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Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Near Cannery Row and the Monterey 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.

A quick stroll on Old Fisherman's Wharf affords panoramic views of the bay, not to mention the seals that sunbathe on the nearby rocks and buoys. While here, be sure to taste the clam chowder. Many of the restaurants serving it offer samples to passersby, so you can have the equivalent of a small cup by simply making sample rounds. For more information, check out the Monterey County's website.

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#1 Carmel-by-the-Sea

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 Clint Eastwood). You'll find most shoppers and diners around picturesque Ocean Avenue, which leads to Carmel Beach.

Many forego the town's activities in favor of catching some rays on the expansive dog-friendly beach. Recent visitors recommend taking a long walk along the shore at sunset or sunrise. For more information about Carmel-by-the-Sea, check out the town's website.

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