Best Things to See and Do in Monterey, California

Monterey aquarium

Monterey, California is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the state for its beautiful beaches and perfect climate. The area is a well-known location to visit for travelers who want to stay busy and enjoy beautiful views of the ocean. When you’re planning a trip to Monterey, there are a few activities and attractions to add to your itinerary before you arrive.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium first opened its doors in 1984 and continues to be one of the most popular places to explore for both tourists and locals. The aquarium is home to over 600 different animals and plants with various tanks and pools that can be viewed by the public right near the ocean.

Cannery Row

Cannery Row is known as a waterfront street in the city that boasts multiple sardine-canning factories that were once in use but shut its doors in the 1970s. It offers picturesque charm where you can shop and dine in a lively environment and also find best hotels in Monterey CA. Fire pits are available to stay warm at night when you want to enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the views of the ocean. Over 25 different restaurants are also available to dine at with a variety of options that are available.

Monterey cannery row

Carmel Beach

Carmel Beach is a hot spot is the perfect place to take a stroll or lounge on the sand where scenic views are available in every direction. The beach is dog-friendly and offers white sands that are soft to walk on. Bonfires are also available to use for those who want to stay warm while spending the evening at the location. Visitors can even grill or barbecue on the beach.

Monterey walking on the beach

Whale Watching

Take a whale watching trip on the water to spot different types of whales with marine biologists that are on board. Fully equipped boats make trips out on the ocean in each season of the year for those who want to get a close glimpse of sea otters, sea lions, killer whales, dolphins, and seals. You can learn more about how the mammals survive and feed while photographing them in their natural habitat.

Monterey whale watching

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is available at Cannery Row and at various wineries that are available in the local area. You can visit tasting rooms to sample different types of flavors from experts that can provide you with information on each type of wine. A Taste of Monterey, a local festival, also offers daily wine tastings where over 95 wineries are present to serve their best flavors. You can enjoy sipping on the wine while being served small bites.

Monterey wine tasting with friends

Golfing or Spa

Golfing is one of the most popular pastimes in the area at Monterey Pines Golf Course and Del Monte Golf Course. Those who want to relax can visit the spa and enjoy getting pampered at regal locations like the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa and the Pebble Beach Resorts. Consider booking a relaxing facial or massage where you can recharge and feel rejuvenated in a serene setting. Many of the spas also offer on-site pools and saunas where you can lounge around and unwind for the day.

Monterey golfing over top of bluff

Waterfront Dining

Take advantage of restaurants that offer views of the water and are situated on the beach where you can also find best hotels in monterey ca. Cindy’s Waterfront is an ideal choice that serves farm-to-table cuisine that looks like work of arts with how it’s presented. Chart House is another high-end establishment that serves steak and seafood in a classy setting.

Monterey eating near the ocean

When you want to explore Monterey and experience the culture, there are several activities to enjoy in the destination. By visiting the right attractions, you can enjoy all that the city has to offer.


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