The Monterey Bay region has a worldwide reputation for its superb climate, colorful history and culture, exquisite cuisine, and unsurpassed natural beauty. From the beaches and rocky outcrops of the Pacific Coast to the peaks of the Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia Mountains, the Monterey Bay area offers something for everyone. Like islands apart from the busy urban centers of California, Monterey County’s cities, towns, villages and rural areas offer an opportunity for a unique quality of life, while more urban attractions are available in the San Francisco Bay area, just a few hours’ drive to the north. The Monterey area’s vibrant economy is based on a diversified agricultural industry and a year-round visitor-serving sector, and many technology and service related businesses both large and small. Many public and private educational institutions, several of which focus on language, technology, or marine-related fields, provide educational opportunities to local residents and students from around the United States and the world.