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Monterey & Carmel Explorer℠ Tour

Monterey & Carmel Explorer℠ Tour

Semi-Private Monterey & Carmel Tour

  • What do I need to bring?

    • Money for lunch
    • Snack
    • Bottle water
    • Camera
    • Money for shopping at small boutiques
  • Does the tour run daily?

    The Monterey Explorer Tour operates daily with a minimum number of 4 passengers.

  • Do you offer that tour in different languages?

    Usually we offer that tour just in English. If needed we can organize a privat tour in sevaral languages though.

  • Is it a guided tour?

    Yes, the tour is guided though you will have time on your own without the guide during your stops.

  • Is there a guarantee that the Monterey Explorer Tour will be on small vehicle?

    Yes, there is a guarantee of a small, semi-private vehicle.

  • What kind of vehicle will take us on the Monterey Explorer Tour?

    We use a 13-passenger van for this tour.

  • How many people are on the tour?

    The maximum capacity is 13 passengers; however, like all of smaller group tours, a minimum number of participants are required before the tour can be confirmed. If you have any questions about availability please contact our Reservations staff at: +1-415-357-0700

  • Do we have time on our own in Monterey and Carmel?

    Yes, there will be about an hour each in both Monterey and Carmel.

  • Do we have time to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium?

    We do not recommend to use your time in Monterey to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can choose to; however the entrance fee for the Monterey Bay Aquarium is not included.

  • What does optional stop in Santa Cruz & Half Moon Bay mean?

    There will be scenic photo opportunities in Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. The stops will also allow you time to shop or grab snacks for as long as time will allow. It is optional because your group can decide to make this additional stop.

  • What is the difference between the Monterey/Carmel Tour by bus and Monterey Explorer Tour?

    The Monterey Explorer Tour is on a smaller vehicle with maximum capacity of 13 passengers. It is a semi-private tour that allows more flexibility to alter the itinerary and request specific stops. The Monterey/Carmel Tour by bus is on a large motor coach, holding up to 50 passengers.

Our Monterey & Carmel Explorer Tour will take you along California's Pacific Coast on your way to historic Monterey & picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea along with a drive through Pacific Grove in between. Monterey Bay has great geologic and biological significance: it has an incredible abundance of sea life just offshore in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which borders 276 miles of California’s spectacular coastline. Several waves of industrial scale whaling and fishing exploited the bounty of the huge undersea trench offshore. John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath) grew up in Salinas and spent much of his creative effort writing about the Monterey area. 

You’ll start the day traveling south on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, California Highway 1 (fog permitting). After a stop in Santa Cruz, a rest break, and optional photo stops along the way, you will set foot on Monterey’s famous Cannery Row for a chance to stroll among the shops and grab a fresh seafood lunch. If you bring your own lunch, you might be able to squeeze in a short trip to the world famous Monterey Aquarium (admission not included). After lunch, you will follow the coast through the beautiful little town of Pacific Grove on the way to the 17-Mile Drive. This famous road winds its way between magnificent homes and the spectacular coastline, between the greens and tees of world famous golf courses like Spyglass Hill, and among the last remaining forest of a rare species of trees, the Monterey Cypress, which is sculpted by relentless pacific breezes into fanciful shapes. The Lone Cypress is a very poignant example of one of these hardy trees hanging on to life (with the help of human engineering) in a seemingly impossible location.

The drive finishes up at the Pebble Beach Village, where you can visit the Pro Shop and see the famous 18th Green. When you’ve paid that much for green fees, you don’t quit at sundown on the 16th hole! Upon arrival in the enchanted town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, you can explore the boutique shops on Ocean Avenue or be dazzled by the white sandy beach. If there is time and interest, we can visit the historic Carmel Mission as a last stop. Our Monterey & Carmel Explorer Tour also has optional short stops in Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz. Don’t forget this is a semi-private tour, meaning that the itinerary can be customized to your own interests. Come and join our Monterey & Carmel Explorer Tour now for an exquisite experience.

Monterey & Carmel Explorer Tour - Times Approximate

8:00 - 8:30 AM
Pick up for the Monterey & Carmel Explorer Tour at hotels in San Francisco - downtown or Fisherman's Wharf area.
8:30 - 8:45 AM
Pick up from Extranomical San Francisco SOMA Office.
9:00-12:00 AM
Begin the tour to Monterey, driving along Highway 1 viewing California's rugged coastline with a rest-stop in Davenport.
12:00 - 1:30 PM
Arrive in Monterey where you can promenade the shops and have a meal in one of the many restaurants of the historic Cannery Row. If time allows, you might also be able to squeeze in a visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium (admission not included).
1:30 - 3:00 PM
Drive through Pacific Grove, known for its Monarch butterflies and turn-of-the century Victorian homes. Then follow the scenic 17-Mile Drive through Del Monte Forest, seeing the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Course and the Lone Cypress Tree.
3:00 - 4:30 PM
The last portion of this tour will be held at the beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea, where you can shop in small boutiques and visit quaint art and photography galleries.
4:30 - 7:00 PM
Finish the Monterey & Carmel Explorer Tour and head to San Francisco.
7:00 - 7:30 PM
Drop off at Downtown San Francisco or Fisherman's Wharf hotels.

Customer Images

Customer Reviews

Monterey & Carmel Explorer℠ Tour
– Katie R. on 08/01/2016

My parents and I had a really great tour and were fortunate to share the experience with a really nice group of people. We took this tour about 6 years ago (I think with another company). The drive down was a little different and included a beautiful stop at the lighthouse which we did not do with the last company. Don provided just the right amount of narration and played a great California music mix on the drive back to the city. The music was a really nice touch. There was a small bump in the road when the entrance to 17-mile drive was closed and we had to find another way in. It took a little while but in the end I realized that was because Don was trying valiantly to still have us experience 17-mile drive and I appreciated that. Pick up and drop off at our hotel was a great convenience. Thank you for a nice day!
– Miss Julie K. on 07/24/2016

Excellent - Small group - well informed - highly recommend this tour company.
– Vijay A. on 07/21/2016

Very Informed Guide. Provided all the information at relevant places. Very good natured human being.
– elvia a. on 07/10/2016

excelente, cumplieron con mis expectativas
– Don C. on 05/30/2016

tour was excellent. Phil adapted the tour to suit all interests and provided appropriate ad relevant commentary where and when needed.
– Sandy M. on 05/26/2016

We booked this tour along with our Muirwoods/Sausilito tour. Our tour guide was Frank. He promptly picked us up at our hotel. Even coming into the lobby area to find us. We had a full van of 13 guests. He made sure he knew everyone and introduced everyone to each other as they boarded the van. You can really tell Frank loves loves his job. He is a great talker of everything and knows so much. We knew this was going to be a long day, however Frank made sure we stopped at all the scenic spots and even taking some side areas to show us specific sites. He had recommendations on everything and let us spend more time in Carmel just because this area is more quaint and scenic. Frank made this tour very enjoyable and I would love to have him again some time.
– Greg H. on 12/31/2015

tour was excellent but would have liked a stop at Silicon Valley to show we've been there
– marie g. on 12/12/2015

the tour was great! Don was a really good tour guide fun and knowledgeable!24
– Stacia S. on 10/23/2015

We had a great trip!! It was definitely worth the extra money to take the smaller tour. My wife and I were on our 16th anniversary trip and this trip more than met my expectations. Pam was a fantastic guide and she shared many interesting facts, both historical, location wise and personal along the way. We felt like a friend was giving us a tour. We were very happy and gave a very positive review on Trip Advisor as well.
Tour Prices* Adults (12+) Children
Regular Price: $150 $130
Internet Special: $125 $119


  • Complimentary SF hotel pickup & drop off
  • Explore Monterey's renowned Cannery Row
  • Visit the beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea
  • Enjoy great views on the 17-Mile Drive
  • Famous Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1)
  • See the Pebble Beach golf course
  • Optional stop in Half Moon Bay/Santa Cruz
  • Expert guide & live commentary in English
  • Semi-private tour in a minibus or 13-pax van
  • Tour Operator: Extranomical