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Insider's Guide to Monterey & Carmel

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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At first glance you may think that the small towns of Monterey and Carmel deserve just quick stops on a day trip from San Francisco, but think again. Monterey County is an area that demands lingering. The coastline is a dramatic bounty of natural ... 

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USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is amazing! It's huge, with so many really cool exhibits and amazing sea creatures. You have the chance to touch stingrays, starfish and little crabs, and watch feeding sessions for penguins and sea otters! I'm a grown up and I was as giddy as a little child running through all the exhibits. My favorite was definitely the jellyfish - so gorgeous and so mesmerizing to look at! Definitely go!

Doing what: Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2013

This was a very pleasant way to spend a few hours in Carmel. Our guide Debbie led us around to sample some very fine foods and beverages, thoughtfully providing a good substitute beverage for our underage daughter. She was also sensitive to special diets. One of the women on the tour was vegetarian, and that was accommodated. Several of the places we stopped were unique and interesting apart from the food, and she filled us in on their backgrounds.

Doing what: Carmel Small-Group Food and Wine Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

My visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was definitely one of the highlights of my trip down the California coast. The exhibits are great! The sea otters are a blast to watch and the jelly fish were completely mesmerizing. During my visit, they had a special exhibit on the sea horses that was absolutely amazing - who knew that male sea horses are the ones that have babies?!?! Great attraction for the whole family.

Doing what: Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission

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