Travel Monterey with Kids: KetchupMoms

2 Days in Monterey with Kids

Highway 1, road trip in America. And we couldn't have made a better choice.

So last summer, we set on a road trip with our then 6yrs. old twins, from San Diego to San Francisco. And Monterey was the second last stop before the culmination of our 12-day excursion. We chose it for its famous bay views, the iconic Pebble beach and a chance for whale spotting. We ended up experiencing much more, like tasting the world famous Clam Chowder and mind-blowing shopping.


Monterey, California- A city on the beautiful central coast of America is known for its seafood, historic sites and cultural diversity. It is a small city with a fine balance of nature, party hubs and children-friendly attractions. This is how we spent our 2 days with kids in Monterey-

Whale Watching Tour- Strolling around at the Fisherman's Wharf, we encountered a boat full of thrilled families in process of deboarding. On further enquiry, they shared their fruitful experience at the sea where they witnessed Humpbacks in full glory. We were tempted. But unsure if our kids would we fine with the long tour ( 2-3 hours).
Thankfully the kids talked us into trying the tour and we booked ourselves in for a trip, the next morning. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us as a family. We were greeted by otters, sea-lions, dolphins and finally the majestic humpback whales. Luckily for us, the kids were not sea-sick, but we chose to sit outside, which makes you less dizzy but you better be well clad to face the cold breeze.

Must know- Monterey offers an all year long whale-watching opportunity. Just make sure the kids are really warm with extra layers of clothing because sitting outside to avoid sea-sickness is a good idea. Whale watching tours are extremely popular so it is wise to pre-book. The cabins are well heated and have a snack bar.

KetchupMoms   Activities with kids: KetchupMoms

Dining at Fishermen’s Wharf- We revisited this place for the delectable Clam Chowder and the fudge from Carousel Candies. Firstly, this is a beautiful place to just hang around and soak in the fun vibe and lovely food flavours. There are enough and more eating joints to choose from. Our initial choice was a complete put-off, as they had the rudest sign possible to deter you from entering it with your kids. And to think that it was highly recommended on Trip advisor. Tch Tch.

Anyways so the two days that we visited and revisited this Wharf, we chose two different places and the experience was awesome in both. No points for guessing that we recommend you stock up on delicious, thick soul-warming Clam Chowder at the Big Fish Grill. It also has a beautiful view of the harbour. Along with that try the biggest lobsters, juicy fish and crabs. And visit the Carousel Candies to devour and pack-in some mouth-watering sweets.

Must know- When travelling with kids please avoid the restaurant, with the below signboard outside, as they think it is great to be rude and uninviting for the little ones.

KetchupMoms   KetchupMoms

KetchupMoms   KetchupMoms

Wandering on the 17- Mile drive - Unfortunately, a big part of the highway along the most picturesque Big Sur got washed away before our visit. And the Internet told us that we lost out on some spectacular viewpoints. But this also meant that we could spend more time at the beautiful 17- mile drive, which meanders along one of the world’s costliest golf courses.
This beautiful drive has some 21 stops along the way. You can spot picnic goers watching the surfers from the side. Little down the drive, stop for the perfect pic, spot the sea lions or head towards attractions like - The Lone Cypress and the Ghost Tree. On the way admire the truly magnificent houses, busy golf players and beautiful landscapes.
Must know- If it is a long weekend expect a bumper-to-bumper drive once you have crossed the lone cypress. It is a good idea to keep snacks for kids in your car. It is a beautiful place to let your kids try their hand at photography. And yes you must pay $10-11 per vehicle as the entrance fee on this drive.

KetchupMoms  KetchupMoms

Monterey Bay Aquarium - this was highly recommended by a blogger friend from America. And it was worth it. One could see the kids were overwhelmed by the displays, the interactive experiences and the colourful sea-life. The kids can spend an entire day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But remember we had only 2 days, so we literally ran through this in like 4 hour. Happy and satisfied.

Must know- They have open sea tours, a cafe on its premises and live cams. The place opens at 9.30 a.m. and closes at 6.00 p.m.


Shopping- Yes we stayed at the Holiday Inn in Monterey and completely enjoyed their rooms and a walk along the lake behind it. And what we are rather thankful to the staff about, is the tip to shop at Del Monte Shopping Centre.
Maybe we got such excellent deals there thanks to our visit in July, around their Independence Day or maybe because we were lucky.

Must know- if you are headed for San Francisco then hold on for your shopping. Almost an hour away from S.F. Are the biggest Shopping options with some of the biggest brands.

KetchupMoms   KetchupMoms

We also loved Monterey because this is where we first tasted the delicious In&Out burgers and loved them. They came highly recommended by our American cousins and rightly so. The best thing was that we could just walk (less than 2 min) from our hotel to this outlet.

Monterey was refreshing and thrilling, all at the same time. We carried home buckets of memories from this quaint little town. And must say some of the tastiest ones. By the way, when we embarked on our American Road trip we decide to make it more about experiences and less about theme parks. But if you are the universal and Legoland type parents, then go explore Dennis the Menace park here too.

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Comments (21)

Upasana Posted on Oct 06, 2018

Such a great content. Usefull things you shared. Thanks


Pooja Bhandari Posted on Oct 06, 2018

Beautiful place. We are planning to visit that part of USA soon so we will definitely be keeping this in mind. Nice post.


Purnima Posted on Oct 05, 2018

It seems you had a great trip and kids were so happy :)


Vartika Bhandari Posted on Oct 05, 2018

This looks like an amazing place for a great trip :) seems like you had great fun. Wish to visit here soon :D\r\n


Madhu Posted on Oct 05, 2018

Ita an amazing place.. This really looks like a perfect family getaway. The pictures shows that all of you had a great time!


Sonam Posted on Oct 05, 2018

This seems super fun.. My son will enjoy the whale watching and aquarium bit.. Thanks for the review


Nisha Posted on Oct 05, 2018

Wow such magical place it is. The scenic beauty and the sea, complement each other. The food looks very yummy.


Seema Wadhwa Posted on Aug 13, 2018

This is a wonderful post, moms traveling with kids must absolutely refer to your post. Makes me want to visit too


Cheni Adukia Posted on Aug 11, 2018

USA is still on our list. This is certainly will be of great help when we plan our trip, hopefully this year.


Snigdha Prusti Posted on Aug 11, 2018

Monterey is really a beautiful place.. The food is looking very delicious.


Jhilmil D Saha Posted on Aug 11, 2018

This looks like a great place to enjoy and chill around. The scenic beauty is also quite cherishable and so is the food.


Jasmeet Kaur Posted on Aug 11, 2018

Such a lovely experience for the kids.. I totally love your post more because it’s such a handy guide for a mom traveling there with kids


Ananta Posted on Aug 11, 2018

Enjoyed reading the detailed review and hope to visit sometime. On another note completely horrified that this kind of board is put up.


Deepa Posted on Aug 10, 2018

San Francisco is beautiful. Your post reminded me of the time when we were in the US. The whole trip looks like fun.


Mrinal Kiran Posted on Aug 10, 2018

The food looks really delicious... Whale watching is an exciting and fun thing! That\'s a perfect way of vacaying!


Healthwealthbridge By Dr. Amrita Basu Misra Posted on Aug 10, 2018

Whale watching sounds delightful.I would love to visit .My daughter loves sketching and would adore the views.


Sneha Jain Posted on Aug 10, 2018

Wow that feeling of seeing whale so closely is really good


Reetuparna Saha Posted on Aug 10, 2018

Wow! Whale watching must have been an experience of a lifetime! I never knew a tour cruise like this existed. So want to visit Monterey now.


Gurjeet Chhabra Posted on Aug 10, 2018

Place look so beautiful, sea tour is such a cool thing . Kids must have love it. The signboard is really annoying and rude. \r\n\r\nKeep up good work\r\nGurjeet Chhabra\r\n\r\


Prerna Sinha Posted on Aug 10, 2018

What great pictures! Looks like you had s0 much fun with your family!


Dipika Singh Posted on Aug 10, 2018

Beautiful place, this looks like a perfect family outing. I am sure kids must have had the best time. Eating inside out burger seems nice.


Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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