Craggy rocks rise up along a smooth sandy beach as waves wash up on shore.

The Best California Beaches

From wide, golden beaches with abundant sunshine to boardwalks crowded with kids, cotton candy, and roller coasters, California has any kind of beach you could possibly want. Author Stuart Thornton shares a helpful overview of some of the state’s best options for sun, sand, and surf.

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Moon Coastal California

Travel writer and longtime California resident Stuart Thornton covers the best of Coastal California, from hiking through redwoods in Big Sur to surfing the waves at Black’s Beach in San Diego. Thornton is the perfect tour guide, offering unique trip ideas for a wide variety of travelers, including Pacific Coast Road Trip and Romantic Getaways. […]

Big Sur offers picturesque coastal hikes. Photo © Stuart Thornton.

The Best Hikes in Monterey and Carmel

The Monterey and Carmel region contains outstanding hiking trails for all levels of hikers. Here’s a list of the best, including everything from an easy leg-stretching hike to a strenuous multiday backpacking adventure.

View of Lover's Point. Photo © Stuart Thornton.

Itinerary: A Long Weekend in Monterey

Time in Monterey should be spent exploring the bay itself, whether by visiting the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium or heading out in the water on a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or whale-watching vessel. Head out for long weekend maritime escape with this three day itinerary.

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Moon Monterey & Carmel

Travel writer and Monterey resident Stuart Thornton offers his firsthand experience and advice on Monterey, Carmel, and beyond, from Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row to the nearby areas of Pacific Grove and Salinas. Thornton includes various travel itinerary ideas, including “Big Sur to Morro Bay Road Trip,” plus a delicious wine-tasting adventure, and a […]

A castle-like building amidst a vineyard in fall colors.

California Coast Family Road Trip Ideas

Driving the California coast is a classic family road trip, with a range of attractions for kids to enjoy. While some popular destinations are very much kid-focused, other attractions such as zoos, aquariums, and unique locales are truly family-friendly, offering a bit of fun for everyone.

A sea otter holds its paws up to its face.

Visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium

From the very beginning, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s mission has been conservation, and they’re not shy about it: all the exhibits you’ll see contain only local sea life. While the aquarium is fun any time of year, week, or day, some things—such as feeding time, or when rarer species such as the great white shark are on display—are worth making the effort to plan out your visit.