Head over to Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you can check out the kelp forest (and its large predators of the sea—yikes!) and watch the sea otters (much cuter). Next, make your way over to Monterey State Historic Park, which features the first theatre in California and historic colonial houses.
For some evening fun, visit Fisherman's Wharf and see if you can set your own personal record for most clams eaten in one sitting. (Book nearby Monterey accommodation so you can get home before the food coma sets in.) Cannery Row, the setting for John Steinbeck's book of the same name, now has fewer sardine canneries (none, in fact) and lots of great spots to have a drink. Finally, Monterey holidays aren't complete without a trip to one of the many surrounding wineries in the region.
The closest airport is San Jose International (SJC), which is 120 km north. One of Wotif’s car hire options or a shuttle bus is the best way to get from the airport to Monterey hotels. Flying into San Francisco International (SFO) is a popular option, too. Book San Francisco accommodation, then make the 170 km south drive to Monterey. Once there, you’ll already have wheels, although taking the bus, taxis and walking or cycling are also good bets for getting around.
Sea creatures, wineries and nightlife—how can you go wrong? When you book your Monterey getaway with Wotif, you can’t! Our deals will save you so much cash, you’ll be buying cases of pinot noir before you even know what you’re doing.
You might have read John Steinbeck’s book Cannery Row, set during the Great Depression. The real Cannery Row was once called Ocean View Avenue and was lined with sardine factories. The name of the street was changed in honour of the novel, and today it has nightlife, food and shopping. One of the Row’s most famous attractions is Monterey Bay Aquarium, which abounds in deep sea creatures, including the world’s largest octopus: the Giant Pacific Octopus.
Cannery Row’s McAbee Beach is Monterey’s smallest beach, but a very popular spot for scuba divers and kayakers. Monterey Waterfront Park has beach volleyball courts, and Monterey State Beach is a safe beach for swimming with kids.
At Fisherman’s Wharf Monterey you can take a whale-watching tour or a recreational fishing trip.
Road trip along the California coastline from Monterey to Big Sur and you’ll cross the Bixby Creek Bridge. This grand arch-bridge boasts amazing views of the coastline, and you’ll want to stop for a look and a picture on the other side.
Both Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row have restaurants and shops. Moss Wharf is a wharf with antique shops, art studios and restaurants, and Del Monte Shopping Centre features cinemas and brand-name stores.
Also check out the creative European-style village Carmel-By-The-Sea, which is filled not only with boutique shops but with more than 100 art galleries and studios.
Monterey is a two-hour drive from San Francisco and a five-hour drive from Los Angeles. Book a flight to San Francisco or flight to Los Angeles with us to go with your Monterey accommodation and chill out in sunny California.
Hotels in Monterey start at AU$103 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.