Coastline of Monterey Bay, California (Stockbyte)

Dusk over Monterey Harbor in California (Monterey Convention Authority)

Flowers and the harbor in Monterey, California (Monterey County CVB)

Boardwalk and Monterey cypress (Hemera)

California Coast Monterey (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Monterey

Beyond the tourist kitsch of Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey has as much to see underwater as on land. Situated on the nation’s largest marine sanctuary, stretching from San Francisco to San Simeon, Monterey Bay boasts one of the world’s most diverse marine environments. Migrating whales feast on krill above the Monterey Submarine Canyon. Divers slip under calm seas at the Breakwater for some of California’s best cold-water diving. Near Cannery Row, kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders watch harbor seals and sea otters frolic among jellies and ribbons of kelp forest. Further offshore, sailboats carry landlubbers through the cool, salty air in search of blue whales and orcas. Back on land, visitors at the Monterey Bay Aquarium linger at touch pools or ogle giant Pacific octopus—and sometimes even a rare great white shark.

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