Some of this will have already been said, but: I agree with the SanJose comment.. Much cheaper and easier to fly into.
I stayed in Seaside... Just outside of Monterey... Much cheaper.. Monterey has Cannery Row, which is a shopping, eating area.. It houses the Aquarium, which is a great place... Good food, great Ice cream joint that is very picturesque and the Ansel Gallery... Monterey also has the pier where there is great smoked salmon and fresh breads.. Very cheap.. Other junk food places and chessy tshirt shops but I did bring my son there every night for ice cream...
Carmel has the actual Carmel shopping area.. Very pricey, very posh... Good food. 17 mile drive is around there (good pictures). There is a nice working lighthouse as well as San Miguel (an old church).. Very cool stuff.
Driving is not bad.. Parking isn't bad either. There is a used camera joint walking distance from Cannery Row. I'll go through my journal and see if there is anything I missed.
edit: Oh yeah, if your on the road, going South.. In between Point Lobos and Big Sur is a place to pull off the road and there is a nature walk (sort of) that has stairs that goes down to the beach........ Some of the most picturesque things I have ever seen..... Of course, I didn't have MF then... Just my 35mm.