Monterey Places

TripWhat's travel guide to Monterey; our list of the best things to see, including Monterey Bay Aquarium, Laguna Seca Raceway and Monterey Museum of Art.
  • The best place in Monterey: Monterey Bay Aquarium

    Monterey Bay Aquarium

    886 Cannery Row
    May 29-Sept 6 and all holidays 9:30AM-6PM, Summer weekends 9:30AM-8PM, winter 10AM-5PM, other dates 10AM-6PM. This large aquarium specializes in exhibiting local sea life in typical local habitat displays, and has many spectacular exhibits. It is particularly known for its Kelp Forest exhibit, three stories high, filled with several varieties of giant kelp and a wide variety of marine animal species, and also for its million-gallon Open Sea exhibit with large blue fin and yellow fin tunas, mahi-mahis, sharks (including an occasional Great White Shark as a very temporary visitor, before being released back to the ocean), ocean sunfish (mola-molas) and sea turtles. The best exhibits include a large tank of silver sardines that swim around and around above one's head, and one of rescued sea otters deemed unreturnable to the wild and therefore kept at the aquarium. (The Aquarium has rescued and released back to the wild over 500 sea otters.) Feedings of the various tanks are scheduled throughout the day and are fascinating, particularly the Open Sea exhibit feeding at 11:00 a.m. each morning, and feedings in the Kelp Forest exhibit during which a diver in full dive gear enters the exhibit's water, feeds the fish, and talks to the Aquarium's visitors from inside the exhibit. $34.95 adults, $31.95 seniors and students, $21.95 children and disabled. Quite expensive, but for a good cause (the Aquarium is privately funded, and much of the money goes for conservation research), and most visitors will consider a visit well worth the charge.
    food nearby
  • Laguna Seca Raceway

    Laguna Seca Raceway

    1021 Monterey-Salinas Highway
    Famous indy car and motorcycle race track.
    eat nearby
  • Monterey Museum of Art

    Monterey Museum of Art

    The 559 Pacific Street location, across from Colton Hall, has eight galleries, with both permanent and rotating exhibitions. The La Mirada building is one of Monterey's Mexican-era adobes. Located at 720 Via Mirada, near Monterey Peninsula College, it has four galleries, plus great views of Monterey Bay. Admission is $10, with $5 admission for students and military. One Thursday a month, the Pacific Street location hosts "Art After Hours," with free admission, light appetizers and drinks.
    restaurants nearby
  • Del Monte Avenue,

    Del Monte Avenue,

    2 destination paddling areas and 2 full service retail stores on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Guided Natural History Tours, rentals and classes offered daily.
    food nearby
  • 2 destination paddling areas and 2 full service retail stores on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Guided Natural History Tours, rentals and classes offered daily.
    eat nearby
  • Wharf Theater

    Wharf Theater

    Shows often include local interpretations of hit musicals.
    restaurants nearby
  • Presidio of Monterey Museum

    Corporal Ewing Road
    M: 10AM-1PM; Th-Sa: 10AM-4PM; Su: 1PM-4PM; Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Free. Gives the history of the Presidio of Monterey from pre-history through the War on Terror.
    food nearby
  • Monastery Beach

    a great favorite among scuba divers
    Watch as you walk for ubiquitous ice plant, and maybe a golden poppy or two (the state flower).
    eat nearby
  • Dennis the Menace Park

    10 minutes walk south from Fisherman's Wharf
    A giant kids park that includes a full sized train, numerous bridges, ducks and geese you can feed and paddle boat rentals. One of the better free municipal parks in Northern California.
    restaurants nearby
  • Pacific House Museum

    Custom House Plaza
    Offers detailed displays on local history and Native American life.
    food nearby
  • Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

    165 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
    Free; suggested donation $3. A museum dedicated to the natural history of the Monterey Bay area, with many exhibits geared toward children.
    eat nearby
  • Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

    Ridge Road between Lighthouse Avenue and Short Street
    It looks like a foot path to one of the houses, but it's not.). Dawn to dusk. Museum docents are available every day from November through mid February from noon-3PM. Free. One of the most popular resting spots for Monarch butterflies in the winter half of their migration pattern. Thousands settle there from October to March. They may look like dead leaves until you look closer. Bring binoculars.
    restaurants nearby
  • Jack's Peak County Park

    the highest point on the Monterey Peninsula and amazingly free of crowds
  • Point Lobos

    the park is a rocky outcrop into the Pacific that has some great kelp forests
    A California State Park located just south of Carmel on Highway 1, the park is a rocky outcrop into the Pacific that has some great kelp forests, nice trails and small coves excellent for swimming (if you can survive the sea temperature).
    eat nearby
  • Maritime Museum of History

    also at Custom House Plaza
    Showcases exhibits that revolve around Monterey's history as a port, and the history of both seafaring and commercial fishing, from the whaling era to the present day.
    restaurants nearby
  • Old Whaling Station

    located near Custom House Plaza on Decatur Street
    Whalebone was once a common material for sidewalks in seaside towns; it is very likely this is the last one of its kind
    food nearby
  • Point Pinos Lighthouse

    Asilomar Ave
    between Lighthouse Ave. and Del Monte Blvd.. Th-M 1-4PM. $1 for children, $2 for adults. The oldest continually operating lighthouse on the West Coast.
    eat nearby
  • Monterey County Fairgrounds

    located at Fairgrounds Road
    Other music festivals occur throughout the year, and the locally famous Monterey County Fair occurs every year in late August.
    restaurants nearby
  • The Del Monte Shopping Center

    1140 Del Monte Center
    offers a selection of typical mall chain stores, as well as several local restaurants and a large cinema complex.
  • Wave Street Studios

    774 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940
    Both an intimate live venue and a recording studio, Wave Street Studios is a great place to see a show.
  • Pepper's Mexicali Cafe

    170 Forest Ave
    Off of the main road through downtown Pacific Grove, Pepper's offers fantastic mexicali cuisine, especially their seafood dishes, and is one of the best spots to go to for lunch.
  • Scheid Vineyards

    751 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
    A tasting room with a swank wine-bar atmosphere, Scheid Vineyards sells wine, wine-related items, and locally produced cheeses and charcuterie.
  • Parker-Lusseau Pastries

    539 Hartnell St
    Tucked away in the historic Fremont Adobe building next door to the post office, this small patisserie offers some of the best French pastries and lattes this side of the Atlantic.
  • Hula's Island Grill

    622 Lighthouse Ave
    Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room is an intimate local's restaurant offering a dining experience in a tropical setting. Offers fun, friendly, enthusiastic service, fresh fish, steaks, seafood, and an overall menu which includes a hint of Asian, a dash of Latin and a touch of Caribbean, all with Hawaiian inspiration.
  • Tarpy's Roadhouse

    2999 Monterey-Salinas Highway
    For a taste of Monterey history head to this historic former homestead, housed in a beautiful stone building nestled into a hillside. Classy atmosphere with classic California cuisine - accompany your meal with one of the many local wines on offer.
  • Wine from the Heart

    241 Alvarado St
    11-8 Tue, Fri & Sat; 11-6 Mon, Wed & Thur. Taste a Flight of Four (4) Wines for $10, $15 or $20 and purchase Wines from $20 and up. Boutique wine shop and tasting room specializing in wines from artisan, partner and family wineries throughout California, with a special selection of Monterey Bay Area boutique wines. Offers over 30 wines for tasting at either the bar or at their comfortable tables or sofas. Over 150 different wines are also available for purchase.
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Monterey uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.