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Attractions

Among the majestic oaks are so many unique attractions in Monterey that it can be hard to pick just one! . The land, relatively untouched since the days of Spanish land grants, the area is graced with secluded redwood canyons, chaparral-laden slopes and ancient stands of pine. Here's a list of Carmel Valley attractions, with links to more in-depth information.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium

886 Cannery Row
Monterey , CA 93940 Phone: (831) 648-4800

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is known as one of the best aquariums in the world. It specializes in the sea creatures of the Monterey Bay, including the giant Pacific octopus, jellies, otters, bat rays, seahorses, sunfishes and sometimes a white shark. The Aquarium Adventures program also features Underwater Explorers for children (a diving experience in the Great Tide Pool) and sailing for adults and families.

Today's Hours

General Public: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Members: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

How to Get Here

886 Cannery Row
Monterey , CA 93940

Directions & Parking

Tickets

Adult $39.95 Child $24.95
(Ages 3-12, under 3 free) Student $34.95
(Ages 13-17 or college ID) Senior $34.95
(Ages 65+)

Dining at the Aquarium

  • Cafe
    11 a.m.–4 p.m. (Hours vary)
  • Cindy's Waterfront
    11 a.m.–3 p.m. (Hours vary)

The Carmel Mission

Rio Road & Lasuen Drive
Carmel , CA 93923 Phone: (831) 624-3600

The most often heard comments from visitor's center around the natural and spiritual beauty, of the Mission. They also show an appreciation of the historical legacy it represents. Through its five museums, the Carmel Mission addresses the history of one of California's most important heritage sites. We trust the time you spend with us, will increase your understand and recognition of this heritage.

The Basilica Church, a registered National Historic Landmark, is the centerpiece of the Mission. Upon entering, visitors are usually struck by its catenary ceiling, thirty foot reredos and 5 foot thick walls. The Missions fine collection of Spanish Colonial Liturgical Art and Artifacts are displayed through the church.

The Harry Downie Museum, located in the forecourt to the Basilica, houses interpretive displays and artifacts devoted to telling the restoration story of the Mission and the significance of Harry Downie's efforts in the restoration.

Behind the Basilica, in the Munrás courtyard, one will find the Munrás Family Heritage Museum. It displays the treasured keepsakes of one prominent Monterey family. Its goal is to enhance every visitor's appreciation of their own unique legacy.

Adjacent to the Basilica, the Jo Mora Chapel Gallery houses the elaborate Serra Memorial Cenotaph, sculpted in 1924 by Jo Mora, of travertine marble and bronze. This museum is also the home to an art exhibit which changes periodically.

In Convento Museum, through which one exits the Mission complex, is found the cell used by Blessed Junipero Serra and were he died in 1784. Other rooms in the museum present interpretive displays for further understanding the history of this beautiful heritage site.

We hope your visit to this website will encourage a visit to Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo. Then you too will exclaim its spiritual, natural and historical beauty.

Visiting Hours:

Visiting hours at the Carmel Mission are 9:30 am until 7:00 pm every day. Admissions for upkeep and restoration are $6.50 for adults, $4.00 for Seniors, $2.00 for Children ages 7 and up (admission is free for Children ages 6 and under).

17-Mile Drive

17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, CA 93953, (800) 654-9300

17-Mile Drive is widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world. The famous coastal landmark runs through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach, from the dramatic Pacific coastline to the majestic Del Monte Forest. The awe-inspiring vistas and legendary sites can easily fill an entire day with exploration and discovery, although visitors with less time should not miss the opportunity to experience this wondrous journey as well.

Marvel at some of nature's treasures found along 17-Mile Drive including The Lone Cypress – one of California's best-known landmarks – Spanish Bay, Cypress Point Lookout and Carmel Bay. You can also see the emerald fairways of The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Please note: Motorcycles are prohibited entry onto 17-Mile Drive.

Steinbeck Center

One Main Street
Salinas , CA 93901 Phone: (831) 775-4721

Our Museum

The National Steinbeck Center is located at One Main Street, in the heart of historic Oldtown Salinas, the birthplace of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Open seven days a week year-round, we are the perfect beginning or end to any trip to Monterey Bay Region.



The Center is just a scenic 17-mile drive east of Monterey, 60-mile drive south of San Jose and 105-mile drive south of San Francisco. Monterey County wineries, championship golf courses, the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other attractions are also close by, giving you the opportunity to experience not just Salinas, but the rest of beautiful Steinbeck Country.



The Center is surrounded by Oldtown Salinas' superb restaurants, antique stores, coffee shops and friendly shopping and is just blocks from the Steinbeck House – a perfect day's outing.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

1021 Monterey-Salinas Highway
Monterey , CA 93942 Phone: (800) 327-7322

The Monterey Peninsula is home to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a world-class raceway hosting the best of motorsports, including the Red Bull US Grand Prix Motorcycle Races, American LeMans Series Monterey, and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) has been an active and highly visible part of the Monterey Peninsula community. Since our beginning in 1957 when 62 local companies and scores of individuals offered their services and donations to make Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca a reality, SCRAMP has been a community effort.

As a not-for-profit 501(c)4 organization, SCRAMP donates proceeds to local charities and civic organizations. We have grown from presenting a single motorsport event each year to producing five major events, including the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Ferrari Racing Days, eni FIM Superbike World Championship, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and SCCA National Championship Run Offs.

Originally part of the former Fort Ord military base, Laguna Seca was turned over to the County of Monterey in 1974. The County designated the overall management responsibility to the Monterey County Parks Department. SCRAMP operates and maintains the race track and manages the racing events and track rentals that generate more than $1 million annually for the county parks department.

The SCRAMP “family” consists of thousands of volunteers, including a volunteer board of directors. These dedicated volunteers come from all walks of life and across the tri-county area to make up the work force needed to stage motorsports events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The largest group of volunteers is comprised of more than 70 charities and civic organizations whose membership numbers in the thousands.

SCRAMP includes a paid professional staff who handle the day-to-day operations.

Refuge

27300 Rancho San Carlos Rd
Carmel , CA 93923 Phone: (831) 620-7360

America's 1st co-ed relaxation spa, offering the ultimate in relaxation through our own Refuge branded Thermal Cycle featuring 3 simple steps: heat up, cool down, and relax. The Refuge facility features, the largest co-ed sauna in the U.S., a eucalyptus steam bath, Nordic cool pools, and hot pools with cascading thermal waterfalls; all in over 2 acres of serene, silent, indoor & outdoor relaxation areas with views of the Santa Lucia Mountains.

Celebrity Sightings

Carmel's most famous person is actor and director Clint Eastwood . He can often be found at the Mission Ranch where he occasionally plays the piano in the bar. One “claim to fame” he has is that he was the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea from 1986-1988. He is a generous patron of many local non-profits and though he found Carmel after a stint at nearby former Fort Ord Army base, he is claimed as a native son.

Doris Day is a co-owner of the Cypress Inn, Carmel's best-known pet-friendly inn. Take your dog to tea at this classic inn in downtown Carmel. You may not see Doris but you will see movie posters from her prolific career.

Carmel and the surrounding peninsula have been sites for over 200 movies and commercials. See where movies were made by going on the Monterey Movie Tour bus. Clips from “East of Eden”, “Play Misty for Me”, “National Velvet” and many others will be shown as you tour the sites.

 

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