Getting there: One-way rates to Monterey start at $129, 21-day advance; American, Delta, United.
Stay: Downtown Monterey and Fisherman’s Wharf are about a 30-minute walk along a beach path from the Best Western de Anza Inn. Pebble Beach, Carmel Beach and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are within four miles. Spacious guest rooms have a microwave and refrigerator, and the grounds have a hot tub and heated swimming pool. Starting at $110. 2141 Fremont St., Monterey. 831-646-8300, www.bestwestern.com.
Eat: Dishes are Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean with a French influence at contemporary An Choi Restaurant. Entrees go up to $23. Just beyond Pacific Grove in a forest with ocean views. 1120 Lighthouse Ave. 831-372-8818, www.anchoirestaurant.com.
Experience: The Monterey Bay Coastal Trail runs 29 miles from Pacific Grove to Castroville, a prime area for biking, skating, hiking, jogging or walking along the waterfront and through pine forests. www.mprpd.org/parks /coastaltrail.htm. Adventures by the Sea rents bikes from $7 an hour to $25 for a full day. 831-372-1807, www .adventuresbythesea.com. Monterey’s best-kept secrets are its many historic gardens. Free admission. www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=952.
Getting there: One-way, seven-day advance purchase rates start at $229; American, Delta, United.
Stay: L’Auberge Carmel Hotel and Restaurant is in the heart of town and just four blocks from world-famous Carmel Beach. A European feeling runs throughout the hotel and to the charming courtyard. Romantic rooms feature luxury bedding, a seating area, a soaking tub and robes. $320 to $600 per night, including continental breakfast. Monte Verde at Seventh, Carmel-by-the-Sea. 831-624-8578, www.laubergecarmel.com.
Eat: Plan a lunch stop at Nepenthe, on coastal cliffs with outstanding Pacific views. $12.50-$19.25. 48510 Calif. 1, Big Sur. 831-667-2345, www.nepenthebigsur.com. Bustling Dametra Cafe serves Mediterranean and Greek specialties in a warm, family ambience. Entrees $15-$26. Ocean and Lincoln, Carmel-by-the-Sea. 831-622-7766. www.dametracafe.com.
Experience: A drive past the famous fairways of the Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and the Pebble Beach Golf Links of the Monterey Peninsula costs $9.25, including map, guide, www.pebblebeach.com. Monterey’s Cannery Row, a stretch of historic streets and waterfront, has more than 25 restaurants, eclectic shops, local artists’ galleries, fun nightlife and samples of county wines and gourmet foods. www.canneryrow.com.
Getting there: One-way, walk-up business class rates on Delta start at $548.
Stay: Accommodations scattered along a terraced hillside at the Bernardus Lodge of Carmel Valley are sumptuous. On site are a winery and vineyards, two of the best area restaurants, a spa and salon, a swimming pool, two tennis courts and a croquet lawn. Room amenities include wine, soft drinks, gourmet snacks, two-person bathtubs, a sitting area, antique armoires, fresh fruit and roses. Starting at $415 double. 415 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. 831-658-3400, www.bernardus.com.
Eat: A pasture with grazing sheep, a piano bar and a patio warmed by a fireplace set the scene at the restaurant of Mission Ranch Carmel, owned by actor Clint Eastwood. Appetizers, $8-$12; entrees, $20-$35; brunch, $28. 26270 Dolores St., Carmel-by-the-Sea. 831-624-6436, www.missionranchcarmel.com.
Experience: Monterey Whale Watching offers bay tours to spot marine life, including humpbacks and blue whales (best viewing May to mid-December). Trips of up to three hours are narrated by a professional marine biologist aboard the 75-foot Pacific Explorer or the 100-foot Princess Monterey. $39.95. Old Fisherman’s Wharf. www.montereywhalewatching.com.