Monterey Bay is home to some real treasures perfect for any Monterey Day Trip—Monterey Bay Aquarium, 17-Mile Drive and Carmel Mission! Since these are well reviewed by most bloggers and Monterey Carmel Tour websites, here we focus on some of the lesser-well-known attractions that you’ll be able to catch on a nice Monterey Day Trip 2- or 3-day trip and Carmel by the Sea.
In no particular order, here are our top ten most entertaining things to do while in the area.
Float by the Butterfly House.
Many Monterey Carmel Tours visit J. Jackson’s added butterfly-themed artwork to his Pacific Grove house so his wife, who was losing her sight, could see all the bright colors. Tip: this is a residential neighborhood so be considerate.
A Page from Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.
Stranger than fiction? Monterey is full of history, real and fictional. Just south of the Aquarium you can still glimpse something from Steinbeck’s Cannery Row on any Monterey Day Trip . As you pass, Irving Street, be on the lookout for “Doc’s Lab” at 800 Cannery Row.
Super Historical Custom House
If buildings could talk! The Custom House, at the head of Old Fisherman’s Wharf, was the first government building in California and the location where the American flag was raised in 1846 annexing California to America. The park service and Monterey Carmel Tour is worth every cent.
Sweet Inspirations at Carousel Candies
Credit: Carousel Fine Candies
As the old saying goes, “I can resist anything—except temptation!” On the boardwalk, look for Carousel Candies, a candy manufacturer that has been hand-making salt water taffy for over 47 years. I recommend the caramel apples—best I’ve ever had on my Monterey Day Trip.
Get surreal at Dali17.
Art for the ages! The exhibition isis a must see on any Monterey Carmel Tour the first permanent West Coast exhibition of Salvador Dali and features over 580 works including lithographs, etchings, rare sculptures and tapestries. Monterey was the only place outside of Spain where Dali lived and painted.
Monterey Bay a.k.a., the “Whale Watching Capital of the World”. Its deep canyon is used by migrating Gray and Humpback Whales and its waters attract many other marine species. Did I mention killer whales and sharks? Spring is birthing season for seals—look for (but stay clear of) moms and their new babies.
Carmel Valley: California’s Other Wine Country
An official appellation since 1983, Carmel Valley is known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals. Most tasting rooms, such as Bernardus Winery, Holman Ranch Vineyards, Cima Collina and Joullian Vineyards are just a short stroll from each other. You can do the wine tour on foot.
Make YOUR Day at the Hog’s Breath Inn.
Thanks to its famous owner of 27 years, the Hog’s Breath Inn is Carmel’s most famous establishment. The pub is still trading on the Eastwood legacy and is a great place to enjoy a couple of tall cool ones after an intense day of touring Monterey Bay.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go with Dr. Suess
Surrealist Dr. Seuss created a body of work known and remembered by children of all ages. Yet, the collection at the Dennis Rae Fine Art studio shows a side of the artist that most have never seen since it was created at night for the master’s own personal enjoyment.
Any Mile Along the Coastal Trail
It doesn’t matter where you start or end. The Monterey Bay Coastal Trail is an easy-walking path that begins at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and meanders along a scenic patch of coast and boardwalk where John Steinbeck and Robert Louis Stevenson once walked and dreamed.
Plan an overnight in Monterey Bay…maybe two. You’ll love it!!!