Discover wild undersea creatures and boat-dotted harbors.
Credit: Courtesy of Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Monterey is a singular place for learning about California’s sea life and historic seaside country. Study up on ocean life before activities such as snorkeling and SCUBA diving; opt for Big Sur coastline drives.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Start, of course, with the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Its Splash Zone, an interactive exhibit for kids, recently doubled in size—now you can walk “through” a giant kelp forest (via a glass tunnel) and (gently) pet a living abalone in the display’s expanded touch pool.

Cannery Row

The old canneries made famous by John Steinbeck are now filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries.

Old Monterey Café

Fill up on morning blueberry pancakes or cinnamon raisin French toast at this local breakfast haunt.

Café Fina

Dive into Italian seafood—shrimp scampi, and salmon fettuccine—at the waterfront, touristy-but-fun restaurant.

Monterey Bay Lodge

Convenient and family friendly, the lodge is just steps from the beach and a 10-minute walk to Cannery Row.