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Monterey, California, USA

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Monterey Overview

If you had to pick just one place to spend the rest of your life, you'd be hard pressed to do better than choosing Monterey, California. Monterey is truly one of the most beautiful small cities in the world. With the glorious Pacific Ocean to its West, the totally wild and verdant Ventana National Forest to its South and East, Monterey is that rare locale that has managed to keep its pristine beauty while at the same time promising the modern traveller every thing that’s needed.

With crystal clean air and a refreshingly crisp year-round climate, Monterey is one location that urges you to spend time outdoors all the while promoting some of the most tantalizing and unique restaurants and indoor museum activities in the world.

First visited by Spanish explorers in the 16th century and later colonized by them in their drive to control the new frontier of America's West coast, Monterey has endured over the centuries through a succession of Spanish, Mexican and finally American control to evolve into one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.

As home to the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, the Monterey Jazz Festival and thousands of acres of untamed wilderness, Monterey has more than anyone could ever want by way of interesting sites and activities.

With arguably the most famous Golf Course in the world (Pebble Beach), the most beautiful and breath taking coastline imaginable (Highway One South to Big Sur), a little known and not easy to access Zen Buddhist retreat nearby that promises a truly once in a lifetime experience (Tassajara), and ocean view dining that is perhaps unequalled on the planet, Monterey is as close as it gets to paradise.

Even with all of its “far-away” allure, Monterey is still quite accessible. Being about a hundred miles south of San Francisco and 350 miles north of Los Angeles, Monterery makes for a great “drive-to” destination. If you’re entering Monterey from the south and you're feeling ready for something out of the ordinary in terms of a driving adventure, then check out the Highway One. Much of it is a two-lane road that runs along the Pacific Ocean. At certain points you will literally be up to a thousand feet above its azure waters, with only a few feet of the ever present and indigenous ice-plant, perhaps some green grass and just a firm grip upon your steering wheel between you, and the ocean, far, far below. It's something you'll never forget.

Directly across the bay from Santa Cruz, Monterey has a supremely rich biological environment. Take a drive around Asilomar in Pacific Grove. Chances are you'll see deer meandering about. Take a stroll down Lover's Point, and listen to the incessant barking - not of dogs - but of Sea Lions. Whether you're a museum enthusiast, a lover of old buildings, a hiker and a camper, a lover of music or just newly weds in love, come visit this amazing city and you'll quickly understand the allure of Monterey.
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