The county of Monterey, California is one of the most beautiful in the entire world and has many wonderful natural landmarks that distinguish it from other parts of the world.
One of the most important natural landmarks in the county is the Cypress tree on the Point Lobos State Reserve. This giant 300-year-old tree that has been eroded by salt and wind stands by itself out on a craggy rock in the ocean. It is the biggest of a rare breed of Cypress particular to the area known as the Monterey cypress. This tree is not found anywhere else in the entire world.
If you love sand dunes you will find many of them right on the coastline of the city of Monterey in Monterey County. The Del Monte beach is covered with sea grass and huge pink dunes. A boardwalk offers you a pleasant walk near the city’s restaurants and other attractions.
Also in Monterey is Huntington Beach, which features a natural phenomenon, called The Grunion Run. These are small silver fish that jump completely out of the water and into your bare hands and buckets during spawning season. This happens after a series of high tides every Spring.
The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is in Big Sur County and features the big 3000 foot sandy ridges that are a famous feature of the Monterey. You can view these beautiful natural cliffs with the surf crashing against them as you cruise along highway 1 which hugs the California coastline.
Limekin State Park features breathtaking redwood forests, limestone caves and beautiful views of the Big Sur coast. This park is 56 miles south of Carmel.
The historic 260 floor concrete structure known as the Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 is located across Bixby Creek on Bixby Ranch and is surrounded by rolling hills and cresting surf. The California Coastal Conservancy is currently trying to protect this large property from development, formerly owned by Allan Funt of Candid Camera fame.
However some of the steepest cliffs in Monterey County are found near Gorda where tall cliffs drop into deep waters. The rocks provide a sanctuary for elephant seals, birds and it is the perfect spot to watch migrating birds.
In the heart of the Salinas Valley is the famous Pinnacles National Monument that consists of acres of rounded rock outcroppings. The rows of crops in the Salinas area are also landmarks in themselves with lines of produce continuing in the distance for miles as you drive across the county on Highway 101.