Gearhead Getaways from Highway 1 through Big Sur to Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive

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Sporting some of the world's most iconic drives – from Highway 1 through Big Sur to Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive - Monterey County takes touring on wheels to a high art. The region's diverse layout and cinematic eye candy make for an unparalled getaway.  Whether cycling the placid 18-mile Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, tackling 86 miles of off-road terrain at Ford Ord or cruising in a convertible along Monterey Bay or Carmel's wine country, visitors have plenty of turf to shift both gears and attitudes. Tie in some hot laps at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a celebrity-studded motorcycle event or stroll among the world's largest line-up of classic cars and a stay along Monterey Bay gets a green light.


Year-Round – Land Rover ™ Experience Driving School at Quail Lodge.  Buckle up for an off-road adventure fresh in scenery and heart-pounding drills. Guided by a qualified instructor, drivers tackle an off-road obstacle course with training on advanced techniques including winching and vehicle recovery as well as navigating hairpin turns, climbing logs and descending mountains. Hour and multi-day courses available. Carmel, CA; 831.620.8854;

Year-Round – Skip Barber Racing School at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Navigating traffic jams just got easier with a series of one- to three-day courses at Skip Barber Racing School.  The "One Day Combo" puts the pedal to the metal with instruction on high performance defensive driving skills, including slide and recovery techniques, trail braking and race-style heel-and-toe downshifting. Salinas, CA; 866.932.1949;

May 18-20, 2012 – 6th Annual Monterey Rock & Rod Festival.  Enjoy a celebration of 1950s-1960s rock and roll alongside custom and classic cars and motorcycles. The annual event benefits the developmentally disabled adults of Monterey County.  Monterey, CA; 831.649.0102;

May 18-20, 2012 – Ferrari Racing Days.  Three full days of racing via the Ferrari 458 Challenge along with historic Formula 1 cars and Corse Clienti programs. The Ferrari Challenge series puts owners wheel-to-wheel in a competitive setting while providing enthusiasts a chance to watch the prancing horses run in their natural environment – the racetrack. Salinas, CA; 831.242.8201;

July 27-29, 2012 – Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.   Featuring the MotoGP World Championships, which showcases elite competitors from 15 countries and the world's top motorcycle manufacturers including Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Ducati. Salinas, CA; 831.242.8201;

August 12-19, 2012 – Monterey Auto Week - Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.  The most elegant exhibition of classic automobiles in the world featuring Mercedes-Benz, Stutz, Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, Ferrari 250 GTO and Italian motorcycles.  A variety of events roll out during Monterey Auto Week. Pebble Beach, CA; 877.693.0009;

August 14, 2012 – Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue.  Covering sixteen blocks of downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea, this free event showcases more than 175 domestic and foreign collector vehicles in all their glory.  Carmel, CA; 404.237.2633;

August 15, 2012 – Concorso Americano.  A showcase of classic automobiles set among festivities marks this colorful event, held within The Barnyard at the entrance to Carmel Valley. Carmel, CA; 831.624.8886;

August 15-18, 2012 – Dine In Di-Vine. Carmel Valley's Chateau Julian combines classic cars, world class wines and haute cuisine with a roll out of events focusing on different types of cars. Carmel, CA; 831.624.2600;

August 17, 2012 – Concorso Italiano.  More than 40,000 automotive enthusiasts turn out to celebrate their passion for vintage, classic and exotic automobiles and during Monterey Auto Week.  Founded in 1985, Concorso Italiano® is a gathering of all things Italian, especially a stellar showcase of slick Italian automobiles. Monterey, CA; 425.742.0632;

August 17-19, 2012 – Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.  A cornerstone of Monterey Auto Week, this event hosts 550+ authentic and historic race cars from nearly every decade of motorsports history. Salinas, CA; 831.242.8201;

August 17, 2012 – The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.  Set in Carmel Valley, this annual event salutes vintage automobiles, world-class cuisine and a line-up of new luxury cars to sample along the back roads. Carmel, CA; 888.828.8787;

August 17, 2012 – 18th Annual Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally.  A family-friendly local event supporting the Pacific Grove Youth Action, Inc. (PGYA), a local non-profit organization. Pacific Grove, CA; 831.372.6585;

September 7-9, 2012 – Triathlon at Pacific Grove.   Set along Monterey Bay, this spectator course allows family and friends a chance to enjoy their favorite athletes on each part of the race, something almost unheard of in triathlon. The "Kelp Crawl" tests swimming ability while the looped bike course goes full throttle, culminating in a final run ending at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Pacific Grove, CA; 831.373.0678;

September 7-9, 2012 – Continental Tire Sports Car Festival.  The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is one of the most competitive professional road racing championships in North America. The series' Daytona Prototype class has attracted the attention of superstar drivers and universally recognized teams. Salinas, CA; 831.242.8201;

September 12-16, 2012 – Cherry's Jubilee Motorsports Festival.  Combing classic coastal views with world-class hot rods, this friendly event offers a jaw-dropping good time. Monterey, Carmel, Salinas and Pacific Grove, CA; 831.759.1836;


Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor. The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 45,000 acres of premium vineyards, 28 golf courses and over 250 lodging properties. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), just three miles from historic downtown Monterey and minutes from the area's major attractions, is served by non-stop flights to and from San Diego (SAN), Denver (DIA), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). Visitor info:


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