Brimming with picturesque coastline, the Monterey Peninsula is distinct than any other part of California. With such humble architecture and laid-back living style, Monterey makes for an ideal road-trip stop or a romantic weekend stay. What makes the town much better is the presence of cool spots and amazing things to do here. The northern side of the peninsula has been able to draw tourists as it has plenty of foodie haunts, beautiful beaches to historic streets and other activities to enjoy. Alongside Monterey also has abundance of natural wonders, luxury resorts and plenty of seafood restaurants, that makes it a perfect destination for your next getaway. Let’s take a look at the top ten things to do in Monterey, California:
A prolific street, Cannery Row is a picturesque street that runs along the beautiful shoreline of the Monterey City and one spot you can never miss whilst exploring the city. It's one of the top things to do while in Monterey, Cannery Row gives a nice glimpse of the city's fish-packing history with its historic cannery buildings that line up the street. The last of the canneries were closed in the 1970s but nowadays this historic street is packed-full boutique lodgings, Monterey Bay Aquarium and a heap of yummy spots to fill your tummy.
It's located within walking distance from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Old Fisherman's Wharf was once a wharf solely for the fishing industry. But nowadays, Monterey's is now filled with plenty of little shops, eating joints and walkaways to roam around. Famous for being a shopper's paradise and it's the spot where most of the visitors will go at least once. The visitors can hop onboard one of the glass-bottom boat tours or you can plan to venture out on a whale watching tour that you can book right here on wharf. If you don't wish to ride on the waves, take a chilled out walk around the oceanfront. If traveling with family, you can spot resident sea lions and otters that prefer to stay in the inner portion of the harbor.
Monterey is one of the California's oldest towns, it holds plenty of historical structures which almost date back as the 19th century. Most of them have now been protected within the Monterey State Historic Park and lot of work has been done to protect the iconic structures. The homes and buildings of the Monterey State Historic Park can catch the eye of anyone easily and you can also plan to visit the lovely rose gardens also. One can even walk down to see the amazing Custom House Cactus Garden and the First Brick House. Stroll down to the iconic whalebone sidewalk with some cozy views of the Monterey Harbor.
If you happen to drive around the city to explore the coastline, one of the best stretches which everyone will definitely recommend is at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. The picture-perfect vistas and towering granite cliffs, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is an ideal way to explore for a half-day trip. If you along with your friends are looking to explore a beach, check out Monastery Beach which’s easily accessed via the Cabrillo Highway or the Carmel Meadows trail. Planning for a hiking trip in Monterey? Head straight to the Pine Ridge Trail that traverses the park and rugged coastline.
One of the few art museums that've proudly recognized the art work of California artists, Monterey Museum of Art over the years has made genuine efforts to place them under the limelight which is so special to see. The museum lies along the Pacific Street and is probably one of the best things to do whether you're a local or a visitor from any part of the United States of America. Check out the local and statewide art that is housed inside the Monterey Museum of Art. The museum has been celebrating and emphasizing photography and contemporary art while featuring artists such as Ansel Adams, William Ritschel, and Edward Weston.
A protected area nestled on the pristine coast between San Francisco and Cambria, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers delightful wildlife viewings. It's a huge area of oceanfront that's protected for wildlife to thrive and offers its visitors a whimsical and beautiful experience. The tide pools that glitter in the sun, majestic canyons, wildlife-filled seamounts, and forests of lush kelp. Whether you and your family and even friends wish to kayak, dive, fish, or explore in general, this is a family-friendly location for everyone to enjoy!
Are you traveling with kids? If you simply love the old comic strip character of Dennis the Menace, then this playground is meant for you. Set up in 1956, this amazing playground has been a part of the area of El Estero Park. The thoughtfully-made playground was made with the approval and assistance of Dennis the Menace Creator Hank Ketcham, who stayed in Carmel and was a fan of play and childish joy. The exciting playground has a giant adventure ship, a suspension bridge, a hedge maze, a climbing wall, and multiple play structures fitted with huge slides. The authorities maintain a close watch on the playground to ensure kids don’t get into too much trouble, this destination is still a must-do for even the most mischievous of children.
Located on Washington Street, the Monterey County Youth Museum was set up in the year 1997 along with number of interesting attractions of the city. Planned to offer unique opportunities to children to learn about all sorts of different topics and exercise their creativity and curiosity. Visitors will find here interesting exhibits that are meant to be fascinating, made to be hands-on and interactive so as to encourage the most learning from even the shyest children. Few exhibits like MY Hospital, MY Creation Station, MY Day at the Beach, and MY Build a House are some of the great exhibits available in Monterey County Youth Museum.
A long road situated on the Monterey Peninsula’s southern side, 17-Mile Drive lets you drive through to view some of the most beautiful landscape views that the Monterey and California have to offer. It commences from Pacific Grove Gate and reaches past Del Monte Forest and with plenty of cliffs, beaches, forests, and historical spots spread about the path, there’s plenty for you to see and have fun with!
Built during the years 1791 to 1794, the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo was used as a Royal Chapel by Monetary Founders Father Junipero Serra and Don Gaspar de Portola and remained in its service after the Mission of Serra moved to Carmel. Being picked by his highness Bishop Joseph Alemany in 1849 as the city's diocese seat, it became the state's first ever cathedral and since then it has been on the top things to do in Monterey. The Cathedral has got repairs done in 2006 when it was nearly 215 years old and with full restoration that began in 2009, the excavation revealed rare artifacts during an archaeological dig that took place during the period of renovation. A heritage center has been set up beside the cathedral and in fact it's a must see if you're visiting the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo.
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