Port Guide: Monterey, California
Monterey is tucked in a bend on California's central coast, just north of Carmel by the Sea and at the very southern end of Monterey Bay.
The region possesses stunning rocky coastline and is known for its fragrant pine trees, fluffy sand dunes and the numerous sea lions that call this charming city home.
Monterey has a calm vibe and is an excellent destination for people who like the outdoors. We enjoyed spending a day here during our cruise from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale (transiting the Panama Canal). Your ship anchors in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. From there, you will take a tender ashore, where you get dropped off in the heart of the bustling wharf.
It's a bit touristy (decked out as a classic fishing village) but is a charming spot to start your adventures. The Old Fisherman's Wharf is home to a fantastic variety of boutiques, bars and restaurants. Some visitors would be content to spend the day relaxing by the water, watching sea lions and diving into the local brews and chowders.
Coastal Trail. The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is easily accessed and traces the shore for nearly 30 miles along an incredibly scenic coastline. The path in Monterey is well-marked, paved and features gorgeous landscaping. The trail is used by runners, walkers and cyclists.
Cannery Row. This waterfront road was the epicenter of the city's former sardine canning district. The cannery closed in 1973, but the place is immortalized in the John Steinbeck novel "Cannery Row." Now, the refurbished warehouses retain their Depression-era look and feel and are occupied by hotels and an eclectic mix of art shops, boutiques and dozens of restaurants.
Also Known For
Monterey Bay Aquarium. This attraction has been recognized by TripAdvisor as the world's best aquarium. Monterey Bay Aquarium is located in Cannery Row, and it ranks as one of the top ocean conservation organizations. It boasts almost three dozen galleries and installations that let visitors explore and learn about marine life by interacting with 200 exhibits on 550 sea life species -- from otters to octopuses.
The Great Outdoors. Monterey is fantastic destination for adventure-seekers. The surrounding region features national forests, sanctuaries and preserves. The county and regional parks are fine places to enjoy hiking, birdwatching, mountain biking, horseback riding, trail running, swimming, diving and much more. Check out Sister City Park, Monterey Bay Park, Jacks Peak Park, Toro Park and Royals Oaks Park -- all available within a 30-minute car ride.
More About Monterey
Sunshine All Year. You're going to love the weather when you arrive to this delightful seaside town. Monterey is a city designed to enjoy outdoors. The average high in July is about 70 degrees, and the city gets 270 days of sunshine annually.
Don't expect to find many bargains while dining or shopping here. Monterey isn't your typical inexpensive cruise destination, such as those you will visit in the islands of the Caribbean or in Mexico or Central America, for examples. This is a cruise port in California, after all.
Thanks for reading,