I recently took Monterey’s free trolley(aka The WAVE, which stands for Waterfront Area Visitor Express). My first question was, “Why haven’t I done this before?” This is clearly the easiest and most cost-effective way to get around the hot spots of Monterey. I started my journey at the trolley stop on Foam and Wave Street near Cannery Row. This location is perfect when parking at the Cannery Row garage, located on Foam between Prescott and Hoffman Streets. After waiting no more than 30 seconds, a friendly green trolley pulled up to the curb. I chose a window seat and off we went. The trolley was exactly what you would expect; wooden seats, golden rails to hold on to and a conductor, with an official hat and all. The interior was roomy and held about 15 other passengers including families, couples, and high school students. It was so nice not having to drive! I was actually able to enjoy the scenes and relax rather than keeping an eye out for a parking spot. After an 8 minute ride including two stops for passengers, I got off on the Alvarado Street stop. I wandered through downtown Monterey, strolled through Custom House Plaza, had chowder samples on Fisherman’s Wharf and ended up at the Fisherman’s Wharf pick-up point. I waited for just a few minutes until I saw the familiar Victorian-styled vehicle. After a scenic drive down Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, I pulled the trolley bell and exited, right into the heart of everything. There are a total of three trolleys which ensures that the wait time is never longer than 10-12 minutes. The WAVE is available every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10am-7pm. There are a total of twelve stops, which include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, downtown Monterey and all the parking garages. Did I mention this was free?
Take the Trolley in Carmel or Pacific Grove!
Monterey isn’t the only city with a cool trolley! Pacific Grove and Carmel both operate similar free services through Labor Day. Pacific Grove’s trolley circulates every 45 minutes with stops in Lovers Point, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The trolley runs conveniently from 10am-6pm. Carmel’s trolley stops at the Carmel Mission, Carmel Beach, Downtown Carmel, Carmel Plaza and the Sunset Center. The trolley departs daily, every 30 minutes from 11am-6pm.