Monterey boasts its own centrally located airport (MRY) making it possible to fly directly into town, a mere $15 cab ride away from downtown. Other nearby airports include San Jose International (SJC), about one hour away and San Francisco International (SFO) two hours away. Both of these airports are connected to Monterey via Monterey Airbus every 90 minutes for around $40.
Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) has a fairly extensive network capable of transporting passengers to and from most reaches of the area including Big Sur. Service is infrequent compared to major cities, so be sure to mind timetables when planning trips by bus. MST connects to Caltrain in San Jose (a great way to downtown San Francisco), Amtrak and Greyhound in Salinas (best non-air option for destinations South), and Santa Cruz METRO transit in Watsonville.