Monterey Seaside Attractions for the Ocean-Minded

Nicknamed California's "First" City, Monterey is a situated on Monterey Bay along the Pacific Ocean shoreline in central California. As the city is rich in history and renowned for its marine life diversity, a visitor's list of Monterey things to do would naturally involve visiting its cultural and environmental attractions. For those who are particularly ocean-minded, BBonline has compiled a list of seaside attractions that are bound to complete your stay in a comfortable Monterey bed and breakfast.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 648-4800
www.montereybayaquarium.org

One of the largest aquariums in North America, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on the former site of the Del Mar Cannery at the southern end of Cannery Row. It is home to 35,000 animals and plants that represent 623 species, including jellyfish, stingrays, an 11 lb. lobster over 50 years old, Giant Pacific octopus, sea otters and penguins. The aquarium hosts numerous exhibits, most notable of which are the centerpiece of the Ocean's Edge Wing and a 4.5 million liter tank in the Outer Bay Wing. That tank became home to the first great white shark successfully kept on exhibit for 198 days in 2004. The aquarium is open every day except December 25. Opening and closing hours vary depending on season. The admission fee is $29.95 for adults; $27.95 for seniors 65 years old and up and students age 13 to 17 bearing IDs; $17.95 for children age 3 to 12; free for children under 3.

Cannery Row
Monterey, California 93940
www.canneryrow.com

Of the number of Monterey things to do, you surely cannot miss a stroll down Cannery Row. In fact, your Monterey inn may be right along this waterfront street, which is the site for former sardine cannery buildings. Formerly called Ocean View Avenue, the name was changed in 1958 to pay homage to John Steinbeck and his famous novel, Cannery Row. Today, it is bookended by two popular kayak-launching spots, San Carlos Beach and MacAbee Beach. San Carlos Beach also happens to be one of Monterey Bay's famed scuba-diving spots. In between the two beaches are a gamut of dining establishments such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Sardine Factory; shops that range from toy stores to antiquaries to apparel boutiques to stores that sell local wine and gourmet food; and places for entertainment and family activities.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
MBNMS Main Office
299 Foam Street
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 647-4201
montereybay.noaa.gov

As the city is right smack on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a Monterey things to do list would be incomplete without exploring the beauty of this 276-mile long federally protected ocean area. There are a number of recreational activities visitors can do in the sanctuary, such as kayaking through one of the world's most unique habitats, the giant kelp forest; going on a jet ski, wet bike, surf jet, miniature speed boat, air boat or hovercraft; diving in the Breakwater and other nearby dive spots; camping in Sunset State Beach and Laguna Seca Recreation Area; and whale and dolphin watching. Whatever activity you choose to do, be sure to take care of the sanctuary and help protect it.