Things To Do
There is much to see and to do here in Monterey!
Having fun in Monterey!
There are lots of interesting things to see and do in Monterey and in the surrounding communities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pacific Grove, Seaside, and Marina. Not to mention that we are located about 45 minutes from Big Sur some of the most dramatic coastline in continental United States. There are opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking along the Monterey Bay.
Monterey also has an active arts scene with many arts, music, and film festivals heald here during the spring and summer months. Read below to find out more about the various things there are to do and discover while living in Monterey.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Rated the nation’s No. 1 aquarium in the Zagat Survey U.S. Family Travel Guide, the Aquarium is a great way to get to know the Monterey Bay. With exhibits such as the giant Pacific octopus, sea otters, jellyfish, and a 28-foot tall kelp forest, the aquarium brings you as close as possible to sea life in its natural habitat. Annual student memberships are just $50, and at $27 per daily ticket, you will be sure to make your membership worth it.
886 Cannery Row, Monterey
Monterey Museum of Art
The Monterey Peninsula has long been a haven for writers, artists, and musicians and the Monterey Museum of Art ties that cultural legacy into a cohesive whole. With two locations, on Pacific Street in downtown Monterey and the other at the historic La Mirada, the museum has a permanent collection highlighting the contributions made to the creative process by California’s legacy of talented artists.
559 Pacific St, Monterey
720 Via Mirada, Monterey
The Carmel Mission is an active parish and was the second of California’s missions, founded in 1770. The Mission has a lovely courtyard and gardens where visitors can come to meditate or rest, or take self-guided and docent-led tours. The admission fee of $6.50 goes toward mission maintenance and restoration projects.
3080 Rio Road, Carmel
Path of History
Along Monterey’s 2-mile Path of History, you’ll see 55 historical sites, exploring adobes, gardens, and other sites of interest. The path runs through downtown Monterey – just follow the yellow tiles set in the sidewalk. Also don’t miss Monterey’s History Fest, held every October, which includes a reenactment of the California Constitutional Convention in Colton Hall.
You can download a free audio tour of the Path of History here: http://www.seemonterey.com/tourist-activities/historic-and-literary-sites/monterey-adobes.
Monterey Mirror Maze
This new attraction on Cannery Row challenges you to make your way through a maze of mirrors all while wearing 3D glasses. If you succeed through the maze, also try out their laser challenge, weaving your way through the lasers like a bona fide secret agent. The whole thing won’t take too long, but it is certainly good for a few laughs!
751 Cannery Row #109, Monterey
Oceans 18 Mini Golf
This mini golf course is easily the zaniest you’ve ever been to! Entirely indoors and under blacklight, the course has an underwater theme to match the bay outside.
125 Ocean View Blvd, Suite 304, Pacific Grove
While shopping in Monterey is limited compared to the variety of stores available in nearby San Jose or San Francisco, it is possible to find the things you need with out traveling too far to find them.
Del Monte Shopping Center
Located just over one mile from campus, the Del Monte Shopping Center has over 75 shops and restaurants all in a beautiful open-air setting. You’ll also find Century Movie Theaters, showing movies on 13 screens.
Off of Munras Ave, near Soledad Dr, Monterey
In this three-level shopping plaza in downtown Carmel, you’ll find recognizable brands such as Anthropologie, J.Crew, Cole Haan and Louis Vuitton. Although a little expensive for the average student budget, this plaza, as well as all of downtown Carmel, can be entertaining to stroll through and window shop as well.
At Ocean Ave and Mission St, Carmel
Monterey has a wide variety of independently owned stores and boutiques that offer items slightly more unique that what you will find in a larger chain store. Visit See Monterey website's list of available shopping in the Monterey Bay.
Staying healthy and fit while your in grad school can be a challenge between attending classes, keeping up with your coursework, having an on-campus job, while also trying to have a social life. There are many ways to stay fit in Monterey from running along the Bike Path, to hiking in the mountains, or attending a group exercise class at the Monterey Sports Center.
Visit the Fitness page in the Health and Wellness section of the website. There you can read about the benefits of mainting a healthy exercise routine, and read about some of the local gyms and other fitness establishments that are available to you here.
Want to head outdoors to have some fun hiking, biking or just enjoy the relaxing natural beauty of the Monterey Peninsula? Here are some great places to enjoy the abundant resources that this area has to offer.
Elkhorn Slough Natural Estuarine Reserve
The Elkhorn Slough Reserve is home to hundreds of species of birds and marine life, and is considered one of the top 10 birding destinations in the nation. Located just 20 minutes north on Highway 1, the reserve offers excellent opportunities for birding, kayaking, and hiking.
1700 Elkhorn Rd, Watsonville
Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary
From November through February of every year, a large Monarch butterfly population passes through the Monterey Peninsula on their annual migration. The sanctuary is located in Pacific Grove, nicknamed “Butterfly Town, USA.” The best time to see the butterflies is in late November or early December in this free museum.
Ridge Rd, between Lighthouse Ave and Short St, Pacific Grove
Monterey County Coastal Recreation Path
This bike path runs along the coast of the Monterey Bay for approximately 29 miles. It passes through the fields of Castroville, the Ford Ord ocean dunes, and straight into Cannery Row. The path is a great option for joggers and bikers to enjoy the beauty of the ocean. For a map of the path, visit http://www.mtycounty.com/pgs-parks/bike-path.html.
Pinnacles National Monument
In 26,000 acres of land, you can hike, stargaze, camp, and rock climb throughout Pinnacles National Monument. Visit http://www.nps.gov/pinn/index.htm for directions, trail maps, and camping information.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Called "the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world," Point Lobos offers breathtaking views, great hiking, and lovely picnic spots. There is a $10 fee for parking, but you can also park on the road before you reach the entrance.
3 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1
Here are some additional links that you may want to check out if you are looking for something fun to do on the weekends.