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Destination guides > North America > USA > West Coast > California > Monterrey


This small city is a good base for exploring the upmarket Monterey Peninsula and nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea. The centre of Monterey is home to a collection of 19th century buildings while the touristy Cannery Row area, north of the centre, is a far cry from the way John Steinbeck depicted it in his novel, Cannery Row. Monterey’s main attraction is its excellent aquarium.

Practical information

Monterey Visitors Center

Corner Camino El Estero & Franklin Street, Monterey
Tel 888 221 1010
Open Jan-Mar Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm; Apr-Oct Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-5pm; Nov-Dec Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm


20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey
Tel (831) 649 7109
Open 10am-5pm daily

FedEx Kinko’s

Corner Lighthouse Avenue & Irving Street, Monterey
Open 24 hours

Coming & going


Monterey Peninsula Airport (tel (831) 648 7000) on Olmstead Road 6.5km outside town handles flights by American, America West and United Express. Bus 21 runs between the airport and the Monterey Transit Plaza in the town centre.


Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST; tel (831) 899 2555) has buses to nearby destinations including Carmel-by-the-Sea and Salinas.

Greyhound buses go to Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

The Monterrey Airbus connects Monterrey with San Jose and San Francisco Airports. One-way fares are $30 from San Jose Airport and $40 from San Francisco Airport.


The Amtrak Coast Starlight train stops in nearby Salinas.

Local transport

Local buses, run by Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST; tel (831) 899 2555), serve the Monterey Peninsula area. One-way tickets cost between $2 per zone and a one-day pass costs $4.50 for one zone or $9 for all zones.

Hostel accommodation

HI - Monterrey

778 Hawthorne Street, Monterey CA 93940
Tel (831) 649 0375

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey’s excellent aquarium is noted for its jellyfish and sea otters plus the huge 3.8 million litre aquarium with tuna, turtles and hammerhead sharks.

886 Cannery Row, Monterey
Tel (831) 648 4888 or 800 756 3737
Admission $24.95 ($22.95 students)
Open 10am-6pm daily



Monterey Bay is noted for its wildlife, which includes birds, sea otters and seals and kayaking is a great way to experience the bay’s marine life.

Several companies offer kayak rentals and tours including A B Sea Kayaks (32 Cannery Row, Monterey; tel (866) 0824 2337) and Monterey Bay Kayaks (639 Del Monte Avenue, Monterey; tel 800 649 5357).

Whale watching

Whales can be spotted year round in Monterey Bay. In winter and spring there are grey whales and in summer and autumn you can see blue and humpback whales. Monterey Bay Whale Watch (Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey; tel (831) 375 4658) runs whale watching trips that cost between $27 and $43 depending on the season.

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