Tours and Tickets
Day Trip to Monterey and Carmel via California Coast
4
LIKELY TO SELL OUT*

Day Trip to Monterey and Carmel via California Coast

By Tower Tours - San Francisco Sightseeing Specialist
About
The California Monterey and Carmel day trip with transportation from San Francisco offers must-see coastal views, and you won’t miss a thing since you don’t have to pay attention to driving the windy roads. Enjoy free time on Monterey’s Cannery Row and at Carmel by the Sea, with optional upgrade to include a Monterey Bay Aquarium ticket.

Ages 4-99, max of 40 per group
Duration: 11h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • Ride down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey and Carmel
  • Take in the California coast views from a coach bus’ wide windows 
  • Upgrade to add admission to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Pickup and drop-off at select hotels for your convenience 

  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Live commentary on board
  • Fuel surcharge
What's not included
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

This day trip to Monterey and Carmel from San Francisco starts with pickup at select hotels (or airports, with advance notice). Your bus drives you down Highway 1, with sweeping cliffside and ocean views of the California coast. Your guide narrates as you go. During the day, enjoy free time in Monterey’s Cannery Row and at Carmel by the Sea. You can choose to upgrade and save time by adding a Monterey Bay Aquarium admission ticket. Your tour route also stops at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Bird Rock Beach, and Lone Cypress for photo ops. Your Monterey and Carmel day trip ends with a drop-off back in San Francisco.

Departure details
  • San Francisco, CA, USA Tour departure and meeting instructions will be provided to you at tour confirmation.
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 7116P4

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 7116P4

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Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    San Francisco
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Tour departure and meeting instructions will be provided to you at tour confirmation.
    See address & details
  • Pass by
    Tower Tours - San Francisco Sightseeing Specialist
  • 1
    Cannery Row
    Stop: 2 hours
    See details
    Pass by
    17-Mile Drive
  • 2
    Bird Rock Vista Point
    Stop: 15 minutes
    See details
  • 3
    Lone Cypress
    Stop: 15 minutes
    See details
  • 4
    Pebble Beach Golf Links
    Stop: 15 minutes
    See details
  • 5
    Carmel Plaza
    Stop: 60 minutes
    See details
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
About the operator
Tower Tours - San Francisco Sightseeing Specialist
1,145
United States
Joined in July 2009

#32 of 193 Food & Drink in San Francisco
  • J6497COjanetw
    J6497COjanetw
    0
    0
    Relaxed wine tasting experience
    I booked this trip from the city for my boyfriend's birthday, and it was a lovely experience. Each location offered a great selection of wines in a relaxing setting, and we felt like we had ample time to drink and explore the property. If you're looking for a low-key wine-tasting experience, this is for you!
  • markdY3391RY
    markdY3391RY
    0
    0
    Vision To Protect- Amazing
    Beautiful calming place to visit, great vision to protect this area for future generations.Kids we’re taking back by the slice of the trees- and how old the Forrest is.- we did the half day trip as time wasn’t on our side but there are a lot of tracks and trail to be seen that would have been nice, so recommended day trip if your into a walking trail- take a lunch and just enjoy the calm.
  • 56yvonnej
    56yvonnej
    0
    0
    Relaxing Day Trip
    Fun. I wanted a picture with a bear but no such luck! Great photos, comfy van w/USB outlets. Bring money for the cafe.
  • A4558LXjulieo
    A4558LXjulieo
    0
    0
    Amazing Experience
    Great tour! Grady was amazing - would highly recommend to anyone visiting the area. The wineries were beautiful.
  • U996DBerinp
    U996DBerinp
    0
    0
    Great for couples!
    Wonderful tour guide! He was very knowledgeable, friendly and a great driver. Both wineries were beautifully situation in Sonoma and Napa.
  • Tamarack67
    Tamarack67
    0
    0
    Awesome and convenient
    Lester did a great job- he was both informative and funny for the Muir Woods segment. The walk through the woods was great. The wine was delicious too in the second half of the tour.
  • Judi_Lui
    Judi_Lui
    0
    0
    I can totally recommend this tour!
    My sister and I went for this tour, because we wanted to go to Napa Valley and taste some Wine but avoid driving ourselves. The tour was well-organized we were a small group and the driver was really friendly. He shared some information about the city as well. Some wineries were better than others. I enjoyed that we could explore the surroundings and take lots of pictures.
  • catherinak2023
    catherinak2023
    0
    0
    Tour if Napa and Sonoma
    We had a great time! Steve was an excellent tour guide. It was a beautiful day for some wine tasting.
  • Mdtravelmom
    Mdtravelmom
    0
    0
    So so experience
    The tour bus was fine and our driver, Grady did a good job. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with two of the three wineries. The Madonna Estate was unimpressive as was the wine we tasted there. The Sutter Home grounds were nice but the wine is basically what you get at the grocery store. Most were too sweet for my taste. RuVango winery gave us an opportunity to taste the grapes on the vine and tour the barrel and vat rooms. They have a very chic indoor and outdoor tasting areas and were the best of the day. California offers some of the best wines and wineries in America. I would have liked to have had tastings where more complex or unique wines were featured.
  • igorgF4827FF
    igorgF4827FF
    0
    0
    Good experience
    I was expecting more wines and better ones. Bottles a little too pricy. AC was not working in the van
  • Jeffery C
    Jeffery C
    0
    0
    Well worth it
    JFK was our driver/guide. He went above and beyond offering suggestions for attractions amend restaurants in the area. A local resident insight.
  • Michael H
    Michael H
    0
    0
    Very good tour!
    Clean Tour Bus, driver provided some Area insights all the way to Sonoma Wine Country. The Madonna Winery was my favorite. The hosts provided good info on the wine process and history of area. Wine was excellent.
  • crcuellar
    crcuellar
    0
    0
    Great experience
    Only thing keeping the rating from being a 5 is the fact the bathroom didn't work in the bus. Well worth the money.
  • Greg_Edwards
    Greg_Edwards
    0
    0
    The prefect way to spend 1/2 day!
    Great tour guide, great vineyard and each one had something special to offer in terms of commentary as well as wines on offer. Any one from a notice to an expert will enjoy this tour. The scenery was way above my expectations, so much to learn!
  • tmcrittendon
    tmcrittendon
    0
    0
    The Right Choice!
    Great, Amazing & Fantastic! This trip gave just the right amount of adventure. It felt as if I was on a vacation from my vacation.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
45 reviews
Excellent
28
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10
Average
2
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5

KittyK1
Newry, UK65 contributions
We booked this tour with yourselves in good faith. A little disappointed when you couldn't take us and transferred us to Grayline.

We had a very disappointing tour mainly due to coach. It was late arriving and I has to make an international call to see if they were still coming.

Because we were the last pick up, the coach only had two seats together at the very back. Understandably, I am travelling with my husband and wanted to sit together. Unfortunately, when the driver would say, look to your right, all we could see was the lavatory. When he said look to your left, the window had condensation between the glazing. I tried to clean the window and mentioned it to the driver at the first stop - Moon Bay. He confirmed it was condensation and there was nothing he could do. 

To make the best of a bad situation, we took to getting up and looking out the back window but there was a toilet seat behind our seats which made it even more unpleasant. 

I booked a 6 hour trip because I didn't want to be sitting on a coach any longer. We were collected at 8am this morning and we are still on the coach, its 18.45. We are only at San Jose and have at least another hour at least to go. The driver announced he was making several stops in San Francisco before fishermans wharf being the last stop. I would say it will be after 9pm before we are back at our hotel. 

I couldn't see the majority of things he was pointing out and the trip was over 12 hours long. We had dinner reservations which we had to cancel. 

Written 21 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristine M
2 contributions
Jul 2023 • Solo
Providing a functioning bus is how you improve your tours. You do not leave 60 people standing at the corner of Mason & Post for 2 hours waiting for a replacement bus which never arrived. Then, tell those same people that they'll "get refunds". Kudos to Tower and Grayline for ruining my vacation because they have no idea on how to create a backup plan when a mechanical breakdown occurs. Many thanks for ruining my vacation Grayline & Tower Tours. I will never forget.
Written 1 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally p
Harpenden, UK5 contributions
May 2022
You'll be very lucky if you get George as your driver for this trip - his commentary was fabulous and we learnt so much - he's also an excellent driver. This is a great wasy to spend a day, the coastline is rugged and dramatic and the stops were all great. We enjoyed seeing Monterey and Carmel too, very different to San Francisco! Would highly recommend.
Written 23 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen R
2 contributions
Booked this trip some time ago and was really looking forward to it. Got down to the office an hour before only to be told that the trip had been cancelled the day before due to low numbers wishing to do the trip. Really disappointed and would not advise anyone to book it.
Written 19 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mark g
1 contribution
May 2022 • Family
George the driver was brilliant. Knowledge of the area was fantastic.. we took our 4 year old and 1 year old.. they offer car seats for both.

George actually made the trip!!😀

You get 2 hours in Monterey Bay, so if your planning on going to the aquarium your will have to be quick. George drops you right out side.

You get an hour in Carmel, which is more than enough.

Loads of rest stops/picture stops.
Written 18 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

perthpeeps
Perth, Australia3 contributions
Jul 2019 • Couples
My husband and I are interested in the tour. Does this trip include a possible stop to the pebble Beach pro shop?? Thank you
Written 8 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gelsys F
17 contributions
After an incredibly bad experience with Gray Line of San Francisco we were about to give up on booking any other tours here. But we ended up booking with Tower Tours to visit Monterey and Carmel... I must say it was one of the best decisions and experiences ever!

We were picked up at our hotel, taken to the main office to process paperwork, which was fast and painless! Soon after we boarded the bus, we were greeted by our tour guide, Patrick. What a nice man! He was funny, entertaining, polite, professional, and a great driver!

I highly recommend Tower Tours, as they are reliable, not crazy expensive, and the trips are totally worth it - Thank you for making our honeymoon better than what it is!!!
Written 20 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike Topolnisky L
Toronto, Canada73 contributions
Oct 2017 • Couples
My wife got food poisoning the night before our tour so in the middle of the night we emailed Tower Tours to ask if it was possible to rebook for another day. Shortly after the office opened at 7am we received a response that it was rescheduled for 2 days later. We were very impressed with the level of service of the office. Clearly this is a standard for this company.
We were picked up at our hotel at the time specified and taken to the Tower Tours office to check in. You then go to the designated spot for the tour you are taking that day. TIP: If you want a better chance of getting the covetted front seats on the bus AND are staying in Fisherman's Wharf, we would recommend walking to the Tower Tours office and not waiting for their pick up. That way you will be able to be the first ones who pay when the office opens and first in line to get the seats you desire. Sit on the right side of the bus (opposite the driver) to be on the coast side.
Adolfo was our driver and guide and he is truly exceptional! He is extremely knowledgeable, entertaining and the best guide we have ever had. A great deal of care to detail is put into his tour including the brief musical interludes as they relate specifically to the area you are in.
Timing: Adolfo was very clear and concise about when the bus would be departing each stop, even holding up a sign with the time on it. Everyone on the trip respected the time frames and made the trip run like clockwork.
Monterey: If you are interested in going to the Aquarium, suggest you grab a quick bite at Austin's which is right across the street from the Aquarium first or go to the Aquarium and get a sandwich to take back on the bus after as they time is limited. Otherwise, have a leisurely lunch at one of the many restaurants and browse the shops. Personally, we preferred Carmel a lot more than Monterey so I would save the shopping till then.
Carmel: How beautiful and quaint (even if you don't get a glimpse of Clint Eastwood).
We spent our time walking up and down the streets as there are a lot of tiny shops on the side streets as well and found a deli (not the one recommended) where we bought a sandwich for the bus ride back to San Francisco -- both of our sandwiches were better that a couple dinners we had in San Fran!
You can find a $5 off per person discount on line for Tower Tours.
We had thought about renting a car and driving ourselves to Monterey and Carmel and are VERY glad we took this tour. There is no way we would have learned all the fabulous facts Aldolfo told us, laughed as much, met some nice people and felt as safe and stress free (the highways are not very well lit at night).
A thoroughly enjoyable experience and highly recommended.
Written 20 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

davieb110
Aberdeen, UK81 contributions
Aug 2019
I must first clarify that I did not book directly with Tower Tours. I booked with Extranomical and they outsourced me to Tower Tours, which they call their "sister company" - check my review of them for my experience there!

I'd like to start this review by making it clear I don't make a habit of posting negative reviews. I much prefer to praise the exceptional experiences I've had over the past 6 years - please see my profile for evidence of this. I definitely don't make a habit of "trashing" restaurants, hotels, or tour operators.

However, my experience with Tower Tours has been poor, and I would encourage anyone reading this NOT to book with them.

The tour we took was the "Monterey and Carmel Explorer". I've no idea what Tower Tours call it.

A few days before the tour, we received an email from Extranomical to say we had been outsourced to their "sister company" Tower Tours. We were travelling by this point so had no choice but to go ahead with the trip. We figured it may still be okay.

We were picked up on the first day at the time advised and thought "Hey, this is actually a nice coach!". Unfortunately, the coach then dropped us at the Tower Tours office near Fisherman's Wharf, where we had to queue up to "register".

We were clearly the last to be dropped off, as by the time we got on the rattly old tour bus, there were only a handful of single seats left, so my wife and I had to spend the journey apart.

The tour was fine until we reached 17 Mile Drive. At this point the bus driver advised a belt was about to break in the engine and so we couldn't proceed with the tour. To save us waiting on the side of the road, the driver took us to Bird Rock, where we sat in the blistering heat with no shade or AC for 90 minutes while the driver tried to get updates from Tower Tours. Please note, I do not hold the driver responsible for this, and he did try his best to rectify the situation.

Updates from Tower Tours ranged from "You'll need to wait 3 hours for a replacement coach" to "The tour may be cancelled", none of which were consistent. They also promised a replacement coach was en route, which turned out not to be the case - it was only an engineer.

Eventually the tour group took it into their own hands. Some took an Uber back to San Francisco, some took an Uber across to Carmel to wait for the new coach to arrive. When the driver proposed this plan to Tower Tours, they promised refunds for all Ubers - my wife's e-mail with the receipt has been totally ignored by Tower Tours.

We ended up milling around Carmel for a few hours while all the stores, etc. closed down around us. It wasn't a great feeling.

We finally made it back to San Francisco at 10.30pm, which totally ruined our final night in San Francisco and the final night of our honeymoon.

If you are thinking of booking with Tower Tours, I strongly suggest you reconsider. As per my opening paragraph, I am not one to scaremonger - however, I don't want anyone else to go through this same experience, and I doubt I'll ever hear back about that Uber refund.

I'm happy to be contacted directly if you want any further information or recommendations for your trip.
Written 18 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
TowerTours
Dear davieb110 First of all – I apologize for not responding to your email following the bus breakdown which occurred on August 31st. After speaking with Extranomical Tours about the events of that day, my understanding was that they were going to proceed with the promised credits, given that we did not have any form of your payment in our system. I should have let you know that was our agreement and followed up with you directly. There were certainly a few errors which occurred in the communication on the day of the breakdown. By the time I was notified, I immediately worked on arranging transfers between Bird Rock and Carmel Plaza until our replacement bus arrived. Our replacement bus was in fact enroute. The replacement bus had reached Castroville, approximately 20 miles north of Bird Rock when he was notified by the mechanic that the original bus was restored. The events which transpired and the miscommunication which resulted are not typical of our customer service. We greatly value the experiences our customers receive and always look to immediately recover in service when incidents occur, as rare as they occur. Due to my error and assumption in your receiving of the promised credits, I would like to offer you additional compensation. Please reach out to me at feedback@towertours.com. We again sincerely apologize that your experience with Tower Tours resulted in a poor memory of your trip to Monterey over your Honeymoon, and we hope you give us a second chance to make up for it. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Warm Regards, Janet R, General Manager
Written 19 September 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julie M
Massachusetts32 contributions
Dec 2017 • Friends
Had a great time; our driver was informative; the views were incredible. I would have preferred less time in Monterey and more time in Carmel as others mention. I believe the time in Monterey is to accommodate those who want to visit the aquarium.

It would be great to do this trip on your own but the person driving would miss out!
Written 30 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

Day Trip to Monterey and Carmel via California Coast provided by Tower Tours - San Francisco Sightseeing Specialist