Monterey is a historical city located along the Pacific central coast of California. Situated about 110 miles South of San Francisco, the city features amazingly unique attractions including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fisherman’s wharf, Historic Cannery Row, 17 Mile Drive, and an incredible abundance of marine life.
Monterey Bay Aquarium:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an amazing 5 star aquarium offering amazing up close views of some of the most incredible creatures in the world. The 28 foot kelp forest is one of the tallest marine exhibits on the planet, and it offers a diver’s view of leopard sharks, eels, and a wide variety of fish as the weave through the gently swaying kelp, exactly as they do in the wild. The features of the aquarium are too numerous to list, but they include a multitude of marine exhibits and activities.
You’ll see penguins, whales, sharks, sea lions, jellyfish, octopus, and more. One of the main attractions are the ever playful, cute and cuddly sea otters. These creatures will charm and amaze you as they carry on with their creative games and antics. Feeding time is a great time to view the animals and this tales place every morning at 10:30. The area is so beautiful that even the walk from the car to the aquarium offers stunning views of the bay; seals bark and waves spray ocean mist into the air as you approach the aquarium.
Set next to the Oceanfront Coastal Recreation Trail, this waterfront district features a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, art galleries, wine tasting, and more. The area is a historic sardine cannery that’s been completely updated and offers family fun adventures, romantic getaway resorts, spas, and an active nightlife. So whether you want to relax on the beach, schedule a spa treatment, enjoy some wine tasting, listen to live music beachside at the bay, it’s all here.
Events on Cannery Row are always free of charge and include the June Summer Season Block Party featuring food, live music, games, and entertainment. In July, Laguna Seca Raceway hosts the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, and more than 2,000 riders display their superbikes at Race Night on the Row. In September, Cannery row hosts the annual Cherry Jubilee where shiny polished classic automobiles of the past line the streets. The area was made famous by author John Steinbeck and every year, the day after Thanksgiving, people head to Steinbeck Plaza for the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Coastal Recreation Trail:
The waterfront Monterey Coastal Recreation Trail extends 18 miles along the coastline and follows the same route as the old Southern Pacific Railway. The trail offers incredible views of the bay, has two lanes, and it’s very well maintained. Visitors can rent or bring their own bikes, surreys, skates, and even rent kayaks along the trail.
There are several places to stop and get a bite to eat or enjoy a picnic while overlooking the blue ocean waters of the bay. Sea otters are frequently spotted floating on their backs feeding or resting in the kelp. Keep an eye out for see sea lions, dolphins, whales, and other marine life as you travel along the trail; spotting these wonderful creatures is common along the coastline trail.
The trail is the perfect way to travel between the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, the Museum of Monterey, and Fisherman’s Wharf – all while avoiding traffic and enjoying the beauty of the area.
Photo by johnkay on Flickr