From the stunning array of aquatic life around Monterey to the range of rare wildlife on the pristine Channel Islands, the Central Coast is a nature lover's heaven and enough to keep any visitor entranced. Other destinations beckon too, such as the opulent Hearst Castle, situated roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Farther south is Santa Barbara, a classy Mediterranean-style seaside town well worth exploring. Throughout the region, world-class wineries and vineyards offering tours for visitors dot the hillsides from north to south.
CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Escape to a world apart - fve wild islands traversed by hiking trails and surrounded by rock pools and azure seas, a great destination for deep-sea fsh-ing, kayaking and snorkelling. regularly scheduled boat trips depart from Santa Barbara Harbor and Ventura Harbor.
OLD FISHERMAN'S WHARF MONTEREY
Dine at waterside restaurants, hear seals barking and otters splashing, watch saltwater taffy being pulled and take snapshots of boats full of whale watchers or anglers motoring out to sea.
THE POOLS OF HEARST CASTLE SAN SIMEON
Cary Grant swam here; now, two breath-taking swimming pools - the neptune Pool and the roman Pool - have been restored to the glory envisioned by William randolph Hearst and famed architect Julia Morgan.
17-MILE DRIVE PEBBLE BEACH & CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
Follow this looping drive or take a cycling tour past incomparable ocean vistas, wind-carved cypress trees and immaculate golf courses.