fun to do kids old monterey california   Travel for Kids
united states
  | California | Central Coast | Monterey
     
   

Old Montery - Fisherman's Wharf

In this part of the city, discover the history of Old Monterey, with Spanish style adobe houses, Custom House that was the center of the busy port, the old wharf, where it's fun to set off on a whale watching or bay cruise.

Monterey Christmas in the Adobes – Every December is a living history event, a self-guided walking tour through 19th century houses in Old Monterey.

Monterey State Historic Park – In the Monterey State Historic Park, soak up a little of the atmosphere of "Alta California" and the days of sailing ships.

    Pacific House Museum – Start your explorations of Old Monterey here, with hands-on exhibits about the history of Monterey peninsula. On the first floor, learn about the Rumsien Native Americans who lived in the area for thousands of years, sighting by explorer Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602, Spanish founding of Monterey as the capital of Alta California, busy trading port in the Mexican era. Upstairs is the Monterey Museum of the American Indian with a collection of artifacts from all around the United States.
      Custom House – Poke your nose into the Custom House, and imagine the bustle along the wharf in the early 19th century. Built in 1827, the United States flag was first flown over the Custom House on July 7, 1846, claiming the western territories for the U.S. Inside the custom house, you'll find a huge green parrot in a cage, and typical goods transported by the sailing ships.
    Museum of Monterey – When kids walk into this museum, you can almost feel the wind in the sails of a ship heading to China. Your first stop – a giant rotating Fresnel lens from the Point Sur Lighthouse. Exhibits have model sailing ships and fishing boats, plus Spanish helmets, dueling pistols and swords, re-creation of a captain's quarters, big pot to render whale oil. Don't miss the whimsical scrimshaw, whale teeth carved by sailors on their long voyages. Museum is good for a bad weather day.
   

Cooper Molera Adobe – Step in the family Victorian house of John Cooper, a sea captain. Walk through two parlors, one with a piano (a luxury at that time), beautifully decorated dining room, kitchen, out to the courtyard with a lovely garden and beehive oven, where the baking was done.

 

Old Fisherman's Wharf

   

Boat cruises on Monterey Bay – Take a 45 min. cruise around the bay to see marine life in the "wild." At you pass out of the marina, kids will see scads of sea lions lolling on the rocks, flippers poking in the air for warmth. The highlight of the cruise is the kelp beds, where you might see a sea otter gently sleeping with a circle of kelp tucked around him, or mom with a baby curled on her tummy.

      Whale watching – For a longer boat trip (3 hours or more), go on a whale watching cruise. December – April you'll look for the migrating gray whales. May – November, humpback and blue whales hang out in outer Monterey Bay. On the cruise, you're likely to see dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and the occasional killer whale.
      Tip: Even if the day is sunny, be sure to bring warm clothing as it's much cooler out on the water.
      California sea lions On the east side of the pier (near the bronze fisherman statue) is a raft, usually full of barking sea lions.
      Sidewalk seafood Dig into clam chowder in a bread bowl or the tasty fried calamari (squid is caught locally in Monterey Bay), and try seafood pasta dishes. Plenty of restaurants on the wharf and fish markets.
Dennis The Menace Park Monterey
Lake El Estero and Dennis The Menace Park – Expend some excess energy zipping around the lake on pedal boats, or just run around looking at the ducks and other water fowl. Dennis The Menace Park is a fantastic children's playground, with lots of play structures, a rope bridge, a hedge maze, old steam locomotive to climb on, sand and grassy areas – toddlers won't want to leave.
Beaches – Spend an afternoon playing on the beach. The flat sand beach at Monterey Bay Park goes on and on (you can pick up sand toys at the shops on Old Fisherman's Wharf). Careful about wading and pay attention to the signs posted at the beaches.
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