Things To Do in Monterey, California (CA)
There are so many fun things to do in Monterey, you'll have a hard time fitting it all in! Families can enjoy the aquarium, children's museum, area beaches, and local bike paths. History buffs can experience the Carmel Mission, California's first customhouse or a visit to historic Cannery Row. Wine lovers will appreciate the area's vast selection of wineries. No matter what your interest, you'll find it all right here in Monterey, California.
Old Fisherman's Wharf. Treat yourself to a delicious bowl of steaming hot clam chowder, enjoy people watching, hop a whale watching tour boat, or shop for souvenirs at one of Monterey's most popular attractions. Visitors will find plenty of restaurants, seafood purveyors, eclectic shops, and boat charters at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. www.montereywharf.com
Cannery Row. Cannery Row is a popular waterfront street in Monterey that is home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, My Museum, and other family friendly attractions. Once the industrial core of Monterey's thriving sardine-packing industry, today Cannery Row offers visitors plenty of amusements, from fun attractions, to shopping, dining, and historical landmarks, all overlooking the spectacular Monterey Bay. www.canneryrow.com
Pacific Repertory Theater. Theatre lovers can enjoy a wide range of theatrical productions and events, including the Carmel Shake-speare Festival, produced by Pacific Repertory Theatre throughout the year. Performances are held year-round at local venues, including the historic Golden Bough Playhouse.
Monterey Jazz Festival. This unique music festival showcases the talents of world-class jazz performers. Attendees can dance the day and night away at live jazz performances, learn more about music at music workshops and exhibitions, fuel up at the food booths, or shop for music related souvenirs for three days each year. www.montereyjazzfestival.org
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmel Mission Basilica. Established in 1770 by Spanish missionary, Father Junipero Serra, the Carmel Mission offers visitors an up-close look at important religious artifacts, relics and antique Spanish and Native American tools and equipment. The mission is surrounded by lush gardens, and also features a unique sanctuary.
Pebble Beach Golf Courses. Pebble Beach is famous for its world-class golf courses that overlook the majestic Monterey Bay. Golf enthusiasts of all abilities can put their skills to the test at exclusive resorts like Pebble Beach Golf Links, Poppy Hills, Spyglass Hill, Spanish Bay, and Del Monte. www.pebblebeach.com or www.poppyhillsgolf.com
Monterey Bay Aquarium. The famous Monterey Aquarium offers visitors a unique opportunity to view spectacular marine life including seahorses, albacore tuna, octopus, sunfish, great white sharks, marine birds, jellyfish, live otters, and more. Kids can learn by touching at hands-on kids activities and families can enjoy lunch or dinner at the cafeteria or restaurant.
Monterey Wine Country. From the sun-kissed Carmel Valley to the cool Pacific coast, Monterey County is home to several different wineries producing a large variety of fine wines varietals. Visitors can find wine tasting information, wine country maps, winery listings, and wine-related event information by contacting the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association. www.montereywines.org
National Steinbeck Center. The National Steinbeck Center is located in historic old town Salinas and offers visitors a look at the life of author John Steinbeck through informative interactive exhibits highlighting Steinbeck's life in the Salinas Valley with a focus on the author's celebrated literary works. Open daily, 10am – 5pm, except holidays.
Pacific Grove Monarch Sanctuary. Pacific Grove is a protected winter home for thousands of Monarch butterflies. Each year, the butterflies migrate south from Canada, flying 2,000 miles to reach the sheltered pines, eucalyptus trees and mild winter climate of the California coast. www.ci.pg.ca.us/monarchs/default.htm
Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Racing fans can experience the thrill and excitement of fast paced motorcycle and auto races, at the Honda Grand Prix and other racing events throughout the year at this world-class raceway. Laguna Seca is conveniently located on Highway 68, between the cities of Monterey and Salinas.
Whale Watching in Monterey. No visit to Monterey is complete without a whale watching tour on the Monterey Bay. Whale watching tours are available all year long and offers visitors the chance to view gray whales, humpbacks, orcas, dolphins, turtles, and marine birds. Tours usually last two to three hours, depending on the season. www.chriswhalewatching.com
Point Lobos State Reserve. Often called the "Crown Jewel of the State Park System," Point LobosState Reserve offers unmatched beauty, rare plants, unique rock formations, and plenty of opportunities for hiking, nature study, picnicking, and diving. Visitors will also enjoy hearing the calls of local sea lions or joining a guided nature walk. Open daily, 8am to half an hour after sunset.