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#grabyourmoment in beautiful monterey

17 Mile Drive

So many travel bucket lists are filled with international destinations when one of the most beautiful areas of the world — Monterey, California — is right in our own backyard.

Monterey County is a vast geographic region, encompassing places like Big Sur, Pebble Beach and Carmel by the Sea, each with its own unique life-enriching array of experiences. Few places inspire you to make the most of every moment like Monterey — or offer as many ways to choose your own adventure.

Driving up the coastline is a breathtaking experience, with the waves of the Pacific crashing below and hairpin turns leading to stunning scenery.

Monterey #GrabYourMoment

One of the best things about moving to California, for us, was being able to take this road trip on a number of occasions.

We’ve stayed in Carmel-by-the-Sea, one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever visited, and I even bought a book, Cottages by the Sea: The Handmade Homes of Carmel, America’s First Artist Community, because I like to imagine living in one of these houses!

We also went with friends to Pebble Beach, where Michael’s dream of playing golf on the iconic course came true.

Michael and Pete Pebble Beach

While he was busy hitting birdies and taking pictures, I was being pampered at the spa and taking in the view at the outdoor relaxation area.

Lois Pebble Beach

We took the 17-Mile Drive, considered one of the most scenic drives in the world, and got chills listening to the legendary bagpiper at sunset at the Inn at Spanish Bay before enjoying a delicious dinner.

Bagpiper Pebble Beach

One of my favorite experiences was standing near the majestic and towering redwoods, which is something everyone should get to do at least once in their lifetime. It’s truly humbling.

Whether you’re traveling as a couple or a family, and whether you want to explore the shops and restaurants or take advantage of the great outdoors, there is something amazing for everyone in Monterey County.

To encourage you to visit, See Monterey is giving away 5 pairs of tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! All you have to do to enter is simply leave a comment below by May 29. See Monterey will be selecting the top five comments, and tickets expire on July 31, 2016.

Monterey Aquarium

Explore more moments and plan your own getaway today on the See Monterey website. I can’t wait to see how you will #GrabYourMoment!


  1. Monterey’s peninsula is really what I consider to be the most beautiful place in the U.S. Living there was idyllic for me. I rather regret selling my place there!

  2. Oooh, I wish I was closer. My folks went to the Defense Language Institute to learn Italian while I was in college, I had a great vacation visiting there. The aquarium is lovely!

    Don’t enter me in the contest, I wouldn’t be able to get there from NYC, but I’ve shared this on my FB wall as I do have friends in CA.

  3. I love the drive up the coast of California and am so glad to be living here too. Funny as I was walking today Big Sur kept coming into my mind as a place I wanted to go. I must have been psychic. I was supposed to be in Carmel last week but couldn’t go. Now I wish I had. Love the 17-mile drive, Pebble Beach and anything to do with the ocean and seafood.

  4. This is on my travel bucket list now. I would love to visit here one day. It looks magical and dreamlike. I admit I fell in love with CA the last time I was there and can’t wait to get back.

  5. #grabyourmoment! I LOVE Monterrey and the aquarium! My children learn, love, and live sea life. This is an education for the soul for both the humans and the sealife. Claim your future, make memories, and be part of our majestic planet!

  6. i LOVE that aquarium! And I’m visiting my son and DIL in California in July. So, really, I need to win those tickets. Right? (Great post. Thanks for making me glad once again that my kid and his wife live in California, the best place in the world to visit.)

  7. Joyce Hyam says:

    The scenery at the Monterey coast area is breathtaking. The sounds of the ocean and the beauty of the coast feeds one’s soul. It is truly one of the gems of California and I have fond memories of going there with my family. It would be a thrill to return and capture the beauty again and visit the magnificent aquarium. I especially love the sea otters and the reefs there.

  8. Great giveaway! I wish I was planning on visiting soon. Maybe next year!

  9. What a beautiful place to visit! I would love to getaway to Monterey with my hubby.

  10. I have never been to that part of California and have never driven up the coast like that. What a beautiful place. I have travelled abroad, but there are so many fabulous places to see in the US! Monterrey is definitely on the list!

  11. Monterey is one of my favorite places in the world. We used to live in SF and I loved driving down for the weekend. Awesome giveaway — that aquarium is AMAZING!

  12. Wow, it truly looks majestic! I’ve been to SF but it was for business and we didn’t really site see as much I would have liked. Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. I was incredibly lucky to have celebrated my 30th birthday by driving up the California coast to Monterey County. I marveled at the spectacular scenery – the ocean waves crashing on the rocky cliffs of Big Sur, the breathtaking beauty of the 17-Mile Drive, the idyllic charm of Carmel-by-the-Sea, and the absolutely awesome Monterey Aquarium. Now, 25+ years later, I think it’s about time to do it all again – and I can hardly wait!

  14. Monteray looks beautiful however I’ve never visited on the three visits we have made to the US. I would love to drive north from LA as we have now done all the ‘touristy’ places and I believe the drive is quite beautiful. I”ve heard of Carmel By the Sea mainly because Clint Eastwood was mayor at one time. We sometimes don’t realise the beauty in our own back yard do we?

  15. I have been lucky enough to drive along there a couple of times, long ago. I must have described how magical it was to my infant daughter the last time we traveled there as she and her fiancé took their first vacation together there. It would be lovely to see it again from this stage in life.

  16. I have never been to Monterey, but this seriously looks magical. I haven’t done much exploring in California but this is making me wish I would do that soon!

  17. This is on my travel bucket list now. I would love to visit here one day! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories!

  18. I have never heard of Monterey County before but it sounds stunning! Definitely a great place to have a nice hubby and I get away!

  19. Hi Lois, I just discovered your blog and am enjoying reading the old and new posts. You hit all the hot spots for those of us at midlife. Keep writing!

  20. Justine Bishop says:

    My husband and I are road-tripping with our three kids this summer and the Aquarium is one of our most anticipated destinations! some free tickets might mean extra cash for the gift shop!!

  21. This looks so beautiful. The west coast is so diverse. We haven’t spent much out there, but now I’m seriously going to start planning. Thank you!

  22. Monterey seems so peaceful and lovely, Lois! Where did you take the road trip?

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