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Car Free Monterey


Did You Know?
  • You can walk from the Wharf to the Aquarium in about 20 minutes & enjoy beautiful views.
  • Leaving your car parked prevents traffic congestion, parking space search and stress.
Get to Know Monterey Without Your Car!

Avoid the traffic...park in one of our Downtown Garages, then hop on the Free Trolley to your destination.
Ride Free
  • Lighthouse District
  • Wharf
  • Cannery Row
  • Downtown Monterey
  • Aquarium

Getting Around

The map below contains a variety of resources that will help you get around Monterey car-free and care-free.
Additional ways that aren’t easily displayed on a map include Uber and Lyft, taxis, limos and tours.

More Car-Free Tips

Getting Here

Fly to Monterey
MRY-LogoMonterey Regional Airport offers more than 40 daily flights and direct service from San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas and convenient and all the convenience of a small airport. Once you land, you have several transportation options for the quick trip to Monterey or surrounding communities:
  • Public Transportation: Monterey Salinas Transit Routes 7, 56 and 93 provide service between downtown Monterey and the Monterey Regional Airport. Check the MST website for most up-to-date routes and schedule information.
  • Taxi and Ridehailing: Monterey Regional Airport lists taxi and ridehailing companies that are permitted to operate at the airport.
Other airport options include San Jose International Airport, approximately 75 miles north of Monterey, and San Francisco International Airport, approximately 100 miles north of Monterey. Both are served by the Monterey Airport Bus.
Take the Train
Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, one of the most prestigious trains in Amtrak’s system, runs between Los Angeles and Seattle and stops 20 miles from Monterey in downtown Salinas. Less than five minutes from the station, MST’s Route 20 will connect you from the Salinas Transit Center to the Monterey Transit Plaza downtown Monterey. Alternatively, it’s a short taxi, Uber or Lyft ride to get to Monterey.
Take the Bus
Greyhound, in combination with local transit service by MST, is another car-free option to get to Monterey. Less than five minutes from the station, MST’s Route 20 will connect you from the Salinas Transit Center to the Monterey Transit Plaza downtown Monterey. Alternatively, it’s a short taxi, Uber or Lyft ride to get to Monterey.

Tips for Riding the Bus
How to pay for the bus:

MST has four different fares based on distance: local, primary, regional and commuter. The MST web site lists the fares for each type and under each route. Fares can be paid in the following ways:
  • On the bus with cash: Exact fare is not required, however, the bus driver does not give change in cash. Instead you receive a credit towards future MST trips.
  • GoCards: GoCards can be loaded with money and then used like a debit card, which is tapped on the farebox, when boarding the bus.
  • GoPasses: Passes are available in 7-day or 31-day options and applicable for longer visits to the area.
GoCards and GoPasses can be purchase from MST online, by phone (dial 1-888-678-2871) or in person at any MST customer service location. For more information, visit the MST website.

Riding the bus:
The Getting Around Map consolidates the most commonly used bus routes by visitors, including the free MST Trolley. Real-time information about the next available bus is available via Google Maps (switch on the Transit option and click on the nearest bus stop for real-time information). Other was to get real-time information is via text or phone. See the MST website for all options.

Taking your bike on the bus:
MST buses are equipped with two bike racks. In addition, when space is available and at the discretion of the bus driver, bikes can be transported in the wheelchair securement. Bikes ride free with paying passengers. Here is more information about bikes on buses and other transit tips.
Stress-free Arrivals
Arrive Stress-Free by Car, then Leave Your Car Parked
If you drive to Monterey there are several ways you can take the stress out of driving
  • On summer weekends, traffic tends to be heaviest late afternoon on Fridays and on Sunday afternoons. Arrive early or late on Friday. Stay for dinner on Sunday. Check the events schedule to avoid arrival and departure times of large events in the region.
  • To avoid delays due to heavy traffic or incidents, check road conditions before you leave.
Once you arrive in Monterey, leave your car parked 

Car-Free Itineraries

Bike to Beaches
Bring your bike (or rent a bike, link to map) and ride the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail to enjoy the beautiful view and access several relaxing beaches. Beaches easily accessible from the bike trail include:
  • Lover’s Point
  • San Carlos Beach Park
  • Monterey Municipal Beach
  • Del Monte Beach
  • Monterey State Beach
  • Fort Ord Dunes State Park
  • Marina State Beach
Take the Bus to Big Sur
Big Sur, the iconic rugged stretch of coast line south of Monterey is home to several state parks, allowing visitors to explore both beaches and hike trails amidst redwood forest. Take the bus down highway 1 and enjoy every moment of the breathtaking coast line. You can even bring your bike – MST buses are equipped with bike racks.
Fisherman's Wharf to Cannery Row by Trolley
Hop on and of the free MST Trolley to get between downtown, Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. Begin by visiting the Monterey Museum of Art or the Monterey County Youth Museum before grabbing lunch downtown. Next, take the MST trolley to Fisherman’s Wharf where you can board a boat to go whale watching. After returning, windswept and with lots of photos to share on Instagram, board the Trolley again to head to Cannery Row for some souvenir shopping and to pick a dinner spot among the many options. Return downtown on the trolley for an after dinner drink and to prepare for visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium at the end of the MST Trolley line on the next day.
Bike the 17-Mile Drive
You can drive the 17-mile drive, but biking allows you to experience the beauty in a more leisurely and enjoyable way. Take your time photographing the Lone Cypress. Feel the breeze. Enjoy a picnic with ocean views at Seal Rock Picnic Area.


Car-Free Access to Nature and Adventure
Take the express bus to Santa Cruz (Route 78) and get off at Moss Landing near Elkhorn Slough, a tidal salt marsh area that is full of wildlife and beauty. Rent a kayak and watch California sea lions and Southern sea otters frolic in the slough. Bird watchers can also delight: over 340 species have been identified in the area.
Car-Free Wine Tasting
More than 25 wineries and tasting rooms offer visitors the opportunity to taste and delight in local wines. The Carmel Valley Grapevine Express provides safe and convenient transportation without the hassle of having to drive and find parking. Running hourly, it allows visitors to get on and off the bus to explore wineries along the route.