Hotels near Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Hotels in Monterey near Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium Introduction

Dominated by Ocean's Edge Wing, a massive 28-ft-high marine display of Californian kelp forest, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California attracts more than 2 million visitors a year. Situated on the site of an old sardine cannery on Monterey's waterfront, the Aquarium was built in 1984 and features over 35,000 sea creatures, including hammerhead sharks, octopuses and African penguins. It also offers behind-the-scenes tours, daily shows and special events. Its prime spot on the Monterey waterfront means it's easy to reach the many oceanfront cafes, beach bars and restaurants on Cannery Row.

Hotels near Monterey Bay Aquarium

There's a variety of hotels dotted along Monterey Bay, from ocean-facing chain properties to upmarket boutique hotels. For more affordable lodgings, head a few blocks south of the Monterey Bay Aquarium where you'll find low-key motels and unpretentious inns. Several of Monterey's 4-and 5-star hotels offer outdoor pools, spas and seafood restaurants, as well as ocean-facing rooms with balconies. The busiest time to visit is between June and September, when hotel prices can rocket. For the best hotel bargains, come in winter when temperatures are mild, although rainfall is higher and coastal winds can be fierce.

Where to stay near Monterey Bay Aquarium

Located on the northern side of the Monterey Peninsula, downtown Monterey draws the majority of the summer crowds. A 1-minute walk from the aquarium is Pacific Grove, a charming district lined with attractive Victorian houses. Sandwiched between Lovers Point Beach and Asilomar State Beach, it's popular with both couples and families. It's also famous for the annual migration of thousands of Monarch butterflies during fall. The streets around Cannery Row and along the waterfront have a lively atmosphere, and attract the town's wealth of visitors as it's within walking distance of the town's main attractions.

Things to see near Monterey Bay Aquarium

Lined with seafood restaurants, open-air bars and quaint gift shops, Fisherman's Wharf is a 25-minute stroll from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A mile northwest of the aquarium is Lovers Point Beach, a hotspot for sunbathers, surfers and sailors. A 4-minute walk from the aquarium is the Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum on Cannery Row. This animated wax museum depicts over 400 years of Californian history, from bullfighting bears to John Steinbeck. Monterey is also great base to explore the area. It's 5.6 miles to the charming seaside village of Carmel-By-The-Sea and 26 miles south to the scenic Big Sur.

How to get to Monterey Bay Aquarium

Part of the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, Monterey is easy to reach by car. There's plenty of paid street and garage parking near the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey Regional Airport is less than a 5-mile drive away and has direct flights from San Francisco and LA. The nearest Amtrak and Greyhound stations are in Salinas, 20 miles east of Monterey. While downtown and the Monterey waterfront is easy to navigate by foot, during the summer the Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) provides a tourist trolley service through downtown. It also offers a year-round bus service to Carmel-By-The-Sea and the Big Sur.

Monterey travel guides

Monterey Travel Guides