MONTEREY CIRCLES Private Car Tours
Monterey – Big Sur – Hearst Castle Private Car Tours From San Francisco, San Jose, Monterey, Salinas, Carmel
These are individual private day trips in a town car or an SUV for your own party of one to six persons. You go to unusual places at your own pace spending the time you want. With a chauffeur driven car, no worry about which roads to take and spending time looking for suitable parking, rest stops etc. These trips are not on a large vehicle with many participants, fixed timed stops and narration. Just you with family or friends. An experienced local resident would be the driver for your personal requirements.
Cost is $95 an hour for a town car for 1 to 4 persons or 2 adults and 2 children. $125 an hour for Luxury Vehicle like Volvo or BMW. For 5 to 6 adults you would need an SUV at $125 an hour. Minimum 4 to 8 hours From Monterey area
*From San Francisco including hotel pick up and drop off for $950 for 1 to 4 people. 5 to 6 people is $1,250 including tax. Minimum 10 hours
Rates updated June 28th, 2022
Because this is a private tour, not a large bus tour, it is much easier to make stops as needed.
1. ESSELEN – Continent’s edge crashing into The Pacific at The Big Sur *option to add Hearst Castle. 6 to 9 hours.
The Big Sur along Pacific Coast Highway One is one of the most scenic and unforgettable places in North America. Main stops are the iconic Bixby Bridge, Big Sur River Inn, Pfeiffer Sate Park Coastal Redwoods and The Nepenthe for late lunch or refreshments and to gaze at the incredible Pacific Ocean. Other viewpoints are: Rocky Point, Hurricane Point and Point Sur Lighthouse, McWay Falls. *Option to add Hearst Castle.
2. OHLONE – Monterey San Juan Bautista Mission and Moss Landing, 4 to 5 Hours.
Along Fort Ord, California State University, Monterey Bay and Castroville drive through fields of artichokes, avocadoes, strawberries, and lettuce. At Prunedale turn north and go through the avenue of eucalyptus trees then turn east to San Juan Bautista. Walk around this small town located on the San Andreas Fault. Visit the Mission that was built in 1798. You may remember the Bell Tower in the movie VERTIGO by Alfred Hitchcock filmed during the 1960s. Then driving west on country roads and through small towns like Logan, Aromas and Pajaro reach Watsonville on Highway 1. Salinas river empties into Monterey Bay near Elkhorn Slough. With two giant chimneys of the power plant behind you gaze over the tranquil sea on the cusp of Monterey Canyon, nearly 12,000 feet (3,600 meters) one of the deepest ocean canyons on the West Coast. You may want to stop at Moss Landing Harbor for seafood at Phil’s Fish Market or one of other local places or wait for a unique meal at The Giant Artichoke in Castroville. Driving through fields and sand dunes head to Fort Ord, Marina on the way back to Monterey.
3. SALINAN – Monterey River, Mountains, Wine and Farms – 4 to 6 hours.
Going inland past the airport on River Road south in Salinas Valley with mountains of Santa Lucia to the west and Gabilan to the east drive along Salinas river that flows north irrigating The Salad Bowl of the World, about a quarter million acres of tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, wine grapes etc. and flower greenhouses.
Names like Tanimura and Matsui are from early 20th century Japanese immigrant farmers. For wine there are three distinct AVA areas – Arroyo Seco, Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey producing some of the best wines in California. Stops will be made for wine tasting, at a vegetable packing shed and National Steinbeck Center (except on Mondays and Tuesdays) and for lunch at Main Street in Oldtown.
4. PORTOLA, CROCKER & Co. – Monterey. Del Monte, Pacific Grove, Asilomar, Pebble Beach, Carmel – 4 hours.
This drive starts where Monterey begins on Del Monte Avenue, next to the old Hotel Del Monte now the site of Naval Post Graduate School. Going through old town Monterey, by Fisherman’s Wharf, see The Cannery Row, then flower gardens of Pacific Grove. Past Asilomar Beach enter 17 Mile Drive to view the ocean crashing into the rocks, various mansions and manicured golf courses, The Lone Cypress and Pebble Beach. Next visit the idyllic small-town Carmel with its boutiques, art galleries and many restaurants. Driving by Carmel Mission you return to Monterey.
The names of these trips, OHLONE, SALINAN and ESSELEN are of the native tribes that were in this area for millenniums
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See other tours: Big Sur Monterey One Day or 2 or 3 day trip | 2 days Monterey Big Sur from Los Angeles
MONTEREY Private Car Tours
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