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Monterey Bay

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Monterey Bay: Our most recommended tours and activities

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Discover a variety of whale species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on this cruise from Monterey. Uncover one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to its deep submarine canyon close to shore. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Set sail from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor as the boat leaves the dock. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory. Pass the historic Cannery Row as you leave the harbor and enter the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, and fin whales. Listen as the onboard biologist provides fascinating insights into the creatures of the bay and what is being done to protect them. During the summer/ fall season, the tour will focus on feeding whales that come to the bay to feast on small fish and krill. Spot humpback whales daily but keep an eye out for blue whales, fin whales, gray whales (finishing migration), orcas and a variety of other dolphin species. During the winter season, the tour will focus on migrating whales at the south end of Monterey Bay where gray whales pass by. Return to your starting point at the end of your tour.

Monterey: Monterey Bay Dolphin and Whale Watching Boat Tour

Monterey: Monterey Bay Dolphin and Whale Watching Boat Tour

Discover the diverse wildlife of Monterey Bay on a guided dolphin and whale watching boat cruise. Feast your eyes on massive gray whales, watch playful dolphins leap from the water, spot turtles skimming underneath the waves, and learn about the ecological landscape of the bay's oceanic habitat. Begin your tour by meeting your captain and boarding the boat at the Old Fisherman's Wharf. Sail into Monterey Bay, watching for birds and otters along the wharf's shallow banks. Learn about local efforts to protect what is considered to be one of the most ecologically diverse bays in the area. As you sail further away from the shoreline, watch for harbor seals, bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, elephant seals, and even sharks. Catch sight of gray whales leaping alongside the boat and curious killer whales, with their characteristic black and white coloring, swimming nearby.

Monterey: Sunset Whale Watching Cruise with A Guide

Monterey: Sunset Whale Watching Cruise with A Guide

Take an ocean adventure on this whale-watching cruise at sunset from Monterey. Keep an eye out for gray, humpback, and blue whales as they migrate along the Pacific coast, along with sea lions and dolphins. Hear commentary from your naturalist guide and take in the sunset over Monterey Bay. Meet your guide at the wharf and climb aboard the boat to start your tour. Spot whales, dolphins, and a wide variety of marine wildlife in Monterey Bay. Whales are seen every day in this area. Listen to your marine biologist or naturalist guide as they share interesting information about the animals you see, the natural history of the local area, and conservation. Witness scientific research in action as marine biologists and naturalists collect sighting data to learn about the local wildlife. Then, sit back and relax as the sun sets, reflected in the water, providing lasting memories and incredible photo opportunities. Finally, return to the wharf and dry land.

Monterey: Whale Watching Cruise

Monterey: Whale Watching Cruise

Get up close and personal with some of California's marine life on this whale-watching cruise in Monterey Bay, departing from Moss Landing. See humpback, orca, gray, and blue whales, and get the chance to spot a friendly dolphin. Start your cruise in the quaint fishing village of Moss Landing. From here, depart from the harbor and listen to your marine biologist guide talk about the local area and its abundance of sea creatures. In the harbor, you can spot the beloved Monterey Bay sea otter and numerous species of seabirds as you listen to the sealions' bark. Continue into the open waters of Monterey Bay, one of the top whale-watching destinations in the world. The bay's unique ocean floor allows for frequent upwellings of food, meaning you can see both resident and migrating whales year-round. Learn more about the area from your naturalist guide and spot whales including humpback whales, gray whales, killer whales, blue whales, sharks, and other sea life such as mola mola, sea turtles, and jellyfish. Finish your cruise with a relaxed ride back to the port in Moss Landing and get one last glimpse of the wildlife of Monterey Bay.

Monterey: Whale Watching Tour with A Marine Guide

Monterey: Whale Watching Tour with A Marine Guide

Hop onboard one of the largest vessels in Monterey for a guided whale-watching tour. Leave the harbor and head out into Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary in search of whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife that migrate through the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Relax in the heated cabins of the 110-feet Princess Monterey and the 100-feet Atlantis Monterey. Grab a snack or drink from the onboard bar, enjoy spacious indoor and outdoor seating, and never miss a moment with a 360-viewing walkaround deck. With deep nutrient-rich waters just offshore, Monterey Bay hosts humpback whales and blue whales during summer and fall. Gray whales pass by the coastline as they navigate one of the longest migrations of a marine mammal during winter and spring, while dolphins come to the bay throughout the year. Every trip is different, so whether it’s your first time on a marine wildlife cruise or you’re a whale-watching veteran, see what Monterey Bay has in store for you.

Monterey: Half-Day Electric Bike Rental

Monterey: Half-Day Electric Bike Rental

Begin your adventure by picking up your powerful e-bike. After a safety briefing hop on your bike and throttle up the hill to 17 Mile Drive. Turn right on 17 Mile Drive onto Pebble Beach and take the bike path back down to the ocean. Scan the golf courses and yards for deer — you're sure to see a few along the ride. In Pebble Beach, ride past even more stunning vistas: Spanish Bay, Point Joe, Restless Sea, and China Rock. Make sure to stop at Bird Rock (public restrooms here) to watch the sea lions splash and sunbathe. Hop back on your e-bike and continue along the ocean to the Lone Cypress. To spot some sea otters, stop at Fanshell Beach Overlook and Cypress Point Lookout. Here the true mansions start. Follow the road that winds through 300-year-old Cypress Trees and some of the most expensive homes in Pebble Beach. Suddenly, break out into a clearing and see the Lone Cypress perched on its stony outcropping. Your next stop should be the Ghost Trees at Pescadero Point where a short walk brings you to a beautifully sculpted coastline. For a little "nurture," continue on just a little further to Pebble Beach Lodge for food, restrooms, amd shopping. From here, you can either ride back the same route, take a shortcut, or continue on to Carmel to explore its coastline and cottages.

Monterey: 17-Mile Drive Guided E-Bike Tour

Monterey: 17-Mile Drive Guided E-Bike Tour

Soak up the beautiful coast of Northern California on a guided e-bike tour through Pebble Beach on the famous 17 Mile Drive. Ride on powerful eBikes which make climbing the region’s hills and inclines a breeze. Watch for deer, sea lions, and flocks of sea birds as we roll past famous golf courses with fairways overlooking the ocean. Feel the soft, white sands at the Spanish Bay Beach and smell the sagebrush mixed with the sea air. Snap a photo of China Rock, Bird Rock, and the Lone Cypress Weave through the Del Monte Forest of 300-year old Cypress trees, and take a minute to imagine yourself in one of the luxurious mansions along the path. Stop for a quick break at the Pebble Beach Lodge where you can enjoy coffee and gelato while gazing over Carmel Bay and Point Lobos. Your local guides will share their knowledge of the area’s unique ocean wildlife and iconic landmarks throughout the tour.

From San Francisco: Highway 1 Self-Drive Audio Tour

From San Francisco: Highway 1 Self-Drive Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Hop in your car and enjoy this self-guided audio tour along the Pacific Coast Highway. Start in San Francisco or LA, and simply follow the GPS guide to explore one of the most beautiful stretches of coastal road in the world. Take your time driving through Monterey Bay, artsy Carmel and more. Your virtual audio guide will share interesting facts and insights as you drive. Admire views of rocky headlands, jewel-like coves, waterfalls and the famous bridges of Big Sur as you explore California’s coastal highlights. Your downloaded guide will give you plenty of opportunities to pull off the road and explore local beaches, wildlife and towns on foot. Wander through San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura & Malibu before wrapping up the tour in Los Angeles. You will receive an email with the audio tour app link and a unique password from the local supplier Immediately after booking. Once the app is downloaded, take the tour whenever you would like. Just head to stop number 1 and begin exploring.

Monterey: 17-Mile Drive Self-Guided Audio Tour

Monterey: 17-Mile Drive Self-Guided Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 23 miles-long tour covers the essentials of 17-Mile Drive in 2+ hours. Experience one of the most famous scenic drives in the world with a live GPS route and auto-playing narration for a complete hands-free and fully guided driving experience along the 17-Mile Drive. Simply download the app and drive hands-free like Google maps. On approaching an attraction, it’s photo pops up and you will hear its audio story, just like having a local guide sitting with you. The tour is developed by local tour guides, curated by creative writers, narrated by professional voice artists and put together using an award-winning platform. At Point Joe, stop and listen to the audio guide to learn about the European explorers that first came to this part of the coast. Later, drive past Bird Rock, where you can see Brandt's cormorants, pelicans, and California sea lions sharing the rock. At your next stop, get to see the harbor seals at Fanshell Overlook and learn about their pupping season from your guide. As you continue your drive, learn about the history of the 5000-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees and listen to the intriguing story of a 250-year-old Lone Cypress that isn't entirely alone. Finally, stop at the Lodge at Pebble Beach and rest at one of the public areas or putter around in one of the many charming shops in the area. 

Monterey, Carmel, 17 Mile Dr, Big Sur & Mcway Falls Pvt Tour

Monterey, Carmel, 17 Mile Dr, Big Sur & Mcway Falls Pvt Tour

Explore the captivating beauty of California's coastal gems on our private tour from San Francisco. This unforgettable journey takes you to some of the most iconic and breathtaking destinations, ensuring you experience the essence of this remarkable region. Itinerary: Monterey: Your adventure begins in the charming seaside town of Monterey, known for its rich history, vibrant marine life, and picturesque scenery. We'll delve into the heart of this coastal gem, exploring the renowned Cannery Row, where you can observe playful sea otters, sea lions, and a diverse array of marine species. The bustling waterfront offers unique shops, galleries, and delightful dining options. Your time in Monterey sets the stage for the coastal wonders you're about to encounter. Carmel By The Sea: Continue your journey to the enchanting town of Carmel By The Sea. This idyllic village is straight out of a storybook, with its fairytale-like streets, charming cottages, and boutique shops. Stroll along the white-sand Carmel Beach, feel the soft ocean breeze, and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. Carmel's artistic spirit and serene beauty make it a must-visit destination. Pebble Beach: Our tour then takes you to the world-famous Pebble Beach, known for its luxurious resorts and golf courses. Here, you'll have the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of elegance and capture memories against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific coastline. The iconic Lone Cypress and the legendary 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links are just a couple of the highlights. 17-Mile Drive: This scenic route winds through the Del Monte Forest and offers breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, you'll encounter iconic landmarks like The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay, and Bird Rock. Be sure to keep your camera ready, as every turn reveals a postcard-worthy view. Big Sur: As you venture further south along the Pacific Coast Highway, you'll enter the dramatic and rugged landscapes of Big Sur. This is where California's coastline truly comes to life, with towering cliffs, crashing waves, and pristine natural beauty. The drive through Big Sur is a highlight of the tour, offering panoramic ocean views that are nothing short of awe-inspiring. McWay Falls: Our journey culminates at the enchanting McWay Falls, one of the most iconic waterfalls on the Pacific Coast. Set within Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, this hidden gem is renowned for its turquoise waters and the stunning sight of an 80-foot waterfall cascading onto the beach below. It's a picture-perfect moment that captures the essence of California's coastal beauty. At the end of this immersive tour, you'll be returned to your San Francisco hotel, carrying the enchantment of Central California's coastal wonders in your heart. Join us on this extraordinary journey, and let the beauty of the Central California Coast create an amazing and unforgettable experience for you.

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What people are saying about Monterey Bay

Overall rating

4.7
(969 reviews)

Overall the experience was wonderful! The weather was delightful, although we couldn’t see the sunset the landscape was incredible and we could also see the moon. Our guide Isaiah, was the best thing of our trip except for the whales. He gave us a little concert while we approach the whales signing sailor songs with such a great voice. He also taught us some fun facts about different species; we learnt about the sailor jellyfish and the sun fish. It was clear to us he loved his job and it was a treat to travel with him. Just as we arrived we could see a perfect jump of a whale which according to our guide it wasn’t as common. We could see the whale a couple of more times just as she went down to feed. The photographer was able to identify the whale from its tale (another cool trick) and her name was Miracle. Definitely a must if you are around Monterey Bay, will recommend!

I am 79 years old, the whale watching is one of m greatest memories! Our “guides” were Isaiah and Jesse. Both yong men were engaging, very knowledgeable and just nice! I will and have highly recommended I.

excellent. we had Sophie as our guide. she shared so much knowledge with us about whales and sea lions. we got to see LOTS of whales! wonderful excursion!

Isaiah, Jesse and Danny were great and was a successful whale and dolphin watching trip!

That was absolutely brilliant, very friendly, just brilliant