What are the best places for outdoor fun in Monterey, Carmel, & Big Sur?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Artists, celebrities and everyone in between are drawn to California’s Central Coast for its good mix of urban and rural. Make sure to visit Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, sun at Carmel beaches, check out Point Lobos State Reserve and drive 17 miles from Carmel to Monterey — the views are remarkable. Here are a few of our favorite places to go for outdoor fun:

1. Big Sur is known for its untouched beauty. See it at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which is full of trees, cliffs and an 80-foot waterfall. You can also see whales from the Overlook Trail.

2. Carmel beaches — namely Carmel City and Ocean Street Beach — are the most photographed in the region. Come see the picture-perfect sandy shores and surfer-friendly waters at these popular beaches.

3. Point Lobos State Reserve is one of the best parks in the state. You can see seals, sea otters, whales and dolphins in the water, and gray foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and deer on land.

4. The 17-mile trek from Carmel to Monterey is hailed as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. You’ll go past Pebble Beach and a number of other lovely spots.

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