San Francisco

Day Trip to Monterey and Carmel via California Coast

San Francisco, United States
  • 11 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


The California coastline is dramatic, iconic and rugged, but also difficult to enjoy when you're trapped behind the wheel of a car rental. So take this day trip to Carmel and Monterey, and enjoy the cliffside and ocean views from the window seat of your coach.
  • Travel along Highway I from San Francisco to Carmel and Monterey
  • Spend time enjoying California's coastal scenery
  • Upgrade to include a ticket to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Round-trip hotel transfers available from select SF area hotels

What's Included

  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Live commentary on board
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • San Francisco
    San Francisco, CA, USA

    Tour departure and meeting instructions will be provided to you at tour confirmation.

Start time

09:00 AM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Tower Tours - San Francisco Sightseeing Specialist (Pass By)

Cannery Row

2 hours Admission Ticket Free

17-Mile Drive (Pass By)

Bird Rock Vista Point

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Lone Cypress

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Pebble Beach Golf Links

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Carmel Plaza

1 hour Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • 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.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Our tour guide George was entertaining, informative and a true gentleman. The weather was terrible on the day, but George gave us the best options for the day and we ended up having a great day. Will definately do this tour again and will recommend it to our friends.


118 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 118 reviews
California coastal experience
Anirban_M, May 2023
Guide was excellent in telling the stories and importance of the places we went through, the people who stayed there...
Great tour of Monterey and Carmel (despite the weather)
Michelle_M, Jan 2023
Our tour guide George was entertaining, informative and a true gentleman. The weather was terrible on the day, but George gave us the best options for the day and we ended up having a great day. Will definately do this tour again and will recommend it to our friends.
Uncomfortable ride beautiful views
Sharon_O, Oct 2022
Beautiful views but ride was horrible… we had the back row and we’re bounced around like a Jack in the box. The driver drove very fast and we did not feel safe. He was very knowledgeable but a little quiet time would have been appreciated.
A great tour to learn and see more of the area!
Lynn_B, Aug 2022
The tour guid, George, was very informative. We saw a lot during the day. I’m not a big shopper. So I wish we could’ve seen more scenery then shopping. But we did we a great deal of the area between San Francisco, Monterey, Pacific Coast, Carmel. And learned about other areas we passed. My only suggestion would be to hear more while driving than while stopped.
Very Beautiful tour!❤️
imranova, May 2022
The tour was BEAUTIFUL! The tour guide George was very good, knowledgeable and interesting. If you are staying in San Francisco I will definitely recommend to buy this tour. Thanks
A pleasant day
Ruth_H, Apr 2022
It was great to have someone else driving and to have a restroom on the bus. Ran right on schedule so we got to see a variety of scenery and tourist attractions.
Awesome Day Trip
Keith_S, Nov 2021
We loved the scenic drive down PCH 1! The stops at Monterey for lunch, viewing the Lone Cypress in 17 mile drive, Carmel by the Sea, & the Pebble Beach Lodge were great. Long day but worth it - our tour guide Doug was very knowledgeable and helpful to all guests!
Monterey and Carmel Trip
MzChevelle_B, Oct 2021
The air conditioner on the bus didn't work well. There should have been a lot more to see when we stopped in Carmel. Also Monterey Aquarium should have been added.
Once only
Harriette_W, Sep 2021
Quite interesting. Enjoyed the coastal views of the ocean and the 17 mile trip. Would liked more time at Cannery Row. Carmel was a waste. The stores were closed or closing as well as the eateries.
The guide is very well...
Janeth_T, Aug 2021
The guide is very well versed and know how to take care his tourists. Not so enthusiasm enough. Good enough.
A great tour to take !!
JCS, Aug 2021
Very professional and kind costumer service. The tour started on time and the driver provived an interesting information about every place we visited.
Monterey and Carmel
Michael_B, Jul 2021
George, our bus driver and tour guide, was very informative and entertaining. Enjoyed all of the sights and stops along the way. Stops were well-timed. Was disappointed that we did not go to Big Sur. I thought that was included in the tour. Perhaps I had only assumed that it was.
I would rather rent a car and go myself
Yadira_M, Jul 2021
Great bus driver. BUT to drive for hours to get lunch and not being able to see and enjoy the Monterey aquarium to then drive back for hours again, would not recommend ever. Really drive for hours for lunch and and a few pictures? I want my money back.
Too rushed and rather pointless
GAtex, Jul 2021
George was a great tour guide with lots of trivia knowledge to impart…the trip was pointless … driving to Monterrey was great but time there is so limited … we should have time to enjoy the aquarium for a couple of hours… barely had time to get lunch n walk for 30 minute …stop at Carmel at a shopping mall was pointless…trip. Trip should be just Monterrey n the 17 mike drive etc
Awesome Tour
Mattie_P, Jul 2021
The most memorable part of the trip for me was the drive down Pacific highway 1. The tour driver wad awesome. He went over and beyond my expectations. I really enjoyed the time spent in Monterey and carmel.
Nice trip down the coast with George our guide
Chris_A, Jul 2021
We had a fun trip down the coast from SF to Carmel with George the tour guide. He told interesting stories and shared a lot of local info and history. I'd rate this a 4.5 out of 5.0. Really good and relaxing if you don't want to do the drive yourself.
A great day trip.
STEVEN_A, Jul 2021
Our driver/tour guide was very knowledgeable. Some stops were not as scenic as desired. But all and all a great trip.
Magic Tour Bus
Marina_R, Jun 2021
First, I want to thank the tour company for honoring the 8 people who booked with them for this trip. It was our last day in San Francisco and something we were really looking forward to. Thank you Tower Tour! We were most fortunate to have the remarkable tour guide George. George has an abundance of exciting history, culture and topography of the entire state of California. If I could draw a comparison, I might say it was like having Mr Frizzle, from the magic tour bus. Children, will learn about capitals of the world, not found in their school books.❤️ There were sufficient stops along the way, making it a comfortable day. I especially enjoyed the apricot croissant at the Whale City Cafe. While in Monterey, we had wonderful halibut fish and chips and sand dabs. 😋 What was wonderful at the end of the tour, George did a recap of the many cities we crossed through and the wonderful features of each. Anyone who takes this tour, will not be disappointed and will come away with a new appreciation of the San Francisco Bay Peninsula.
Sherri_D, Jun 2021
Marc the driver / guide was excellent!! Even put together a fantastic music playlist for the long part of the drives. Very efficient as well. We hit all the stops and still got back on time!
Pacific coast tour
Sarah_P, Jun 2021
Our tour guide George was an amazing tour guide. As he drove us to Monterey and Carmel with some extra stops in the midst, he told us the history about things in California. It is well worth the money to do this tour
Great time
Katie_B, May 2021
George was very knowledgeable and friendly! I thought we had plenty of time each stop. Great experience to take my elderly father on.
Coastal route to Monterey and Carmel
Lisa_J, Feb 2020
Great day, Marco our driver and guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and helpful. Our only downside was that with so many stops along the way when we finally reached Carmel we only had one hour to spend looking around. It was a rush and we were unable to enjoy this beautiful town.
More time in Carmel please
Susan_G, Feb 2020
Lovely trip but would have preferred to have less time in Monterey and more time in Carmel. I felt by the time we got to Carmel an hour there was rushed and no time to explore and get a coffee.
Oh Myyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!
RickandBrendaG, Nov 2019
My husband and I were attending a conference in the San Francisco area and wanted to do something that would cover a lot of California quickly without having to rent a car, get a map and try to figure out where the heck we were going. Well, this day trip to Monterey and Carmel fulfilled that need and more! Our tour guide, George, was great! He was very knowledgeable and kept you engaged on the bus. We made stops along the way to eat lunch and grab snacks. It is definitely worth every penny! I plan to do it again if I'm ever in the California area gain. Thank you!
Mark_J, Nov 2019
George is one of the best guides I have ever had, and I have taken many tours. Beautiful scenery, lots of interesting info about California history and agriculture. Definitely recommend it.
Monterey and Carmel
Kari_Y, Sep 2019
Long drive, with limited time in destinations, would have preferred not to stop for coffee break but go straight to Monterey
Fantastic day out
Susan_C, May 2019
Fabulous day out with the lovely George as our guide, he was very informative and funny. It is a long day (11 hours) but it’s a great way of seeing the coastline and surrounding areas. I would throughly recommend it. Thanks George for making our day out feel so special.
Long But Fun
Adrian_J, Dec 2018
It is a long drive and just a few hours to enjoy monterey and Camel. But the driver was very entertaining and funny. And the scene views were spectacular.
Shopping trip
Zuzanna_C, Oct 2018
The California coast is So beautiful!!!!on our way I saw só many amazing beaches and rocks but we could not explore it. unfortunately we stopped twice close to the shopping Streets which was dissapointing for me.I did not come to US for shopping. The bus did not have wi fi.
Day Trip to Monterey and Carmel via California Coast
kwong226, Sep 2018
Excellent and very informative. Tour guide (bus driver) was very knowledgeable and friendly. He knew his history about the area.

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