Monterey Bay without a doubt is one of the safest areas in all of California if not the entire United States. With its main communities (Monterey, Carmel By the Sea and Pacific Grove) exuding small town feels with a vibe that makes one feel like they are at New England coastal retreat it is easy to feel safe and comfortable. Aside from the low crime issue for locals, most of Monterey’s sights are spread out in picturesque settings only reached by car leaving very few opportunities for unfortunate situations.
Road Safety in Monterey Bay
By far the biggest concern when visiting Monterey Bay should not be crime but road safety. Most visitors to the Monterey area arrive via car, often rentals they have rented in San Francisco or at the Monterey Peninsula airport. That said some are not often accustomed to the narrow windy roads-many of which straddle the rugged coast line . Breath taking views are guaranteed, but when it rains its important to be extra cautious as the roads can be slick and there is little room for error. Infact on several visits to Monterey by our editing staff when it has rained, both the rental car partner and hotels advised us against driving down to Big Sur along Highway 1 on those wet days.
One of the coolest allures to visiting Monterey, especially for nature lovers or those with kids is parking the car along one of the many viewing points on any of the several coastal areas and hiking down onto the rocky shores(known as tide pools) to observe Monterey’s natural marine life that is left behind when the tide goes out. This is not recommended. The tide pools are dangerous as they are very unpredictable. At any moment a rogue wave can come in smashing those in its path against rocks or sweeping them out to sea. The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers an amazing interactive-indoor tide pool that allows visitors to touch and learn about all the sea life that would be found by going rogue in a safe and comfortable environment.