As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore to the center of town.
Weekends can get crowded.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port.
Watch a destination video.
Monterey was established in 1770 by Father Junipero Serra. During its long history it has been notable for numerous things, including having been the state capital of California for a brief period. Today it is most commonly known for having been the setting for many of John Steinbeck's novels including Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat. Monterey is one of the more beautiful coastal cities of California. An old Mission, historic literature, a beautiful coast line and lots of wildlife await you.
Monterey is the home of the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium, located on the street immortalized in John Steinbeck's novel Cannery Row, and features renowned events such as the annual Monterey Jazz Festival.
Downtown Monterey is easy walkable en very enjoyable, from Fisherman's Wharf to Cannery row and the Aquarium.
Transportation throughout the region is available from the Simoneau Plaza (the transit area) in downtown Monterey. Monterey-Salinas Transit provides daily bus service throughout Monterey County. Seasonal summer service to Big Sur and Free MST Trolley service along Monterey's waterfront.
If your cruise line offers an excursion to the below places: do it! This area is closest to heaven on earth!
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
There is much to view around Monterey:
Carmel: This quaint village of fairy tale cottages, hidden courtyards and award winning gardens is home to an endless variety of specialty shops, boutiques, and over 70 art and photography galleries. At the edge of the village is the world famous Carmel Beach with its white sand and sculptured cypress groves.
Pacific Grove is located on the northern most tip of the Monterey Peninsula, at the entrance to Monterey Bay and is considered to be the "last American Hometown." "Butterfly Town USA," also holds festivals such as "The Good Old Days Celebration." The beautiful coastline on Ocean View Boulevard is almost rivaled by the old, yet graceful Victorians that line the town's streets.
Accessible by the spectacular 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach provides, perhaps, the most scenic setting for golf and recreation in the world. With its famous championship golf courses, it is hailed as a mecca for golfers. Pebble Beach hosts a variety of world class golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open and the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. It is also home to the annual Concours d'Elegance, considered to be one of the most prestigious showcases of the world's finest classic automobiles. Its stunning coastline includes Cypress Rock, Bird Rock and the Lone Cypress, one of the most photographed landmarks on the California coast.
Highway 1: The most dramatic stretch of coastline begins in Monterey County and ends 90 miles south in San Luis Obispo County at the Hearst Castle. Volcanic peaks rise from the surf and towering redwoods meet with the rugged coastline. Its wild natural beauty can be experienced at numerous private and public campgrounds, parks, ocean and river beaches which include three million acres of untouched wilderness and three hundred miles of trails on state and federal land. Big Sur is a great place to hike and camp. Attractions you don't want to miss are the Point Sur Lighthouse, Henry Miller Memorial Library, the popular Nepenthe Restaurant, Pfieffer State Park and Pfieffer Beach. Big Sur is located approximately 30 miles south of Monterey via Highway 1.
No more sardines, but plenty of great other seafood.
The official U.S. currency is the United States dollar (symbol: $). ATM's everywhere.
Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely used and accepted, even for transactions worth only a few dollars. In fact, in some cases, it may be the only way to make a transaction. Note to overseas visitors: Prices of goods and services always seem lower than they really are, as taxes and gratuities are seldom included.
Most states have a sales tax, ranging from 2.9% to nearly 10% of the retail price; 4-6% is typical. Sales tax is almost never included in posted prices (except for gasoline, and in most states, alcoholic beverages consumed on-premises), but instead will be calculated and added to the total when you pay.
Tipping in America is widely used and expected. While Americans themselves often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped, generally accepted standard rates are:
The U.S. has no official language at the federal level, but English is by far the standard for everyday use. Several states have declared their official state language as English. Spanish is also official in the state of New Mexico, where it is widely spoken; French is official in Louisiana and the Hawaiian language is official in Hawaii, but neither approaches the use of English and are official for primarily historical reasons.
In major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, many drugstores and supermarkets are routinely open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, while department stores, shopping centers and most other large retailers are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and often with shorter hours on Sundays - generally 11 a.m. or noon to 5 or 6 p.m. On holidays, the tendency is to remain open (with the exception of the most important holidays like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day where stores are generally closed)
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