Monterey is one of the most enchanting cities in California. There is so much to do there you can spend weeks. This is a list of some of the favorite things we have done in Monterey.
1. Monterey Bay Aquarium The best aquarium I have ever been too. Open from 10-5pm week days and 9:30-6pm weekends. Daily admission is $50 for adults and $30 for children 3 and up. You can get a season pass for $95 individual and $250 family. You can get lots of discounts on tickets if you have AAA insurance or look into CityPass Deals. It will take you the entire day to truly explore every exhibit. It is situated in a picturesque spot on the ocean. They have exhibits both indoor and outdoor. There are fun touch pools where you can pick up star fish and get a hug from a sea urchin or anemone. You can pet a sting ray as well. There are also feeding times to watch the penguins and sea lions eat. Playgrounds are everywhere for your child to have a lot of hands on learning. There are deep blue ocean exhibits with large bass and sea turtles to the intriguing deep under the ocean secrets where you can see giant the octopus and jelly fish. They also have sharks and swarms of other fish in their kelp forrest. The variety and magnitude of al the different tanks is breathtaking.
2. Cannery Row You can walk down memory lane and see the history of this canning factory town. There are some cool displays of the history of Monterey and the canning equipment that use to be on the bay. Now there are lots of fun stores and restaurants down this strip with many wonderful food to taste and souvenirs to purchase.
3. Old Fisherman’s Wharf You can take a 5 min walk or the free trolley that runs daily and picks you up right outside the aquarium. It is similar to Fisherman’s Wharf on Pier 39 in San Fransisco. You will see sea lions and there will be lots of samples of clam chowder, various souvenirs shops, candy shops, chocolate shops, etc. I would say this wharf is a lot more relaxed than in San Fransisco. Feels more open as there isn’t a hug city surrounding its pier.
4. Lovers Point
5. Coast Guard Pier
6. Point Pinos Lighthouse and Pacific Grove Ocean Trail. Open from 1-4 Thursday-Monday.
7. Asilomar State Beach- tide pools and wooden paved walk ways
8. 17 Mile Drive Costs $10 but if you stop and eat get money back if you eat at one of the expensive restaurants inside. We just paid the $10. During the drive you will see many landmarks including: Spyglass, Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Seal Rock, Bird Rock, Lone Tree, etc. It can take 1-2 hours depending on how much you stay at each point of interest.
9. Pebble Beach
10. Dennis the Menace Playground A great playground for children at El Estero Park. Here you can also rent paddle boats and take a ride around the small lake.
11. Monterey State Historic Park – 2 miles of historic buildings and gardens most of which are free to get into. Open 10am-4pm daily October-April and 9am-5:00 pm May through September.
12. Pacific Grove Monarch Sanctuary- Great place to view butterflies from mid-October to mid-February. Monarch Sanctuary located at 250 Ridge Road off Lighthouse Avenue. 10 blocks from museum. Parking is free. Museum has docents everyday from 12-3.