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You are here: Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau > Travel Basics > Monterey FAQS

Monterey FAQS

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Monterey FAQs — Frequently Asked Questions


Where is the Hog's Breath Inn?
This well-known restaurant, formerly owned by Clint Eastwood, is located on San Carlos between 4th and 5th St in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

How long does it take to get to Hearst Castle from Monterey. Are tours available? How much does it cost?
It's 90 miles from Rio Rd in Carmel to San Simeon on Highway One; allow about 3 hours of drive time in clear, dry weather. Tours of Hearst Castle range from $24 ($20 off-season) to $30 for adults. If you're a first-time visitor, take the Experience Tour for a good general look at the mansion.

How do I get to the entrance of 17-Mile Drive, and how much does it cost?
Price is $8.50 per car (no motorcycles allowed). There are several gates, but the best place to begin is to take Highway 68 to the Pacific Grove gate off Sunset Ave. Follow the signs.

How long does it take to drive to Monterey from San Francisco?
It's 123 miles, about 2.5 hours of driving, depending on traffic. Try to steer clear of rush-hour traffic and avoid Friday or Sunday evenings when weekenders are heading to destinations or going home.

How can I get to your area without a car from the San Jose or San Francisco Airports?
Take the convenient Monterey-Salinas Airporter Airbus. It's only $30 one way from SFO or San Jose to the Salinas Amtrak Station or the Monterey Transit Center. Amtrak and Greyhound both serve the area, as well. The Amtrak station is in Salinas with buses connecting to Monterey. The Greyhound station is also in Salinas with connecting service to Monterey.
Transportation and Tours

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Can you see whales throughout the entire year?
Yes. The Central Coast enjoys sightings of whales all year. See grays from December to April, humpback whales and blue whales from May-October.
Whale Watching

Could you recommend any good hiking trails in the area?
Monterey County is blessed with beautiful hiking trails that take in the full range of difficulty, from easy to challenging. For sea views, visit Point Lobos State Reserve, three miles south of Carmel on Highway One. For valley views, try Garland Regional Park in Carmel Valley.
Outdoor Life

What are the opening hours of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, how much does it cost?
Winter hours are 10:00-6:00pm daily; closed Christmas. Summer hours are 9:30-6:00pm. Prices are as follows: adult $17.95, seniors over 65 and students aged 8-17 $17.95, disabled persons $7.95, kids 3-7 $7.95, under 3 free. No discount coupons are offered.

Where does Clint Eastwood live and is he still your mayor?
Clint currently lives in Pebble Beach. He was mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in the mid 1980s and served for two years.

Where can you purchase posters and videos of the area?
The Wharfside General Store on Fisherman's Wharf is a great place to buy posters. Tourist shops and galleries along Cannery Row, in Carmel or Big Sur also have posters; in Pacific Grove, try Spanish Bay Gallery. The El Estero Visitor Center sells tapes; the Maritime Museum Visitor Center sells videos and other goodies besides.
Visitor Information Centers

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Food and Lodging

Which hotels are located on the water?
The Monterey Plaza and Spa, Spindrift, Monterey Bay Inn, The Beach Resort, and Marina Dunes Resort are a few of the lodgings on the water. Numerous hotels and motels are near the water or have ocean views. See our listings under "Lodging" for additional offerings.

Where can I find reasonably priced accommodations?
Accommodations along Fremont St and Munras St are reasonable. Check Marina and Seaside for possibilities as well: they are somewhat further out, but are worth it if you're on a budget, or traveling during an especially busy time. Don't forget that off-season prices can be a real bargain. Also, you might consider camping.
Outdoor Life
RV Parks and Campgrounds

Can you recommend a seafood restaurant on the water?
There are some excellent seafood restaurants along Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row, but don't limit yourself!
Food and Wine

Where can we get coupons for discounts on Aquarium, lodging, restaurants?
The Cannery Row Coupon Book offers discounts. Several restaurants give 10-15% off. You can find them at Visitor Centers. No discounts are offered at the Aquarium, but you can get a free audio rental. Remember, off-season rates are lower for lodging.
Visitor Information Centers

We would like to get married on the Peninsula. How do we obtain a marriage license?
The Monterey Peninsula is a prime destination for couples who want to tie the knot. Both bride and groom must be present at the Salinas Courthouse with acceptable photo identification. The cost is $54 and the license is valid throughout California for 90 days. If you are residents of California, you can obtain a license in your home town - just remember to bring it with you! Call the Salinas Courthouse at 831-755-5450 from Salinas, or 831-647-7906 from Monterey, for more information.

What are the typical weather patterns for the year?
The temperatures and weather patterns of the Monterey County vary. Coastal areas are mild. Inland temperatures tend to be more extreme. Generally, autumn is the warmest and sunniest season. Conditions can vary from city to city and throughout the day. Dressing in layers and bringing a light jacket or sweater is wise.

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