The Monterey Peninsula has one of the 3 native Monterey Pine forests remaining in the world. Huckleberry Hill offers miles of trails through the pine forest with excellent ocean views, and may be entered from Veterans Park, our popular forested campground in the heart of the City. If you are looking for a place to walk, hike, or commune with Nature, you might also try Don Dahvee Park, Iris Canyon, or Quarry Park. Some of our parks in New Monterey have excellent views of the Bay: Lower Presidio, Hoffman, and Oak Newton.
Monterey is best known for the unique play equipment at Dennis the Menace Playground, but we also have 21 other playgrounds throughout the City. The baseball games at Sollecito and Jacks ballparks draw large crowds. The 6 lighted courts at the Monterey Tennis Center in Jacks Park support kids’ summer camps and night play for adults. The 3 miles of Monterey Recreation Trail connect Monterey Bay Park, Shoreline Park, and San Carlos Beach Park. The Trail is used daily by hundreds of bikers and walkers. San Carlos Beach is a popular spot for divers who take advantage of the protected waters of Ed Ricketts Underwater Park that extends from the Coast Guard breakwater to Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove. Monterey Bay Park has sand volleyball courts just steps from the beach, and El Estero Park has a 1.5 mile exercise course, as well as a skate park, dog park, and the 18 acre lake with fishing and paddleboat rental. Recently disc golf courses have been installed at Don Dahvee and Ryan Ranch Parks.
Our state of the art Monterey Sports Center provides activities for all ages, including swimming, basketball, and a summer program for youth. The Monterey Youth Center in El Estero Park, Hilltop Park Center, and the Casanova Oak Knoll Park Center also offer special programs for youth including dance, gymnastics, and after school activities. Several of our parks are used for a variety of youth sports by the City’s Recreation Program, Monterey Pony Baseball, and Monterey High School.
Many Monterey families visit El Estero, Casanova Oak Knoll, Via Paraiso, and Whispering Pines Parks for group picnics. Veterans Park, with its 3 group picnic areas and large open lawn, hosts over 20,000 people annually for group events. The Monterey Youth Center, Hilltop, and Casanova Oak Knoll Centers offer space for social events and neighborhood meetings. The lawn area in front of Colton Hall is the venue for numerous Community events, and its adjacent Friendly Plaza is the site for the City’s annual Cutting Day.