The Monterey Bay Area is part of an emerging mega-region in Northern California. It consists of nine counties. The Sacramento region with six counties, the Monterey Bay area with three counties and three counties in the northern San Joaquin Valley. Monterey Bay is a bay in the Pacific Ocean. Located on the California coast, south of San Francisco and San Jose.
Monterey is located on the Monterey Peninsula at the southern end. The “Monterey Bay Area” is used to describe the entire Central Coast communities of Santa Cruz and Monterey County.
Juan Rodriguez was the first European to discover Monterey Bay. While on a Spanish expedition, he reached Monterey Bay on November 16, 1542. The first thing he encountered when he landed was the dense pine forest. Then he gave the name Bahia de los Pinos to the bay that can be translated to Bay of Pines. That name is no longer used but the westernmost point on the peninsula is still called Point Pinos.
In 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was commissioned by the Spanish government. His job was to arrange a map of the coast with all the details. He gave the name used today the port of Monterey. He named it Puerto de Monterrey, in honor of the then Spanish representative, Conde de Monterrey.
All other names of nearby towns have Monterey in their name. Presidio of Monterey, City of Monterey, County of Monterey and Monterey Canyon.
Along the coast there are pristine estuaries and long sandy beaches. They border the marine environment – Monterey Bay. It is one of the world’s most amazing marine environments.
By the bay lies the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It is the country’s largest underwater canyon that is both larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon on land.
Around the coast lie the sunny communities; Aptos, Capitola, Soquel and Santa Cruz. These are resorts with long beaches. In the water, there is the opportunity to get active in many different ways. Surfing, sailing, kayaking and even whale watching are popular activities. From Monterey and Moss Landing are bay cruises that provide the opportunity to see various marine animals such as sea otters, sea lions and porpoises.
On land it is possible to hike, go ziplining or go wine tasting.
Since the opening of the Del Monte Golf Course in 1897, golf has been a major part of the social life of Monterey,
Pebble Beach’s championship courses host prestigious tournaments.
Monterey’s well-preserved beach promenade allows visitors to explore the site’s history. There are plenty of restaurants and galleries that can create both a culinary and cultural experience.
Along 17-Mile Drive, at Pebble Beach, stands the most photographed tree in all of North America. It is a Lone Cypress that has been shaped according to weather and wind. It grows out on the precipice on a granite tip about 2.4 kilometers above the water overlooking Carmel Bay. There is a parking lot by the road where you can see the tree well from, it is not possible to go out closer to the tree.