10 Things to do in Monterey For First Time Visitors

If you really want to go on a vacation that you will remember for the rest of your life, you need to find a place that is unique and gives you an opportunity to do a number of different things. Chances are, you’re not going on vacation alone so ideally, you need to find a location that is capable of catering to everyone’s individual interests. Vacations tend to go a lot better if everyone gets to do something they’re truly interested in and it gives families a chance to bond and maybe even learn something new.

If you’re looking for a place where you can have fun and enjoy some natural beauty at the same time, you might consider visiting Monterey. There are plenty of things to do there so if you’ve never been to Monterey before, it’s important that you have something that serves as a type of guide. That way, you have an idea of what to expect when you get there. Below are 10 things that you might want to do in Monterey, along with links to each activity.

1. Fisherman’s Wharf

There’s no doubt that you’ve heard of Fisherman’s Wharf in the past. It was an active fish market until the 1960s. More recently, it’s a place where you can stop and enjoy the natural beauty of the wharf, go shopping, and even get a bite to eat. If you’re going to be in Monterey, this is a must for the entire family.

2. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Who doesn’t love an opportunity to attend one of the most well-known aquariums in the country? Here, you can see all kinds of different ocean life and even get in on the action for some of it. There’s sure to be something there that will intrigue you and if you’re looking to get out of the heat for a while, it’s a great way to enjoy your afternoon.

3. Cannery Row

This place is somewhat like Fisherman’s Wharf, only it’s a lot older. Back in the day, there was just one cannery after another, hence its name. Today, it’s all about brightly colored buildings, shopping and eating local cuisine.

4. Del Monte Beach

If you enjoy walking along the boardwalk or picking your way through the beach dunes, this is a perfect activity. It also gives you a chance to enjoy local wildlife and there are even places to stop and have a picnic.

5. Colton Hall Museum

This historic building was constructed in 1847 as a government building. Today, it contains all kinds of exhibits that can teach you about the history of Monterey and the surrounding area. Even if you’re not a history buff, it’s definitely worth checking out.

6. Lover’s Point Park

If you want a relaxing place to enjoy a more intimate picnic or you’re interested in renting a kayak and getting out on the water, this is the perfect place to do both things. It’s also one of the most beautiful locations in Monterey and it’s not one that you will soon forget.

7. Pacific Biological Laboratories

If you have a flair for science, this is right up your alley. You can learn about many of the species that are native to the area but at a much more in-depth level than you’re likely to find in any other location.

8. Dali17

This is a more modern take on a museum. It still has a lot of the older maritime exhibits and tons of artifacts from the area, but it pairs that with modern day art exhibits that are constantly changing. The intention is to pay homage to the history of the area and still attract younger individuals that may not be as comfortable in a more traditional museum setting.

9. Monterey State Historic Park Office

If you’re interested in old homes that have a history in the area, this is where you can go to find out all about them. You might even get lucky and find a few that are open to tourists.

10. Monterey Mirror Maze

If you’re interested in doing something that’s really different, this is the place to go. Just like the name implies, it is a maze full of mirrors. Your goal is to get through this extremely confusing maze in the shortest time possible without losing your sanity. It’s great for a fun afternoon with family and friends and it also works for building trust among co-workers. Either way, you can’t lose.


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