When visiting the Monterey Peninsula, most people seek out super-scenic places along the coast to run on. Point Lobos comes to mind as does Garrapata State Park . While those places are undoubtedly among the most scenic places in the world, they are also often very crowded (especially Point Lobos).
Let me offer a potential alternative: Jacks Peak. At 1,068 feet, Jacks Peak is the highest point on the Monterey Peninsula and clearly visible as you’re strolling along Fisherman’s Wharf or Cannery Row.
The hours are a bit limited (not opening until 10, and closing at 5 in the winter), but once I managed to get up there, I thoroughly enjoyed cruising along well-maintained, buttery trail, bagging another peak and enjoying views of the entire Monterey Bay all the way up to Santa Cruz. An additional bonus is the quietness of the park. You’ll likely find yourself up there with just a few locals walking their dogs. Certainly worth a visit!