Monterey County, California

Looking for the best chillin in Monterey County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Monterey County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Chillin Spots in and near Monterey County

  • Big Sur, California

    Explore San Carpoforo Creek

    4.0
    Just south of Ragged Point, San Carpoforo Creek is an open beach that is fun to explore. There is a quick hike from the highway to the beach.  During heavy rain years, the creek will be flowing deeper, so you might need to do some swimming. There are waves occasionally here with a couple of surfe...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Luxurious Camping at Treebones Resort

    5.0
    If you’ve always wanted to experience Big Sur, but sleeping on the ground isn’t really your thing, Treebones might be exactly what you’re looking for. Nestled along Big Sur’s beautiful coastline, Treebones Resort offers expansive views and easy access to everything the area has to offer. With a t...
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  • Monterey County, California

    Camp at San Martin Top

    San Martin Top is a magical spot overlooking the coast in Big Sur. Accessible via a rutted, windy dirt road, it’s remote enough to guarantee some privacy though you’ll see fellow adventurous souls on surrounding ridges. Take care on the drive up, then set up camp overlooking the ocean or rolling ...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Calla Lily Valley

    4.5
    0.31 mi / 46 ft gain
    Parking for Calla Lily Valley is available along the dirt pullout at Gate 19 for Garrapata State Park, near mile-marker 63. Signs are small and difficult to see. Follow the path between the guide wires and take the right fork, heading north to the bluff overlooking the beach. Continue north and f...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Garrapata Beach

    4.6
    A wonderful roadside beach and state park. Easy parking on both sides of Hwy. 1 with short access trails. There are almost 2 miles of coastline trails heading north and south from the parking area. The north end of the beach is great for swimming and surfing when the sea is calm and the south ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Salmon Creek Falls

    5.0
    0.29 mi / 102 ft gain
    The trailhead to Salmon Creek Falls is located along a pullout just 45 miles south of Pfieffer Burns State Park on the Highway 1. The falls are only about .25 miles from the trailhead, perfect for a quick visit if you are already driving through Big Sur. Though the Salmon Creek Trail continues on...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Soberanes Point

    1.82 mi / 295 ft gain
    Garrapata State Park is located along California's Highway 1, roughly 5 miles south of Carmel, California. The park is entirely free with multiple pull-outs and serves as one of the first grand views travelers encounter while heading south from the Monterey Peninsula to southern California. Garra...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Secluded Beach Near Soberanes Point

    5.0
    0.2 mi / 40 ft gain
    When we stumbled upon this beach we were thrilled to have such great views with no crowds.  There is plenty of room to lay out in the sun, you can swim in the ocean to cool off, and the beach is surrounded by beautiful landscape.  If you decide to swim be very careful as the waves and currents ca...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Hike to the Top of Inspiration Point

    5.0
    1.3 mi / 850 ft gain
    This magnificent trail was recently converted into part of the Monterey Regional Parks System. Walk through pastures of cows, through coast oaks, up a steep incline with vast views of Carmel Valley, Carmel and the Pacific Ocean up to the top where a picnic table awaits you at Inspiration Point. T...
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  • Carmel, California

    Point Lobos Natural Preserve Loop

    4.7
    7.14 mi / 640 ft gain
    Point Lobos contains headlands, coves and rolling meadows, and its offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world, popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters, migrating gray whales (from December to May), and thousands of seabirds, who also make t...
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  • San Simeon, California

    Ragged Point Trail

    4.5
    0.81 mi / 249 ft gain
    Ragged Point is a quick stop off Hwy1 in Big Sur. It offers amazing vistas of where the mountains meet the ocean. There are scenic spots overlooking both the North and the South. The southern vista overlooks San Carpoforo Creek. Big Sur is truly one of the most beautiful places in California, and...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Hike along the Carmel River Beach Trail

    1 mi / 100 ft gain
    Known as "Ribera Beach" by locals, this stretch of land nestled between Carmel River State Beach and Monastery Beach is not to be missed! The trails are easy to get to and can be accessed by 4 locations. The first entrance is on Highway 1 at the Bay School (between Ribera Road and Monastery Beach...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Surf Carmel River State Beach

    5.0
    Carmel State beach is located in Monterey county.  It's your typical beach break with both lefts and rights.  One thing that is super unique about Carmel is that the water is some of the clearest in all of California.  Depending on the sandbars, this can be a really fun wave!  It's also a great p...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Catch a Sunset at Carmel Beach

    4.7
    It’s a dream of mine to live in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  You might recognize Carmel because Clint Eastwood was the mayor from 1986 to 1988.  An idiosyncrasy you may not know about Carmel is the fact that there are no street addresses on any house in Carmel.  Everyone gets their mail at the post office...
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  • Marina, California

    Explore Fort Ord Dunes State Park

    5.0
    One of the best parts of Monterey is the beaches – but their popularity is also their weakness, so if you want seclusion head to the lesser-known Fort Ord Dunes for solitude and beautiful views of Monterey Bay and the Pacific Coast. Historically, this location was chosen as the location for Fort ...
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  • Monterey, California

    Sail on Monterey Bay

    Few places along the California coast are perfectly suited for a day of sailing. While San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Long Beach, San Francisco, and Catalina Island offer sailing adventures, none of them offer wide open Pacific waters without dangerous commercial traffic to navigate. The...
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