Known for its wildly beautiful coastline that attracts tourists, residents, and a large variety of wildlife, Monterey County lays in the northern Central Coast of California.
The best hotels in Monterey are those that are close to the many attractions so that your family can enjoy all that the area has to offer. Here are fun vacation ideas when visiting Monterey County with your family.
1. 17-Mile Drive
This is North America’s most beautiful drive that stretches on a coastal highway that runs from Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Stop along the way to take pictures, look at the gorgeous homes, see seals and whales in the water, view herds of deer, and breathe the fresh ocean air. It is worth the $10 entry fee, which is refundable if you decided to eat or drink at one of Pebble Beach’s restaurants.
2. Former Canning Factories
Some still exist and are now converted to art galleries, shops, wine tasting rooms and multiple restaurants on a street called Cannery Row named after John Steinbeck’s novel.
3. Old Whaling Station Adobe
Built in 1847 by David Wight as his family’s home, it was designed similar to his Ayton, Scotland ancestral home. In 1855, the Old Monterey Whaling Company used it as its headquarters as well as employee residence. See the huge iron pots that rendered the whale blubber into oil. The walkway is composed of whale vertebrae cut into unique diamond patterns. This beautiful home and flower gardens are still used for weddings and other special events.
4. Seal Rock Creek Beach
This is a small white sand beach along the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. Just offshore are Seal Rock and Bird Rock, both of which are frequently covered with seals and birds. South of the beach is the Seal Rock Picnic Area, a great spot for to get together and enjoy your sandwiches and wine!
This quaint, art-loving town has some of the world’s finest scenery, art galleries, historic sites, boutique shops, and restaurants. In the early 1900s, the village began to grow around a group of young artists, intellectuals, and writers who made this a one-of-a-kind place of world-wide appeal. Carmel’s oldest gallery was founded in 1927 and presents the finest work for sale by artists who live on the Monterey Peninsula.
6. Colton Hall Museum
This interesting historical building in downtown Monterey was the site of the California Convention to draft the state’s Constitution, where they voted on joining the union, and became California’s first capital building before statehood. Built in 1849 as a public school and town meeting hall, it is open for public touring of its artifacts and exhibits.
7. Monterey Bay Aquarium
The mission of this nonprofit is to inspire conservation of the ocean. One of the biggest attractions is the Giant Pacific Octopus that actually has a personality and recognizes the aquariasts! An octopus is a boneless invertebrate that is smart, is armed with eight sinuous tentacles studded with suction cups in order to catch its prey, protects itself with one of the animal world’s most sophisticated camouflage systems, and is a master of disguise that can adjust its size and skin color.