Monterey Bay, CA
Looking for more to do? It'll be hard to top the aquarium. But Monterey's land attractions are just as awe-inspiring for kids.
Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
- Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
Don't miss this one! Your youngest and oldest will thrill at the sight of migrating Monarch butterflies clustered in the Monarch Grove Sanctuary public park in Pacific Grove, or "P.G." as the locals call the peninsula town sandwiched between Monterey and Pebble Beach. Up to 60,000 colorful butterflies congregate at the park in clusters that hang suspended from tree branches 20 to 40 feet off the ground. Dress in bright yellows and reds, and a few butterflies might land on you. Mother Nature stages this spectacular display from October to March -- with the most concentrated numbers in the park from October through December, during warmer hours of the day.
- Sea Lions at Old Fisherman's Wharf
This working pier, built in 1846, was once a major Pacific port. Now, it's a bustling mecca of fine dining and shopping. A stroll down the pier will get you up close and personal with playful California sea lions, harbor seals, and endangered brown pelicans trolling for fishy scraps. Whale watching, fishing trips, and glass-bottom-boat sea life tours all depart from the wharf.
- Monterey Recreational Trail
"Take five" while your children let off steam on this picturesque trail stretching 4.3 miles along the shore from Monterey to Pacific Grove. Our favorite section of the asphalt trail -- from Fisherman's Wharf to Cannery Row -- is ideal for viewing sea otters and seals.
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