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Monterey Car Rentals & Travel Guide

John Steinbeck’s iconic novel of community joys and small-town sorrows begins, “Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.” Curving along the Northern California coast, Monterey has held onto the same natural beauty and nuanced charm that once inspired Steinbeck to write. You too can hear the soft tones of the ocean and see the sun cast beams through the morning mist when you rent a car in Monterey and embark on a moving journey.

It goes without saying that with our Monterey rental car deals, you’ll have the wheels to explore the Golden State’s sandy shores and scenic speedways, whether you drive to San Francisco in a classic sedan or pile an SUV high with surfboards and drive south to Big Sur.

Where to Stay in Monterey

As you search for the perfect Monterey rental car for your getaway, browse some of the city’s top hotels and find your home sweet home away from home.

  • Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa: Become one with the Pacific at this magnificent spa hotel carved into the cliffs near Cannery Row. Start your day off with a refreshing treatment at Vista Blue Spa, wander through the seaside village, then cap off your adventure with a meal prepared by Executive Chef James Waller. Delightful.
  • Sanctuary Beach Resort: Sanctuary is a fitting moniker for this pristine property set on 19 oceanfront acres by Marina State Beach, north of downtown Monterey. Follow the footpath from your front door to the Marina Dunes Preserve for an added dose of tranquility.
  • Lovers Point Inn: The hotel is named for the natural jetty that juts out into the bay next to the property, making it an excellent vantage point for the evening’s sunset. Lovers Point isn’t just for, well…lovers. Their Mermaid Beach House vacation rental is large enough to accommodate the whole family.
  • Mariposa Inn & Suites: Enjoy stunning views of the entire Monterey Bay area from the balcony in your suite in one of the area’s few high-rise hotels. Begin your adventure on the peninsula with a complimentary made-to-order breakfast, then put the cherry on the sundae with a drink at the free evening reception in the atrium.

Driving into the Sunset

Like other California cities, this is a driver’s town, and not just because the ocean vistas invite you to roll down the window as you watch Pacific waves from Highway 1. After you arrive at Monterey Regional Airport, pick up your rental car in Monterey and drive just 3.5 miles northwest to the beachfront city center. Known for its conservation efforts and care, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-visit for any wise wanderer.

No California experience is complete without driving into the sunset with the windows down and the radio turned up. Make sure you select one of our Monterey car rentals with plenty of room (or racks for a longboard) and follow Highway 1 for 24 gorgeous miles to Big Sur, a picturesque surfing and hiking destination.

If an unforgettable getaway is your dream, then it’s time to book a cheap car rental in Monterey and make a habit of visiting the historic Northern California coast. Our price-matching promise means we’ll offer or match the best price available, so you can save more on your travel necessities and make this trip again and again.

Here at Travelocity, we’re committed to helping you score cheap deals on Monterey car rentals. We’ll have your rental car waiting for you as soon as you arrive in town. Traveling with your whole family in tow? Choose a spacious and affordable van to keep your crew sane throughout the trip. Exploring the city with your sweetheart? Reserve a swanky two-seater as you paint the town red. With our low rates on rental cars in Monterey, you can go out and smell the roses, without stressing out your bank account. You can even use our mobile booking app to snag exclusive deals, so you can spend more on your adventures and less on your vehicle.