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Attractions in Monterey, CA

Updated on May 29, 2013

Things to do in Monterey, California

Monterey, California is a beautiful city on the Pacific Ocean that is a great place for families, couples or newlyweds to visit. It's home to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and a popular spot for scuba divers. Here are some popular attractions in Monterey that you won't want to miss.

(Photo of the Monterey Bay Aquarium by Ed Bierman on Wikimedia Commons)

5 Great Attractions in Monterey, CA

Fun things to do in Monterey

1. Monterey Bay Aquarium Located on historic Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-see. Nearly 200 exhibits include the popular Kelp Forest, one of the world's largest galleries of jellyfish, and the always-entertaining sea otters, as well as many others. You can view more than 35,000 animals and plants here. The museum is the city's most popular attraction, welcoming an average of 1.8 million visitors a year, making it more popular than national parks like Bryce Canyon, which had about 1.3 million visitors in 2011.

2. Old Fisherman's Wharf Take a walk out on the old wooden wharf jutting into Monterey Bay to enjoy the view of the water, have a quick lunch at a walk-up fish stand, or meander through some fun souvenir shops. You can also hop on a whale watching expedition, glass bottom boat tour or fishing expedition from the wharf.

3. Monterey County Youth Museum As the name suggests, this is a popular destination for the younger set. The museum has 8500 square feet of hands-on fun for kids. Exhibits are divided into MY Day at the Beach, MY Go-Fore Golf, MY Healthy Farm, MY ImagiTree, MY Hospital, MY Theater, MY Creation Station and MY Town Hall.

4. A Taste of Monterey Wine Tasting Here's a great place to relax and enjoy the view. A Taste of Monterey carries over 90 local wines, from Chardonnay to Zinfandel and offers wine tasting, as well as wines, wine accessories and gifts for sale.

5. Path of History Walking Tour Monterey was the capital of California under both Spanish and Mexican rule, and there's still a lot of history in this town. A great way to relive those long-gone days is to take a leisurely stroll along the 2.7 mile self-guided Path of History. The trail will take you around 46 historic buildings in Monterey.

(Image of Fisherman's Wharf by Sara Rosado on Flickr)

Find More Attractions in Monterey and Nearby Areas

If you're going to the Monterey area, a good guidebook can help you find more things to do in Monterey and nearby locations such as Carmel, Big Sur and Santa Cruz.

Moon Monterey and Carmel: Including Santa Cruz and Big Sur (Moon Handbooks)
Moon Monterey and Carmel: Including Santa Cruz and Big Sur (Moon Handbooks)

Amazon description: California-savvy Ann Marie Brown offers her firsthand experience and advice on Monterey & Carmel, from Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row to the nearby areas of Pacific Grove and Salinas. Brown includes various travel strategies, including Pacific Coast Highway Tour and Wildlife Tour. Brown covers the most popular sights: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Big Sur, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and Carmel Valley, among others. Complete with expert tips on the finest art galleries and boutiques, where to spot sea otters, and how to explore the maritime history of the shore, Moon Monterey & Carmel gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience


The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in Monterey, CA.

What Are Your Favorite Attractions in Monterey? - Comments welcome!

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    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      I love everything about Monterey, especially the Aquarium.

    • profile image

      jacinthemilton 5 years ago

      Monterey is really a nice place to stay and to live. I've been wanting here to stay because of the friendly people and a great spot to tour.

    • imlifestyle profile image

      imlifestyle 5 years ago

      I went to Monterey about 20 years ago, it nice to see this lens. Thanks,,