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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of the wonders of not only the Californian coast but also the entire US. The biodiversity in the sea life found here is astounding and visiting the area is a must for lovers of ocean life.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers a variety of attractions from whale watching to coastal tours. An adventure here is suitable for families, friends, and even couples. As long as you love the sea, this is an excellent place to visit.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Known as the “Serengeti of the Sea” the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers some of the most spectacular views sights for marine wildlife. This protected area stretches along the central coast from San Francisco to Cambria. Along the way, Stunning beaches and tidal pools, and kelp forests make up the coastline. The terrain of the land beneath the waves itself is made up of deep canyons that are rich with life. The Biodiversity of this region ranges from animals smaller than shrimp to blue whales, the largest animals on the planet. This protected area is maintained by the National Marine Sanctuary System and is open for travelers to explore.


Related: See Dolphins, Sharks, And More On Texas' Galveston Island

Go Whale Watching

Whale watching offers a chance to experience creatures up close that most of us have only seen on TV documentaries or in movies. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has a great variety of whales that can be found in the area making this the ideal destination to go whale watching.

  • Gray Whale - Found during the winter and spring, as the entire gray whale population migrates through the sanctuary.
  • Blue Whale - Found during the Summer and Fall, as Blue whales move along the entire California coastline searching for their prey.
  • Humpback Whale - Found during summer and fall as they feast on krill.
  • Minke Whale - Found year-round, though less common during winter.
  • Killer Whale - Transient pods of killer whales are found throughout the year usually along with prey items such as gray whales and sea lions.

Discovery Whale Watch

Departing from Monterey, this whale-watching expedition gives you the chance to see gray, humpback, and blue whales as they migrate. There will also be ample opportunity to catch sight of other sea life in the area such as sea lions and dolphins. You will also be guided by a naturalist guide who will be able to point out and explain what there is to see. They offer a variety of trip options, but most are usually half-day trips leaving either in the morning or in the afternoon.

Chris' Whale Watching Tours

Chris' Whale Watching Tours are the oldest of the whale watching tours available at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and their skippers will take you out of the third-largest deep submarine canyon in the world. They are also quite talented at locating gray whales, killer whales, dolphins, turtles, porpoises, and the other creatures of the sea here.

  • Ticket Costs - Adults $60, Children $40
  • Duration - 3 Hours
  • Contact - (831)375-5951
  • website

Have Fun On Land

Not only is there so much to experience in the waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, but there are also various activities to engage with along the coast. There are self-guided car tours as well as electric bike tours that offer an alternative way to experience this beautiful sanctuary.

Monterey And Cannery Row Sea Car Tour

Rent a two-seat convertible scooter car and take it on a 1, 2, or 3-hour self-guided tour of the Monterey Peninsula and Pacific Grove. These cool cars are GPS-guided and are a great deal of fun.

Related: 10 Attractions To Explore In Rocky Mountain National Park

Big Sur Adventures, Electric Bike Tour Along 17-Mile Drive Of Coastal Monterey

Take an electric bike up along coastal Monterey on a 17-mile journey. Travelers can explore the must-see locations like the Pacific Grove and the Coastal Trail while enjoying the sea breeze. There are locations along the route that are great for photography too, such as scenic vistas and the cypress groves.

  • Meeting Area - 2106 Sunset Drive Pacific Grove, CA 93950
  • Cost - $79 per rider (ages 16+), $59 youth on e-tandem (ages 10-15, 4’8″ min), $29 passenger on e-cargo bike (ages 2-15, 120 lb max)
  • Duration - 2.5 hours
  • Distance - 17 miles
  • Contact - (831)244-0169
  • Website

Food And Food Tours!

Chances are, travelers to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary may get a little hungry at some point. Carmel offers a walking food tour, but there are also delicious restaurants to check out.

Carmel Small-Group Walking Food & Cultural Tour

Carmel is a beautiful small town not too far down the coast from Monterey. Here you can partake in a walking guided tour with a small group that will take you through the delicious delights of the small town that is rich with culinary culture. Enjoy cuisine, wine, and even chocolate as you learn about the town's history.

  • Address - San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA
  • Cost - $139-$649 per person, varies based on group size
  • Duration - 3 hours
  • Contact - 831-216-8533
  • Tours

Loulou's Griddle In The Middle

This is a friendly American-style breakfast spot that was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. It is a great place to bring the family before starting your day!

  • Address - Municipal Wharf 2, Monterey, CA 93940
  • Contact - 831-372-0568
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try - The House-Made Sausage
  • Menu

Montrio Bistro

This restaurant offers a blend of American and European cuisine while also being recognized as one of the five greenest Monterey Restaurants. Their goal is to offer sustainable seafood, as well organic local produce and meats.

  • Address - 414 Calle Principal, Monterey, CA 93940-2706
  • Contact - (831)648-8880
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try - The Duck
  • Menu