Merritt Street, Castroville to Forrest Avenue, Pacific Grove
Stretching 18 majestic miles from Castroville on down through Pacific Grove, this waterfront (and car-free!) trail is an ideal way to Monterey and beyond sans gas guzzler. The Southern Pacific Railroad once ran this route, servicing the coast and Cannery Row when sardine business was big. Today it’s a paved path hugging the coast and passing Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and much more.
Visitors of all ages and adventure levels can explore the flat path—on foot, on bike or surrey, or on in-line skates (there are a variety of rental companies throughout Monterey. And if the water beckons, you can always take to the kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or surfboard.
Either way, watch out for harbor seals, sea lions, otters, and birds, and pack a picnic to enjoy on one of the trails many vistas.
Take Caltrain to the San Jose Caltrain Station. From there, walk to Cahill/Diridon Station and take Bus 79 towards Monterey. Or take BART to the San Francisco Airport (about 20 minutes) and catch the Monterey Salinas Airbus to downtown Monterey (approximately 2.5 hours). (Most public transit options take upwards of three hours, so the best bet may to find a rideshare on Craigslist or drive in with a group.)