1. Monterey Bay Aquarium More than 35,000 animals and plants. More than a million gallons of water. Kelp forests. Jellyfish galleries. Penguins. Sea otters. The occasional great white shark. It all adds up to the No. 1 aquarium in the country, according to a travel survey, and, to one of the seven wonders of this county, according to our poll. READ MORE
2. Point Lobos State Reserve The reserve spreads over almost 550 acres on land and 750 acres underwater, designated the first marine reserve in the United States in 1960. In 1992, the underwater area became part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. READ MORE
3. 17 Mile Drive In the old days, this was considered part of a daylong trip. Modern-day visitors should take a page from that book, stopping along the way to really take in wonders including Point Joe, with its colliding currents, Bird Rock and its countless winged inhabitants, the dramatic views from Cypress Point, the stately Lone Cypress and more. READ MORE
4. Carmel Beach The stretch of white sand that forms the city s western border is a playground, an artistic inspiration, a meditative space. Traffic ebbs and flows throughout the day, starting with the early morning walkers taking in the fog-shrouded scene, and ending with the sunset watchers, staking out a patch of sand to catch the last light slip into the sea. READ MORE
5. Bixby Creek Bridge This icon of the California coast is the picture of form and function. The Bixby Creek Bridge was built as a linchpin in the highway chain, but it s also an architectural work of art. READ MORE
6. Cannery Row Today's Cannery Row is a popular tourist attraction, a district more than a single street, filled with restaurants and shops and home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. READ MORE
7. Carmel Mission Established in 1771, it was the second in the chain, but became the headquarters for the importation of Christianity to California. It also was the home, and later the burial place, of Junipero Serra, the father of the missions. READ MORE
The Seven Wonders Of Monterey County Monterey County highlights everything that's best about California. From Monterey's seaside restaurants to the Salinas Valley's hillside vineyards, from Big Sur's redwood groves to Pebble Beach's perfectly groomed golf courses, from Salinas' old-fashioned rodeo to Carmel-by-the-Sea's elite music and art festivals, our county has a feast of fun just waiting to be sampled.
Experience the top road trip in the United States as you wind along the breathtaking Big Sur coastline on Highway 1. Sip handcrafted wines at tucked-away tasting rooms where the winemaker might just be the person pouring.Take a surf lesson and catch a glimpse of a barefoot beach wedding as you ride your board to shore. Play 18 holes at legendary golf courses, or just hang out at the 19th hole and watch the pros practice. Monterey County has a little something special for everyone.