Last week while traveling for work I had a spare afternoon in Monterey Bay, and having never been, I was excited to explore the area! I stayed right by the Aquarium and Cannery Road, which was perfect for a short visit, but would have definitely gotten too touristy, in my opinion, for any stay over a day.
First, I hit up the aquarium after scoring a free ticket. I really enjoyed it, but the cost of admission is exorbitant, and I’m not sure I’d pay to get in (I believe its $40 a person!). Since I did have a ticket though, I wandered around for a few hours, spending a very large amount of my time there watching the otters and the jellyfish.
I have such a conflicted opinion on zoos and aquariums, which I know I’ve briefly talked about before on this blog, and this was no exception. While I admire the conservation work, seeing any animals, but especially the penguins and otters, in a small cage so that we humans can stare at them makes me a little uneasy.
After the aquarium, I headed back down Cannery Row for a quick stroll before the sun went down. Monterey Bay also used to be home to author John Steinbeck, who wrote some of his most famous works about the area. I found his portrait everywhere, from my hotel room wall to a bust right on Cannerey Row.
I headed down towards the water to watch the sun actually set, and then headed back to my hotel to wind down the evening with takeout food and Netflix, before catching my insanely early flight home the next day.
Overall, I think Monterey Bay is a great spot to spend a few hours wandering around, and I would definitely recommend it as a stop on a road trip up the coast. Personally, I don’t think I’d stay overnight if I wasn’t traveling for work, but if you’re driving through, it’s worth a stop!
Have you ever been to Monterey Bay? What are your opinions on zoos and aquariums?