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    Monterey what to see? How to visit the city and the Peninsula

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    MontereyThanks to its fortunate location, it is one of the most popular transit points on various trips to California: whether you are crossing the coast, hitting the impressive scenic Highway 1, whether you are in charming San Francisco, or whether you are heading straight for Yosemite National Park, la Monterey Peninsula it is one of the stops to be taken into consideration for a daily stop.

    So let's see what the whole area has to offer, trying to answer these questions: what to see in Monterey? How many days is it better to stay overnight in the area? How to visit the city and the surroundings of the homonymous Peninsula? Which attractions to privilege being only passing through? How to choose the sleeping area?


    • Monterey how many days?
    • Monterey what to see: main attractions of the city
      • Monterey Bay Aquarium
      • Path of History
      • Aree turistiche: Fisherman’s Wharf e Cannery Row
    • Monterey Peninsula: visiting the surroundings
    • Photo Gallery: Shots from an on the road on 17 Mile Drive
    • Select your hotel in Monterey: in which area?

    Monterey how many days?

    Located 160 km south of San Francisco and on the northern borders of the scenic coast of Big Sur, the town of Monterey is located on the peninsula of the same name (Monterey Peninsula), a fascinating area characterized by rocky headlands, cypress trees and cliffs overlooking the 'Ocean. To visit the various attractions of the city and its surroundings it could take at least 2 days, however, usually, given the many stops required by a tour in California, we tend to stop in this area no more than 1 day. In this case, I advise you to privilege the Peninsula area over the city visit.

    Monterey what to see: main attractions of the city

    Monterey Bay Aquarium

    Visit Monterey without passing by his infamous Aquarius it would be truly unforgivable! It is in fact one of the best examples of the entire West Coast, with an impressive variety of marine species. It is located at 886 Cannery Row and the entrance fee (included in the San Francisco City Pass) is around $ 50, with reductions for children and free tickets for the little ones. The price might seem quite high, however it seems that the beauty is such as to amply repay the economic effort ...

    In high season, it is recommended to visit the Aquarium on weekdays because it is particularly crowded on weekends and finding parking is not easy. The facility is open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon.

    Monterey Bay Aquarium Tickets

    Path of History

    The town of Monterey can boast an unexpected historical importance: in fact, you should know that for a certain period it was the capital of California and of the ancient glories of the past it still retains interesting testimonies, especially in the form of historic buildings and old adobe houses. Between the things to see in Monterey you will therefore find some of the most beautiful buildings of the Californian Hispanic past, all concentrated in a few blocks from the waterfront. This is the Path of History, a path that connects the many historical sites of the city.

    To complete the historical itinerary, just follow the sign of the yellow tiles on the road, which unify all the places of interest, or simply follow the map on the official website. Many of the sites are privately owned, but you can still enter the state-owned sites without paying the entrance fee. The most interesting constructions to see are Larkin House (1834), the first house built in the city in colonial style, Custom house, the oldest government building on the West Coast, and Colton Hall (1849), still furnished as at the time of the Californian constitutional convention with one of the first maps of the west coast inside. Most of the attractions are near the Monterey Free Trolley route.

    Aree turistiche: Fisherman’s Wharf e Cannery Row

    Here we are at the most touristic areas of Monterey. Fisherman's Wharf is not particularly glamorous (nothing like its San Francisco counterpart or even Pier 39) however you can take a stroll along the pier tasting some clam chowder offered by barkers who will try to snag you to let you in. in their restaurants.

    Cannery Row Street, where the fish industry flourished at the time, was immortalized by John Steinbeck in one of his novels; now it is full of shop windows, shops and restaurants, as well as tourists.

    Monterey Peninsula: visiting the surroundings

    The main reason to stop in Monterey is to visit its surroundings. The most satisfying solution is to take a nice road tour along one of the best scenic roads in the United States: the 17 Mile Drive. Below you will find the route:

    The road touches some very fascinating places, which can also be visited quickly:

    • first of all Carmel, a fairytale gem to which we have dedicated an article
    • Pebble Beach, an unlikely expanse of golf courses, patrician villas, trees with haunting profiles and romantic sea views. If you go to the area do not miss the Lone Cypress Tree, a lonely cypress that has now become the subject of numerous paintings, photos and postcards.
    • Pacific grove, a town where you will find numerous historic buildings and a decidedly suggestive rocky and jagged coastline. Don't miss the beautiful Lovers Point beach and the ancient Point Pinos lighthouse.

    If you have a little more time then you can go down the splendid Highway 1, one of the most famous roads in California, and head straight towards its most scenic area, where the most evocative views are concentrated: this is the area of ​​the Big Sur, of which you will find all the information in our dedicated article.

    Photo Gallery: Shots from an on the road on 17 Mile Drive

    Point Pinos Lighthouse
    Pebble Beach
    Lovers Point a Pacific Grove
    Pescadero Point
    Lone Cypress Tree

    Select your hotel in Monterey: in which area?

    My advice is not to look for a hotel only in the city of Monterey but also in the Peninsula, so you will have the opportunity to search among a greater number of accommodations and more chances to snatch a low price. Here are some links where you can check the prices of the structures according to the area:

    • Hotels available in Monterey: list of structures
    • Available hotels in Carmel: list of structures
    • Available hotels in Pacific Grove: list of structures
    • Available hotels in Pebble Beach: list of structures

    Finally, I point out a link below to find interesting activities and things to do in the Monterey Peninsula area:

    All activities to do in Monterey

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