Secret Spots in Monterey County You Need To See

Monterey County is teeming with fascinating places you may not have heard of, but you’ll definitely want to explore. Here are some of Monterey’s best kept secret places to play, taste and explore.

1. Monterey Bay Aquarium may not be an unpopular place but  UFO (unscheduled feeding opportunities) and wildlife sightings are a rare experience for most visitors. You can sign up for text message alerts to be notified of feeding and enrichment programs with sharks, a giant Pacific octopus, bat rays, sardines and more.

2. Foodies will be delighted with the chef’s table at Marinus at Bernardus Lodge. Watch experts prepare course after course and if ever you get bored from all the chopping and frying, entertain yourself with the notes that surround the table area’s wall. It’s said that some notes have been written by famous people who have dined the area, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Julia Childs. For reservations, call (831) 658-3595.

3. Take your loved one to the Asilomar Conference Grounds for some serene relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. The place is breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s also home to the Proposal Bench, a perfect spot for catching sunsets and taking on all matters of the heart.

4. Experience the thrilling sensation of motorsports in  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for only $10! Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is an 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course best known for The Corkscrew, a one-of-a-kind turn in motorsports, with an elevation change equivalent to 5 ½ stories.

5. China Cove at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts. The place is teeming with wildlife which can be easily seen around the vicinity like weasels, deer, badgers, bobcats and rabbits. Currently, visitors are reporting sightings of female harbor seals and their pups.

6. Garrapata State Park is an unknown Big Sur jewel that offers dramatic microclimates, several creek crossings and towering redwoods. Not many people know the place because it’s tricky to spot from the road. You can choose to climb the steeper trail and be rewarded with majestic views of the ocean, or go for a more leisurely hike across the coastal bluffs that lead to Garrapata State Beach. Click here for map and directions.

7. Go for a more laid-back surfer vibe at the Moss Landing State Beach  where otters float around the place. The waves here are definitely world-class!

8. Take a break and go have some lunch or afternoon tea at the house of the famous author John SteinbeckThe Steinbeck House is located at 132 Central Avenue in Salinas and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hours of operation vary; call (831) 424-2735 for reservations.


This post is an adaptation of’s post, Monterey County’s Top 20 Secret Spots. Click here to view original post and more interesting places to visit.


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