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21 Finest Issues To Do In Monterey, California (2023 Information)

In search of all one of the best sights in California’s Cradle of Historical past? Our information to all one of the best issues to do in Monterey is all you want!

Famend for its affluent marine life, Monterey, California is dwelling to one of many largest nationwide marine sanctuaries in the US. 

On this scenic coastal metropolis in Northern California, you’ll be able to look forward to finding a few of the most breathtaking viewpoints, favored by and provoking for photographers, authors, and artists alike. Many iconic authors, together with Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry Miller, have lived within the space. 

And although Monterey is adored for its thriving marine life and coinciding world-famous nature-based sights such because the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Level Lobos State Pure Reserve, there may be a lot extra to this metropolis!

Historical past buffs and wine lovers flock to Monterey the place historical past and wine are aplenty. The town was the capital below Spanish, Mexican, and United States rule at one level in historical past.

Wine aficionados can take their choose as the realm of Monterey is dwelling to quite a few world-class wineries and tasting rooms. And at simply 2.5 hours away from San Francisco, there are many cool day journeys you’ll be able to take on this nook of California’s Central Coast.

Situated alongside the enduring Pacific Coast Freeway, it’s possible you’ll move the well-known Bixby Creek Bridge as your drive into Monterey. And when you arrive on this scenic city, there may be a lot to discover when it comes to tradition, nature, and historical past! 

Pacific Coast Highway Monterey
If you happen to’re driving into Monterey from the south, you’ll move the well-known Bixby Creek Bridge!

The Finest Issues to Do in Monterey, California

If you happen to’re struggling to seek out what to do in Monterey, look no additional. Our listing compiles one of the best issues to do in Monterey for an unequalled trip.

Framed by the Santa Cruz Mountains, the kelp forests of the Pacific Ocean, the tide swimming pools and seashores of the Central California coast, and the bustline Monterey Harbor, this metropolis is completely attractive and stuffed with issues to do.

From visiting the well-known Monterey Bay Aquarium to soaking within the views of the Pacific Coast to sipping locally-made wines on the River Street Wine Path, you’ll be able to tackle one of the best of Monterey utilizing this listing! 

Try our final information to the finest issues to do in California for extra concepts within the Golden State!

1) Peer At World-Class Reveals At The Monterey Bay Aquarium 

The primary to ever exhibit a dwelling kelp forest, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is legendary for standing out with its exemplary habitats and displays. 

The mission of Monterey Bay Aquarium is to encourage and educate others on the significance of conservation via its displays, instructional alternatives, and the aquarium’s personal conservation efforts.

All through the aquarium, company can bask within the glory of the underwater world via species akin to sea otters, jellyfish, penguins, and sharks.

Greater than 80,000 animals and vegetation name the Monterey Bay Aquarium dwelling, although some are there for rehabilitation, just like the aquarium’s sea otter rehabilitation program.

As a customer, you get to take your time peering on the 200+ displays to study in regards to the fascinating creatures! 

  • Deal with: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Price: $59.95

2) Stroll Amongst Historical past At The Monterey State Historic Park 

A Nationwide Historic Landmark, Monterey State Historic Park is taken into account considered one of California’s most reputed historic websites. Monterey was the capital below Spanish, Mexican, and United States army management. 

The Monterey State Historic Park preserves, protects, and displays a major assortment of historic constructions in Outdated Monterey.

Guests can stroll the place Spanish explorers first stepped in 1602 and the place the enduring writer Robert Louis Stevenson as soon as strolled about in 1879.

Inside the park, you can even discover the final whalebone sidewalk remaining in the US and the oldest authorities constructing within the state. 

  • Deal with: 20 Customized Home Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 12 pm – 4 pm Tuesdays – Thursdays, 10 am – 4 pm Fridays – Sundays
  • Price: $10

If you happen to’re heading south after Monterey, take a look at our listing of the finest issues to do in Southern California!

3) Spend A Household Day In The Solar At Lovers Level Park 

Lower than ten minutes from Monterey in Pacific Grove, Lovers Level Park is settled throughout the Lovers Level State Marine Reserve, considered one of 4 small marine protected websites within the close by space. 

This stunning park attracts locals and vacationers with fascinating facilities, scenic views, and entry to numerous outside leisure alternatives. The right family-friendly location, the park incorporates a kids’s swimming pool for the youngsters to play in close by of the rugged Monterey Bay Shoreline.

Guests come to this space of Pacific Grove to take part in varied actions, together with swimming, suntanning, fishing, browsing, picnicking, and quite a few different water sports activities. 

The Coastal Recreation Path is a well-liked operating and biking path that snakes alongside Monterey’s shoreline. Extending for 18 miles, the Coastal Recreation Path begins at Lovers Level Park, so you’ll be able to tackle a few of the trails from right here as effectively.

Discover the realm extra effectively with an e-bike rental! This native rental contains GPS-guided excursions so you’ll be able to study when you’re biking round Monterey.

  • Deal with: 631 Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, United States
  • Hours: 24/7
  • Price: Free

4) Go to The Monterey Museum Of Artwork 

Based as one of many American Federation of Arts chapters in 1959, the Monterey Museum Of Artwork is devoted to preserving, gathering, and showcasing artwork from California from the Nineteenth century to the current. 

The Monterey Museum Of Artwork options virtually 10,000 items of labor in its everlasting assortment, making it considered one of California’s most reputed artwork museums.

All year long, the museum additionally hosts rotating exhibitions to broaden its spectrum of artwork for guests to look and ponder over.

Many items spotlight a major a part of California’s historical past, whereas others give attention to the current and way forward for California’s up to date artwork and its expression. 

  • Deal with: 559 Pacific St, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Thursday – Sunday
  • Price: $15

5) Take The Youngsters To Study & Play At The Monterey County Youth Museum 

The Monterey County Youth Museum, often known as MY Museum, is a devoted house downtown the place kids can come to study and play!

With the mission to create an atmosphere the place creativity, curiosity, and training thrive, the Monterey County Youth Museum welcomes all ages to discover its interactive displays.

There are greater than 50 displays, plus 9 gallery areas open to exploration for guests to spend the day enjoying and studying.

For instance, youngsters can golf with the kid-sized placing inexperienced or get busy on the building website with instruments prepared to finish the duty. Every exhibit is specifically designed for teenagers to partake in a boatload of enjoyable actions. 

  • Deal with: 425 Washington St, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 10 am – 3 pm Wednesday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm Saturday & Sunday
  • Price: $10

6) Sink Into Luxurious At Pebble Seashore 

A neighborhood located on the Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Seashore is world-famous for being the one golf course to host the USGA championships consecutively all through the years.

Additionally it is infamous for homing Pebble Seashore Resorts, which options three award-winning lodges, world-class golf programs, fine-dining eating places, The Spa at Pebble Seashore, and the scenic 17-Mile Drive. 

The Spa at Pebble Seashore affords the final word luxurious with its 15 therapeutic massage rooms, full-service salon, outside pool, 5 facial rooms, conservatory, sanctuary, and Flotation Wrap Suite. It’s considered one of 90 spas that has completed the feat of receiving the Forbes 5-Star Award.

The spa’s providers are dedicated to utilizing the pure therapeutic properties of minerals, vegetation, and herbs indigenous to the realm. 

The scenic 17-Mile Drive programs alongside the Monterey Peninsula, touring via Pacific Grove, Carmel Bay, and Pebble Seashore. Many partake in a drive on this path to bask within the picturesque west coast viewpoints, luxurious mansions, sprawling golf programs, and different factors of curiosity, such because the Del Monte Forest. 

Pebble Beach Monterey
Views alongside 17-Mile Drive, full with the luxurious Del Monte Forest and the Pacific Ocean.

7) Laze In The Solar At San Carlos Seashore 

Generally known as Reeside Seashore Entry, San Carlos Seashore is situated on the west part of Cannery Row close to the Coast Guard Pier. 

This beautiful seaside welcomes guests to partake in its scenic atmosphere of sandy seashores and grass lawns for picnics and get-togethers out within the nice outdoor.

Greater than something, San Carlos Seashore is understood for its scuba diving and snorkeling, the place guests can discover the affluent waters of the Monterey Peninsula.

There’s additionally a close-by coastal path that winds alongside the seaside, out there for walkers, runners, and bikers to remain energetic, get some solar, and bask within the unimaginable views of the beachy shoreline. 

After some seaside time, head to the close by Cannery Row neighborhood the place there may be numerous meals and leisure.

The close by Del Monte Seashore is one other stunning place to soak within the solar. Ebook a personal browsing lesson right here if you wish to learn to experience the waves like a neighborhood!

8) Tour The Historic Colton Corridor Museum & Jail

Inbuilt 1847-1849 by Monterey’s first alcalde within the American Interval, the Colton Corridor Museum & Jail is a museum and authorities constructing. 

Based to function a city assembly corridor and public college, the museum is the place the primary Structure in California was drafted in 1849. Colton Corridor Museum & Jail guests can stroll via historical past and peer on the displays devoted to early Monterey and California.

Adjoining to Colton Corridor is the Outdated Monterey Jail, established in 1854 and remained in service till 1956. 

Excursions take guests via the Colton Corridor Museum & Jail to admire the interval structure and furnishings and the flexibility to ask docents any questions in regards to the historical past of those impactful constructions. 

  • Deal with: 570 Pacific St, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays
  • Price: Free

9) Pay attention To Inspiring Jams At The Monterey Jazz Competition 

An annual music pageant that debuted in 1958, the Monterey Jazz Competition has change into probably the greatest issues to do in Monterey, California. It’s the world’s longest continuously-running jazz pageant.

The pageant is held on the Monterey County Fairgrounds yearly, sharing and celebrating America’s creativity, tradition, and historical past via legendary jazz composers, musicians, and up-and-coming stars.

The Monterey Jazz Competition performs quite a lot of tastes, together with folks, blues, jazz, and American track, welcoming previous and new favorites for guests to cherish and be impressed by. 

The pageant is a nonprofit dedicated to educating and empowering others via native, regional, nationwide, and worldwide packages held yearly.

For instance, the Subsequent Era Jazz Competition is held by the Monterey Jazz Competition, the place one of the best scholar bands throughout the nation are gathered to carry out every spring. 

Plan to spend extra time within the Northern California area? Right here is our final information to the finest issues to do in Northern California!

10) Style The Sea At The Outdated Fisherman’s Wharf

Established in 1845 for freight and passenger service, the Outdated Fisherman’s Wharf in downtown Monterey rapidly grew to become a scorching vacationer vacation spot referred to as the “Monterey Bay Whale Watching Capital of the World.” 

Many prevalent water-based vacationer sights exist on the Outdated Fisherman’s Wharf, from whale-watching excursions and bay cruises to deep-sea fishing journeys to glass-bottom boat rides.

So it’s not a lot of a shock that the Outdated Fisherman’s Wharf can be reputed for its award-winning eating and contemporary seafood of native catches.

And when you’re on the Outdated Fisherman’s Wharf, don’t miss out on making an attempt the area’s hyped-up clam chowder that’s positive to thrill or the salt water taffy!

Whereas within the space, don’t miss out on an opportunity for whale-watching! On this whale-watching tour, journeys are excitingly narrated by a marine biologist or naturalist for attention-grabbing and academic details and tidbits about these large marine mammals. 

  • Deal with: 1 Outdated Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 9 am – 10 pm
Whale Watching Monterey
Whale watching is a should in Monterey Bay!

11) Go Fishing At The Monterey Coast Guard Pier 

The Monterey Coast Guard Pier, additionally known as the Coast Guard Jetty, is a picturesque spot that may be a romantic stroll with sundown views alongside the pier or an exhilarating competitors to catch the largest fish.

There’s no entry payment to entry the pier, so for those who’re searching for an reasonably priced and scenic possibility in your journey, that is it! 

Fishing on the enduring pier doesn’t require a license. If you happen to’re an angler, put together to compete with the horde of sea lions that wish to bask and feed within the waters by the pier.

If you happen to plan on merely taking a stroll throughout the pier, you’ll be able to view the ocean lions bathing within the solar as they laze alongside the rocky shoreline and swim fluidly via the water. 

The pier is close to most of the finest issues to do in Monterey, together with Carmel Seashore, Cannery Row, San Carlos Cathedral, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Outdated Fishermans Wharf. 

  • Deal with: 100 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940, United States

12) Thrift Away At The Cannery Row Vintage Mall 

For the thrifter and vintage shopper, Cannery Row Vintage Mall is heaven!

This well-known mall on Cannery Row has over 100 vintage sellers and uncommon finds in a historic constructing. The construction as soon as served as a canning firm in 1927.

The Cannery Row Vintage Mall has preserved and showcased the unique construction’s structure and equipment to strengthen the aura of refinement and historical past. 

After choosing and prodding via the Cannery Row Vintage Mall, jump over for drinks on the Pierce Wine Tasting Room of Pierce Ranch Vineyards, Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen & Bar, or Tidal Espresso for a caffeine increase! 

  • Deal with: 471 Wave St, Monterey, California 93940, United States
  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm

Learn subsequent: The 21 Finest Issues To Do In Sacramento, California

13) Enter The Charming Beachside Village Of Carmel-By-The-Sea

A ten-minute drive from Monterey, Carmel-By-The-Sea is a small charming seaside metropolis stuffed with fairytale cottages, intricate artwork galleries, and white-sanded seashores. 

Carmel-By-The-Sea is adored by vacationers and locals, the village-like space teeming with historical past and a fascinating environment that has drawn in artists and authors for over a century, together with huge names like Jack London and Mary Austin.

Greater than 100 artwork galleries are unfold out in Carmel-By-The-Sea, every showcasing a novel twist and style of collections starting from up to date to Nineteenth-century Impressionism. 

Sit down for a cup of tea at Tuck Field, considered one of many buildings that includes the fairytale cottage structure. The cafe focuses on afternoon tea, setting the endearing temper of the world-famous wonderland of Carmel-By-The-Sea.

This wine-tasting tour takes guests via Carmel Valley to find out about native wine manufacturing, pattern native wines in tasting rooms, and bask within the breathtaking views via Carmel and Monterey’s wine nation. 

Carmel By The Sea
Tuck Field is simply one of many many lovely locations within the enchanting city of Carmel By The Sea!

14) Strive Some Out of doors Actions at Monterey Bay Nationwide Marine Sanctuary 

A federally protected marine website, the Monterey Bay Nationwide Marine Sanctuary stretches from Cambria to Marin and is situated close to Large Sur and the Pacific Coast Freeway.

Bigger than Yellowstone Nationwide Park, Monterey Bay Nationwide Marine Sanctuary is likely one of the United States’ largest nationwide marine sanctuaries.

Exploring the thriving underwater world of the sanctuary, you’ll discover one of many continent’s largest underwater canyons and deep ocean environments near shore.

Identified broadly because the “Serengeti of the Sea,” the Monterey Bay Nationwide Marine Sanctuary boasts greater than 525 species of fish, 180 species of seabirds, and 36 species of marine mammals.

Among the best issues to do in Monterey is on the Monterey Bay Nationwide Marine Sanctuary, the place you’ll be able to journey the waters by snorkeling, browsing, boating, kayaking, and diving! There is no such thing as a higher place to mingle with marine life than right here!

Discover extra of Northern California’s pure magnificence in Lake Tahoe!

15) Discover The Historic Downtown Monterey 

A booming hub spot for historic, cultural, and social actions, downtown Monterey is teeming with distinctive sights, landmarks, and native Monterey historical past.

Extra generally referred to as Outdated Monterey, or the Historic District, downtown intertwines its vital historic previous with the fashionable future in its structure, design, and pure attraction.

As you stroll downtown, intricate statues of historic figures beautify the streets. And down Alvarado Avenue, the primary road of Outdated Monterey, are quite a few historic constructions, akin to California’s First Theater, the Cooper Molera Adobe, and the Colton Corridor.

For an immersive culinary expertise, guide a guided meals strolling tour downtown. Your native information will take you to all one of the best meals locations and also you’ll get to study in regards to the space whereas tasting scrumptious meals.

16) Hike, Snorkel, & Dive At The Level Lobos State Pure Reserve

Famend because the “Crown Jewel of The California State Park System,” the Level Lobos State Pure Reserve is esteemed for its awe-inspiring viewpoints adored by artists, photographers, and guests.

As soon as referred to as a sacred place to the indigenous individuals, the reserve is preserved right now as a historic and environmental marvel. 

The offshore space of the Level Lobos State Pure Reserve conjoins with the Monterey Bay Nationwide Marine Sanctuary, which is taken into account one of many world’s richest underwater habitats famend for divers and snorkelers worldwide.

Inside this sanctuary are 70-foot-high kelp forests dwelling to thriving sea otters, rockfish, lingcod, and different varieties of marine life. 

Level Lobos State Pure Reserve has loads of trails alongside the beautiful California Coast the place you’ll be able to admire this affluent website firsthand. One of the favored is the Cypress Grove Path, which curves via one of many world’s final two stands of Monterey cypress timber that develop naturally there. 

  • Deal with: 62 CA-1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, United States
  • Hours: 8 am – 7 pm
  • Price: Parking is $10
Point Lobos Natural Reserve
Level Lobos Pure Reserve is a nature lovers paradise!

17) Journey & Sip Down The River Street Wine Path

For wine lovers, probably the greatest issues to do in Monterrey is taking part in Monterey’s River Street Wine Path!

Operating for nearly a century, this wine path takes wine drinkers and connoisseurs via the Monterey area of 9 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

These world-class grape-growing areas have various wineries that includes high-quality wines of well-known crafts, together with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 

Make a journey down the River Street Wine Path to get a style of the various native wineries and the hand-made craft blends whereas basking within the spectacular surroundings of vineyards and shoreline! 

Wine tasting is likely one of the finest issues to do in Monterey, California, and this path is an effective way to pack in numerous wine data and tastings into one thrilling day!

If you happen to love wine, you also needs to attempt to go to Santa Barbara, additionally recognized for its wineries!

18) Study About California’s Early Historical past At The Customized Home Plaza

A Nationwide Historic Landmark, the Customized Home Plaza is the oldest authorities constructing in California. 

Constructed in 1827, this location has been below the reign of the Spanish, Mexico, and the US. It acted because the seat of presidency for the Spaniards who dominated over Alta California in Monterey, which operated as their capital.

The plaza and the historic districts round it live museums preserved to signify and share the early historical past of Monterey. 

Guests can tour the plaza and be part of a strolling tour of the “Path of Historical past,” 55 historic buildings set in Monterey State Historic Park. 

19) Keep Energetic At El Estero Park 

Surrounding Lake El Estero, El Estero Park is a family-friendly park that welcomes vacationers and locals alike to take the day without work and benefit from the nice outdoor!

Inside the park is the El Estero Train Course, which winds and curves across the lake, a well-liked scenic exercise encouraging guests to remain energetic whereas savoring nature.

For the skater girls and boys, the Monterey Skate Park is one other glorious approach to preserve energetic on trip.

The park was designed by native skateboards, so the design has a novel twist. Anglers can hook, line, and sinker a catch off Lake El Estero’s fishing piers for enjoyable memory-making reminiscences with family and friends. 

  • Deal with: 725 Pearl St, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 6 am – 10 pm
  • Price: Free

Learn subsequent: 21 Finest Issues To Do In San Francisco

20) Bask In The Architectural Magnificence Of The Carmel Mission Basilica Museum

Thought of probably the greatest restored Franciscan mission church buildings within the states, the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmela was first established in 1770.

The Carmel Mission Basilica Museum protects and presents 4 galleries that present perception into Monterey’s historical past and each mission based mostly in California. 

The mission is an energetic parish. Guests are welcome to attend Mass. Friends also can discover the grounds and peer at and study via displays, shows, structure, and historical past throughout museum hours. 

  • Deal with: 3080 Rio Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, United States
  • Hours: 10 am – 3:45 pm Wednesday – Saturday, 11:30 am – 4:45 pm
  • Price: $13
Carmel Mission Basilica Museum
This stunning landmark in Carmel By The Sea is a high attraction within the space.

21) Stroll By The Pacific Home Museum & Reminiscence Backyard 

A historic adobe home, the Pacific Home Museum options interactive displays devoted to the Holman Assortment of American Indian artifacts and California Historical past.

A stroll via the museum takes guests again in time, beginning on the Native American period and thru the Spanish, Mexican, and American reign over the realm. And in the back of the museum is the hidden gem – the Reminiscence Backyard.

This backyard was designed in 1927 and stays probably the most visited sights in Monterey State Historic Park.

The spectacular great thing about the Reminiscence Backyard has made it a favourite for photographers and for internet hosting weddings.

The stucco partitions, trickling fountain, and vibrant backyard are a very charming setting completely paired with the historic construction of the Pacific Home Museum.  

  • Deal with: Monterey Peninsula Leisure Path, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Hours: 10 am – 4 pm Tuesdays – Sundays
  • Price: Free

The place to Keep in Monterey, California

Now that you already know one of the best issues to do in Monterey, let’s take a look at one of the best locations to remain throughout your go to! 

You possibly can go to Monterey as a day journey from San Francisco, but it surely’s higher to spend just a few days right here to actually soak in all the wonder and journey this metropolis has to supply.

If you happen to’d desire to go to Monterey as a day journey from San Francisco, you’ll be able to guide a top-rated day tour right here!

Finest Hostel in Monterey, California

Hello Monterey Hostel is inside strolling distance of a few of the finest Monterey sights, together with the Monterey Museum of Artwork and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The hostel is within the Cannery Row District, so company can simply entry Monterey’s high sights and actions! 

The hostel is at present searching for donations as they struggled financially throughout COVID-19. If they will reopen, they would be the #1 hostel on this nook of California!

Finest Mid-Vary Resort in Monterey, California

Solely a five-minute stroll from the Monterey Regional Airport, Consolation Inn Monterey Peninsula Airport is settled completely alongside the scenic shoreline. The lodge is devoted to the very best requirements of cleanliness, with premium bedding to sink into on the finish of an adventurous day exploring Monterey. 

Finest Luxurious Resort in Monterey, California

The luxurious beachfront Monterey Plaza Resort & Spa options beautiful viewpoints on its historic property perched over the Pacific Ocean. Each a part of the lodge exudes an class intertwined with type hospitality. Make the most of the spa remedies so that you’re feeling refreshed in your adventures in Monterey, California!

DISCLAIMER: Among the hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks, which suggests for those who guide lodging, excursions or purchase a product, we are going to obtain a small fee at no further value to you. These commissions assist us preserve creating extra free journey content material to assist individuals plan their holidays and adventures. We solely suggest one of the best lodging, excursions and merchandise, and usually overview these. Thanks in your assist, type pal!



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