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Cities for History Buffs in Monterey Bay Region 

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  • 1

    Monterey

    4.5
    124 reviews

    Monterey has always been the stuff of dreams and legend. Haphazard Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino arrived here in 1602 and sealed his fame and fortune by describing Monterey Bay in mythical terms and then naming it after the ruler who sent him. In 1769, Gaspar de Portola came looking for Vizcaino’s Monterey, but continued on after a brief stop, since ...

  • 2

    Santa Cruz

    4.5
    129 reviews

    Relax at the beach, enjoy the out of the box patrons, and hike around in the forest...all in one day. This is a great place to live or visit. Not big in the commercial scene but definitely in love with the surrounding nature. If you get the chance go and see the butterflies when they are migrating.

  • 3

    Carmel

    4.5
    81 reviews

    Carmel-by-the-Sea, often called simply Carmel is a gorgeous place to come visit. Over the years, I've stayed here, enjoyed some nice meals, and shopped around, but what I enjoy the most is walking down to one of their beautiful white sand beaches. It's a little touristy, but with the Town's dignity and architectural uniqueness has been kept completely intact. It's ...

  • 4

    Carmel Valley

    4.5
    16 reviews

    This is a beautiful location that usually gets missed because of it's proximity to Carmel, Big Sur, and Monterey. The drive through these roads are unbelievable. Plus, it's getting more known for it's wine and other "fun" stuff.

  • 5

    Pebble Beach

    4.5
    30 reviews

    Pebble Beach is mostly a golf course and a road. It's a quasi-gated community since the roads in are controlled by the Park Service who charge a fee for entry unless you know someone on the inside (but they don't really check). The drive is amazing and has several pull offs where you can stop to watch the whales, sea ...

  • 6

    Salinas

    3.5
    11 reviews

    Salinas is just the city I pass through to get to Monterey.

  • 7

    Pescadero

    4.5
    11 reviews

    A cute funky town that truly has the ambience of the Old West. Stop in for lunch at one of the cafes, or at Duarte's for olallieberry pie. There's a gas station, some cafes, gift shops, and a thrift store. Phipp's Ranch with a petting zoo and self pick berries is up the road, and Dee Harley's Goat Farm is ...

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  • 8

    Pacific Grove

    4
    16 reviews

    Pacific Grove is a picturesque little town sandwiched on the Monterey Peninsula between Monterey and Carmel. It has a beautiful rocky shoreline, foggy and cool climate, and is largely inhabited by retirees and older people. It is famous for Lover's Point, where each year the Monarch Butterflies come by in swarms, or its several antique gabled Bed and Breakfast hotels, ...

  • 9

    Moss Landing

    4.5
    8 reviews

    Go Kayaking in Estuary. Great meals at Fish Factory. Watch birds, otters and sea lions and sun set from your dining table.

  • 10

    Aptos

    4.5
    4 reviews

    Nice little beach town south of Santa Cruz. The beach is long and broad with brownish sand. On a clear day you can see all the way to Monterrey.

  • 11

    Capitola

    4.5
    17 reviews

    A small town atmosphere only a short distance from Santa Cruz. A fun place to explore and grab a bite.

  • 12

    Gilroy

    3.5
    14 reviews

    Calling itself "Garlick Captial of the World" the smell a garlick smell permeates the air. Most of the world's pickled, minced and powdered garlick comes from Gilroy. It's a place to pause at, look around and, unless one is here for the annual Gilroy Garlick Festival, leave.

  • 13

    Boulder Creek

    3
    3 reviews

    A hellhole, infested with rednecks. This place should be so great. It's a beautiful woman with a personality disorder. Is it drugs, or disenchanted former loggers, or the not-so-hidden white power factions? It's just not a healthy place. It is hard to fathom why this town is so crunky. The redwood trees are beautiful, the proximity to the fantastic Big ...

  • 14

    Marina

    4
    7 reviews

    Marina is almost a suburb of the more popular Monterey. As you come in on Hwy 1 going north, you're probably looking toward the beach, so you don't notice the strip malls and cheap housing on the other side of the highway.

  • 15
  • 16

    Seaside

    4
    13 reviews

    Seaside is a dinky little beach town next to Monterey. There's nothing else going on there.

  • 17

    San Juan Bautista

    4.5
    3 reviews

    Something about this town keeps bringing me back, pulling me off Hwy 101 to its old-fashioned Wild West downtown. Everyone flocks to the old Spanish colonial mission that starred in Hitchcock's classic thriller "Vertigo". But there are other reasons to stick around afterward, like the antiques shops, quaint garden restaurants and a state historic park. Pick up a loaf of ...

  • 18

    Watsonville

    3
    1 review

    they grow great strawberries

  • 19

    Davenport

    4
    6 reviews

    Davenport is beautiful and wild. Walk along the bluffs overlooking the ocean and you will more likely than not see migrating whales spouting. If you descend to the beaches bring some layers as it gets cold anytime, and dont forget to pack your trash out. Be very careful swimming here, the water is treacherous as well as very cold. The ...

  • 20

    Paicines

    3
    1 review

    Decent little town, good for a quick stop for supplies before your hike at the Pinnacles.

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