Plan a Relaxing Autumn Visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Right in time for the balmy fall days, the crowds have left and Monterey Bay Aquarium is at its shoulder season best. Fewer people means relaxing with more room to roam and enjoy the animals, exhibits, and nearby outdoors for biking, hiking, and beaches. It’s the best of all worlds—warm autumn days on the Monterey Peninsula and mesmerizing attractions like the Aquarium, plus some big bonuses, like whale season and a giant Pacific octopus that’s beautiful, brainy, and mysterious. Get your tickets now to ensure your spot, then enjoy the sea change. Here are the top three ways to relax, refresh, and rejoice in Monterey.
Sea the Crowd Pleasers Without the Crowd
The animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium want you to know a little secret: This is the time when they are at their best. Crowd pleasers like the sea otters pour on the charm in less-filled galleries. Get up close and personal with the animals. (Check out the live Aquarium cams.) Sway with the movement of the giant kelp in the Kelp Forest Exhibit. Admire swirling sardines in the Open Sea Exhibit. Come face to face with penguins, sea otters, and sharks! And don’t miss the beautiful, bashful, brainy, giant Pacific octopus. This mysterious animal knows how to keep people guessing!
Whale, Whale, Whale, Look Who's Here
It’s a whale of a time to be in Monterey! The bay is a magnet for all kinds of sea life, including 27 species of marine mammals and 94 species of seabirds. But the big attraction in fall is whales. This is a good time to see humpback and blue whales, along with dolphins. One of the best places for whale watching from shore is off the back deck of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, basically a front-row seat for viewing the wildlife in Monterey Bay. On-site spotting scopes help zero in on the action, and expert wildlife staff are there to share information and help you see your favorites.
Relax and Recharge in the Outdoors Nearby
After first getting some zen time with the floating, flowing, and glowing jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, refuel close by along the 18-mile waterfront Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Bring a bike or rent one and go for a pedal, past the Aquarium and along the seaside, spying sea lions, passing sailboat docks, and feeling the ocean breeze along this car-free route where the tracks of the Southern Pacific Railroad once ran. Bring a picnic to enjoy at one of several grassy areas overlooking the rocky shoreline.
Pro Tip: If you’ve ditched the gas pump for an electric vehicle, you’ll find charging stations all over town.
Bring the Outdoors to Your Inbox
Sign up for our weekly email and stay up to date on where to explore in California.* No spam, that’s a funky food!