Asilomar and Monterey Peninsula offer a great variety of activities and sightseeing opportunities. The area offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, cycling, rock climbing, deep sea fishing, golfing, horseback riding, kayaking, movie tours, scuba diving, sky diving, whale watching and wine tasting. More details can be found here:
(Thanks to Lance Nizami for compiling the below suggestions on sights to see along the San Andreas Fault Line!)
For those of you who are interested in Geology, being in the San Francisco Bay Area offers the unique opportunity to see one of California’s major geological features, the San Andreas Fault.
On the west side of the fault lies the Pacific Geological Plate, which is sliding northwards in a series of jerky earthquake-associated motions relative to the North American Plate to the east. The maximum recognized lateral displacement during the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 was 21 feet!
North of San Francisco – The faultline itself does not pass through the city; rather, it plunges under the ocean just north of Pacifica on the Peninsula, south of San Francisco, and re-emerges north of the Golden Gate along Highway 1 along the linear valley that runs north to Tomales Bay, where the faultline is hidden underwater. At the headquarters of Point Reyes National Seashore (a National Park which is open to the public for a small fee), there is an Earthquake Trail near the main Visitor Center, which shows subtle leftover signs from the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
South of San Francisco – Traveling to and from Asilomar from San Francisco International Airport by car will allow you to see the path of the faultline south of the City. From San Francisco International Airport, go one mile north to Interstate 380, and take it westbound to Interstate Highway 280. Take Interstate 280 southbound, and on the right will soon appear San Andreas Lake, which lies overtop the faultline. The Stanford Exploration project provides further details concerning the San Andreas Fault in the San Francisco Bay area.
Not much further south on the right appears Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir, which also overlies the faultline. South of the lake, as you approach the Sand Hill Road exit (don’t take it!), glance to your right to see the long low concrete building that is the famous Stanford Linear Accelerator. The building ends just at the faultline. Quickly on your left will be “The Dish”, the Stanford University Radio Telescope.
The faultline is inland about 10-15 miles east of Monterey, where it continues to veer in a south-south-east direction, passing right under San Juan Bautista, a small tourist town known for its restaurants and bars and its old Spanish mission, still used as a place of worship, and open to the public for an admission fee.
South of San Juan Bautista, the faultline cuts right through the main building of DeRose Vineyards, where it slowly creeps, requiring occasional repairs. DeRose is a prosperous working winery with a tasting room. I have done the drive to it from Highway 25 south of Hollister to Cienega Rd.; it lies in a pleasant valley and is marked on California maps as “Vineyard, Elevation 960”.
From here the faultline continues south-south-east, defining the eastern edge of Pinnacles National Monument, a part of the National Park system. Pinnacles is the remains of an ancient volcano that was split in half by the northwards movement of the Pacific plate. The other half is hundreds of miles away in Southern California. Pinnacles is rugged and beautiful and has hiking trails and opportunities for rock climbing. It is also a sanctuary for the incredibly rare California Condor, but you will be very lucky indeed if you see one!