From stunning ocean shorelines and exceptional marine life to mountains, top rated wineries and restaurants, Monterey has so much to offer! Plus, with crowds thinning from summer travelers while still hanging on to those perfect Monterey temperatures, autumn in Monterey is the perfect time to plan a trip. So where do you start? We have you covered with the top activities you shouldn't miss on a weekend getaway.
Day 1 – Whale Watching and the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey is iconic for its whale watching trips, as the deep underwater Monterey Submarine Canyon provides a feast for the whales and brings them a bit closer to shores, unlike other areas in the Pacific. Humpback Whales and Blue Whales are typically seen during autumn and winter months as well as dolphins and sea lions! Schedule your trip by visiting Monterey Bay Whale Watch.
After a fun day out at sea, spend the afternoon at the iconic Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey has such a rich marine life in the Monterey Bay and there is so much to experience with a visit to the aquarium. With close to 200 exhibits, it can easily take up several hours and is fun for the whole family. Learn more about how to make the most of your next visit to the aquarium here.
Day 2 – Big Sur Hiking and Winery Visit
The central coast of California is extreme in its rugged beauty. There's no better way to explore the region than with a scenic road trip down Highway 1 while taking in the spectacular scenery and attractions along the way. The best way to enjoy the scenic views of Big Sur, is hiking one of the ideal trails. Take in Pfieffer Big Sur State Park with its purple sand and iconic Keyhole Rock or for the more experienced hiker, check out the Ewoldsen Trail in Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park. While you're there don't miss McWay Falls, which is located across the street from the park and only a short walk along a dirt path.
After a long hike in the sunshine of Big Sur, on your drive back up to Monterey take a detour into Carmel Valley for some wine tasting. Monterey County is among the chief wine producing regions of California and has more grapes grown per square acre than Napa Valley. Enjoy local favorites, such as Joyce Winery, a small batch winery with a modern tasting bar offering many varietals. Or visit Taste of Monterey on Cannery Row while taking in breathtaking views of the bay and sipping local favorites.
Day 3 – Adventure on the bay by kayak or bike
Whether guests peddle or paddle, Adventures by the Sea provides the opportunity to get a closer look at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary and the charming sights of Monterey. Adventures by the Sea is the premier recreational company in Monterey. Their experts provide professional assistance to insure riders and paddlers are properly outfitted for their excursion and are taught safety protocol to make a day on the bay or on the bike trail a success. The Monterey Peninsula is a veritable playground for adventurous travelers. Unparalleled sights, coastal soundscapes, playful marine life and living history inspire the excitement of exploration on both land and sea. Plus, Monterey Bay Inn offers an Adventure Package that includes overnight accommodations for two in a bay view guest room and two tickets for the day for either bicycle rental or kayak rental from Adventures by the Sea.