.
Of course, you don't need to get on a boat to see Monterey's magnificent creatures of the sea. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the largest and most visited in the United States. There are more than a hundred exhibits, so make sure you leave ample time to explore this world-famous attraction. The aquarium has been educating and inspiring the community since its opening in 1984 and is the perfect family-friendly destination.
For Outdoor Enthusiasts
Monterey offers a plethora of things to do for the active nature-lover. Hiking, bike-riding, hang-gliding, kayaking, and boating are just some of the activities that attract visitors to this coastal city year after year. The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail is a beautiful waterfront trail that stretches 18 miles. Visitors can rent bikes and explore the area like a true native of Monterey, California. Hotels along the coast provide ideal access to the trail and local attractions. Another noteworthy outdoor attraction is the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, located just south of Carmel. Thought of as the "crown jewel" of the California state park system, Point Lobos offers spectacular vistas, great hiking, and diverse wildlife.
Arts and Culture
Monterey was California's first capital and has a rich history soaked in culture. Once known as the Sardine Capital of the World, remnants of its canning past can still be found along the historic Cannery Row. Formerly Ocean View Avenue, the street was later renamed to Cannery Row after the Steinbeck novel of the same name. John Steinbeck, who was born in Salinas, a city about 20 miles east of Monterey, drew his inspiration for the novel from the years he spent living on the Monterey Peninsula during the Great Depression.
If the fine arts are your area of interest, Monterey will not disappoint. The Monterey Museum of Art is the only nationally accredited art museum between San Jose and Santa Barbara. Focusing primarily on California art, the museum is also home to contemporary European art, American art, and Asian art. Notable works in the museum's collection include pieces by Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Salvador Dali.
Monterey also offers plenty in the way of the performing arts. Fans of classical music can go see the Monterey Symphony at the Sunset Cultural Center in nearby Carmel. This historic venue hosts many of the region's performances. The area's most anticipated cultural event of the year, however, is located right in Monterey. Thousands of visitors flock to Monterey each year for the Monterey Jazz Festival, one of the longest-running jazz festivals in the world. Held on the third weekend of September, the Monterey Jazz Festival features hundreds of jazz artists on multiple stages throughout the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Notable past performers have included Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis. The festival also holds exhibitions as well as conversations with the stars. Due to the festival's high number of participants and attendees, if you're booking a hotel in Monterey, CA, during September, it is recommended that you make your reservations well in advance.
Wine and Dine
Monterey is truly a foodie's paradise. As a coastal city, it comes as no surprise that Monterey is famed for its fresh seafood. The region's rich agricultural bounty means great local produce, delicious wines, and world-class dining. Many of the city's most esteemed seafood restaurants can be found at the historic Fisherman's Wharf, which is accessible via the Coastal Recreation Trail. The Monterey Bay area is also host to a number of culinary events taking place throughout the year, including Pebble Beach Food and Wine, the Monterey Wine Festival, the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival, and the Monterey Greek Festival, among others. For a delectable cool treat, stop at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop for a hot fudge sundae.
When to Visit
Monterey is a popular year-round destination due to its favorable Mediterranean climate. Due to its relative proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey is also a popular weekend destination. High season is from July through September, when the temperatures are higher and park season kicks into full swing. If you're traveling at the end of April, note that hotels in Monterey, CA, will fill up fast due to the Big Sur International Marathon taking place. Low season is during the winter, when the temperatures drop and rainfall increases. However, the winter months see average highs in the upper 50s to low 60s, which makes for a pleasant stay. It is during this time that you can score the best deals on accommodations, including motels in Monterey, CA. Hotels, flights, rental cars, and vacation bundles can all be booked today on one convenient site: Travelocity!