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10 Things To Do in Monterey


One of the most interesting things about my Monterey trip was how everything just fell into place.


To clarify, I had in mind a couple of things I wanted to do while visiting Monterey. The 17-Mile Drive being one of them, whale watching, visiting the Purple Carpet in Pacific Grove, and just relaxing on the beach, but I didn't have a set itinerary for each day. However, with that being said, it was probably one of the more relaxed trips I've had in awhile.

If you're planning to visit Monterey, here are 10 things to do that I highly recommend.

1. Purple Carpet in Pacific Grove

The Purple Carpet is actually a blanket of magenta ice plants that blooms along the coastline of Pacific Grove. I had heard about it and definitely wanted to spend the evening walking around the area for Mother's Day. My mom and I had originally planned to picnic at Lovers Point after church.

Apparently, the best times to see the Purple Carpet is between April and May. 
I would recommend starting at Lovers Point Beach and walking in the direction of Pacific Grove where you'll find the blooms along the coast. 

Lovers Point Beach 

2. Whale Watching at Fisherman's Wharf

Definitely a must in Monterey. There's several whale watching tourisms at Fisherman's Wharf, but I decided to go with Discovery Whale Watch. Even though it's currently peak season in Monterey for killer whales aka Orcas, I didn't see any on my trip. The trip itself was 4 hours long. I happened to go in the morning, which is the better time to go because the waves in the afternoon can get rough, and they can end up canceling the afternoon trips. True story. If you're someone who gets seasick, they have bars or other remedies you can take before the trip at the office. My favorite part was watching the dolphins swim alongside the boat, and the jumping humpback whales. 

3. 17-Mile Drive

If you missed it in my previous post, I shared a travel guide for the 17-Mile Drive here. Expect lots and lots of scenic views and coastline drives. Bring a fun music playlist for the roadtrip, snacks, and good company. 

4. Carmel-by-the-Sea

I actually wish I could've spent more time in Carmel. Carmel is a small city located in the Monterey Peninsula that has the cutest village area with lots of hotels, shopping, art galleries, wineries, historic sites, beaches, and more. We stopped by Carmel during our 17-Mile Drive, and ended up eating at Dametra Cafe. 

5. Bike ride up the coastline

This was one of my favorite things to do in Monterey. I rented a bike around the Fisherman's Wharf area, and went up the coastline from there. The pricing was $10 per hour, but I ended up having the bike for the entire day for $35. Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium were both a 10-min bike ride from Fisherman's Wharf. Biking in Monterey is convenient because there's a bike path (and a hiking path) that you can easily follow up the coastline. 

6. Seal watch in Cannery Row

Along the bike path, you'll come across lots of lazy harbor seals from Fisherman's Wharf to Cannery Row. I couldn't help but stop a couple of times and watch them do absolutely nothing all day. 
Living the dream right there.

7. In-N-Out Burger

If you haven't tried In-N-Out Burger on the west coast yet, it's also a must. I'm personally not a fan of the fries, but definitely indulge in a burger during your visit. 

8. Point Lobos State Reserve

I would spend more time here because there's so many places to explore at Point Lobos. It's also insanely beautiful. I ended up walking around Point Lobos for quite a bit, but wouldn't mind going back to do more exploring. If you read my 17-Mile Drive travel guide, you'll see more photos of how stunning the location is. 

9. Watch the sunset in Monterey

I watched the sunset at Del Monte Beach a couple of times, just because it was walking distance from the hotel I was staying at. However, I would add watching the sunset at Asilomar State Beach to your list as well. 

10. Fisherman's Wharf 

This is a great boardwalk by the docks with shopping, whale watching tourism offices, and lots of restaurants. I ended up spending a lot of time in this area for whale watching and bike riding.


That's all from Monterey...
Thanks for reading! 

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