Things To Do
Discover Fun in the Sun with Exciting Things to Do in Monterey, CASet along the central Pacific coast, Days Inn Monterey Fisherman's Wharf/Aquarium offers an ideal location for enjoying one of California's most popular vacation destinations. Home to Monterey Fisherman's Wharf and the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, our charming seaside town provides exciting attractions and rugged natural beauty that you'll love to explore. We are right across from Del Monte Shopping Center and a quick walk to the wharf. From whale watching, fishing, and beach activities to dining, shopping, and scenic drives, experience all of the family-friendly things to do in Monterey, CA. Whether you are golfing, wine tasting, shopping or enjoying the surf, the Days Inn Monterey Fisherman's Wharf/Aquarium offers a prime home base to experience the ultimate beach getaway.
Monterey Conference Center
Meet, connect, learn, and inspire at Monterey's premier meeting and event venue overlooking Monterey Bay. With breathtaking coastal views, the center is a spectacular venue for special events, conventions, and trade shows in downtown.
Monterey Fishermans Wharf
Set sail on a whale watching cruise, chow down on savory seafood, and catch a live show at the Wharf Theater at this oceanfront destination featuring breathtaking coastal views.
From fun annual festivals to the Monterey County Fair, visit this 30,000 square-foot event space featuring two outdoor concert venues and off-track betting for all of the best events in Monterey Bay.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Discover unique exhibits like the Open Sea or take a behind-the-scenes tour of this renowned aquarium to see colorful marine attractions, animal feedings, and playful performances in Monterey.
Go On a Whale Watching Tour
Want to do something fun outdoors? Go on a whale watching tour! Whale watching is one of the best ways to experience marine life in Monterey. These tours will let you observe the diverse marine life and interact with various sea mammals and birds. You will get a chance to see Gray Whales, Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Dolphins, and other sea life.
Visit The Monterey Bay Aquarium
Experience the beauty of marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Located on the edge of the ocean, the aquarium offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. Tour the aquarium, admire the many impressive exhibits and learn about interesting animal stories and habitats. You can even become a donor and contribute to marine life conservation.
Kayak Or Sup in Monterey Bay
If you love the water and the outdoors, you should try kayaking in Monterey Bay. Enjoy your quiet time on the water, and if you are lucky, you will also catch a glimpse of adorable sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, sandpipers, and pelicans. Enjoy kayaking in the calm waters of the bay and create wonderful memories with your family and friends.
Stroll Cannery Row
Cannery Row is a must-visit for anyone visiting Monterey. Home to the fishing industry that began in the mid-1800s and dotted with historical buildings, this popular Monterey attraction with a touch of history has various exciting things to offer all visitors. Experience Cannery Row, like it is mentioned in one of Steinbeck’s books. Take a walking tour and check out the many shops, eateries, and restaurants or visit the Monterey Aquarium and check out the educational exhibits.
Have Ice Cream With A View At Ghirardelli!
Enjoy a delicious ice cream at Ghirardelli! Visit the original ice cream and chocolate shop, take in the Ghirardelli chocolate experience, and tour the entire campus. Treat the child in you with the world-famous hot fudge or Signature Sundae, and capture your visit in a memorable photograph under the Arch Sign.
Walk The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean on the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail. Tour Monterey and its adjacent communities when you tour this beautiful trail. Winding along 18 miles from the Pacific Grove to Castroville, this trail is considered one of the most scenic long trails in California. Indulge in some stunning photography of the rocky shoreline and beautiful beaches, watch otters, pretty boats, and kayakers having fun on the calm waters, and learn about the area's history at Cannery Row.
Enjoy Old Fisherman’s Wharf
Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf is a must-visit when you visit Monterey Bay. Take a walk on and enjoy the energetic vibe of the place, indulge in outdoor and water activities like deep-sea fishing, sunset sailing, or whale watching, visit one of the many candy stores and indulge in an array of handmade candies, and relish delicious local cuisine in one of the many eateries on the Wharf.
Tour Monterey State Historic Park
The Monterey State Historic Park is located on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula. Tour the gardens and historic buildings of this park that date back to the 17th century. Walk down the scenic trails, take self-guided or mobile phone tours, or participate in one of the park events.
Enjoy The Monterey Museum Of Art
The Monterey Museum of Art is a must-visit for every art lover who visits Monterey. Tour the museum and admire the many artworks on display. Check out the many exhibitions and participate in the various museum events.
Browse The Salvador Dali Museum
The Salvador Dali Museum is the first permanent exhibition on the West Coast of the surrealist artist Salvador Dali. Located in the Museum of Monterey, this exhibition features the country's largest private collection of artworks. It features over 80 works, including etchings, lithographs, tapestries, and rare sculptures. Visit the Salvador Dali Museum and enjoy the rare exhibits on display.
Visit The San Carlos Cathedral
The San Carlos Cathedral is the oldest continuously operating church in California. Experience a slice of history when you visit this cathedral. Take in the old-world charm of the church, built between 1791 and 1794, and admire the historic architecture. The San Carlos Cathedral is California's first cathedral, and has contributed valuable information towards the early history of the Presidio of Monterey.
Sample Local Wines
Monterey has seen a surge in wineries that serve some of the best wines in the area. Tour the many scenic wineries, enjoy wine tasting sessions with stunning views, and take home some premium red and white wines.
Look For Wildlife, Marine Life, And Birds
Monterey Bay is abundant in wildlife, birds, and sea life. It is home to over 500 different fish, about 180 sea and shorebirds, and 34 different marine mammals. Besides this, Monterey also becomes home to many migratory birds and animals during specific seasons. There are various areas in Monterey to enjoy the diverse wildlife, birds, and sea life. From the Elkhorn Slough and Asilomar State Marine Reserve to the Pleasure Point and Lighthouse Field State Beach, you will find plenty of beautiful locations for wildlife and bird spotting.
Enjoy Wildflowers In Season
Wildflower season in Monterey is between March and May. You will get to enjoy a sea of colorful wildflowers throughout Monterey County if you visit around this time. Visit the Garrapata State Park or drive around the Pacific Grove Coastline. Hike the Garland Ranch Regional Park or the Fort Ord National Monument and Pinnacles National Park.
Do The Scenic 17-Mile Drive Through Pebble Beach
Get enchanted by the dramatic coastline of California! Go on the world-famous scenic 17-mile drive and enjoy stunning views of beautiful beaches, mystical forests, and pretty golf courses. You can stop by the gorgeous Pebble Beach, located in the heart of the 17-mile drive, and learn about the history of the area, enjoy delicious refreshments and shopping experiences, and visit the Pebble Beach Golf Links along the way.
Explore Fort ORD National Monument
Experience rich history and a diverse habitat at the Fort Ord National Monument. Located on a former military base, this monument features 44 species of rare plants and animals. Spread across 14,000 acres, this monument houses more than 86 miles of biking and walking trails. Enjoy horseback riding, biking, hiking, and watching wildlife in their natural habitat.
Tour The Vineyards On River Road in Salinas
The River Road Wine Trail is a great destination for wine lovers. Located along the River Road/Foothill Road corridor, this wine trail is located above the Salinas Valley. It features charming and intimate wine tasting rooms that specialize in vintage wines. Enjoy the warm hospitality of these wine tasting rooms as you tour the vineyards and relish some of the region's best wines.
Visit The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas
The National Steinbeck Center is a museum dedicated to the works of John Steinbeck. It offers three main visitor experiences in history and literature, art and agriculture, and educational programs and special events. Tour the center, experience the multi-sensory exhibitions on display, admire the many artifacts, and enjoy live theater performances.
Discover The Historic Town Of Pacific Grove
Enjoy a slice of history when you explore the historic downtown of Pacific Grove. Enjoy leisurely walks and admire buildings that date back to the early 1900s. Visit the many boutique stores selling unique wares, art galleries, and several eateries and restaurants to sample the delicious food the area offers.
Visit The Charming Village Of Carmel-By-The-Sea
Visit the world-famous Carmel by the Sea and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience. This one-square-mile village on California's central coast offers varied experiences to visitors. Visit Carmel Beach, learn about the town's history, enjoy shopping and outdoor activities, and visit the many restaurants to sample fresh seafood. From romantic getaways to exciting outdoor adventures, this charming town has a lot to offer!
Do The Elkhorn Slough Birding Safari in Moss Landing
Enjoy the Elkhorn Slough Birding Safari in Moss Landing. Watch an exciting variety of wildlife like sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and several species of birds. Take a tour of the Elkhorn Slough and take beautiful photographs of the scenic area. Enjoy a boat cruise to learn about the area's fascinating history and diverse ecology.
Hike Point Lobos State Natural Reserve And Garrapata State Park
Point Lobos is extremely popular because of its scenic beauty and stunning location. It is perfect for sightseeing, painting, photography, nature study, hiking, jogging, and scuba diving. Hike the nature reserve and take in breathtaking views of the ocean. Stroll along the two miles of beach at the Garrapata State Park, or hike the 50-foot climb to a beautiful view of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Tour Vineyards in Carmel Valley
The Carmel Valley is dotted with beautiful vineyards and wine tasting rooms. Enjoy a wine tour on foot as you visit the various tasting rooms located just a short stroll from each other. Take in the gorgeous beauty of these vineyards, relish the premium wines of the region, and take home a bottle or two.
Look For Street Art in The Monterey Peninsula
Monterey is known for its public art. Discover a mural or mosaic in a hidden alley or behind a quaint store. Embark on an art-inspired stroll down the various streets of Monterey and find beautiful artworks in the most unexpected places. Stand by and admire the work or grab your camera and take pictures.