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On a budget? Those seeking pocket-friendly one-star accommodation in Monterey will find a handful of affordable hotels, most of which are situated in the areas of Seaside and historic Salinas. Seaside is six miles from Monterey's buzzing Fisherman's Wharf, while Salinas is 20 miles away. Most one-star motels and inns offer free breakfast, parking and WiFi, so they’re perfect for those on a tight budget.
The Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) is a cheap, safe and reliable public bus service that connects Salinas and Seaside to Monterey, making stops at major attractions and Monterey hotels. The bus also runs a service to Carmel, Pacific Grove and Big Sur, as well as offering a wine route service that stops at popular wineries. Alternatively, hire a car to explore everything that Monterey has to offer.
Alvarado Street and Cannery Row are Monterey's nightlife hubs, and they’re crammed full of live music bars, salsa dancing clubs, comedy venues and karaoke bars. There are also several craft breweries and beer houses in which to sup a beer or two in relaxed surroundings.
Give your credit card a rest by checking out Monterey's free attractions. Walk or cycle along the spectacular 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach, home to magnificent mansions and expansive golf courses. While cars are charged an entry fee to this exclusive neighbourhood, pedestrians and cyclists are admitted for free. You can also explore the paved, 29-mile long Monterey Bay Recreation Trail, which hugs the coast from Castroville to Pacific Grove. Attractions along the rec trail include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf.
Monterey is also a great place for wildlife-spotting? Head to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to see seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, dolphins and seabirds, all of which are present year-round. Monterey boasts countless dreamy Californian beaches with dramatic cliffs and golden sands, ideal for sunbathing and watching the sunset. Surfers can go in search of the perfect wave at Marina State Beach, Asilomar State Beach and Moss Landing State Beach.