As a native Californian, I have fond childhood memories of visiting Monterey Bay with my family. The sparkling navy blue ocean with waves rolling in, cold wind whipping through my hair, watching seals and otters, or following my dad along a well-manicured golf course–I love what Monterey Bay has to offer.
It was a dream come true to take my own children to this memorable place and at such a special time of year. Learn more about visiting Monterey Bay here, and keep reading to learn about our amazing trip to Monterey!
We stayed at the Monterey Tides hotel, which was on the beach right next to Monterey State Beach – Seaside Beach, where we enjoyed playing. The hotel had no shortage of ocean views and it was relaxing to listen to the waves crash as we fell asleep.
Ocean view from the Monterey Tides lobby
Walking to our room
Outside of our hotel room
Enjoying beautiful Monterey State Beach – Seaside Beach
Monterey Bay Aquarium
I’m not sure who enjoyed the Monterey Bay Aquarium the most, us parents or the kids! It was incredible! The moment we walked in there were exhibits all over the place. In fact, the most difficult decision was figuring out where to go first. Many of the exhibits are interactive–I got to pet a bat ray, and my oldest son held a hermit crab. Another exhibit the whole family enjoyed was a small hallway that imitated a tide with the water rolling over the glass around you. In spite of all the amazing things to look at and learn about, my absolute favorite was the Open Sea exhibit. It’s one million gallons of water with sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, tuna, and more. Little E in front of the Open Sea exhibit
The Kelp Forest exhibit
G watching the fish swim by
After the Monterey Bay Aquarium closed, we spent some time in Cannery Row. We visited the Cannery Row Monument in Steinbeck Plaza and took a family picture in front of the beautiful ocean view. I absolutely love Dippin’ Dots, and when I saw that I could get it in Cannery Row, I just had to! Another delicious stop in Cannery Row is El Torito, I remember eating here with my family as a kid–sitting in a booth by the window, we watched seals and sea lions as we ate.
Vizcaino Waterfront Food + Drink
This restaurant is located on the top floor of the Monterey Tides hotel. It features a rustic look, fireplace, and has an upscale yet casual atmosphere. We had breakfast here one day and loved it. It was delicious and I’d definitely recommend it.
Dennis the Menace Park
We were so excited to go to the Dennis the Menace Park with the kids, but they fell asleep on the way over there so unfortunately they didn’t get to enjoy it, but I was able to get a couple pictures of this fun park.
If We Had More Time in Monterey
I love to plan family vacations and for our trip to Monterey, I had a long list of places I wanted to take the family and not enough time for it all. So, if we had more time in Monterey here are the places we would’ve gone:
- Big Sur
- Pebble Beach
- Lovers Point Park & Beach
- Point Pinos Lighthouse
- Asilomar State Beach
- San Carlos Beach
- Del Monte Beach
As you can see, we had an amazing trip to Monterey–it’s a great travel destination for your family this spring! Learn more about visiting Monterey here, and plan your family’s getaway to Monterey here. Have you ever been to Monterey? What’s your favorite place? If not, what places would you like to see on a Monterey getaway?
Enter to Win!
Enter the See Monterey giveaway today and you could win free tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and MY Museum! Click here to enter the giveaway.