We know how big the U.S. Open is for the game of golf... but what does it mean for the Monterey Peninsula?
The U.S. Open draws BIG crowds. Each year, the U.S. Open sees approximately 17,000-20,000 attendees. That's a lot of people for the tiny Monterey Peninsula. Good news, it's great for business. Bad news, good luck getting around that week. Pebble Beach restricts car access during the U.S. Open and shuttles spectators back and fourth, in order to cut down on traffic. That means no driving into Pebble Beach unless you are a resident or work inside Pebble Beach.
Where to stay?
Hotels are a hot commodity during the U.S. Open week as people from all over the world will be flocking to Monterey. U.S. Open attendees need to book their hotels early in order to get a room on the Monterey Peninsula, with some people being pushed all the way north to San Jose in order to find an accommodation. Hopefully you have already booked your hotel for the week. If not, I recommend doing it quickly.
Where to fly into?
San Francisco Airport: SFO is a great option for international flights. They offer the most flights since it's the biggest airport in Northern California. It's about a 2 hour drive to Monterey, so a rental car will be needed.
San Jose Airport: Fly into San Jose and it's only about an hour drive to Monterey! Take the Monterey Air Bus and avoid driving through that city traffic.
Oakland Airport: The Oakland airport is another great option for flying into Monterey. Still with a drive, but only about 1.5 hours to the Peninsula.
Monterey Regional Airport: Want to skip all the traffic and hassle? Try flying right into Monterey with the Monterey Regional Airport. It doesn't get any more convenient than that. Land in Monterey, grab an uber, and be on your way to the U.S. Open.
What to do?
Well, you are visiting golf's greatest zip code, maybe you should play some golf. However, there's so much to do in Pebble Beach/ Monterey.... you should get to experience it all.
For starters, I recommend spending a day in Carmel Valley and popping in one or two of the 50+ tasting rooms the area offers, then make your way to Carmel by the Sea and grab some dinner at Dametra or Casanova, both very highly ranked restaurants that have a personality of their own. After dinner, take a stroll down to the beach and end your evening with a sunset on the sandy beaches of Carmel. Do one of these activities or all three, and you are bound to have a wonderful time.
Some other suggestions are taking a road trip to Big Sur and doing some hiking at Andrew Molera, or if you are looking for a short stroll, try Point Lobos. Then you can make your way to Cannery Row and experience some of the history the area has to offer and wrap it up with a fresh caught seafood dinner at the Fish Hopper or Monterey Fish House.
Wrap up your trip with a round of golf at one of the amazing public courses that the area has to offer! Poppy Hills has tee times available all week and will be one of the closest courses to the U.S. Open action.