Monterey Travel Guide

USA  #2 in Best Day Trips from San Francisco
Credit

Courtesy of Pgiam/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Monterey

Whether it's your first or 10th time visiting the area, the stunning scenery along the 17-Mile Drive never disappoints. The beaches and coastal terrain  best found in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve  are also worth exploring. Follow one of the reserve's hiking trails and you're sure to encounter memorable views. Most everyone likes the aquatic displays at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as well. And those who visit Monterey regularly continue to indulge in the luxury of Carmel-by-the-Sea and still go out of the way to get a glimpse of the unforgettable views from the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Things to do in Monterey
    View all Photos
    #1 in Monterey
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located south of Monterey and Pebble Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a humble seaside village with a few small shops and cafes -- at least that's the cover story. In truth, this pricey town has plenty of designer stores, gourmet eateries and upscale art galleries that cater to its wealthy residents (like

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  • #2
    Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
    View all Photos
    #2 in Monterey
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    South ofCarmel-by-the-Sea, the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve receives praise from almost everyone who visits. The dramatic rock formations rising from the ocean have most visitors gawking, while the cute creatures like pocket gopher and the southern sea otter keep the nature-lovers smiling. The reserve's 13 trails offer hikers both

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  • #3
    Monterey Bay Aquarium
    View all Photos
    #3 in Monterey
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Open Sea Exhibit best exemplifies how special the massive Monterey Bay Aquarium is. Sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, jellyfish and schools of fish have thousands of gallons of water to explore while visitors watch in awe. With 45 interactive exhibits featuring reptiles, octopi, birds, fish and invertebrates, as well as

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  • #4
    Pebble Beach Golf Links
    View all Photos
    #4 in Monterey
    Golf, Recreation
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Golf, Recreation
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Golfers dream of playing at the Pebble Beach Golf Club, which is often considered to be one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.With experts encouraging booking over a year in advance, the course is not something to do when visiting Monterey, it's the reason to book a

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  • #5
    17-Mile Drive
    View all Photos
    #5 in Monterey
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Tracing the rugged Pacific coastline, the 17-Mile Drive isn't just a road. The route offers breathtaking views of the ocean, hugging the Pacific coastline as it weaves through the Del Monte Forest. You can experience the natural wonders of Monterey and marvel at the multi-million-dollar homes along the coast.

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  • #6
    Old Fisherman's Wharf
    View all Photos
    #6 in Monterey
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    NearCannery Rowand theMonterey Bay Aquarium, Old Fisherman's Wharf is not the smelly, salt water-stained place it once was. Costly restaurants and souvenir shops now characterize this touristy harborside neighborhood. However, this is the place to go if you're interested in a whale-watching tours or a kayaking excursion on the bay.

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  • #7
    Cannery Row
    View all Photos
    #7 in Monterey
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Anchored by theMonterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row is the epicenter of Monterey's tourism industry. Boutique hotels, shops and restaurants line this seaside avenue and attract thousands of travelers each year. But many recent visitors find the area overpriced and too touristy, noting that you can no longer detect the charms

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Explore More of Monterey

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