The 10 Best Things to Do in Monterey, United States

February 2, 2018 Harland Bartelt

Think picnics on gorgeous, uncrowded beaches, fabulous seafood restaurants, and great hotels overlooking beautiful Monterey Bay… Monterey is a great place for a romantic getaway. Nature buffs can explore the bay by kayak for a close-up look at sea lions, seals and otters.
Restaurants in Monterey

1. Monterey Bay Aquarium

886 Cannery Row at David Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940-1085 +1 831-648-4800
Excellent
72%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 12 reviews

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Located at the ocean's edge, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a window to marine life -- for dive masters and non-swimmers alike. It's home to sea otters, penguins, sharks, jellies and thousands of other marine animals and plants. Its mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans.

Reviewed By DERTUR - Annandale, Virginia

We go to every aquarium we can find. Monteray Bay has the most fascinating exhibits for educational purposes. I found them being operated by adults as well as young people. Very clever items added to each exhibit (like mechanical octopus displays/dioramas in the live octopus area) made them more unique. Of course the otters steal the show and the videos on the otters and on their research arm were short but really well put together.

2. Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

Pacific Grove Oceanview Blvd., Pacific Grove, CA
Excellent
86%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 628 reviews

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

Reviewed By Lions A

I fell in love with the entire shoreline from Lovers Point Beach onward. Be sure to see Asilomar beach and the Tide Pools thete. Also the Marine Preserve. This is so worth while . Best to go when there is minus tide . One can find the timetables for the tide pools online. The water is so blue blue with gushing waves like you see in the movies . It is a must see for nature lovers and especially for someine who does not like to or cant hike. And it also is free.

3. Asilomar State Beach

800 Asilomar Blvd, South of Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-3704 +1 831-646-6440
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 884 reviews

Asilomar State Beach

The name of this State Beach means "a refuge by the sea," which describes the breathtaking views of forest, surf and sand on more than 105 secluded acres of scenic forest and sand dunes.

Reviewed By SeattleMeadowlark - Seattle

This is a wonderful beach for beach combing and tide pooling, but the fact that every dog owner in the city ignores the Leash laws makes it hard to give it a good rating. There is one man, a guy with a black German Shepherd, who I was told by a park ranger routinely disobeys the leash law. His dog runs loose and chases the surf birds...and mind you, the birds are protected by law. And the man watched his dog poop on the beach and walked off. Please, enjoy the beach and pick up your dog's poop and take it OFF the beach and into the numerous trash cans on the road.

4. Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail

Monterey, CA +1 831-646-3866
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 738 reviews

Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail

Popular hiking trail running along the Pacific Grove and Monterey coast.

Reviewed By Yosemitesteve - Modesto, California

Driven this many many times but enjoyed the morning walk.
Beauty at every turn.So relaxing seeing the wildlife and listening to the ocean along the way.
Restrooms at the golf course.
Many benches to rest at and take in the scenery.Tide pool exploring and many great pic opportunities.
Great easy walk!!

5. Lovers Point Park

Ocean View Boulevard and 17th Street, Pacific Grove, CA +1 831-648-5730
Excellent
69%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 400 reviews

Lovers Point Park

Reviewed By Yosemitesteve - Modesto, California

It’s a nice place across from the hotel. The park is very clean,numerous picnic tables and a great view of the ocean. It’s a great place to enjoy breakfast or bring a lunch.A lot of grassy area to bring a blanket to eat on. Beautiful!!!

6. Monterey Bay

Monterey, CA +1 831-899-2441
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Monterey Bay

Reviewed By MEDRoswell - Roswell

There's a lot of great things that have been said already about this aquarium, so instead of belaboring all of those qualities, I offer the following tips.

1. If you are staying at a local hotel they often offer a 2 day pass for the price of the single day ticket offered by the aquarium. This gives you the option to break up the day or days.

2. Much better options in value for food if you get a hand stamp and go explore a few blocks off. We had a great lunch at the brewing company.

3. During the school year the place gets mobbed with field trip groups. But they all tend to leave by 2 PM so after that you almost get the run of the place.

4. We attended several of the mini-lectures in the theatre next to the gift shop. Nice break on the feet and the naturalists on staff are interesting and passionate about the local environment.

7. Lovers Point

Ocean View Blvd. at 17th Street, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 453 reviews

Lovers Point

Reviewed By animalsrock2016 - Phoenix, Arizona

I see why they call it lovers point. It is a nice beach area with great cypress trees, rock formations and easy access to walk. There is a trail that you can keep walking all through Pacific Grove, where this is located.
Enjoy the walk and nature.

8. Dennis the Menace Park

Pearl Street and Camino El Estero, Monterey, CA +1 831-646-3866
Excellent
68%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 643 reviews

Dennis the Menace Park

Designed by the creator of Dennis the Menace, this park has all sorts of unique attractions.

Reviewed By Dale W - Clayton, California

This is a wonderful park for children and a great place for parents to turn their kids loose to play on all the structures, bridges, climbing walls, etc. Children can easily be here for a couple hours without getting bored. There is one entrance/exit and it's all fenced in. I noticed one other gate, which was open, that led to a fenced in baseball field, so it seems pretty safe. As popular as it is, parking in the main lot was tight, but there was also street parking. There are restrooms. It got its name because Hank Ketchum, the creator of Dennis the Menace, was the driving force in the creation of the park. It's a nice legacy.

9. 17-Mile Drive

Monterey, CA 93953 +1 800-654-9300
Excellent
64%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

17-Mile Drive

Seals bask on the beach and pelicans perch on rocky cliffs along this famous drive that passes through many popular spots.

Reviewed By lolocola - Los Angeles

We last visited Monterey 20 years ago. There is more residential development in the area. The homes are are larger and more extravagant and not complimentary to area (What are the folks in City Planning doing?) However, the Sea, trees and coast cannot be denied. This is simply one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

10. Coast Guard Pier

32 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940-1447 714-234-745
Excellent
44%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 215 reviews

Coast Guard Pier

Reviewed By Napunani - San Antonio, Texas

You will hear them way before you can see them...the sea lions that is at the end of the Coast Guard Pier. Lots of sea lions sunbathing or frolicking around behind a huge wrought iron fence...no-cost entertainment! Don't miss it!
Interesting Coast Guard operation also can be viewed on this Pier.

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