Things to do in Monterey
The Monterey Bay area is a spectacular vacation destination that offers breathtaking landscape, white sandy beaches and exciting outdoor attractions and activities. Experience an unforgettable weekend getaway filled with exhilarating whale watching on the Monterey Bay, scuba diving at San Carlos Beach and hiking in Point Lobos State Reserve. Enjoy a relaxing cruise down 17 Mile Drive or get up close to fascinating marine life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Guests of the Monterey Bay Inn enjoy easy access to Cannery Row, and are steps away from world-class shopping, dining, wine tasting rooms and entertainment.
Cannery Row -
Cannery Row is Monterey's famous waterfront district that was once the center of the area's sardine industry. Made famous by novelist John Steinbeck, Cannery Row today is a bustling one mile stretch lined with souvenir shops, specialty boutiques and exceptional restaurants housed in former cannery factories.
Sample sweet salt water taffy, taste exceptional Monterey County wines, or browse the local art at the world-class art galleries. Cannery Row is the perfect jumping off point for all your outdoor recreation activities like scuba diving and kayaking. The famous Monterey Bay Aquarium is located at the end of Cannery Row. For more information, visit www.canneryrow.com.
Monterey Bay Aquarium -
The famous Monterey Bay Aquarium offers visitors a hands-on view of the spectacular marine animals and environments found in the Monterey Bay. Marine related exhibits at the aquarium include life-sized whale exhibits, a towering kelp forest, majestic swimming schools of albacore tuna, great white sharks, jellyfish, live sea otters and giant Pacific octopus. Outdoor enthusiasts will want to book a sunset sailing cruise on the high seas. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is open daily, except Dec. 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.
Recreational Trail -
This one mile waterfront recreation trail runs from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to Lover's Point. Enjoy a morning jog or a relaxing bike cruise, or stop off at the spectacular vista points to snap a photo of the gorgeous Monterey Bay flora and fauna. The well-maintained paved pathway follows the old Southern Pacific Railway route and features plenty of spots to rent bicycles, surreys, in-line skates, and kayaks. For more information, visit www.monterey.org/rec/coastaltrail.html.
Adventures by the Sea -
Enjoy fun and healthy outdoor recreation near the glistening shores of the Monterey Bay. Paddle the cool waters near Cannery Row or Stillwater Cove, cruise the town on a four-wheel surrey, or pedal along breathtaking rocky shores on a bicycling adventure. With Adventures by the Sea, it's easy to rent bicycles, surreys, surfboards and kayaks for a full day of outdoor activity. Adventures by the Sea is located across the street from the Monterey Bay Inn. For more information, visit www.adventuresbythesea.com.
Carmel Beach -
With its sparkling white sand, native cypress trees and gorgeous waters, Carmel Beach is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon or a breathtaking sunset cast in vibrant reds and oranges. Grab a book and uncork a bottle of wine during your leisure picnic. Carmel Beach is the spot to hang ten on the powerful waves, fly a kite along the shores, or stroll along the beach and let the gentle sea breeze take you far, far away. Carmel beach is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Carmel Mission -
Visit one of the jewels of the historic California Missions just minutes from Monterey in downtown Carmel. Founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1771, the Carmel Mission is a beautiful example of adobe architecture. Enter the breathtaking Basilica Church and become inspired by the curved ceiling, admire the original bell tower dome or browse the collection of Spanish Colonial art. Visit the mission museum and explore the exhibits in the Mora Gallery, Downie, Munras and Convento Museum, plus the Mora Gallery home of the Serra Memorial Cenotaph. For more information, visit www.carmelmission.org.
Point Lobos State Reserve -
Emerald green waters, rocky coves, and endless fields of colorful wildflowers. Point Lobos State Reserve is a Central California experience unlike any other. Point Lobos State Reserve is one of the best spots to scuba dive, hike, explore the tide pools and spot playful harbor seals along the post card perfect shores. Nature photographers will enjoy snapping photos of a diversity of plants and wildlife found throughout the reserve. For more information, visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=571.
17 Mile Drive -
Minutes from downtown Monterey is one of the most famous roads in California - 17 Mile Drive. Spend the day exploring this scenic road which winds through the prestigious gated community of Pebble Beach in Carmel and past the Del Monte Forest. Relax your senses as you cruise past impressive oceanfront mansions, secluded coves, pristine beaches, and esteemed golf courses. Bring your cameras and snap photos of unforgettable natural attractions including the famous Lone Cypress tree, Fanshell Beach, and Seal Rock.
National Steinbeck Center -
Head to Salinas, California to the National Steinbeck Center, a museum founded in 1983 and dedicated to depicting the life of Monterey County native son, John Steinbeck. Literary enthusiasts will want to take their time wandering through the museum's six permanent exhibit halls showcasing historic artifacts, photographs and film clips. Art and cultural exhibits showcase the beauty and history of the Salinas Valley, which inspired the writings of this celebrated author. For more information, visit www.steinbeck.org.
Discover the finest wines and vineyards in Monterey County. Wine lovers and connoisseurs can sample regional, homegrown specialties. Sip on robust pinot noirs, aromatic chardonnays, and zinfandels at local Cannery Row waterfront wine tasting rooms like A Taste of Monterey, Baywood Cellars, Scheid Vineyards Wine Lounge and Bargetto Wine Tasting Room.