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Monterey Peninsula, CA

What to Do in Monterey Sign up for a whale-watch cruise. The sight of these magnificent creatures bursting skyward from the sea creates lasting vacation memories.

Bask in the sun or take a walk on one of the peninsula's many beaches—Carmel, Fan Shell and Lovers Point are among the choices. Equestrians can ride horses on Pebble Beach's splendid stretch.

Visit the barking sea lions lolling on the Coast Guard Pier in Monterey Bay. Their hilarious antics are worthy of a circus act.

Spend time at Cannery Row, immortalized in John Steinbeck's classic novel. Restaurants and shops now inhabit the canneries, but the vintage structures provide a nostalgic sense of the 1930s fishing boomtown.

Play a round of golf on a world-renowned course. Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Poppy Hills and Spanish Bay all boast spectacular scenery as well as challenging layouts that will give duffers a run for their money.

Peruse quaint shops and art galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea . This idyllic community has many quiet, tree-shaded side streets lined with architecturally interesting cottages and beautifully manicured gardens.

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Indulge in a bread bowl filled with tasty clam chowder on Fisherman's Wharf. Souvenir shopping, fishing and people-watching also are popular pastimes at the pier.

Take a drive; a portion of the Pacific Coast Highway winds along Monterey's craggy coastline. Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive is especially scenic.

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Tour a winery. There are 10 officially recognized wine-producing regions within Monterey County, and more than two dozen wineries have tasting rooms where you can sample award-winning selections.

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Do as the locals do. Take an evening stroll down Alvarado Street in Monterey and have coffee or dessert in a bistro. If you're around on a Tuesday afternoon, stop at the farmer's market and shop for fresh produce, baked goods and locally made crafts.

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Monterey Peninsula, CA

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Best Western Park Crest Inn

1100 Munras Ave. Monterey, CA 93940

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Hyatt Carmel Highlands

120 Highlands Dr. Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

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Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay

1441 Canyon Del Rey. Seaside, CA 93955

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Monterey Marriott

350 Calle Principal. Monterey, CA 93940

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