Moon Monterey & Carmel
With Santa Cruz & Big Sur
Quirky galleries, deliciously fresh seafood, and dramatic hikes and drives: discover what the locals love about these seaside towns with Moon Monterey & Carmel. Inside you'll find:
- Flexible, strategic itineraries including long weekends in Monterey, Carmel, and Santa Cruz, and a three-day road trip from Big Sur to Cambria
- Top sights and unique experiences: Visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium or take a whale-watching tour to catch a glimpse of sea otters, harbor seals, and migrating whales in the wild. Stroll along soft sand beaches or browse artisan galleries and boutiques in Carmel's idyllic downtown. Cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur and pull over to soak up the breathtaking ocean view, or wander the halls of the opulent Hearst Castle. Catch happy hour at a historic brewery, or dine on fresh seafood as the sun sets over the bay
- Outdoor adventures: Explore the stunning coastline on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, dive into a kelp forest, or rent a surfboard and catch a wave.
- Honest advice from Monterey local Stuart Thornton on when to go, how to get around, where to eat, and where to stay, from budget motels to historic inns
- Full-color photos and detailed maps throughout
- Handy tools including tips for seniors, visitors with disabilities, and traveling with kids
- Helpful resources on COVID-19 and traveling to Monterey and Carmel
- Background on the culture, history, weather, and wildlife
- Full coverage of Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, Cambria, San Simeon, Morro Bay, and Salinas
Experience the best of Monterey & Carmel with Moon's practical tips and local insight.
Hitting the road? Check out Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip. Looking for more outdoor adventures? Try Moon Northern California Hiking.
About Moon Travel Guides: Moon was founded in 1973 to empower independent, active, and conscious travel. We prioritize local businesses, outdoor recreation, and traveling strategically and sustainably. Moon Travel Guides are written by local, expert authors with great stories to tell—and they can't wait to share their favorite places with you.
For more inspiration, follow @moonguides on social media.
"Moon handbooks are always a pleasure to read. The writing is crisp, the research impressive, and the recommendations practical and down to earth."—Chicago Tribune
“The books are more easily readable than other guides. The main attractions are also marked with a special icon and sidebars and boxes highlight special information, making the Moon handbooks one of the most user-friendly guides in terms of visual appeal and organization…the quality is uniformly excellent."—Transitions Abroad
"Far from narrow minded, each Moon travel guide gives itinerary options for a variety of travelers’ budgets—from frugal to lavish. They make books catering to those who love the outdoors, those who have limited time, those staying exclusively in cities and those who’ve fully committed to living abroad. In all, they have hundreds of titles, ranging Bermuda to Budapest, that’ll teach you to embrace a new culture."—Gear Patrol, "The Best Travel Guidebooks for Every Journey"
"Moon handbooks have become known as well-written and exceptionally informative guides."—The New York Times
"Moon guides are perfect for the relaxed road tripper or outdoor explorer."—No Small Plan
"Moon handbooks are known for cannily combining logistical information with cultural background of a country or state."—Los Angeles Times