Monterey Activities

The Best Things To Do In Monterey California (Fun Activities in Monterey!)

Visiting Monterey? Looking for the best things to do in Monterey California? 

Awesome! You are in the right spot! There are some fun activities in Monterey you have to check out! 

My family recently did some Monterey sightseeing. We loved checking out the Monterey attractions! It is such a cute town! 

In this post, we are going to list some of the best things to do in Monterey California.  This will include the most famous places to see in Monterey and some fantastic Monterey tours!

Lets explore all of the fun things to do in Monterey California! 

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Visit Monterrey Bay Aquarium

If you only have one day in Monterey, the Monterey Bay Aquarium should be at the top of your Monterey itinerary! 

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is amazing! It is one of the best aquariums in the United States.  There are lots of exhibits and shows.  

We loved visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium! It is one of the best things to do in Monterey with kids.

Hours and Admission

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Monterey Bay Aquarium ticket prices vary based on age from around $44 – $60 per person. We found that it was the exact same price to buy an annual family membership as it was to purchase tickets for our family of 6. 

What is the Best Age to Go to Monterey Bay Aquarium?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is great for all ages.  We have both little kids and teens and both had a fantastic time.  There is a section of the aquarium designed for kids with lots of hands-on activities. 

What is the Best Day to Go to Monterey Bay Aquarium?

If you are visiting Monterey during the middle of the week Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to visit.  You will experience fewer crowds between the hours of 2-6 pm. 

Summers are busier while fall and winter are less crowded. 

2. Whale Watching in Monterey California

Whale Watching in Monterey California

Whale watching in Monterey California is one of the best Monterey activities. There are lots of Whale Watching Tours you can book. 

You can choose from half day tours or sunset cruises.

When is the Best Time to Whale Watch in Monterey California?

Whale Watching in Monterey California is year-round! There is a 90% chance you will see whales in Monterey no matter when you are visiting Monterey! 

There are two seasons feeding seasons and migrating seasons which overlap.  From January to March, you will be looking for grey whales, killer whales, and dolphins.  From April to December, you will be on the lookout for humpback whales, blue whales, and dolphins. 

Monterey Bay Things To Do

If I only had one day in Monterey I would make sure to have the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a whale-watching tour on my Monterey itinerary! These are the top activities in Monterey! 

If you have more time, I have a few more things to do in Monterey California you should consider. 

3. Kayak Monterey Bay

Things to do in Monterey California Kayaking Monterey Bay

Another great option to see the wildlife is kayaking in Monterey Bay.  Monterey Kayaking rentals are available on Canary Row.  You can also book a kayak ahead of time online.

Monterey Kayak Rentals

One thing that is awesome about this kayaking tour is that there is no time limit!  You can spend as much or as little time as you want on Monterey Bay. You will also be given protective gear to keep you warm.  There is so much wildlife to explore on the bay. 

If you want to experience nature be sure to add kayaking Monterey Bay to your Monterey itinerary. 


4. Monterey Cannery Row Shopping

Shop on Cannery Row

One of the best things to do in Monterey California is walking along Cannery Row.  There are lots of shops, restaurants, and hotels located along this street. 

Monterey Bay Souvenirs

If you are looking for the perfect Monterey souvenir, there are lots of fun souvenir stores along Cannery Row.  You can find home stores, toy stores, and evening cooking stores as you walk along the street. 

If you love history you can download a Historic Audio Tour as you shop around.

5. Snack on Cannery Row

Cannery Row Monterrey Shops

If you are looking for some yummy treats Cannery Row will not disappoint! Head to Ghirardelli, you really can't go wrong there. Also checked out It's Sugar and Lily Maes cinnamon rolls.  

Best Snack Options on Cannery Row

  • Ghirardelli
  • Its Sugar!
  • Candy Factory
  • Dippin Dots
  • Great American Cookies
  • Lilly Mae's Cinnamon Rolls
  • Quickly (Boba Tea)
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Troya Turkish Delight and Coffee
  • Nestle Toll House Café
  • Crepes on the Row

One of the best things to do in Monterey CA is snack. My kids love trying fun treats. There are some great options! 

6. Mirror Maze, Escape Rooms, Arcade

Things to do in Monterey California - Mirror Maze

Cannery Row has some fun Monterey attractions.  These are great if you have kids with you. 

  • Mirror Maze
  • Escape Room
  • Arcade

Fun Things to Do in Monterey with Kids

We decided to try out the Mirror Maze. It was a big hit! My kids loved it.  You can go in as many times as you want plus they give you funny glasses that make everything 3D.  It is one of the best things to do at Monterey Bay for kids! 

If we had more time Escape Room 831 and the arcade at Oscars Playground would have made our Monterey itinerary! These little Monterey attractions are super fun for the kids! 

7. Monterey Bike Rentals

Monterrey Bike Rentals

One of the most fun things to do in Monterey California is rent bikes. Actually,  Monterey ebike rentals are even more popular than regular bikes. 

Monterey Bike Rentals and Trails

The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is a nice bike path in Monterey.  The points between the Old Fishermans Wharf and Lover's Point is one of the most popular biking areas in the city.

8. Visit Old Time Train

Monterrey Train

Monterey was one of the earliest operating train routes in California. In 1880, the Pacific railroad route from San Francisco to Pebble Beach was established. 

The railroad connected Monterey to lots of cities. This is how Monterey Bay became a tourist destination.  It was easier to get to this beautiful area.  

Visit Monterey CA Railroad

Now this area is a historic site. There is a model train where you can take pictures and learn about the importance of train transportation at the turn of the century. 

9. Visit Historic Fisherman's Wharf

Fishing Monterey Bay - Fishermands Wharf

Old Fishermans Wharf is a high tourist area with lots of great seafood restaurants and pirate-themed stores.

Monterey Bay Activities

There are lots of Monterey Bay activities that begin at the Wharf.

If you want to go on a deep sea Monterey Bay fishing tour, a whale watching tour, a glass bottom boat tour, or a sailing trip, you will want to head to Old Fishermans Wharf.

You can also just walk around and shop or eat at some of the delicious restaurants. 


10. Monterey Ghost Walking Tour

Monterey Attractions - Ghost Tour Ship Wrecks

If you are looking fun things to do in Monterey at night a ghost tour is a great idea. 

Haunted Places to See in Monterey

These tours usually start around 8:00 pm.  There have been many shipwrecks and lives lost in the Monterey Bay area. 

This tour will take you to the Colton Hall Museum, Monterey Museum of Art, Stokes Adobe Restaurant, The Old Fishermans Wharf, and the Monterey Hotel Spa. 

All of these sights have had ghostly encounters. These tours will tell of the stories and legends of Monterey Bay. 

So if you are asking yourself what to do in Monterey at night this is it! 

11. Scavenger Hunt in Monterey Bay

Monterey CA Activities - Scavenger hunt People walking

If you are looking for a Monterey Bay CA attraction that will get you moving all of the city, a scavenger hunt is exactly what you will want to do. 

Fun Things to Do in Monterey California

Scavenger hunts are fun group activities.  Typically, they will send you a digital list of fun things to do in Monterey CA! It is a great way to meet new people and explore the city! 

12. Hire a Photographer

What to do in Monterey Bay CA - photo shoot

If you like to photograph your memories, hiring a professional is a great idea.

Local photographers will know the area and where to shoot some of the best scenic vacation photos.  Booking a photography tour will capture the memories you make on your trip. 

13. Scenic Drive Monterey

Scenic Drive Monterey

One of the best things to do in Monterey California is taking a scenic drive.  This area is gorgeous!

There are self-guided audio tours you can download as you drive.  These will give great insight about the area in and around Monterey Bay. 

Fun Things to Do in Monterey California

Another option is renting a Sea Car.  These cute little 2 seater go-carts can zip around in town and along the beach.  It is one of the best activities in Monterey! 

Electric scooters are also really fun to zip around on. 

14. Monterey Food Walking Tour

Monterey Vacations food tour

One of my favorite things to do in Monterey is eat. There are some great food walking tours that will take you to 5 to 6 spots around town.  

Be sure to come hungry and enjoy some of the best food in Monterey Bay! 

15. Day Trip from Monterey

stops on 17 mile drive Point Joe

Monterey Bay day trip from San Francisco is a great option.  You can also take a Monteray Bay day trip add on the 17-mile drive or visit Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

The Big Sur is another amazing day trip from Monterey.  Pfeiffer Beach is amazing! 

Monterey Bay Day Trips

Best Things to Do in Monterey California

Things to do around Monterey

Are you ready to plan some fun things to do in Monterey CA?  There are so many great Monterey activities to choose from. 

These 15 Monterey tourist attractions are the best places to visit in Monterey California.

The Monterey Coast is a beautiful area to visit! Have so much fun!

Facebook Community

If you have any questions join my Facebook Travel Community. You can ask any questions you have about upcoming trips and everyone is happy to help you plan your trip.  I also try to give exclusive travel deals that companies send me.  It is a great group to join!


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  1. What great things to do in Monterey. My parents loved the Wharf. The Aquarium would be on the top of my to do list.

  2. What a great list of things to do in Monterey! I would love to do the day trip to Napa Valley. I bet it is beautiful!

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