In summer, doubles from $109 weekdays, $149 weekends; off-season rates from $79, including continental breakfast.

4. Casa Munras

In Monterey, you'll find one of the best deals in town at Casa Munras Hotel & Spa, a large downtown lodging with surprisingly stylish accommodations, a chic lobby and a great central location. Rooms are small but nicely furnished with cushy upscale bedding; most rooms have flat-screen TVs. Grounds are tidy, and there is a pool. Tapas bar available in the lobby at night.

700 Munras Ave., Monterey; (800) 322-2446 or (831) 375-2411,

Summer doubles from $139 a night weekdays, $159 weekends; low-season rates from $129.

5. Monterey Hotel

Prices here are cheap, cheap, cheap, with rooms starting at $59 in the low season and $79 in summer. This Victorian-style hotel, built in 1904, has nicely decorated public areas and rooms furnished in period style. Some rooms are tiny (the petite queen, which has the lowest rate, is about 150 square feet, slightly larger than a standard stateroom on a ship), but you can't beat the central location, and there's a free continental breakfast.

406 Alvarado St., Monterey; (800) 966-6490 or (831) 375-3184,

Summer doubles from $79 a night, weekend rates from $109; low-season rates from $59 weekdays, $79 weekends. Includes breakfast.

10 restaurants for $10 or less

1. Wagon Wheel Restaurant

This country restaurant in a Carmel Valley strip mall might not be much to look at, but its breakfasts draw fans from throughout the Monterey Peninsula. It's tiny, so there's often a wait. Horseshoes and tack on the wall make local cowboys feel at home. Eggs Benedict is the popular choice for breakfast ($9.25); lunch items are accompanied by mom-style side dishes such as Jell-O and homemade pork and beans. Some pet-friendly tables.

7156 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel; (831) 624-8878

2. Earthbound Farms Produce Stand

If the name has a familiar ring, it's because you've bought organic produce from Earthbound Farms at your local gourmet market. The company, nearly 30 years old, began here; it now contracts with 150 organic growers to supply its distributors. This outlet, a produce stand but super sized, has a salad bar and small grill (panini, $8.95), besides selling produce and packaged foods (hummus and cucumber sandwich $5.95, carrot-ginger soup, $5.95). The grounds are suitable for picnicking.

7250 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel; (831) 625-6219,

3. Forge in the Forest Restaurant

Take your dog out to dinner at the Forge, which has a courtyard reserved for four-legged diners and offers a special menu for them. No dog? This onetime blacksmith shop — converted to outdoor patios and indoor bar and restaurant — is still fun, and the food is both trendy and tasty. We split an Italian sausage pizza ($15.95) and had a few dollars to spare.

5th at Junípero, Carmel; (831) 624-2233,

4. Hog's Breath Inn