This review summarizes the receptor-mediated vascular activities of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and the structurally related peptide adrenomedullin (AM). CGRP is a 37-amino acid neuropeptide, primarily released from sensory nerves, whilst AM is produced by stimulated vascular cells, and amylin is secreted from the pancreas. They share vasodilator activity, albeit to varying extents depending on species and tissue. In particular, CGRP has potent activity in the cerebral circulation, which is possibly relevant to the pathology of migraine, whilst vascular sources of AM contribute to dysfunction in cardiovascular disease. Both peptides exhibit potent activity in microvascular beds. All three peptides can act on a family of CGRP receptors that consist of calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CL) linked to one of three receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) that are essential for functional activity. The association of CL with RAMP1 produces a CGRP receptor, with RAMP2 an AM receptor and with RAMP3 a CGRP/AM receptor. Evidence for the selective activity of the first nonpeptide CGRP antagonist BIBN4096BS for the CGRP receptor is presented. The cardiovascular activity of these peptides in a range of species and in human clinical conditions is detailed, and potential therapeutic applications based on use of antagonists and gene targeting of agonists are discussed.