8 Best Things to Do in Monterey

Monterey, California, isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience waiting to unfold. Nestled along the central coast, this charming city beckons with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and marine sanctuary. Whether you’re an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or someone who simply enjoys good food and wine, Monterey has something special for you. Let’s dive into the 8 best things to do in Monterey, guaranteed to make your visit unforgettable.

Stroll Along Cannery Row

Cannery Row - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

Cannery Row is the heart and soul of Monterey. Once the sardine canning capital of the world, today it’s a lively waterfront street brimming with history, shops, and restaurants. Walking along Cannery Row feels like stepping back in time, albeit with a modern twist. The old cannery buildings now house unique boutiques and seafood restaurants that serve up the freshest catches. Don’t miss the chance to savor a bowl of clam chowder while enjoying views of the bay!

Explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium Exhibits: Marine Life, Shows, and Tours

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a marvel of marine conservation, renowned worldwide for its interactive exhibits and dedication to oceanic education. From playful sea otters to mesmerizing jellyfish, the aquarium offers a window into the diverse ecosystems of Monterey Bay. It’s not just an aquarium; it’s a journey beneath the waves that captivates both the young and the young at heart.

Take a Drive Down 17-Mile Drive

17-Mile Drive Guide | Classic Drives | Monterey Touring Vehicles

17-Mile Drive is arguably one of the most scenic drives in the world. This toll road winds through the picturesque Pebble Beach community, offering stunning views of the Pacific coastline, majestic forests, and world-famous golf courses. Stop at the Lone Cypress, an iconic landmark, and soak in the breathtaking beauty that has inspired artists and photographers for decades.

Enjoy the Views from Lovers Point Park

Lovers Point Park In Pacific Grove, CA | Monterey Bay

Lovers Point Park is a gem of Monterey. Located in the neighboring town of Pacific Grove, this park offers panoramic views of Monterey Bay and is a perfect spot for picnicking, kayaking, or simply watching the sunrise. The beach here is also one of the few west-facing beaches on the California coast, making it an ideal place for sunset views.

Savor the Local Cuisine

savorthelocal delivering local organic produce

Monterey’s culinary scene is a delight for foodies. The city’s close proximity to the sea and agricultural lands ensures a bounty of fresh produce and seafood. From upscale dining to casual eateries, there’s no shortage of places to indulge in local flavors. Be sure to try the artichokes and strawberries, two of the area’s signature crops.

Wander Through Historic Monterey

Monterey State Historic Park in Downtown Monterey - California Through My  Lens

Take a step back in time as you wander through historic Monterey. The city’s rich history is evident in its preserved buildings and landmarks. Visit the Old Fisherman’s Wharf to catch a glimpse of Monterey’s fishing industry heritage. Don’t miss the historic adobes, especially the Custom House, the oldest government building in California.

Go Whale Watching

MBNMS: Whale Watching

Monterey Bay is a prime location for whale watching. Depending on the season, you might spot gray whales, humpbacks, or even blue whales. Several companies offer whale-watching tours, providing an opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close. It’s an awe-inspiring experience that connects you with the natural beauty of Monterey Bay.

Hike in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

First Timers Guide to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve — Flying Dawn Marie  | Travel blog, guides & itineraries for adventurous travellers

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a haven for hikers and nature lovers. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and serene walking trails, Point Lobos is often described as the “crown jewel” of California’s state parks. The reserve is a fantastic place for photography, bird watching, and simply immersing yourself in nature’s wonders.


Monterey is a place where every corner holds a new adventure and every view tells a story. It’s a city that combines natural beauty with historical depth, offering experiences that are as diverse as they are memorable. Whether you’re here to explore the underwater world, savor the local cuisine, or soak in the breathtaking landscapes, Monterey welcomes you with open arms. So, pack your bags and set your sights on this coastal wonder. Your Monterey adventure awaits!


Q: What’s the best time of year to visit Monterey?

A: Monterey is a year-round destination, but the best weather is usually from April to October. Summer offers warm days, while fall brings fewer crowds and beautiful autumn colors.

Q: Can I visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium for free?

A: The Monterey Bay Aquarium requires admission, but it occasionally offers free days for locals. Check their website for current promotions and ticket prices.

Q: Is 17-Mile Drive worth the toll?

A: Absolutely! The stunning views, iconic landmarks, and photographic opportunities make 17-Mile Drive a must-do experience in Monterey.

Q: What wildlife can I see in Monterey Bay?

A: Monterey Bay is home to a rich array of marine life, including sea otters, seals, dolphins, and a variety of bird species. During whale-watching season, you may also see different species of whales.

Q: Are there any hidden gems in Monterey I should know about?

A: Beyond the well-known attractions, Monterey is full of hidden gems. For a unique experience, visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History or explore the lesser-known trails in Garland Ranch Regional Park for stunning inland views.

Victorine Jardine, a M.Sc. Part 1 student with 3 years of content writing experience, is a specialist in Health (Weight Loss, Fat Burn Food etc.), Astrology and pets topics. With a deep love for animals, Jardine also provides informative content on pet care, behavior, and the bond between humans and their furry companions. Know the enchanting worlds of zodiac signs and pets through Victorine Jardine's engaging writing.

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