Monterey Travel Guide

  • Sea Otter Spotting at Lovers Point
    Sea Otter Spotting at Lovers Point
    by vichatherly
  • Lovers Point
    Lovers Point
    by vichatherly
  • Shark
    Shark
    by vichatherly

Monterey Things to Do

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Recognized as one of the best aquarium's in the US. This is a must see on any visit to Monterey. The Aquarium sits bayside with both indoor and outdoor exhibits. right outside the door is the natural habitat of the creatures inside.

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  • 17 Mile Drive

    17 mile drive is a gated drive around the ocean in the Pebble beach area. it costs about 10 dollars per car and although beautiful doesn't really contain anything ( other than the golf courses) that can't be seen elsewhere on the coast.

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  • Cannery Row

    4 out of 5 stars

    Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail runs along what use to be old Southern Pacific railroad tracks that serviced Cannery Row. Lots of folks including ourselves walking along and enjoying the sights and sounds Cannery Row had to offer. A great trail to ride bikes or jog along. We enjoyed it because there were many wonderful historical markers...

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Monterey Hotels

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Monterey Restaurants

  • The Fish Hopper Restaurant

    4 out of 5 stars

    Could we give zero stars? That would be a better option until this place gets new management. Anyway, my dad taught me that you should always tell someone something nice. So, here are the positives: 1. Daniel, our server, was amazing. This guy should be at Mortons or Ruth's Chris or some other 5 star restaurant. He gets it. He knows how to take...

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  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

    4 out of 5 stars

    Bubba Gump Shrimp and Company Restaurant is easily one of my favorites plus their branch here at Monterey has panoramic views of the Monterey Bay Area. Almost everyone is familiar with the movie "Forrest Gump," and this is an excellent commercial adaptation of that theme and story in a fun eatery. Launched in 1996 by Viacom Consumer Products and...

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  • Captain Bullwhacker's Pub

    2 out of 5 stars

    CUSTOMERS BEWARE...... NEVER USE A CREDIT CARD AT THIS ESTABLISHMENT Owner is aware that his employees are using customer credit cards to bill customers for multiple meals off of different tickets. If anyone else has an issue they should contact the owner by calling (831)-277-3369 Employees by the name of James and Rawan have both placed...

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Monterey Nightlife

  • Live Music

    Possibly the most beautiful theatre I have ever seen in my life. I am so excited to see The Robert Cray Band this month! And the Growlers in December should be fantastic. They've had to move their smaller acts from The Lobby to the main stage due to sound complaints, which I thought would be kind of a drag, but I saw The Tumbleweed Wanderers there...

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  • Exciting Variety at The Golden State...

    Possibly the most beautiful theatre I have ever seen in my life. I am so excited to see The Robert Cray Band this month! And the Growlers in December should be fantastic. They've had to move their smaller acts from The Lobby to the main stage due to sound complaints, which I thought would be kind of a drag, but I saw The Tumbleweed Wanderers there...

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  • Monterey Jazz Festival

    The Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF )is the worlds longest running jazz festival, having debuted in 1958. The festival is held annually at the Monterey Fairgrounds on the third weekend in September, beginning on Friday. Over 500 jazz artists perform on nine stages for more than 50 performances. There are also numerous booths set up to sell food and...

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Monterey Transportation

  • By Car

    There are many Metered Parking Slots along Cannery Row and the absolute limit is just 2 hours and you have to be early as to find the cheap metered parking since it will fill up rapidly before 10:00 am. There are several Pay Parking options in monterey and parking near the Main Stores and Shopping Malls in Cannery Row like the Cannery Row Garage...

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  • Parking Meters

    Most of the streets have metered parking. We were there early so we pulled right into a spot and it still had 18 minutes on it:) The meters here will take change, or credit cards. Check the web site below for other various parking area. At night it is usually crowded.

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  • Parking in Monterey

    There are many Metered Parking Slots along Cannery Row and the absolute limit is just 2 hours and you have to be early as to find the cheap metered parking since it will fill up rapidly before 10:00 am. There are several Pay Parking options in monterey and parking near the Main Stores and Shopping Malls in Cannery Row like the Cannery Row Garage...

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Monterey Shopping

  • Hidden gem~

    George Harper, a Scottish entrepreneur and a partner A.M. Allen created a major canning enterprises in time to profit from ration demands of World War I and II when sardines became a cheap and plentiful during wartime ration. My mother use to love kippers or sardines since this was the only meat/fish they received as rations during WWII while in...

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  • Fun Gifts~

    What a fun place! We had enjoyed looking at all the choices they had. Lots of really neat gifts, souvenirs, and some really interesting items too. We bought something for everyone here and didn't pay too much. The prices are very fair here. The little gals at the counter were very friendly and helpful.

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  • Movies, Shopping, Dinning, and more~

    Del Monte Shopping Center, is where you will find plenty of restaurants and shopping to suit your taste. Enjoy many types of dinning such as your favorite pie at California Pizza Kitchen or spicy below-the-border flavors at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Satisfy your craving for Chinese at P.F. Chang’s Chinese Bistro or try Whole Foods Market, which...

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Monterey Local Customs

  • Pebble Beach Fridge Magnets

    again, as everyone knows, I like to collect fridge or refrigerator magnets on all of the places that I visit whether local or international and going to monterey is no exception. you can have a variety of refrigerator magnets and other souvenirs that you can buy them when you have a side tour of the 17 mile drive and the world famous pebble beach...

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  • Pebble Beach Shot Glasses

    not only do i collect assorted fridge magnets of my local and international travels but i also collect shot glasses which I sometimes use to take a shot of tequila heheh (thank you patron!) and here in pebble beach area of the 17 mile drive, home of the world famous Pebble beach golf course, near monterey, is no different hehehe. you can buy these...

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  • Monterey Shot Glasses

    not only do i collect assorted fridge magnets of my local and international travels but i also collect shot glasses which I sometimes use to take a shot of tequila heheh (thank you patron!) and here in monterey is no different hehehe. you can buy these assorted shot glasses in monterey cannery row that comes in all lengths and materials like the...

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Monterey Warnings and Dangers

  • Flora / Fauna

    Nature is beautiful and fun, but be careful among some of the birds in Monterey. The area around the bay is home to more Seagulls than you can begin to count. They tend to be loud and can be aggressive if provoked (don’t tease them). Don’t be surprised if you find your car has become their latrine. Keep an eye out overhead for shells they may drop...

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  • Respect the widlife

    As cute and cuddle everyone may think these beautiful creatures are, it is not advisable to try to pet or feed these animals. You could easily upset their system with food that they are not use to eating. Plus, many of these animals have teeth and can carry many unwanted diseases.

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  • Jellyfish!

    In the Fisherman's Wharf area there are two piers. Adjacent to Wharf 2 is a municipal beach. While we walked wharf 2 we had great views in the water of many Nettle Jellyfish. They do sting so if you are swimming in Monterey Bay, especially at the Wharf Municipal Beach, be aware of their presence!

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Monterey Tourist Traps

  • Cannery Row

    The Cannery Row is one whole district that is aimed for shopping, eating and dining! The former Sardine Canneries are now converted into assorted Shops, Stores, Restaurants, inns, hotels, bars and chocolate shops so that the area can be decribed as one big shopping mall. The Cannery Row Has two faces, one bustling center of tourism in Monterey and...

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  • Also One Big Tourist Trap

    The Cannery Row is one whole district that is aimed for shopping, eating and dining! The former Sardine Canneries are now converted into assorted Shops, Stores, Restaurants, inns, hotels, bars and chocolate shops so that the area can be decribed as one big shopping mall. The Cannery Row Has two faces, one bustling center of tourism in Monterey and...

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  • 17 Mile Drive

    We had some time to spare when we drove from San Luis Obispo to Monterey, so we decided to do the 17 mile drive. So many people had recommended it to us, so we thought it would be a nice drive. We were very disappointed by it, there were some pretty spots to be seen, but most of it was driving by golf courses and big houses. The spectacular scenery...

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Monterey What to Pack

  • Sweater / Jacket

    if you plan to stay a night or two at the hotel, then bring a light travel bag but you're only here for a day tour, then a small type of bag will do. the weather can change abruptly in monterey, always bring a handy sweater or scarf or a wind breaker so that you are prepared for sudden weather changes but you don't need to bring a water proof...

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  • Dress in Layers

    Bring a jacket, or be prepared to wear several layers during summer mornings. The summer fog (and wind) can be cold, although it usually burns off by noon. And the water is always cool, so wear a wetsuit if you plan on staying in the water for a long time!

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  • Bring a Sweater or Scarf

    if you plan to stay a night or two at the hotel, then bring a light travel bag but you're only here for a day tour, then a small type of bag will do. the weather can change abruptly in monterey, always bring a handy sweater or scarf or a wind breaker so that you are prepared for sudden weather changes but you don't need to bring a water proof...

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Monterey Off The Beaten Path

  • Parks

    The Frog Pond Wetland Preserve in Del Rey Oaks is maintained and operated by Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. This tiny 17 acre park is open for pedestrians only and has about one mile of hiking trails. The park is surrounded by houses or road on all four sides, and has a variety of habitats including a freshwater pond, small grassy...

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  • Coastal Views / Beaches

    if you are visiting the Hearst Castle Historical State Park after a walk through of Monterey and Carmel with lost of spare time or having 2 to 3 day extra time, I would suggest a timely stop along Big Sur and the historic Highway 1 that straddles the Santa Lucia Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean for spectacular panoramic vistas for a picture...

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  • Sea Life

    Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is a 1400-acre laboratory for scientific research and estuarine education. It is one of just 26 National Estuarine Research Reserves nationwide and is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and managed by the California Department of Fish and Game. The reserve has a...

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Monterey Sports & Outdoors

  • Race Week or Bike Week?

    When the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix motorcycle races come to Laguna Seca in July each year, you can expect crowds of nearly 150,000 people at the track. Most of these are motorcycle-riding, speed demons with fast bikes of their own. Where do these people spend their off-track time during race weekend? They overwhelm tiny Monterey and its normal...

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  • California State Rodeo in Salinas

    The California State Rodeo is held annually in Salina each July. This is considered one of the top 20 rodeos in the nation of the 800 or so held each year, and it attracts about 50,000 visitors. The rodeo features continuous action in the side-by-side arena and track including barrel racing, team roping, tie-down roping, bareback riding, bull...

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  • Dirt Track Racing at Watsonville's Ocean...

    Ocean Speedway has weekly Friday night races in a variety of classes of cars on their quarter mile dirt oval. Entrance costs $15 per adult, $8 for children, and $10 for seniors. Be sure to bring sunglasses to block the dust, warm clothes to fight off the late evening chill, and a blanket to cover the hard wooden benches. Unfortunately you can not...

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Monterey General

See all 67 General in Monterey
  • Cannery Row

    you can do Bus tours from the San Francisco Bay Area to Monterey if you want to save on gas and there are a lot of companies that offer day tours to Monterey and the options and many like a whole day monterey day tour with entrance to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and or the 17 mile drive and Carmel and also multi day tours to Monterey, Carmel, 17 mile...

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  • Schools

    The US Navy's institute for higher learning, Naval Postgraduate School awards just under 2,000 Master's degrees each year in areas such as international studies, information technology, engineering, and public policy. NPS sits on a historic site in Monterey--the grounds of the former Del Monte Hotel. The Del Monte Hotel was established in 1880...

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  • Photography

    Monterey has the largest population of raccoons I've ever seen in a city, small town, or the country. Some nights near the wharves, just after dark, you'll see a mess of coons sneaking out from under the wooden structure to search for the masses of tourist trash that is lying about. Enjoy looking at these crazy little guys, but don't get too close,...

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Top 10 Coastal Drives: Monterey

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

At around 454 miles (730 km), California's Pacific Coast Highway is probably the most well-known coastal drive in the United States. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, the distance is about 455 miles (732 km), though VirtualTourist members specifically suggest the 135 mile (217 km) stretch from San Luis Obispo to Monterey. This drive includes Point Lobos State Reserve, Point Sur State Historic Park, and the highly-recognizable, oft photographed Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. One thing to keep in mind: when you pay admission to one CA state park, your receipt will cover your admission to any other state park for the day – so it's great to hit this sector of the road on the same day.

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