Discover Monterey

Monterey: the namesake of Monterey Bay and a seaside city that harbors a respect for ocean life that’s as deep as the Monterey Canyon (which is approx. 1,700 meters, if you were wondering). In addition to the deep respect for nature, Monterey is steeped in a history that has shaped today’s thriving community, seeping into food, family, fitness, and fun on the Bay!

In the Community

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Food

Let’s start with the food, because Monterey has no shortage of delicious eateries. For fresh seafood, we recommend stepping away from Fisherman’s Wharf and trying a couple of local favorites. The Sardine Factory and the Whaling Station Steakhouse are tried and true standbys – but it’s Monterey’s Fish House that draws the biggest local crowd. Located in an unassuming spot on the north side of town, at 5pm you’ll see a line beginning to form outside any day of the week. We also have to throw in Crystal Fish, an excellent sushi restaurant a few blocks from Cannery Row- order their Pink Lady hand roll (you’ll thank us later).

In the Downtown neighborhood, make a stop at Alvarado Street Brewery or Dust Bowl Brewing for local beers and delicious fare. Dust Bowl has a food truck on site that serves some mean tacos with ultra-fresh ingredients – not sayin’, just sayin’. For morning bites, check out Captain + Stoker Coffee Roasters for some craft java and a cycle-centric atmosphere that will keep you coming back for more. Alta Bakery is just up the street, specializing in imaginative pastries (think yuzu-filled, matcha-topped donuts and floral avocado toast). Grab your goodies, pizza, or frittata and take it out to the historic Cooper Molera Adobe grounds (dating back to 1827) which are adjacent to the bakery.

Just around the corner, Stokes Adobe is a relatively new restaurant offering an elevated dining experience in a sultry setting – and in yet another historic building (circa 1830s). Take our word for it: the craft cocktails, delicious dishes, and moody vibes will not disappoint. Looking for another upscale meal that’s closer to the coastline? You can’t get any closer than the Coastal Kitchen in the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, which sits directly over the waves. This divine dining experience features a rotating 5-course menu that takes its cues from the sea and seasons.

Family

As for housing and schools, Monterey provides plenty of options. Oceanfront condos or coastal estates can be found all down the shoreline, if the water is your priority. If you want to be closer to the action, the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Alvarado Street and Cannery Row offer some gorgeous homes that are often historic, walkable to everything, and many have stellar ocean views. For more space, check out the neighborhoods off of Highway 68 – out here homes are spread out in the tree-studded hills, and some have stunning city + Bay views. In this location, you’re also just a minute or two from Monterey Regional Airport, which has flights to popular destinations like LA, San Diego, and Phoenix.

Finally, Monterey is home to some excellent schools. Big Sur Charter School, Bay View Academy, Carmel High, and Foothill Elementary are all highly rated.

Ready to move to the south side of the Bay? We’re ready to help you explore and find your perfect neighborhood.

Fun

Once you’re fueled, you’re ready to explore Monterey – and you have to start with the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve visited once or 100 times: the Aquarium never ceases to amaze – and yes, we can confirm that the otters are always adorable, even if it’s your 372nd time visiting (guilty).

 To get even closer to the water, book a glass bottom boat tour that sets sail from Fisherman’s Wharf. This half an hour trolling tour gives you a glimpse of life just beneath the surface. For something a little more adventurous, join a whale watching tour . Humpbacks, Blue whales, Orcas, and Dolphins are just a few frequent fliers on this sail. Want to get on the water but for something a little more… leisurely? And preferably with wine? We got you: Sail Monterey offers catamaran cruises Thursday through Monday.

And that’s great for everything on the ocean’s surface (you know where this is going) – but how about underwater? Believe it or not, Monterey is touted as one of the best places in the nation to scuba dive. If you’re certified, grab your gear and head to San Carlos Beach,Point Lobos, or Lover’s Point. Want to get certified? Monterey Bay Scuba and Bamboo Reef are local shops that offer courses (or you can take a Scuba class at CSUMB if you’re a student).

Fitness

Are you and the fam ready to stretch your legs on land? The Monterey Bay Coastal Trail boasts 18 miles of paved pathway stretching from Castroville to Pacific Grove where you can walk, bike, or rollerskate along the Bay. You can knock a couple of must-sees off your list since this pathway goes by Alvarado Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, and El Estero Park. Rent a bike, an e-bike, or a surrey (4-person bike) from Adventures by the Sea and spend an afternoon checking out the sites.

To get the blood pumping even more, play a game of sand volleyball at Monterey Bay Park, right by the Bay. Just across the street, El Estero Park is a treasure trove of activities for every member of the family. The epic playground, called Dennis the Menace Park, is the ultimate spot for the younger members of the family – it even has a real train engine! Nearby Lake El Estero features paddleboats that give you great views of the park and ocean. Or, you can stay on the shore and explore the 1.2 mile outdoor exercise course, skatepark, and fishing pier.

For a more adult activity, it is no secret that Monterey has incredible, world-famous golf courses. Tee off at Bayonet and Black Horse or go all out and play Pebble Beach. For the Pebble experience on a budget, book a round at The Hay, a 9-hole short course designed by Tiger Woods.

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Experience Life As a Local

Experience Life
As a Local

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