Maximize your day in Monterey with these adventurous and educational activities, from kayaking with sea otters to biking 17 miles along the rugged coast to free jazz parties at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to spend a quick getaway in Monterey.
1. Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational trail is an easygoing path that extends from Castroville through Pacific Grove, allowing those looking for a longer walk or ride to extend the route to its full 29 miles. For a shorter, coastal path, follow Fisherman’s Wharf to Lovers Point in Pacific Grove. (Trail begins at Merritt St., Castroville and ends at Forest Ave., Pacific Grove, mtycounty.com)
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium It’s no wonder that the Monterey Bay Aquarium is considered to be the best aquarium in the world—it’s one of those places that just about anyone can enjoy. Young children will marvel at the interactive exhibits and touch pools with pet-friendly sting rays. Adults and children alike will hover in awe before huge tanks filled with a variety of fascinating native marine life. Stay for the Evenings By the Bay party every weekend til September 2. (886 Cannery Row, montereybayaquarium.org)
3. 17-Mile Drive The 17 Mile Drive is often described as one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and while cars must pay a fee to enter the gates of 17-Mile Drive, few know that cyclists can get in for free. So ditch the guzzler, and enjoy the beautiful—and budget-friendly—experience on two wheels. (2032 Sunset Drive, Pacific Grove, pebblebeach.com)
4. Kayaking Stop squinting into a pair of binoculars trying to get a good look at a sea otter in the bay. Instead, hop in a kayak to get up close and personal with all of the wildlife that the Monterey Bay has to offer. (299 Cannery Row, adventuresbythesea.com)
5. Carousel Candies Unfortunately, Cannery Row is primarily a tourist gimmick. However, sometimes it can be fun to play the tourist. With so much natural beauty in Monterey, spend only a few minutes tooling around in the shops. Visit Carousel Candies for some salt-water taffy. (31 Fishermans Wharf, carouselcandies.com)
Photo: Itinerant Traveller