Family Friendly Monterey Itinerary

Every mom and dad wants to create an idyllic family vacation that the whole family will happily remember. But with the daily pressures of work, school and afterschool activities, it can be hard to find the time to plan an excursion everyone will love. This family itinerary is tailor-made for perfect family-bonding moments and adventures that will live forever in family lore.

Day 1


You arrive at Monterey's InterContinental The Clement on Cannery Row, a family-friendly hotel that's right in the center of this weekend's action. Once you've settled in, make sure to visit the staircase that goes from the lobby to the second floor; the light sculpture there is sure to charm both children and adults.


Head over to Old Monterey for dinner at Rosine's Restaurant. Family-run and family-focused, Rosine's ensures that children and adults can have a wonderful dining experience together.

Day 2


Take a morning stroll down Cannery Row to Tidal Coffee, a perfect spot for morning pastries and coffee. Sit at an outside table with a view of both the bike path and the ocean, and divide your time between people watching and wildlife watching.


Follow the Recreation Trail back the way you came, and it will bring you to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You called ahead before you arrived, and arranged a 50-minute behind-the-scenes tour. Get a different perspective on the Aquarium's amazing exhibits, and learn all about the creatures that live there from the people who take care of them.


Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a favorite among both children and adults, and is in a perfect location right in the middle of Cannery Row. Enjoy the seafood while you soak up the great ocean views.


After a morning of looking at the denizens of the ocean through glass, it's time to meet them on their own turf. Board a whale watching trip out to the open ocean to view orcas, dolphins, humpback whales and (depending on the season) blue or gray whales. Don't forget to read our whale watching guide before you depart for tips on what to wear and what to bring!


Shake off those sea legs and venture over to MY Museum. Kids (and adults) of all ages will love running around interactive exhibits like "My Day at the Beach" and "My Creation Station." Afterwards, head over to nearby Dennis the Menace Park with all sorts of opportunities for outdoor play.


End your busy day by catching a relaxing sunset at Carmel Beach. Let the kids run off their last bit of energy while you soak in the sights and sounds of the white sand beach. 

Day 3


Rent a surrey from Adventures by the Sea at Lovers Point, and pedal the coast as a team! Surreys are four-wheeled, pedal-powered vehicles that can carry up to six people. For a little less togetherness, you can each rent individual bikes and explore the Recreation Trail.


Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! It's time to hop in a different four-wheeled vehicle - your car - for a ride out to the Monterey Zoo in the Salinas Valley before you head home. You won't just meet lions and tigers and bears but also elephants, kangaroos, porcupines and many more types of animals.

Search all lodging