fun to do kids monterey california   Travel for Kids
  | California | Central Coast


Sea lions

In May, 1770, when Spanish explorers reached Monterey, they were amazed to see "thousands of sea lions were about, so close to one another that they looked like a pavement." Today Monterey Bay is a marine sanctuary, traveling with kids you'll see tons of barking sea lions (it's fun to bark along with the sea lions), harbor seals lolling on the rocks, adorable sea otters swimming through the kelp beds though deep blue waters of the bay.

Monterey Photo Album

Cannery Row - Monterey Bay Aquarium


Old Monterey - Fisherman's Wharf


Pacific Grove


Monterey day trip – Pinnacles National Park

Read our blog post about a lovely Christmas tradition and living history event in December: Monterey Christmas in the Adobes.

Monterey Bay Coastal Trail – The Coastal Trail goes for miles along Monterey Bay, all the way to Pacific Grove and miles east of Old Fisherman's Wharf. Rent bikes or surreys, or just take a stroll down the path – the section from Cannery Row to Lover's Point is especially scenic.

Tip: In summer, from May to September, ride the free trolley through town. It makes a loop from Fisherman's Wharf and downtown to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and back.


Fun food


Wander down Old Fisherman's Wharf, past steaming pots of crabs and salmon sizzling on the grill. Try the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. The fried calamari (squid)is also delicious and makes great finger food!

family hotels monterey

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Monterey, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels and vacation rentals in and around Monterey, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

Monterey family hotels
Monterey family vacation rentals
kids books monterey california
Sea Otter Pup
Victoria Miles, Elizabeth Gatt

Delightful story to read before going to look for sea otters in Monterey Bay. Cycle of life for a sea otter mother and her pup – the mother feeds, washes, and snuggles the pup, and soon pup dives down to find food for himself. Beautifully illustrated! (Picture book)


Sea Otters
Laura Marsh

Fun facts about sea otters – a tail to steer through the water, thick fur to keep warm, hind legs to swim and dive, grooming for hours every day to stay clean, pouches to hold their food. (Easy reader)


A Raft of Sea Otters kids books  

Get to know the southern sea otters floating in Monterey Bay. Find out these enchanting creatures survive in cold waters (really warm fur), why sea otters rest with their paws up (to conserve heat), how they eat (in the water, floating on their back), and more. Close-up photographs. (Illustrated chapter book)

Also, get the scoop on the seals and sea lions you'll see barking on the rocks in Monterey: A Colony of Seals


Monarch Butterfly
Gail Gibbons

Before you view the monarch butterfly grove in Pacific Grove, learn out about the life cycle of the monarch, and migration of adult butterflies in fall and spring. (Picture book)


monarch butterfly
childrens books history monterey california When the Mission Padre Came to the Rancho  

Fictional diary of Rosalinda and Simon Delgado, teenagers on a rancho near Monterey. It's 1838, and Padre Ramon, visiting from Mexico City, is a treasure trove of stories – tales of pirates in Monterey and uprisings at the Carmel Mission. Excellent historical illustrations. (Chapter book)



Monterey, 1818. Life is peaceful in Spanish-controlled Monterey, until a black frigate sails into the bay and buccaneers attack the town. When young Carlito's father is shot and killed, Carlito tries to burn the pirate ship, but ends up a stowaway, sailing down the coast of California. (Chapter book)


The Stowaway kids books adventure monterey california
(More children's books on other California pages)
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