One of our favorite California coastal towns is Monterey. It’s absolutely beautiful and the perfect place to take the kids on a weekend getaway.
Planning a family road trip?
Whether you are native to California or traveling from afar, if you are looking for a fun weekend or week long vacation Monterey is a great choice.
There are so many things to do with small kids, great food, scenery, and almost always perfect weather.
What is there to do in Monterey with kids?
There are plenty of fun things to do in Monterey with kids. Most are low cost or free.
Check out some of our tips below for making the most of your trip with littles.
Monterey is full of great places to get a beautiful view of the ocean.
From the top of a parking garage to the observation deck at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Of course the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must see.
This is a pricier destination, but well worth it for the amount of things to see and do with the kids.
Best Tip– Visit during the week in the afternoon if you can because it gets busy! Try to get there early when it opens, so your kids have more freedom to explore the exhibits without fighting through the crowds.
Don’t miss the jellyfish exhibit. The Monterey aquarium is filled with some of the most amazing jellies. This is an exhibit the kids love!
- Monterey Bay Aquarium is filled with interactive activities for kids. Their touch pools are perfect for toddlers and little ones with shorter steps that allow them to see and touch the creatures in the pools.
This aquarium is very toddler friendly with lots of play areas designated for small toddlers and parents. There are plenty of places for parents to sit and watch as they play. Since the aquarium is huge these are great places to sit and rest before moving on. Definitely take the time to go out on the observation deck. There are beautiful views on different floors!
We love the beaches in Monterey County! Moss Landing has beautiful coastline that is perfect for families to spend the day.
Since Monterey is a farming community you are sure to find fresh fruits and vegetables at one of the farmers markets.
Monterey has plenty of family friendly food options.
Bubba Gumps is conveniently next to the aquarium. They are moderately priced and have a great kids menu.
Also on Cannery Row is Ghirardelli Chocolate. Your kids will love getting a free chocolate sample and sharing an ice cream sundae!
Beautiful Weather for Kite Flying
Your family will love the weather in Monterey. Even on sunny days it usually isn’t hot.
Take some kites on your trip to fly with your kids in the coastal breeze.
Do you love taking photo’s while travelling? Me too! There are so many family photo opps in Monterey while walking through Cannery Row, on the beach, and at the aquarium!
My favorite is standing under the tidal wave in the aquarium. You stand under the glass and wait for the wave to come over your head.Waiting…….Here comes the wave!Such an awesome photo moment with that big wave coming down in the background. It’s hard getting a toddler to stay still during pictures like this.
Cannery Row is home of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and one of my favorite places to go when visiting.
If you can book a hotel or home rental near cannery row you’ll be closest to lots of family friendly activities, food, and entertainment. Including a wax museum and fun magic shop!
Taking the Scenic Routes
The drive to Monterey is beautiful, especially if you are driving down California highway 1.
Beautiful Big Sur isn’t too far if you’re looking for a beautiful scenic drive with the family.
Monterey Bay is full of wildlife! If you look out on the ocean from the aquarium’s observation deck you can see otter’s and seals. On the beach make sure to look out for whales and dolphins. While you are driving you may even see a deer or two.
Have you visited Monterey County? What are your favorite places to visit? What would you like to do in Monterey with your family?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below!