1) DIVE OCEAN PINNACLES. These twin spires in Carmel Bay are two of the best boat dives in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Covered in lush kelp and thick invertebrate life, the shoreward pinnacle rises from 100 feet to within 15 feet of the surface. The seaward pinnacle plateaus raggedly 45 to 70 feet below the surface, and then drops sharply to more than 120 feet. You may see a whale or two as they pass by on their annual journey to Mexico.
2) VISIT THE MONASTERY. It's a short walk from Hwy. 1 in Carmel to great shore diving off Monastery Beach. The south side has a calm patch reef. The north side allows you access to Monterey Submarine Canyon.
3) GO DIGITAL. Three local companies--Optiquatics, Backscatter and Light & Motion--offer two-day digital photo workshops from the Monterey Breakwater beach.
4) DIVE DRY. Explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Among the highlights: a living kelp forest exhibit and a one-million-gallon tank that is home to sharks, tuna and turtles.
5) WALK THE STREET. Cannery Row, one of America's most famous streets, has shops, restaurants, late-night music and a microbrewery.
6) TAKE THE GRAND TOUR. 17-Mile Drive is a dramatic stretch of road where you'll see basking seals and enormous stands of redwoods.
7) GET SOME SOLE. At funky Monterey's Fish House, you can order locally caught petrole sole grilled or sauteed.
8) DIVE PEBBLE PEACH. The unforgiving sixth hole of the famous golf course runs along the banks of Stillwater Cove, which is also a decent place to dive. The shallow cove offers calm water, healthy kelp and the occasional golf ball souvenir.
9) MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR TWO. Point Lobos State Reserve is home to some of California's sweetest shore diving, but access is limited to just 15 buddy teams a day.
10) SPY A WHALE. Sign up for a whale-watching tour to see humpback and blue whales feeding on large schools of fish and krill in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary year-round.
Water Temperatures: Average in the mid-50Fs year-round, though drop into the 40Fs at deeper sites.
Dive Charters: Beach Hopper II; Cypress Sea, web: www.cypresscharters.com; Diving Charters/Sand Dollar, web: www.divingcharters.com; Escapade, web: www.divecentral.com/escapade_information.html; Monterey Express, web: www.montereyexpress.com; Silver Prince, web: www.mbdc.to.
Dive Shops: Aquarius Dive Shop, web: www.aquariusdivers.com; Bamboo Reef Dive Shop, web: www.bambooreef.com; Manta Ray Dive Center, web: www.mantaraydive.com; Monterey Bay Dive Center, web: www.mbdc.to.
For More Information: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, web: www.mbnms.nos.noaa.gov.
Digital Photo Workshop: Optiquatics, web: www.optiquatics.com.
Walk the Street: Cannery Row, web: www.canneryrow.com.
Dive Dry: Monterey Bay Aquarium, web: www.mbayaq.org.
Dive Pebble Beach: While it's possible to dive Stillwater Cove from the beach, diving and parking restrictions make that tough. You're better off signing up with a local boat charter.
Point Lobos State Reserve: To make reservations, call (831) 624-4909.
Whale-Watching Trips: Chris' Fishing Trips, web: www.chrisfishingtrips.com; Monterey Bay Whale Watch, web: www.montereybaywhalewatch.com; Monterey Sport Fishing & Whalewatching Cruises, web: www.montereywhalewatching.com; Randy's Fishing Trips, web: www.randysfishingtrips.com; Sanctuary Cruises, web: www.sanctuarycruises.com.
Accommodations: The Monterey Bay Lodge (55 Camino Aguajito, 800-558-1900, web: www.montereybaylodge.com) has a heated pool and fountain the kids can jump into. The Martine Inn Bed & Breakfast (255 Oceanview Blvd., 800-852-5588, web: www.martineinn.com), a turn-of-the-last-century historic inn, overlooks Monterey Bay.
Restaurant: Monterey's Fish House (2114 Del Monte Avenue, 831-373-4647).
Tourism Information: Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, web: montereyinfo.org.