Pacific Grove (4 miles or 12 minutes from De Anza Inn)
Pacific Grove is a coastal community in Monterey County and is located just a few short miles from DeAnza Inn. Take a drive through the city and you’ll spot many Victorian-era houses, including some that have been turned into bed and breakfast inns. Pacific Grove is also the home of Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast, that began operation in 1855! If you are looking for a great place to eat, take a drive along Lighthouse Avenue for some great restaurant choices. If you love butterflies, be sure to stop at the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. Worthy of a visit any time of the year, the sanctuary is a beautiful preserve with pine, cypress, and eucalyptus trees that shelters thousands of Monarch butterflies from October through March. Some other points of interest you won’t want to miss are the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, 17-Mile Drive, the Pacific Grove Golf Links, and the Asilomar State Marine Reserve. For some fun and beautiful photo opportunities, take a drive along Ocean View Blvd. and you will come across Lover’s Point Park, the Kissing Rock, and the John Denver Memorial.
Carmel (5.5 miles or 10-15 minutes from De Anza Inn)
A small beach city located on the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel is known for its rich artistic history, museums, and the fairytale cottages and galleries in its village-like city center. Take a driving audio tour of Carmel or a walking audio tour of the Fairy Tale Houses using the VoiceMap app or check out Carmel Food Tours for your chance at a Small-Group Food and Wine Walking Tour. If you are a history buff, be sure to visit the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum or the Clifton Walker House by Frank Lloyd Wright. Carmel is a dog-friendly city with numerous hotels, restaurants, and retail shops allowing guests with dogs. Here’s a fun fact: Carmel has an unusual law on their books that makes it illegal to wear high heel shoes without a permit, which was put into effect to prevent the lawsuits that would arise from tripping accidents caused by irregular pavement…so be sure to leave your high heels at home!
Big Sur (30 miles or 45 minutes from De Anza Inn)
Located 30 miles south of DeAnza Inn, you will find a rugged stretch of California’s central coast called Big Sur nestled in between Carmel and San Simeon. Take Highway 1 to get there and you will not only enjoy a beautiful drive, but you will also experience the highway’s winding turns, seaside cliffs, and stunning views of the often-misty coastline. Along the way, take advantage of the many scenic outlook turnoffs where you can stop and take in the sweeping views of this magnificent area. This sparsely populated area has numerous state parks available for your hiking, camping, and beachcombing pleasure. Stop at Pfeiffer Beach and see Pfeiffer Keyhole Rock, the most photographed attraction in Big Sur after Bixby Bridge. If surfing, beachcombing, or fishing are your thing, then be sure to stop by Sand Dollar Beach, which has the largest unbroken stretch of sand in Big Sur. For amazing hikes and a beautiful beach, visit Limekiln State Park where the beach meets the forest. A short hike away from the beach, you will find the limekilns used in the late 17th century to smelt the quarried limestone still found today in many buildings in San Francisco and Monterey. No matter your interests, you will find something wonderful to explore in Big Sur.
Carmel Valley (16 miles or 24 minutes from De Anza Inn)
Carmel Valley is just a hop, skip, and jump away from DeAnza Inn, and is the perfect place to go if you have an interest in wine tasting and tours. Cowgirl Winery, Massa Estate Organic Vineyards, Georis Winery, Joullian Vineyards, Bernardus Winery, Joyce Wine Company, Albatross Ridge Tasting Cottage, Parsonage Winery Tasting Room, Boekenoogen Winery Tasting, and more can all be found here. In between all that wine tasting, there are some fantastic restaurants in the area like Carmel Valley Chophouse, a meat-centric destination offering steaks, chicken, salads, and wine in an intimate, yet welcoming, setting. For a different kind of fun, visit the Moto Talbott Motorcycle Museum where you will find one of the premier motorcycle collections on the West Coast that offers over 170 iconic motorcycles from 16 countries!
Salinas (17 miles or 24 minutes from De Anza Inn)
Salinas is also located in Monterey County and is nicknamed the “Salad Bowl of the World” for its large and vibrant agriculture industry. Dominant crops grown here include strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach. Salinas is also the hometown of writer and Nobel laureate John Steinbeck, whose many stories were set in the Salinas Valley and Monterey. If you are a fan of the California Rodeo Salinas, then you will definitely want to visit the Salinas Sports Complex and its 17,000-seat stadium where the rodeo is the main event! Next door at the 5,000-seat Rabobank Stadium, you can catch a game of soccer, football, or rugby in the state-of-the-art stadium that features a bowl design with the playing surface 11 feet below the natural elevation.