Sports + Fitness
Three marathons are held each year in the Big Sur - Monterey Bay Area, and the next one is scheduled for Father's Day. Shouldn't you hang around a few days and check out what else the district has to offer?
The Run in the Name of Love is held in nearby Carmel on Father's Day. The 5 kilometre run will be held on 18 June in 2017, 17 June in 2018, 16 June in 2019, and 21 June in 2020.
A 2 kilometre walk is held concurrent with the event.
Formerly known as the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay, The Half Marathon on Monterey Bay, which is in the same general vicinity of Big Sur, will be held on 12 November in 2017, 11 November in 2018, 10 November in 2019, and 20 November in 2020.
New for 2017 is the Ocean View Challenge, a 5 kilometre marathon the day before the half-day marathon.
Big Sur International Marathon
Of the region's three big marathons, the Big Sur International Marathon is the biggest and best known.
The prestigious event has been named one of America's top three marathons along with the Boston Marathon and the New York Marathon by the editors of Runner's World magazine.
"If we were told we only have one marathon to run in our lifetime, Big Sur would have to be it," Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer for Runner's World, has stated in the past.
“The international magazine has further endorsed this claim, encouraging runners to "put this one on your life list."
Set along the scenic Big Sur coastline in Northern California, the 26.2 mile course takes runners through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
The trip to the quaint village of Carmel by the Sea, of which Clint Eastwood used to be mayor, travels through four miles of redwood forests before breaking out into an open vista of ocean, cliffs, pastureland, arched bridges.
I am from Northern California, I have traveled a lot, and I can assure you - no place else can quite compare. The sudden and dramatic changes in scenery - and the weather - is quite amazing.
The 29th Big Sur International Marathon will be held on 29 April 2018, 26 April in 2019, and 26 April in 2020.
What to See and Do in Monterey and Big Sur
If you're coming to Monterey Bay or Big Sur to participate in a marathon, you really should considered spending some additional time there.
I can assure you, you won't get bored in this lovely part of California, which is home to some charming communities and some of the world's most beautiful scenery.
Monterey Bay stretches from Santa Cruz in the North to the Monterey Peninsula in the South along the central cosat of California.
Here's a short list of some of the region's key tourist attractions.
A summer resort with a beach popular with surfers, Santa Cruz has an old-fashioned boardwalk with an amusement park with 35 rides including three roller coasters and one water slides.
The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is, in fact, the oldest surviving amusement park on the West Coast of the United States.
Also famous for its redwood forests and alternative lifestyles, Santa Cruz is 75 miles, or 120 kilometres, south of San Francisco.
The county seat and largest city in Monterey County, Salinas is best known for its favourite son: John Steinback, who set three of his most popular novels in the district: Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat, and East of Eden.
Notable tourist attractions include Steinback House, the boyhood home of John Steinback, and the National Steinback Center.
Located in downtown Salinas, Steinback House is a Victorian style structure housing a restaurant and a museum. The National Steinback Center is a museum and memorial dedicated to the celebrated author.
Capital of Alta California during the Spanish and Mexican era, Monterey is the region's largest city.
The city is most famous for Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Monterey Jazz Festival draws large crowds every September.
Home to many painters and writers, Monterey is best known for renowned American writer, John Steinback, who grew up in nearby Salinas (see above).
17 Mile Drive
A spectacular stretch of Highway One runs along the Pacific Ocean, passing through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the way from Monterey to Carmel.
The Pebble Beach Golf Course is world-famous. Other attractions include the Lone Cypress, Bird Rock, and Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress Trees.
The 17 Mile Drive is a toll road, and motorcycles are not allowed.
Known for its natural scenery, aesthetic sense, and traditional English architecture, Carmel is one of the most dog-friendly communities in the world.
Many of the restaurants, hotels, and boutiques in the picturesque community welcome guests with furry friends - and that includes overnight guests at boutique hotels and beds-and-breakfasts.
Carmel is 120 miles, or 190 kilometres, south of San Francisco.
Continue driving south from Monterey Bay along Highway One and you reach Big Sur, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise dramatically up from the rugged coastline.
Rising more than 5,100 feet, or 1,570 metres, Cone Peak is just three miles, or 5 kilometres, from the ocean.
Big Sur is located 129 miles south of Monterey.
This might be Sunny California, but the Monterey Bay Area's climate is on the cool side, with chilly winds, and lots of fog.
The difference between summer and winter, however, is not significant except that fog is perhaps more common in the spring and summer. The average high is 63.5 degress Fahrenheit, with an average low of 48.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
The coldest months are December and January, with average highs of 58 degree and lows of 44 degrees.
September is the warmest month, with an average high of 70 degrees and a low of 53 degrees. The rest of the year the average highs are in the 60s, with lows in the 40s or 50s.
The closest international airport is San Jose Mineta International Airport,which is served by most major U.S. airlines and a growing number of international carriers, with non-stop service to Canada, Mexico, Asia, and Europe.
Travel time from San Jose to Monterey is about 90 minutes. And I must say, the drive south from San Jose to the Monterey Bay Area will take you through some absolutely spectacular scenery.
There are two other international airports, which offer different options. By far the largest and busiest facility is San Francisco International Airport, which is served by most major U.S. airlines and many foreign air carriers.
You will find non-stop service to most corners of the globe at SFO.
Oakland International Airport is Northern California's second busiest airport. It also has lion's share of low-cost flights.
Well served by budget air carriers such as Allegient Travel Company and Spirit Airlines, the airport is a major West Coast hub for Southwest Airways.
The air field has the most flights from Northern California to Mexico and the Hawaiian Islands.
European carriers such as Azorian Airlines, British Airways, Level Airlines, and Norwegian Air Shuttle serve a growing number of travel destinations in Europe.
If you're strapped for time, Monterey Regional Airport has scheduled non-stop service to Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego California; and San Francisco, California.
The airport is served by Alaska Airlines, Alliegiant Travel Company, American Airlines, United Airlines.