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Monterey & Carmel Explorer with optional Aquarium

San Francisco, United States
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

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icon11 to 12 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Explore Monterey, Carmel, and the Pacific Coast Highway without the hassle of renting a car during this full-day tour from San Francisco. Wind down the coast through Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, the 17 Mile Drive, and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Pickup and drop-off at downtown San Francisco hotels included. Small group of 13 passengers or fewer.
  • Complimentary San Franscico hotel pickup & drop off
  • Explore Monterey's renown Cannery Row
  • Enjoy spectacular views on the 17-Mile Drive
  • Famous Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1)
  • See the world-famous Pebble Beach golf course
  • Optional stop in Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz
Be ready for pickup at your San Francisco hotel (downtown or Fisherman's Wharf area) for a morning departure. 

Settle back in your seat in the comfortable tour vehicle as it winds down scenic CA Highway 1, winding along the coast (fog permitting). Watch the blue expanse of the ocean beyond the beaches and make a brief stop to stretch your legs in Santa Cruz before arriving at Monterey's famous Cannery Row. Learn about the area's significance as a hot spot for Pacific coast biodiversity and its history as a fishing and whaling town. Stroll around the area and find a spot for a seafood lunch (own expense). Or, opt to bring your own lunch and instead squeeze in a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (if option selected). 

Depart after lunchtime, driving through Pacific Grove and down the famous 17 Mile Drive, lined on each side by coastline and multi-million-dollar estates. Snap photos of the Lone Cypress, impossibly growing off the edge of a cliff. Stop at Pebble Beach Village to visit the Pro Shop and see the 18th green.

Arrive in Carmel-by-the-Sea and choose to spend time walking the beach or exploring the shops and restaurants on Ocean Avenue. After some time in Carmel, hop back in the bus and relax on the ride back to San Francisco.

Traveler Photos


34 Reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Reviews by Viator travelers
Mixed feelings
, Nov 2019
We were picked up at our hotel promptly at 8 am by Tower Tours and taken to their main office where we were handed over to another tour company (Extranomical Tours) and relegated to a small and cramped 13 seat van (every seat occupied).The van was noisy (windows constantly rattling, rather small and uncomfortable seating and difficult to see the vistas as van was so low - nothing like a highway coach). We were almost tempted to cancel the tour on the spot when we saw the van. Not a pleasant experience and we were very disappointed and upset with the mode of transportation. I note in the Tower Tours brochure where it states that on "Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays this tour is operated by Tower Tours. Additional days operated by a partner company". Our tour was on Saturday, Nov 2 and should have been operated by Tower Tours. If we were in a highway coach (like all of the other tours that morning) our experience would have been much more enjoyable.The contents of the tour were fine and the driver/guide Constantine was very good. Your thoughts? Robert Kane Kane Travel Agency 506-653-0948
Awesome Coastal Experience!
, Oct 2019
Patrick was the best tour guide - very friendly with lots of interesting facts as we toured through all the scheduled stops. Our only suggestion - more time in Carmel and less time in Monterey. Also, the Tower Tours desk was not staffed and we had to ask the hotel concierge how we go about finding our bus and then we had to travel to the main office to pick up our tickets and get on our designated bus for our tour. Other than that it was one of the highlights of our trip. Thank you!!
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Thanks for letting us know you had a great time. We'll consider your suggestion of spending more time in Carmel by the Sea. Let's do it again soon!
Wonderful scenery, full day and highly recommended
, Oct 2019
This trip to Carmel and Monterey was magnificent. The drive was pleasant and lots to see along the way. Our tour guide, Danilo was informative, funny and well organised. He was also a very safe driver and really took pride in showing us this gorgeous area of California. At each stop, he did a head count to make sure we were all on board. It was a full day and we saw lots. There was plenty of time to see the Aquarium at Monterey, have lunch and a stroll down the main street. Well worth the trip and I would highly recommend this tour.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Isn't the Monterey Bay Aquarium great. Glad you got to experience it. Travel home safely.
, Jul 2019
The tour was fabulous! Lots to see and do. Beautiful scenery! Great places to eat and would encourage others to do this tour
over charged
, Jun 2019
The driver was excellent and I would rate them 5 stars only for this part of the trip. the booking and office staff should be rated 1 or a 0. My husband and I took this trip on June 17, 2019. we are both senior citizens and did not go to the Aquarium. the Tower Tours brochure says $89. but we paid $105 for each instead of $89 for each. We have e mails from Tower Tour, Extranomical Tours and Viator. No clue how they are connected, but each one tells me to go to the other to clarify my fee. Tower said they only got our name nd phone number and no other details. We have NO CLUE who Tower Tours is until we pay the $$ and get confirmation. their name is nowhere on the booking website. Only Viator. I have sent e mail to support@viator. No response yet.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2019
Sorry for the confusion. Let's try to sort this out. You booked and paid for your Monterey tour with our partner Viator. We will notify them today that you felt you were overcharged and we will honor any agreement that you reach with them. You may also call our Guest Services office today (415.357.0700) and we'll explain the process.
We booked this trip with much...
, Apr 2018
We booked this trip with much anticipation. I have always wanted to drive the PCH and see the sights there. There were four of us on this trip and three other groups joined us. Total people touring was 12. Of the four parties touring, all but one had some issues before the tour ever began. We were the first to board and we noted the van was not handicapped accessible. We had called the tour provider Extranomical Tours prior to booking to confirm that it would be and that there would be a space to store the scooter one of our party uses. We called again two days before the tour to check. Both times we were assured we were on a handicapped bus and there would be adequate storage space. On the day of the tour, the driver refused to allow the scooter to be boarded, saying no one had told him, and we had a full bus. He refused to call the tour provider to try to accommodate us and his attitude was Do it my way or get off. He actually repeated over and over Nothing I can do. Another party on the bus had requested a translator and none was provided. Same response from the driver. A third group had been told and had written confirmation of a specified time and location, but he came very close to leaving them when he was at the appointed place 15 minutes early. He berated them as they boarded. Once on the road, the PA system I. The bus was not working properly and the people in the back could not hear. He was rude to those passengers, asking if they had a hearing problem. They did not. When he finally conceded the speakers on the bus were not working, he refused to talk louder. He stated, Nothing I can do about it repeatedly. It was apparent to all on board that he was rushed and impatient with everyone. He drove 75-80 miles an hour, even though it was a rainy day. He hurried people and lectured them at each stop. He took several , shortcuts, and never gave enough time for us to explore in Monterrey or Carmel. Originally, he said we would have about 2 hours in Monterrey, but we only had about an hour and 15 minutes, He parked far away from the eating establishments on Cannery Row, and refused to let us out by them. By the time we walked our mobility impaired friend down the street, we didnt have enough time to eat and get back to the bus. He shrugged when we told him. At the Same stop, he chased a family down and fussed at them for going to the bathroom as he was ready to leave. He rushed and lectured constantly, urging people to hurry. His commentary on the sights was repetitive and boring. He seemed to take no joy in his subject as the best tour operators do. As stated, Much of what he said could not be heard by half of the passengers. On the actual coast, not including Monterrey and Carmel, we only stopped twice: Once at a small restaurant for a bathroom break, and once at Bird Rock. The rest of the PCH went by fast, given his speed. Of the whole trip, we were on the coast for less than half the time. The rest of the time, we were inland among farming communities, or on the freeway coming home. The trip lasted about 9-10 hours advertised at the time we booked as 12 hours, and we spent 2 hours in near standstill traffic on the way home and in SF dropping people off. The scenery was beautiful, just wish I could have really enjoyed it.
Great Scenery all along the way...
Rebecca E
, Mar 2018
Great Scenery all along the way! Ocean views were amazing! Monterey Cannery Row was great for lunch and shopping. Carmel is such a quaint, lovely town to take a stroll, while enjoying the shops and eateries.
Worth doing it but we did not see the...
, Jan 2018
Worth doing it but we did not see the bridge as shown in the tour picture.
A thoroughly enjoyable day. Our...
Phillip S
, Aug 2017
A thoroughly enjoyable day. Our driver/guide was full of knowledge and kept us continually updated with information. And his choice of music certainly added to the experience.
Guide was terrific Steve. Very...
Mary R
, Aug 2017
Guide was terrific Steve. Very knowledgeable and willing to readily share info. Tour could have been longer......not quite enough time at each spot. Great photos of a Pebble Beach sea lions. We enjoyed the coffee shop stop on the way there. FYI, watch your water intake in the's a long, non stop 2.5 to 3 HR ride home.

Product code: 2402MONTCAR

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