Few American golf destinations bring as much romanticism with them as Monterey. This stretch of ocean-hugging, fog-drifting Northern California coastline can bring about feelings from golf vacationers that are usually reserved for sojourns to Ireland or Scotland. Renowned golf courses like Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill and The Links at Spanish Bay come with ocean spray and something of a sense of mysticism with some hardcore golfers waiting their whole life to play them.
Most of the places you want to play aren't actually in Monterey, that's become more the moniker for the entire coast that includes towns like Carmel, Big Sur, Pacific Grove and of course, the Pebble Beach resort area. While some of the best golf in the world is here, including underrated high-end courses along the way like Half Moon Bay Golf Links, the Monterey Peninsula is not a golf-only spot that will have the people who don't love the game in your party rolling their eyes.
The Monterey Coast is dotted with charming towns, bistros, wine bars, one of the most famous aquariums in the world and seaside accommodations. You'll need to flex some wallet power if you want to play the best of the best, but there are some reasonably-priced golf courses that are simply hidden by all the star power.
Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) is a small airport but offers service to San Francisco, San Diego Phoenix, Denver and two L.A.-area airports. For larger hubs, San Jose's airport is about a one-hour drive to Monterey, while San Francisco and Oakland are just over two hours. Monterey is famous for it's scenic 17-mile drive along the ocean, so be sure to save a little drive time for photo ops.