When you think of California, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the sun and sand. But while this state has plenty of both (and then some), it also boasts several natural wonders few people know about. So if you’re looking for something different from your typical beach trip or city break, why not venture out into the wilds? Here are 14 things to do in Monterey:
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium located in Monterey, California, United States. It was founded in 1984 and is one of the largest aquariums in the world.
The aquarium contains thousands of animals, representing over 550 species on display. The centerpiece of the facility is its large central saltwater tank that holds millions of gallons (liters) of seawater and can be viewed by patrons from above or below through four different paths.
As well as displaying many types of marine life and ecosystems from around the world, it also has an extensive collection featuring live displays where visitors can interact with some animals like otters and penguins while they are trained to perform tricks for guests’ entertainment
The facility consists of three major galleries: Outer Bay; Kelp Forest; Open Sea; all accompanied by hundreds of smaller exhibits which include touch pools (where guests can safely touch small animals) as well as hands-on activities such as feeding stingrays or rays at Stingray Bay Children’s Aquarium
The Monterey Wharf is a fun place to visit and explore. The wharf has fishing boats, seafood restaurants, and shops, the history of the wharf, and fishing and seafood are a big part of the local economy.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is nearby as well as Cannery Row. A great stop for tourists on their way up north from San Francisco or down from Los Angeles on highway 101.
Point Lobos Nature Reserve
Located a short drive from Monterey and Carmel, Point Lobos State Reserve is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The park is home to some of the most breathtaking views in California. If you want to get away from it all, this is the place for you.
Point Lobos State Reserve has an incredible natural attraction that’s unlike any other place in California: a high concentration of sea otters, seals, and sea lions! You might even spot whales if you’re lucky!
Cannery Row is a street in Monterey, California. It’s also the title of a novel by John Steinbeck, which was later adapted into a film by director David Wilson and released in 1982.
Cannery Row was originally inspired by “Rodeo Street,” where Steinbeck lived during his stay in Monterey; however, he renamed it after his own short story about the same area.
The song “Cannery Row” was written by John Fogerty and released on his album Eye of the Zombie in 1991; it comes from an earlier poem called “Rouge River” written by Thomas McGuane (1939- ), who lived for some time with Steinbeck at Cannery Row when they were neighbors there during its heyday as a commercial fishing hub.
- Go wine tasting in the nearby countryside.
- Visit the beach or go on a hike at Pebble Beach.
- Enjoy a day of shopping at some of the most exclusive stores in the world.
Lighthouse Avenue is the main street of Monterey, and it’s a great place to stroll and shop. You’ll find plenty of unique shops and restaurants on this tree-lined boulevard.
You’ll also see many statues, murals, and fountains along Lighthouse Avenue. These give the street a bit of character that makes it stand apart from other cities in California.
If you want to visit one of the most famous places in Monterey while you’re there, make sure to stop at Fisherman’s Wharf on Lighthouse Avenue! It’s home to some truly amazing seafood restaurants where you can get fresh fish caught right off the Pacific Ocean!
Lake El Estero Recreation Area
Lake El Estero Recreation Area is a reservoir in Monterey County, California. Located within the Big Sur region of California, it’s popular for boating and fishing as well as other water sports. It’s also near King City, which offers great shopping and dining options.
Jacks Peak Park
- It’s a large park with hiking trails, so it’s the perfect place to go for a picnic and spend quality time with your family.
- The park has a playground and a dog park, too!
- Several trails lead up to the peak.
Old Fisherman’s Wharf
Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to watch the sunset and sea lions. If you’re looking for a place to eat seafood, Old Fisherman’s Wharf is your best bet.
Dennis the Menace Park
Dennis the Menace Park is a public park in Monterey, California. It is named after the comic strip character Dennis the Menace, who was created by Hank Ketcham. The park was built in 1954 and was dedicated by Hank Ketcham himself on September 10th, 1955. This park has many fun things to do for families and kids of all ages including playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, and an amphitheater with shows every summer!
Lovers Point Park and Beach
Lovers Point Park and Beach is located on the Monterey Peninsula and is open from sunrise to sunset. The park has a picnic area, hiking trails, and a beach where you can enjoy swimming or just relax in the sunshine. If you’re looking for an outdoor activity that is both active and relaxing then this is it!
Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo
Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo is a beautiful building that was built by Father Junipero Serra in 1770. The mission is the only one of its kind in California and has not been destroyed by earthquakes or fire. It’s also the oldest building in Monterey County!
The church, which is still standing today, was constructed from heavy wood beams covered with adobe walls. In addition to being historic, it’s also beautiful inside: stained glass windows line the walls and give it a soft glow during daylight hours; intricate wooden carvings decorate the ceiling, and original artwork from more than 200 years ago can still be found on display throughout all of its rooms (including some beautiful paintings).
Garland Ranch Regional Park
The Garland Ranch Regional Park is an amazing place to spend a day or two. You can hike, bike, and even go horseback riding in this park that’s located on the edge of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The park has many different trails you can take including an easy trail called “Garland Ranch Trail” which is only about a mile long. If you want to see some wildlife (and who doesn’t?) then check out the much longer “North Ridge Trail”. It also offers views of Monterey Bay as well as surrounding cities like Moss Landing and Santa Cruz Island!
Salinas Valley State Prison Museum and Garden of Memory Crematory Complex
Located in Salinas, the garden of memory crematory complex was built as a memorial to executed prisoners. The prison museum is located within the complex and is devoted to educating visitors about its history.
Both are fascinating sites to visit if you have time on your hands while in Monterey.
Monterey is a great place to visit. You can see everything from the beautiful ocean views to the amazing gardens. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-see attraction while visiting this city and makes for an awesome photo opportunity!