Any of the following tours can be combined and customized to the needs and size of your group. Visits can be added to other local attractions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary or the Lighthouse in Pacific Grove, the Carmel Mission or wine tasting, hiking and lunch at local restaurants. The times listed are estimates only. Transportation can be booked by California Legacy Tours or provided by you.
This 2-4 hour excursion, one of the most requested outings, follows the old 17 mile carriage route offered by the Hotel Del Monte in 1880 to show their wealthy guests the most spectacular vistas the Monterey Peninsula had to offer. From historic Monterey the drive takes you along the shoreline of Monterey Bay, past Cannery Row, immortalized by John Steinbeck, to Pacific Grove with its beautiful Victorian architecture. In Pebble Beach the 17 Mile Drive passes some of the world’s most prestigious golf courses along the rocky Pacific shoreline: Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Cypress Point. We will visit the unique village of Carmel-by-the-Sea before returning to our starting point. Your guide’s in depth knowledge of the cultural and natural history of this area will enhance your experience of the fabulous vistas and scenic stops.
This 3-4 hour excursion travels along one of the most magnificent highways in the world. The road makes it’s way south from Carmel, in places carved into the steep slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains above the mighty Pacific ocean, to the shelter of the beautiful Big Sur Valley. Spectacular scenic stops offer great opportunities to take photos, and the interesting commentary of the settlers and wildlife will make this a most memorable day. A short hike or a lunch in one of the many Big Sur Restaurants can be incorporated into the tour.
A 3-6 hour excursion into the wine region of Monterey County can take us either to the Salinas or Carmel Valley. Monterey County is second in the state of California in production of wine grapes and many wineries and tasting rooms are a short distance from Monterey. Sample some of the local award winning wines as you tour tasting rooms and wineries. Enjoy the fascinating history of the agriculture and wine industries, blended with local tales, and mixed with reminiscences by author John Steinbeck who grew up in the “heart of the Salad bowl of the Untied States”.
The all day tour from Monterey to Hearst Castle and back will take us 90 miles south along one of the most dramatic highways in the world, through Big Sur to the magnificent home built by eccentric newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. He named it La Cuesta Encantada, “The Enchanted Hill” and so it is, a magnificent estate which had it’s own zoo and 127 acres of gardens, patios and pools. To furnish the 165 rooms Hearst amassed an impressive collection of antiques and antiquities from all over the world. There he entertained his guests who ranged from Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill. A lunch or a picnic close by will round out your visit. The return trip to the Monterey Peninsula will take us north through the fertile Salinas Valley where we get a fist hand view from the bus at the teeming agricultural enterprises which have given the valley the name “The Salad Bowl of the United States.”
This half, or full day, excursion will take us first to Mission San Juan Bautista which was built in 1797. Situated on an authentic town square dating from California’s Mexican era it looks out over fields and hills almost unchanged since the Mission was built. We will tour the Mission and it’s grounds before lunch in a charming local restaurant. Our journey will continue and take us to the Presidio grounds, the original location of Mission San Carlos de Borromeo, which had been founded in Monterey. Here we will visit the only remaining structure, the Royal Presidio Chapel. The banks of the Rio Carmelo became the final location chosen by Father Junipero Serra for his Mission San Carlos de Borromeo. A docent led tour focusing on the art of the Mission, and a self guided walk through the museums and grounds, will give us an appreciation of the scope of the Spanish mission era in California. From here we return to our starting point.