When you live in Northern California, you find ways to keep yourself entertained which often leads to random road trips, last-minute planning, hiking excursions, and adventurous areas to explore. Living in Sacramento, we often leave for the beach and a few of our favorite places include Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Monterey Bay, and Bodega Bay. Of course, there is more than just these locations, but it depends on the things we want to accomplish that day. There are so many other nooks and crannies to explore other than just these major beach towns, but it is fun to explore these areas again and again. Driving up and down highway 101 is a breathtaking drive that everyone visiting California should do once in their lifetime. It gives you a great sense of how different California can be when heading from south to north or vice versa. Below are a few of the things I love to do in Monterey Bay, California.
Things to do in Monterey
Big Sur and Bixby Bridge – Most scenic thing to do in Monterey
One of my favorite things to do in California. A must-do when doing a road trip in California. Big Sur and their windy roads are beautiful to see the cliffs and oceans. There is the beautiful Bixby Bridge, McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach, and so much more. This coast will give you surprisingly beautiful scenery all the way down the coast.
17 Mile Drive (includes Carmel and Pacific Grove) – Most Popular Thing to do in Monterey
This is a romantic place to explore the beach and just to see the types of beaches we have in northern California. We have a variety of types of beaches along the coast and this is a great place to take friends and family. It is a very scenic route along the coast and much recommended if stopping by Monterey Bay. Also, if you love houses, be sure to check out some of the large houses in this area. Be sure to bring cash, this area is a gated area and requires payment for access.
Monterey Bay Aquarium – Popular Thing to do in Monterey with Kids
This is a great place to take kids or a significant other and explore the sea animals we have. They have a dive tank which is pretty interesting when the divers explain the different water animals. They also have a huge collection of jellyfish which is very mesmerizing to watch, with the clear blue waters and the jelly fish’s glowing exterior. There is so much to do in this fun aquarium which includes a lot of hands-on activities such as daily shows and feedings, arts & crafts, splash zones and an opportunity to dive. Be sure to check out the daily feeding times to plan your time at the aquarium.
This is a beautiful place to visit in the Big Sur area. The park is full of hiking trails and beautiful areas to camping areas. This is a great place to camp for an exquisite view of the Big Sur Coast.
What wharf on the coast doesn’t give a great experience of shopping for souvenirs, eating fresh seafood and watching sea animals? Whale watching in Monterey is a common thing to do on the wharf. Don’t forget to check out the glass bottom boat tours if you wish to see more whales up close and personal. If you plan to visit Monterey, you might as well enjoy the fresh sea breeze and gorgeous view with a nice hot warm bowl of clam chowder.
Crown & Anchor is a cool place that has an awesome setup. Once you walk inside this cool restaurant, you have the feeling that you are placed in a pirate ship. On top of that, they have a great selection of seafood and I definitely recommend the clam chowder! The clam chowder was one of the best I have had.
If you have a huge sweet tooth like myself, Kara’s Cupcakes is a delightful palace to get your sweet fix. They also include a gluten-free option and are known for their local and use of organic options along with making sure they provide green energy bakeries. Most of their cupcakes are topped with their signature starflower fondant decoration. Kara’s cupcakes can also be found in San Francisco, Napa, Palo Alto, San Jose, Walnut Creek, and Burlingame.
What are some of your favorite spots in Monterey, CA? List them in the comments below!
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