Monterey is located on a central coast of California and has moderate climate all year around. The town is a big part of the Californian history. It attracts artists from all over the country, therefore, it is a very important cultural area. Why do tourists like Monterey? Well, for a start this place is big on surfing, scuba diving, kayaking and identically amazing for long walks on the beach along the coastline and enjoying the town’s beautiful scenery. Plus, there are plenty of uncommon shops and restaurants where you can go.
1. Monterey Bay Aquarium
This is one of true tourist attractions in Monterey and wondrous place to see life under water. It tends to get really crowded so we recommend getting there as early as possible. Members have the possibility to get inside 30 minutes ahead of time. There are lovely exhibits such as feeding time at the penguin section, the splash zone, the deep sea exhibit with a 20,000-gallon tank. There is also an exhibit dedicated to the ocean preservation because after all we want to keep seeing all this beauty in the future. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a reputation of being one of the best aquariums in the US and it definitely is.
- Name: Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 648-4800
- Hours: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
- Website: montereybayaquarium.org
2. Cannery Row
Cannery Row once represented the industrial side of Monterey and today it is one of the highest tourist attractions. There are more than plenty options for shopping and dining and those are primarily directed to tourist needs. Cannery row does hold a lot of history and it is somewhat architecturally preserved but today it is definitely an upscale and one of the most expensive places around.
- Name: Cannery Row
- Address: Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 649-6690
- Website: canneryrow.com
If you are already in the Monterey area do not miss on this place. Carmel is a charming little town established in the forest. It features distinguished restaurants, world-class art galleries, and unique boutiques. Many artists, writers, and photographers were drawn to this place and now are the respected members of their community. Clint Eastwood has even been the mayor of this place for some time. Spend some time at local theaters or plan a trip to the Bach Festival or some other musical happenings. This town was chosen into top 10 destination cities in the country by Conde Nast Traveler.
- Name: Carmel
- Address: Monterey, CA 93940
- Website: carmelcalifornia.org
4. Monterey Zoo
Monterey Zoo is a good destination for families. You have the option of staying in their bungalows overnight and have their breakfast which is awesome. You may want to bring some extra blankets if it is chilly outside. The admission fee is not much compared to other zoos. The kids will be thrilled with an opportunity to feed the lions and elephants. If you plan your visit on the weekends you should consider coming early because parking spots are limited.
- Name: Monterey Zoo
- Address: 400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908
- Phone: (831) 455-1901
- Website: montereyzoo.org
5. Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf that you should see only for a little while. Beautiful landscapes, sea adventures and tours, some options for shopping and cheap fresh seafood. More than enough reasons not to miss this. You can find free parking or parking with reasonable prices. You may want to walk by the docks or choose one of the interesting trails which will take you to the beaches nearby.
- Name: Fisherman’s Wharf
- Address: 1 Old Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 373-3337
- Website: montereywharf.com
6. The Ghost Walk of Old Monterey
This is a 2-hour tour through Monterey at night and you have several stops when you can look around the place. You should have warm clothes and flashlight with you and there are no bathroom breaks on this trip. The tour itself is not scary as you may think and the excellent guide will bring out fun and interesting history facts. It is definitely well worth the money you pay for this unusual journey.
- Name: Ghost Walk of Old Monterey
- Address: 527 Hartnell St, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 624-1700
- Hours: Friday to Sunday 8 – 9:30 pm
- Website: http://www.toursmonterey.com/gpages/ghomey.html
7. Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada
The surrounding of the museum is comfortable, warm, intimate, with large windows looking at the roses in the garden. Family friendly spot to visit. Interactive exhibits and beautifully curated shows.
- Name: Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada
- Address: 720 Via Mirada, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 372-3689
- Website: montereyart.org
8. Pebble Beach Golf Links
This is another one of Monterey’s great attractions. It is not always highly recommended for the tourists because the navigation systems do not show the exact location and you may end up on the private property instead of the public part of the beach. Maybe because it is not that easy to find this beach is never crowded. The beach itself is a beautiful sight and a joy for all the amateur photographers.
- Name: Pebble Beach Golf Links
- Address: 1700 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, CA 93953, United States
- Phone: +1 831-574-5609
9. 17-Mile Drive Scenic Tour
This is a good way to visit Pebble Beach because it is included in the tour. A lot more breathtaking views along and you pass by a lot of residential roads. The parking at the drive is not a problem and the admission fee is $10. You will also have a chance to enjoy Lone Cypress and Ghost Cypress Tree. You should definitely take the tour at least once.
10. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Here is where you will enjoy the beautiful scenery with the cypress trees packed along the coastline. The trails are relatively short so this can be a well-planned family trip and you can bring the elderlies too. There are a lot of benches along the trail where you can just sit and relax. You can spot harbor seals, sea lions as well some other animals. If it is a nice day, you can go all the way to the water where you will see the wonderful pools of water. The parking can be a little tricky so pay attention to that.
- Name: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
- Address: Hwy 1 & Riley Ranch Rd, Carmel, CA 93923
- Phone: (831) 624-4909
- Website: pointlobos.org
11. Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail
Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail is a great place if you are looking for some exercise. You can rent some bikes and follow the trail where your will witness some spectacular views. This way you will have the freedom to experience what most tourists does not have the chance to see. You can take a walk too and enjoy the beach alongside some wonderful dunes. You can see sea lions, seals, and some other sea creatures along the way.
- Name: Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail
- Address: Monterey, CA
- Phone: 831-646-3866
- Website: http://monterey.org/en-us/Departments/Monterey-Recreation/Parks-and-Beaches/Monterey-Bay-Coastal-Trail#_=_
12. Dennis the Menace Park
There is so much fun at this place. Neat slides, swing sets, a long bridge, a hedge maze. Enough to spark little one’s imagination. It is excellent for both tourists and locals.
- Name: Dennis the Menace Park
- Address: 777 Pearl St, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 646-3860
13. Dolphin & Whale Watching
This a pretty great adventure for all animal lovers. You can see sea otters, dolphins, gray, humpback, and killer whales and other sea creatures. There is a plenty of room inside the boat if you want to get a snack and enough or room outside for an amazing viewing experience. You will be advised to take sea sickness pills. The tour guide will give a lot of info on the sea life too. The admission fee is $40. Knowledgeable and fun experience.
- Name: Monterey Bay Whale Watch
- Address: 84 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 375-4658
- Website: gowhales.com
14. Coast Guard Pier
This is an admission-free place where you can have the amazing view of the wildlife too. There is the center of the scuba diving. Diving can provide a delightful sight at the Breakwater with a wide-eyed view on the sea life.
- Name: Coast Guard Pier
- Address: 32 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 646-3950
15. Monterey Bay Kayaks
This can be a truly exceptional experience with an outstanding guide. You will be presented with useful tips on how to behave and what you need to do once you are in the water. You will also be provided with wetsuits, life vests, jackets and there is an option of purchasing a wet bag for your phones. You would have a chance to take a lot of photos and videos of the sea wildlife.
- Name: Monterey Bay Kayaks
- Address: 2390 Hwy 1, Moss Landing, CA 95039
- Phone: (831) 373-5357
- Website: montereybaykayaks.com
16. Monterey Museum of Art-Pacific Street
Wonderful museum and wonderful surroundings. It is not that big but it features the painting painted by artists all around the globe. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. $10 adult admission fee. Definitely worth checking out.
- Name: Monterey Museum of Art-Pacific Street
- Address: 559 Pacific St, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 372-5477
- Hours: Monday 11 am – 5 pm, Thursday 11 am – 8 pm, Friday to Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
- Website: montereyart.org
17. The Cannery Row Monument
The Cannery Row Monument is a history-based monument with the John Steinbeck’s statue sitting on a top and surrounded by a gorgeous coastline. It is a work of a local sculptor and it honors both real and fictional characters from the Cannery Row. A lot of tourists come here to hear the story behind it.
- Name: The Cannery Row Monument
- Address: Cannery Row, Steinbeck Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940
18. Jacks Peak County Park
This is one of the smaller parks with a view of Carmel. Jacks Peak County possesses several short well-connected trails. A $5 admission fee. It is a marvelous hiking experience and you will have breathtaking views. It is a nice place for the little ones with the trails that are not too steep. Markers will show you the points of importance. There are even some letter boxes in the area if you like that. You can use their picnic tables too.
- Name: Jacks Peak County Park
- Address: 25020 Jacks Peak Park Rd, Monterey, CA 93940
- Website: http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/parks/jackspeak.html
19. Cannery Row Antique Mall
This antique mall is gigantic. Two stories of vintage and antique items. There are a ton of variety items such as jewelry, trinkets, vinyl records, vintage clothing, glassware, small furniture, and signs. The prices are reasonable and possibly a great place to visit if you like antiques but there is basically everything for everyone even if you think that you do not. You can always find something to take home with you.
- Name: Cannery Row Antique Mall
- Address: 471 Wave St, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 655-0264
- Hours: Monday to Friday 10 am – 5:30 pm, Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5:30 pm
- Website: canneryrowantiquemall.com
20. Monterey State Historic Park
Monterey State Historic Park is rich with history and relics from early Californian time. You can take a Monterey Walking Path Tour which will guide you through some of the well-preserved buildings, historical homes, and gardens. There are markers showing you the way. You can spend a relaxing day strolling on this tour and going into these buildings for better viewing experience.
- Name: Monterey State Historic Park
- Address: 20 Custom House Plz, Monterey, CA 93940
- Phone: (831) 649-7118
- Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=575
This is a long list. You would probably need to come back to finish all the items. For a start, you can choose those places you are really excited about. There is always something for everyone. What I personally like about this place is that you can have a quiet vacation with your family and you can easily go berserk and go for all the adventures Monterey offers. Either way looks like a positive experience overall.
Have a good Trip and Travel!