Monterey really is one of our all-time favorite cities! It's located right on the central coast of California and is bursting at the seams of activities to do with kids. Here's our list of the top 10 things to do with kids including some amazing activities and fabulous food!
10 Things to Do with Kids in Monterey, CA
1. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium – The aquarium is a must-see and a favorite place for both locals and out-of-town visitors! Be sure to set aside at least 2-3 hours to explore this world-renowned attraction full of incredible sea life. (Our favorite exhibits are the jellyfish and sea otters!) Bring a snack or eat at their cafÃ© and then end your visit upstairs in the Splash Zone full of hands-on learning and play.
2. Explore Cannery Row – Cannery Row (located right outside the aquarium) is a historic waterfront district full of shops, restaurants, and beautiful sites! Take some time to explore all Cannery Row has to offer, and then end your walk with a stop at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate shop. Grab a banana split and sit outside where there's a perfect view of the ocean!
3. Take a stroll down Fisherman's Wharf – You ™ll want to be sure to take a walk down the historic Fisherman's Wharf where you ™ll have plenty of restaurants to choose from to try out some clam chowder. The kids will love looking out for sea lions and finding the perfect Monterey souvenir at one of the many shops.
4. Play at Dennis the Menace Playground – If you ask my kids what their favorite park is in the whole world, they ™ll pick this one! Complete with a climbing wall, bridge, tot area, and slides galore, it ™ll be sure to turn you into a kid again!
5. Visit the Monterey Museum of Art – If you and your family are art lovers, you ™ll want to take time to explore this beautiful 3-level museum. The kids and I always bring a sketchbook and pencil and sit on one of the benches or cushions and record all the inspiring artwork.
6. Eat and shop at the Old Monterey Marketplace Farmer's Market – If you are lucky enough to be in Monterey on a Tuesday you ™ll want to go by this amazingly huge farmer's market. It's a lively event where you ™ll find all kinds of vendors selling delicious local produce and homemade wares and even a few musicians playing some music. There's always a large variety of food trucks so be sure to have dinner there!
7. Visit MY Museum- Monterey County Youth Museum – MY museum is the perfect kids museum full of all kinds of hands-on learning. You ™ll always find my daughter in full-blown costume up on the stage performing something impromptu, and there's even a gated baby area for the younger ones to play.
8. Monterey State Beach – Definitely stop by the most popular beach in the city of Monterey, just right up from Fisherman's Wharf. Be sure to explore the tide pools, build sand castles, search for sea glass, or even take a swim (if it's warm enough). You ™ll find lots of fun things to observe from sea animals to paragliders!
9. Explore Cooper-Molera Adobe – Step back in time at the Cooper-Molera Adobe, former home of Captain John Cooper built in the late 1820's. Located on almost two acres, you can stroll through the gorgeous flower and vegetable gardens and visit some farm animals! To learn more about how a family lived back in that time, be sure to sign up for a tour. Kids are always surprised to find how different life was for children long ago!
10. Look for whales and dolphins while you walk the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail – This gorgeous path goes right along the coast where you can see all kinds of amazing ocean views and even check out some murals along the way. Don't feel like walking? Rent a 6 seated surrey to ride as a family!
The city of Monterey is absolutely perfect for a family visit and has just so many things to see and do. There's kayaking, surfing, and hiking for outdoor lovers, museums and historical buildings for history buffs and lots of great food! No wonder it's one of California's top destinations!