Bayonet & Blackhorse, Salvador Dali to Wild Mushrooms and more
Monterey, Calif. – This fall, travelers to Monterey County, California, can explore the iconic central coast destination, teeming with unexpected adventures and fewer crowds. From one of the largest Salvador Dali collections in the world to one-of-a-kind tours on a restored fire engine, there is plenty to discover during an off-season getaway.
“Travelers are looking for fall getaways, and Monterey County’s stunning landscapes and epic experiences are begging for visitors to embrace unexpected adventures set to our natural beauty,” said Rob O’Keefe, president and CEO, Monterey County CVB.
“Whether it’s the feeling of that first burst of fresh coastal air, a first peek of the coastline, or the first sip of a local pinot noir, nothing compares to the feeling you get once you’ve arrived in Monterey County.”Rob O’Keefe
For both first-time and seasoned visitors to Monterey County, the destination is ripe with unique and surprising experiences. There are plenty of ways to seize the moment once on the ground in Monterey County, including quirky and one-of-a-kind historical spots and unforgettable ways to explore the area’s amazing outdoor scenery:
Beauty beyond the beach
Marvel at the Salvador Dali Exhibition – the largest private collection of the famous artist’s works on the West Coast, and one of the largest collections in the world – in the heart of Monterey at Old Fisherman’s Wharf. More than 500 items, from etchings and photographs to sculptures and tapestries, are continually rotated to keep the exhibit fresh. Just 10 minutes up the coast in Sand City, visitors can immerse themselves in an emerging art scene, including 40+ murals and public art. Download the Public Art Walk guide to navigate the Instagram-worthy backdrops, including the vibrant and inspirational “Lady Sand City” depiction.
Celebrate the past
One of the county’s most poetic hidden gems, the Shakespeare Society of America, is in Moss Landing. Overflowing with all things Shakespeare – more than 15,000 items in all – visitors will find memorabilia, books, theatre production photos and more.
Fort Ord National Monument, whose massive grounds cover multiple cities in Monterey County, honors veterans who trained there and served in U.S. conflicts from World War I to Operation Desert Storm. The site is now federally protected land where visitors can hike and bike its 86 miles of trails and explore its unique plant and animal life. In Big Sur, the Henry Miller Memorial Library pays homage to one of the 20th century’s most beloved writers in the town he adored.
Connect with the wild
The Monterey Bay is synonymous with marine biology, but not everyone knows about Pacific Biological Laboratories, known informally as Doc Ricketts’ Lab. Named after local marine biologist Ed Ricketts, who was modeled in many John Steinbeck novels, tours of the site, which once provided research specimens to museums around the globe, are available. Monterey Zoo in Salinas Valley, the only zoo in the county, offers unparalleled opportunities for animal lovers, including the bucket list “Walk with the Animals” tour with full-day, up-close access to kangaroos, sloths and more.
Swing clubs at a lesser-known course
Every golf fan knows about and aspires to play a few rounds at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links, but Monterey County is home to even more courses with major draws. Poppy Hills Golf Course is set amid the forest pines and said to be the closest you can get to playing golf in a national park. Getting its start in 1897, Del Monte Golf Course is the oldest course west of the Mississippi River. Bayonet & Black Horse is named in honor of Army infantry and cavalry divisions with ties to nearby Fort Ord and known as one of the most challenging courses on the peninsula.
Take a one-of-a-kind tour
In a region known for its winery tours, Red Engine Rides stands out from the crowd by transporting guests to tastings (and other tour locations) in a restored vintage fire engine. Foodies can explore all things vegetable production at Pezzini Farms in Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world, with a half-day walking tour with Ag Venture Tours. Perfect for autumn, Big Sur Guides offers a seasonal Wild Mushroom Foraging Hike where participants can learn how to look for wild mushrooms and identify edible and nonedible varieties, along with medicinal plants such as Redwood Sorrel, California Sagebrush and Bay Laurel.
Visitors are encouraged to travel responsibly in Monterey County by following all current health and safety guidelines and respecting the area’s iconic landscapes by staying on trails and leaving no trace behind. For more information on fall happenings in Monterey County and to plan and book a trip, visit SeeMonterey.com/NOW.