The following article was originally published on backpackingworldwide.com.
The central coast of California is a beautiful place to visit and is one of my favorite places to enjoy the Californian sun. Monterey is one of your best bets for a great time on the central coast, and I enjoy visiting as often as I can. I have written this article to give you all a taste of what is on offer in one of my favorite parts of California.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
This beautiful Aquarium is home to many species of marine life. Here you can see stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles, and sharks, just to name a few. Aside from simply seeing the classic aquarium tanks that we are all used to when we think of an aquarium, there are a number of interesting and interactive exhibitions to enjoy with a number of other types of animals, like reptiles and birds. You should definitely take a tour too to learn more about the local wildlife and hopefully something new!
Located not too far from the Monterey Conference Center, this quaint little seaside village is one of the more unexpected places that you are likely to visit in Monterey. From the outside, it looks like a place that is rather placid with some small shops and cafes. But there really is more to it than that. It is full of chic designer shops, gourmet restaurants, and a number of art galleries. The beach is definitely the place to be, and you will find a number of Monterey’s famous residents there too! This is one of my personal favorite places in Monterey, so be sure to have a look at this great spot.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
This reserve is only a short way south of Carmel-by-the-Sea and is somewhere that you need to have on your bucket list. The beautiful rock formations here rise majestically from the ocean and are naturally the focal point of this nature reserve. These are complemented by the various hiking trails of varying difficulties, the groves of twisted and gnarled cypress trees, and the various diving sites in the area. I love this place for its variety and the fact that it truly has something for everyone looking for a beautiful sight or some adventure.
The Monterey Fairgrounds are situated in the very heart of Monterey and are a place that comes to life with a number of local and international events. This is also the site of the annual Monterey county fair, which is a wonderful place to enjoy carnival rides, games, and amazing food as well as the opportunity to learn a bit more about the local area and its unique heritage and agriculture. There are also a number of other fun events at the fairgrounds too, including the Reggae Festival, Jazz Festival, and the California Roots Music Festival. There should be an event to enjoy any time of the year here, so be sure to do a little bit of research before you travel.