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Monterey & Carmel Explorer

San Francisco, United States
Monterey & Carmel Explorer
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

From $105.00

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon11 to 12 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Explore Monterey, Carmel, and the Pacific Coast Highway without the hassle of renting a car during this full-day tour from San Francisco. Wind down the coast through Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, 17-Mile Drive, and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Pickup and drop-off at downtown San Francisco hotels included.
  • Complimentary San Francisco hotel pickup and drop off
  • Explore Monterey's renown Cannery Row
  • Enjoy spectacular views on the 17-Mile Drive
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Expert guide and commentary
Hotel pickup and drop-off (most hotels in downtown San Francisco/Fisherman's Wharf area, but do not pick up outside SF city limits)
Free Wifi on vehicle
Guide Gratuities (for Private option ONLY)
Guide Gratuities (for Shared tour)
Child safety seat for children under 8 years old or 4' 9" (1.4 meters) required
  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square , 333 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

    Please check your email confirmation from Extranomical Tours or contact the provider to confirm your pick-up details. Meet at the Mason street entrance of the hotel (eastern entrance)

  • Avis Car Rental , 500 Beach St Suite 120, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

    Please check your email confirmation from Extranomical Tours or contact the provider to confirm your pick-up details.

  • This activity will end right where it started.
    Be ready for pickup at your San Francisco hotel (downtown or Fisherman's Wharf area) for a morning departure. 

    Settle back in your seat in the comfortable tour vehicle as it winds down scenic CA Highway 1, winding along the coast (fog permitting). Watch the blue expanse of the ocean beyond the beaches and make a brief stop to stretch your legs in Davonport before arriving at Monterey's famous Cannery Row. Learn about the area's significance as a hot spot for Pacific coast biodiversity and its history as a fishing and whaling town. Stroll around the area and find a spot for a seafood lunch (own expense). Or, opt to bring your own lunch and instead squeeze in a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (ticket not included). 

    Depart after lunchtime, driving through Pacific Grove and down the famous 17-Mile Drive, lined on each side by coastline and multi-million-dollar estates. Snap photos of the Lone Cypress, impossibly growing off the edge of a cliff. Stop at Pebble Beach Village to visit the Pro Shop and see the 18th green.

    Arrive in Carmel-by-the-Sea and choose to spend time walking the beach or exploring the shops and restaurants on Ocean Avenue. After some time in Carmel, hop back on the bus and relax on the ride back to San Francisco.
    Pass By:  
    Pigeon Point Lighthouse
    Pigeon Point Light Station or Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse built in 1871 to guide ships on the Pacific coast of California. It is the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States.
    Stop At:  
    Whale City Bakery
    Brief breakfast stop. Relaxed roadside cafe whipping up homestyle American fare morning til night, with live music shows.
    Duration: 15 minutes
    Admission Ticket Free
    Pass By:  
    Pacific Coast Highway
    The Pacific Coast Highway is a section of State Route 1 (SR 1), a major north–south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California. At a total of just over 659 miles (1,061 km), SR 1 is the longest state route in California.
    Stop At:  
    Monterey Bay
    Monterey Bay is a bay of the Pacific Ocean located on the coast of the U.S. state of California.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Free
    Stop At:  
    Monterey Bay Aquarium
    Admission only included if option added upon checkout. Monterey Bay Aquarium is a nonprofit public aquarium in Monterey, California. Known for its regional focus on the marine habitats of Monterey Bay, it was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest when it opened in October 1984.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Not Included
    Stop At:  
    Cannery Row
    Cannery Row is the waterfront street in the New Monterey section of Monterey, California. It is the site of a number of now-defunct sardine canning factories. The last cannery closed in 1973. Today it has many restaurants and hotels, several of which are located in former cannery buildings, and a few historic attractions. Some privately owned fishing companies still exist on Cannery Row, housed on piers located a short distance from the historic district frequented by tourists.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Free
    Pass By:  
    Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
    Pacific Grove is a coastal city in Monterey County, California in the United States. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2013 population at 15,504. Pacific Grove is located between Point Pinos and Monterey, and known for its Monarch butterflies and turn-of-the century Victorian homes.
    Stop At:  
    17-Mile Drive
    Although the route has changed since it opened in 1881, 17-Mile Drive is still exactly 17 miles long. More than 1.5 million visitors pass through 17-Mile Drive every year. Iconic Landmarks along famous 17-Mile Drive include The Lone Cypress, as well as Spanish Bay and Pebble Beach Golf Links.
    Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Admission Ticket Included
    Pass By:  
    Spyglass Hill Golf Course
    Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach is one of the most respected and revered courses in the world, annually co-hosting the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
    Pass By:  
    Pebble Beach Golf Links
    Pebble Beach Golf Links is a public golf course on the west coast of the United States, located in Pebble Beach, California.
    Stop At:  
    Lone Cypress
    The Lone Cypress is a Monterey cypress tree in Pebble Beach, California. Standing on a granite hillside off the 17-Mile Drive, the tree is a Western icon, and has been called one of the most photographed trees in North America.
    Duration: 15 minutes
    Admission Ticket Free
    Stop At:  
    Carmel by the sea
    Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small beach city on California's Monterey Peninsula. It's known for the museums and library of the historic Carmel Mission, and the fairytale cottages and galleries of its village-like center. The Scenic Bluff Path runs from surf spot Carmel Beach to bird-rich Carmel River State Beach, with a scuba entry point. South lie the sea animals and whaling museum of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Free
    Pass By:  
    Bird Rock Vista Point
    Bird Rock Vista is stop #7 on 17-Mile Drive and a wildlife hot spot.
    Pass By:  
    Carmel Beach Boardwalk
    Beautiful white sandy beaches.
    Pass By:  
    China Rock
    One of the points on 17-Mile Drive.
    Stop At:  
    Cypress Point Lookout
    Stop #10 on 17-Mile Drive is the wonderful Cypress Point Lookout which looks out, to the southwest, over a small, white sand beach making for an excellent sunset spot.
    Duration: 15 minutes
    Admission Ticket Free
    Pass By:  
    Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail
    A mere 45-minute drive from San Francisco lies Half Moon Bay, an idyllic enclave and truly the perfect place to spend some time away from the big city.
    Pass By:  
    The Links at Spanish Bay
    One of the many beautiful golf courses along 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.
    Pass By:  
    Lovers Point
    Lovers Point State Marine Reserve is one of four small marine protected areas located near the cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove, at the southern end of Monterey Bay on California’s central coast.
    Pass By:  
    Monterey Visitor Center
    Tourist information center in Monterey, California.
    Pass By:  
    Seal Rock Creek beach
    Seal Rock Creek Beach is a small sandy beach along the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach, CA. This white sand beach is at the mouth of Seal Rock Creek which flows intermittently. Just offshore is Seal Rock and a little to the north is Bird Rock.
    Pass By:  
    Sunset Point Overlook
    Vista point in Del Monte Forest, California.
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • California law requires tour guests to bring a car safety seat for all children under 8 years and under 4' 9" (1.4 meters) in height. Any guest that does not provide their child's safety seat at the time of the tour and does not inform the tour operator in advance may not be allowed to board the tour and will not be subject to refund.
    • For hotel pickups, please select the Hilton Union Square - 333 O'Farrell Street (Mason Street entrance) if your hotel is not listed
    • Minimum of 5 passengers needed for tour to run. There is a possibility of cancellation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund.
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Exact destinations & itinerary may differ due to weather, road conditions, and the guide's discretion.
    • Most travelers can participate
    • Meals are not included but available for purchase throughout the day.
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
    • OPERATED BY Extranomical Tours
    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

    Learn more about cancellations.

    The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
    What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Monterey & Carmel Explorer?
    A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

    • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    • Face masks provided for travelers
    • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
    See all safety measures taken by Monterey & Carmel Explorer.
    What is the policy on sanitization during Monterey & Carmel Explorer?
    A:The policies on sanitization are:

    • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
    • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
    See all safety measures taken by Monterey & Carmel Explorer.
    What is the social distancing policy during Monterey & Carmel Explorer?
    A:The policies on social distancing are:

    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
    See all safety measures taken by Monterey & Carmel Explorer.
    What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Monterey & Carmel Explorer?
    A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    • Regular temperature checks for staff
    • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
    See all safety measures taken by Monterey & Carmel Explorer.

    Traveler Photos

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    Traveler Tips

    • "I note in the Tower Tours brochure where it states that on "Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays this tour is operated by Tower Tours." See review


    41 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    Showing 1-10 of 41 reviews
    Highly recommended
    , Jul 2021
    Antonio was the best guide you can ask for. Highly recommended. We had the best time and the views we saw were priceless.
    Highly recommend!
    , Jun 2021
    Randall was our driver and did a great job! We had a wonderful time exploring half moon bay in Monterey, pebble beach, and Carmel by the sea!
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    Mixed feelings
    , Nov 2019
    We were picked up at our hotel promptly at 8 am by Tower Tours and taken to their main office where we were handed over to another tour company (Extranomical Tours) and relegated to a small and cramped 13 seat van (every seat occupied).The van was noisy (windows constantly rattling, rather small and uncomfortable seating and difficult to see the vistas as van was so low - nothing like a highway coach). We were almost tempted to cancel the tour on the spot when we saw the van. Not a pleasant experience and we were very disappointed and upset with the mode of transportation. I note in the Tower Tours brochure where it states that on "Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays this tour is operated by Tower Tours. Additional days operated by a partner company". Our tour was on Saturday, Nov 2 and should have been operated by Tower Tours. If we were in a highway coach (like all of the other tours that morning) our experience would have been much more enjoyable.The contents of the tour were fine and the driver/guide Constantine was very good. Your thoughts? Robert Kane Kane Travel Agency 506-653-0948
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    Awesome Coastal Experience!
    , Oct 2019
    Patrick was the best tour guide - very friendly with lots of interesting facts as we toured through all the scheduled stops. Our only suggestion - more time in Carmel and less time in Monterey. Also, the Tower Tours desk was not staffed and we had to ask the hotel concierge how we go about finding our bus and then we had to travel to the main office to pick up our tickets and get on our designated bus for our tour. Other than that it was one of the highlights of our trip. Thank you!!
    icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
    Thanks for letting us know you had a great time. We'll consider your suggestion of spending more time in Carmel by the Sea. Let's do it again soon!
    Wonderful scenery, full day and highly recommended
    , Oct 2019
    This trip to Carmel and Monterey was magnificent. The drive was pleasant and lots to see along the way. Our tour guide, Danilo was informative, funny and well organised. He was also a very safe driver and really took pride in showing us this gorgeous area of California. At each stop, he did a head count to make sure we were all on board. It was a full day and we saw lots. There was plenty of time to see the Aquarium at Monterey, have lunch and a stroll down the main street. Well worth the trip and I would highly recommend this tour.
    icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
    Isn't the Monterey Bay Aquarium great. Glad you got to experience it. Travel home safely.
    , Jul 2019
    The tour was fabulous! Lots to see and do. Beautiful scenery! Great places to eat and would encourage others to do this tour
    over charged
    , Jun 2019
    The driver was excellent and I would rate them 5 stars only for this part of the trip. the booking and office staff should be rated 1 or a 0. My husband and I took this trip on June 17, 2019. we are both senior citizens and did not go to the Aquarium. the Tower Tours brochure says $89. but we paid $105 for each instead of $89 for each. We have e mails from Tower Tour, Extranomical Tours and Viator. No clue how they are connected, but each one tells me to go to the other to clarify my fee. Tower said they only got our name nd phone number and no other details. We have NO CLUE who Tower Tours is until we pay the $$ and get confirmation. their name is nowhere on the booking website. Only Viator. I have sent e mail to support@viator. No response yet.
    icon Response from Host , Jun 2019
    Sorry for the confusion. Let's try to sort this out. You booked and paid for your Monterey tour with our partner Viator. We will notify them today that you felt you were overcharged and we will honor any agreement that you reach with them. You may also call our Guest Services office today (415.357.0700) and we'll explain the process.
    We booked this trip with much...
    , Apr 2018
    We booked this trip with much anticipation. I have always wanted to drive the PCH and see the sights there. There were four of us on this trip and three other groups joined us. Total people touring was 12. Of the four parties touring, all but one had some issues before the tour ever began. We were the first to board and we noted the van was not handicapped accessible. We had called the tour provider Extranomical Tours prior to booking to confirm that it would be and that there would be a space to store the scooter one of our party uses. We called again two days before the tour to check. Both times we were assured we were on a handicapped bus and there would be adequate storage space. On the day of the tour, the driver refused to allow the scooter to be boarded, saying no one had told him, and we had a full bus. He refused to call the tour provider to try to accommodate us and his attitude was Do it my way or get off. He actually repeated over and over Nothing I can do. Another party on the bus had requested a translator and none was provided. Same response from the driver. A third group had been told and had written confirmation of a specified time and location, but he came very close to leaving them when he was at the appointed place 15 minutes early. He berated them as they boarded. Once on the road, the PA system I. The bus was not working properly and the people in the back could not hear. He was rude to those passengers, asking if they had a hearing problem. They did not. When he finally conceded the speakers on the bus were not working, he refused to talk louder. He stated, Nothing I can do about it repeatedly. It was apparent to all on board that he was rushed and impatient with everyone. He drove 75-80 miles an hour, even though it was a rainy day. He hurried people and lectured them at each stop. He took several , shortcuts, and never gave enough time for us to explore in Monterrey or Carmel. Originally, he said we would have about 2 hours in Monterrey, but we only had about an hour and 15 minutes, He parked far away from the eating establishments on Cannery Row, and refused to let us out by them. By the time we walked our mobility impaired friend down the street, we didnt have enough time to eat and get back to the bus. He shrugged when we told him. At the Same stop, he chased a family down and fussed at them for going to the bathroom as he was ready to leave. He rushed and lectured constantly, urging people to hurry. His commentary on the sights was repetitive and boring. He seemed to take no joy in his subject as the best tour operators do. As stated, Much of what he said could not be heard by half of the passengers. On the actual coast, not including Monterrey and Carmel, we only stopped twice: Once at a small restaurant for a bathroom break, and once at Bird Rock. The rest of the PCH went by fast, given his speed. Of the whole trip, we were on the coast for less than half the time. The rest of the time, we were inland among farming communities, or on the freeway coming home. The trip lasted about 9-10 hours advertised at the time we booked as 12 hours, and we spent 2 hours in near standstill traffic on the way home and in SF dropping people off. The scenery was beautiful, just wish I could have really enjoyed it.
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    Great Scenery all along the way...
    Rebecca E
    , Mar 2018
    Great Scenery all along the way! Ocean views were amazing! Monterey Cannery Row was great for lunch and shopping. Carmel is such a quaint, lovely town to take a stroll, while enjoying the shops and eateries.
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    Worth doing it but we did not see the...
    , Jan 2018
    Worth doing it but we did not see the bridge as shown in the tour picture.

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