Top 5 Reasons to Visit Monterey + Free Packing List Printable

On my summer trip short list: visit Monterey, California. Learn about what we’re looking forward to most!

It’s starting to heat up here in the California desert and I’m itching to get away! Pretty soon we’ll start our three- to four-month-long string of days over 100 degrees. So what’s a girl (and her guy) to do? E-S-C-A-P-E!

Top 5 reasons to Visit Monterey This Summer... the sheer beauty is enough! But there is so much more! Thankfully, we are blessed to live in a state that offers plenty of good times and adventure, so we hop in our cute, blue VW van and head toward the mountains or the coast as often as possible. One of the places on our list for this summer is Monterey.

California adventures in our van!We first visited Monterey and Big Sur back in 1991. We have such wonderful memories from that trip and have always wanted to go back.


1-The Sheer Beauty of the Coastline

The coast in Big Sur is absolutely breathtaking... one of the many reasons to visit Monterey!

Friends, it doesn’t get more gorgeous than this! Driving up Highway 1 is always one of my favorite parts of trips along the coast. It’s so nice to escape city traffic and leisurely drive up Pacific Coast Highway. We are never in a rush on this scenic stretch of road and enjoy soaking in all the beauty. 

2-Picnic on the Beach

Nothing can beat a picnic on the beach in Monterey! Big Sur, Carmel by the Sea... it is all breathtaking.

We love to dine out, and this region has a fabulous selection of dining options. But one thing I look forward to most is packing up some yummy food and beverages and enjoying a sunset picnic on the beach. It’s too lovely and romantic to pass up!

3-Horseback Riding on the Beach

What could be better than a horseback ride on the beach in Monterey?

I grew up riding Quarter Horses, but I’ve never had the pleasure to ride on the beach. It looks so relaxing and dreamy that I can hardly wait. 🙂

4-Hiking in the Redwoods

The redwoods in Monterey are unbelievable unless you see them in person!

On that trip to the area back in ’91, one of our highlights was hiking in the Redwoods. The trees are simply majestic and awe-inspiring. Best of all, you get rewarded with a view of the waves crashing in at Big Sur!

5-The Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is simply magnificent.

There are so many things to do in Monterey that your family will love. One family favorite  is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I’m planning to spend one whole afternoon taking it all in!

See Monterey is giving away 5 pairs of tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! To enter, all you need to do is comment below. See Monterey will be selecting the top 5 comments from this campaign to determine the winner.

I’m ready to get my suitcase packed!

But it will be a month or so before we hit the road for Monterey, Big Sur, and Pebble Beach. I’ve learned the hard way to be more organized when I pack.

all packed up

I’ve left behind some major necessities! So I created this checklist to use EVERY time I’m packing for a trip. You can download your FREE printable here!

Get your FREE packing checklist for your summer travel!

So, friends, are you ready to head to Monterey? Explore more moments and plan your getaway today!



  1. Wish I could join you on your getaway vacation to Monterey!

  2. Love your packing list! I also have a guide for essentials to bring 🙂

  3. Monterey is beautiful and I would love to visit again and take my kids to enjoy the aquarium, the beach, food, and the amazing drive.

  4. Went to Monterey to celebrate our anniversary and stopped to do some shopping before dinner. When we returned, we found a ticket on my car windshield for parking over space line. I couldn’t believe it!!! I mean I was barely inches over the parking space line. THANKS MONTEREY FOR RUINING OUR EVENING!!