Things to Do in Monterey #SeeMonterey + Win a #Monterey Trip Package Giveaway

see monterey

Many thanks to See Monterey for sponsoring today’s story and encouraging me to experience all that Monterey County has to offer.

Monterey, California is easily one of the best vacation destinations that I’ve visited on the California coast.  On our family trip this past week we decided that Monterey was the perfect place to stay and play with its abundance of family activities, natural beauty and tremendous food and wine.  We made the mistake of only booking three days in Monterey, probably our only regret from the entire trip as we merely scratched the surface of all that Monterey County has to offer.  Visit See Monterey and see for yourself the wide variety of adventures that this gem of a destination offers.  Below are just a few of our recommended vacation sites of Monterey that have the kids and adults in our family eager for a return visit:

see monterey bay aquarium

see monterey bay aquarium

see monterey bay aquarium  

Monterey Bay Aquarium:

This was not our first time to the Monterey Bay Aquarium yet every time we go it is every bit as exciting and enchanting.  This is easily one of the top must-see destinations for kids in the country, but you don’t have to be a youngster to get swept away with wonder and awe as you navigate the landmark location nestled at the edge of the gorgeous Monterey Bay.  The aquarium can easily take up a full day of your time as it offers so many exhibits on everything from sea otters to penguins, sharks to octopuses.  The aquarium is extremely interactive, with touch tanks in multiple areas, feeding sessions with audience Q&A, hands-on learning and even a number of designated ocean-labyrinth play areas.  The best thing about the Monterey Bay Aquarium is that they don’t just showcase the ocean’s wildlife, they entrench you in it with massive, wonderful tanks that transport the ocean creatures and visitors alike to the far reaches of the ocean deep.

see monterey carmel by the sea


The Monterey to Carmel drive took about 10 minutes and we were then in a coastal paradise of what are arguably California’s prettiest beaches.  We nestled in to the tranquil area of Carmel Beach (and got a helpful tip on parking from See Monterey).  We didn’t catch one of the famous sunsets or sandcastle competitions but it was nonetheless breathtaking.  The homes in the area are charming, it seems almost as though each resident is also a part-time gardener and florist.   Point Lobos State Reserve offered more spectacular views with hikes, including Cypress Grove which every bit lived up to its hype.

see monterey

see monterey fisherman warf

see monterey fisherman warf restaurants

monterey fisherman warf clam chowder

monterey fisherman warf clam chowder

The Fisherman’s Wharf:

 As a seafood lover it’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed walking the pier and trying to find Monterey’s best bowl of clam chowder.  There were plenty to choose from and we had two great meals out on the pier, loosing track of time with the inlet to the bay and the harbor boats as a beautiful backdrop.  Whale watching tours depart regularly throughout the day and there are fun shops lined on both sides with a good number of tourists enjoying Fisherman’s Warf any time of the day.

 see monterey cannery row

see monterey antique mall

Cannery Row:  

It comes as no surprise that Cannery Row has a rich history, you can just feel it in the air when walking around.  With references to the late, great author John Steinbeck and the old sardine cannery buildings still in-tact, it’s bursting with character and history.  Shopping in Cannery Row was phenomenal, two of my favorite shops were Monterey’s Tasty Olive Bar (boasting over 70 types of olive oils and balsamics), and the Cannery Row Antique Mall (which has the Largest Antique & Collectibles Mall on the Central Coast, all set in a beautiful historic building).

see monterey farmers market

see monterey farmers market


Pacific Grove:  

we didn’t do this cute area justice but did catch their farmer’s market with lively music, ocean views and plenty of luscious organic fruits and vegetables.

portola hotel spa

For kid-friendly lodging in Monterey there’s no better place than the Portola Hotel and Spa.  We enjoyed its great views overlooking Fisherman’s Wharf and steps to the heart of walkable, downtown Monterey and the Monterey Old Town Historic District.  This may be the most kid-friendly hotel I’ve ever visited as even during check-in the kids received fresh-baked cookies and kicked off their Portola Pirate Program (with pirate gifts!).   Our kids’ paradise continued outside with Candyland (pretty much heaven on earth for candy lovers), Crepes by Brittany (kids’ fav was Nutella and strawberry), and  Dennis the Menace Playground just a few minutes away.  There’s a huge town square outside of the hotel which had a lively kids street fair on one day and a free concert on the next.  As a foodie I was in good hands with Jack’s and Peter B’s Brewpub right onsite at the hotel (both under new Executive Chef Danny Abbruzzese).  The food was on another level, as were the beers and martinis!

Giveaway :

See Monterey will be giving away (1) complete trip package, including 2 nights at Monterey Tides, 2 tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and a wine blending at Joullian Vineyards.

To enter :

  1. Visit See Monterey website  :
  2. Where is your favorite destination in Monterey? Please leave your comment below
  3. See Monterey will be randomly selecting the winner from the comments.
  4. Ends 10/31

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  • Reply
    evelyn torres
    Oct 6, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    My favorite place to visit is the Aquarium

  • Reply
    Shawn Stover
    Oct 6, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Pebble Beach

  • Reply
    Bill B.
    Oct 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    It has to be Monterey Bay Aquarium

  • Reply
    Steve Weber
    Oct 6, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I would have to do Pacific Grove!!

  • Reply
    Latonya Rader
    Oct 6, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Monterey Bay Aquarium

  • Reply
    David Widger
    Oct 6, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Fisherman’s Wharf

  • Reply
    Oct 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I want to see the aquarium! I’ve heard so much about it over the years.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Rampersad
    Oct 7, 2016 at 4:50 am

    The aquarium is definitely what I want to see the most.

  • Reply
    Michele @ Flavor Mosaic
    Oct 7, 2016 at 9:30 am

    My favorite would probably be the Aquarium. Then I would want to see Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, 17-Mile Drive and all the beaches.

  • Reply
    Rajee Pandi
    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Carmel Valley

  • Reply
    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
    Oct 7, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I love Monterey Bay. I could seriously just make the rounds for weeks and weeks on end. If I had to choose one place, though, it would probably be the aquarium.

  • Reply
    kim delatorre
    Oct 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I have never visited there but is looks like a place I would enjoy! I love that aquarium! So pretty!

  • Reply
    Bryan Rice
    Oct 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Monterey Bay aquarium.

  • Reply
    Oct 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    ALL of Monterey! I’d love to be able to show my son the most amazing Aquarium, Cannery Row & Pebble Beach!

  • Reply
    Ann Bacciaglia
    Oct 7, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    It would be amazing to win a trip to Monterey, California. It looks so beautiful there. It would be a perfect getaway this Winter.

  • Reply
    Oct 7, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I love the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

  • Reply
    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Looks like a great place to stop when in California. I have only ever been to Disneyland while there, so I’ll have to check this out next time!

  • Reply
    Shemylah Hooda
    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    If I had to choose, I would say the aquarium and Pebble Beach!

  • Reply
    Karlyn Flores
    Oct 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I would love to see the aquairium, Glad you share this

  • Reply
    Lauren Riendeau
    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Pebble Beach! But I’d love to take my kids to the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

  • Reply
    Oct 9, 2016 at 4:36 am

    I have always wanted to go out west. This seals the deal. What a beautiful view and so many attractions!

  • Reply
    Oct 9, 2016 at 6:52 am

    I haven’t seen California yet. I really want to see the west coast. My family would enjoy going to the aquarium and to the beach.

  • Reply
    Oct 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Such beautiful place. And I love all the photos. I’ve never been to Monterey or any parts of California yet, but I would love to go someday not only to visit but to see friends too.

  • Reply
    Lori Felix
    Oct 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    My husband and I took a mini vacation to Monterey earlier this year a d had a great time. Next time we go I would love to check out the aquarium.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    Oct 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    It sounds like you had a fantastic time in Monterey CA. even if it was only three days. I would love to visit here some day. It sounds so beautiful and there is so much to do there for everyone. I would love to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium it looks amazing. The food and the hotel/spa sound amazing too. The Caramel beach sounds like it would be so relaxing. Thanks for sharing your experience and the giveaway.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Pass
    Oct 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    This looks amazing! There are so many places to visit! I would totally love to go to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.

  • Reply
    Oct 9, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    That looks like a great place to be. The photos are so beautiful! The aquarium would be great for my family.

  • Reply
    Oct 9, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Wow, this is a wonderful place. A must-see for the whole family, the kids will love it!

  • Reply
    Oct 10, 2016 at 11:23 am

    A friend of mine used to live there and said it was so much fun and beautiful and ever since she sent me tons of pics this has been a bucketlist place to visit!

  • Reply
    Gabriel Bregg
    Oct 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Fishtowns are awesome – so much flavor and history in them. We’ve been to one in Florida and Michigan, have to put Cali on the list.

  • Reply
    Oct 11, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I haven’t been to Monterey since I was a child. One of my most distinct memories is of the giant whale hanging from the ceiling of the aquarium. It made such an impression on my young eyes that I would love to share it with my own kids one day.

  • Reply
    Oct 11, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I only stopped for lunch in Monterey so I really didnt get to experuience much but the aquarium looks awesome

  • Reply
    jennifer h.
    Oct 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    My husband would pick Pebble Beach and I would pick Fisherman’s Wharf. Would love to visit!

  • Reply
    Dave H.
    Oct 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I would love to visit the local wineries and enjoy some time by the ocean.

  • Reply
    Jennai (@Jennai)
    Oct 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Besides the Aquarium, of course, we love to visit the Carmel Mission
    JenniferAnne74 @

  • Reply
    Oct 26, 2016 at 2:56 am

    Wow! What an amazing giveaway! I visited Monterey last year with my best friend for a girls’ trip. I’d love a chance to take my husband and daughter back to see the county I fell in love with!

    I’d have to say the Aquarium was my number one favorite thing. It just blew me away! Between the otters (too cute!!!) and the jellyfish (like beautiful aliens), it was the very best aquarium I’ve ever visited.

    kcgmorris at gmail dot com

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