If you crave beautiful vistas and magnificent animals spotting make sure you visit Point Lobos Natural Reserve a magnet for nature lovers around the world only 15 mins from Monterey, CA.
Airport: KMRY Route: KOAK-KMRY Aircraft: N43434 - PA28-161 Transportation: Car Rental (FBO or in Terminal) Open in ForeFlight
Once you leave the Bay Area head directly for Santa Cruz and once you are above the hills you will be able to see the Monterey Bay at the end of it is the very GA friendly Monterey Regional Airport.
If you are using Flight Following they will probably ask you to fly along the shoreline and then join right base for either 28R (shorter) or 28L.
I always ask for 28L because it’s a shorter taxi to the FBOs but if there are big jets coming they might ask you to land on 28R.
If you want to save some money park at Aerodynamic Aviation, a new FBO/Flight School which only charges 15$ for an overnight stay as opposed to the bigger FBOs on field which can charge 45$ or more. Just give them a call to confirm they have a spot for you and be aware that they are only open from 9am to 5pm.
From there you can walk to the terminal where you can find the major car rental companies (usually 45-60$ a day).
Drive along the coast and get to Point Lobos Natural State Reserve.
The views, the colors and the atmosphere is pretty spectacular.
If you plan to spend the night in the area there are few relatively cheap options in Pacific Grove which will allow you to then explore Carmel as well.