Monterey is a magical destination on the Central Coast of California, and those who vacation here tend to return over and over throughout the years. Whether you’re coming for the first time, or you’re returning, it’s worth checking out any of the area’s top destinations and attractions that you’re yet to visit.
Check out this guide of Monterey bucket list attractions.
Monterey Bay seems like an obvious place to begin this list, but we want to make sure travelers enjoy it from two vital perspectives. The first one is from out on the water. You can do this in a small and lovely way by taking a swim from our uninterrupted stretch of coastline here at The Sanctuary Beach Resort. You can also explore the bay, and look back on the land behind with boat charters, a glass-bottom boat tour, and fishing excursions.
You should also take in Monterey Bay from as many of the coastline’s beautiful lookout points as possible. An easy way to tackle this bucket list challenge is to have a hike along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, which runs eighteen miles down the coast and through the county. Also, here are some recommendations on places to grab food and drinks with a view of the water.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the most renowned beloved aquariums in the world. It is a nonprofit, public aquarium located in the historic Cannery Row neighborhood. One of the best places to bring kids in Monterey, the aquarium is home to a wide range of sea animals including sharks, jellyfish, penguins, turtles, and sea otters.
Travelers planning to check the aquarium off their Monterey bucket lists should check out The Sanctuary Beach Resort Aquarium Package. This special offer combines your room rates with two discounted tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which are valued at $100.
Cannery Row is at the top of every list of Monterey’s top attractions, and therefore a must for your Monterey bucket list. For those unfamiliar, the neighborhood is located along the coast of Monterey Bay, and its name comes from the fact that many of the buildings are former sardine canning factories. Literary buffs who’d like to get a better taste for the area and its history can check out the revered book Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.
Cannery Row is an excellent place to walk around, attend events, as well as to grab some dinner and drinks. Some of our favorite restaurants in Cannery Row include Chart House, Lalla Oceanside Grill, and Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar. For drinks, we recommend Angel’s Share Craft Cocktail Bar, Cannery Row Brewing Company, and the live-jazz favorite Sly McFly’s.
Our stretch of Monterey Bay beach coastline is quiet, serene, and an absolute must. The locally-sourced menu of seafood and wood-fired entrees at The Saltwood Kitchen & Oysterette is emblematic of the region’s rich fare. Also, The Spa at The Sanctuary Beach Resort will pamper you to a state of pure relaxation, which is an ideal vantage point from which to enjoy Monterey.
Planning a visit to the shores of Monterey Bay? Experience the region like a local, following our insider recommendations on the Sanctuary Beach Resort blog!