How to Spend 2 Days in Monterey & Carmel
With 48 hours in Monterey, you can enjoy a variety of attractions and activities dedicated to the area’s natural beauty, learn more about its history, and spot marine life. Here are a few ways to create a 2-day itinerary that highlights the best of California’s Central Coast region.
Day 1: Explore Attractions
**Morning:**Get acquainted with the main sights of Monterey and neighboring Pacific Grove on a tour that suits your schedule, including a self-guided tour via 2-seater convertible. Tous usually focus on top attractions such as Cannery Row, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Lovers Point, Asilomar State Beach, and the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary.
**Afternoon:**Located at the end of Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the country’s best, home to exhibits about the marine life of Monterey Bay and other bodies of water. If you’re interested in Monterey’s historical side, check out the Spanish-era sites of Monterey State Historic Park.
**Night:**Head out to sea on a sunset cruise to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing and watch for local wildlife, including dolphins, sea lions, and sea birds. Some cruises include appetizers and drinks while others may have them available for purchase.
Day 2: Get Active
**Morning:**Monterey Bay a top place in California for a whale-watching cruise as it’s on the migrating path for gray whales and humpback whales. Dolphins, porpoises, and even orcas (aka killer whales) can also be spotted in these nutrient-rich waters too.
**Afternoon:**Get to know charming Carmel-by-the-Sea on a food and wine walking tour with a guide who introduces you to the food of this enclave located just south of Monterey on the other side of the Monterey Peninsula. Alternatively, stay in Monterey for a food tour among the city’s historical sites.
**Night:**Head to 17-Mile Drive to discover one of the most scenic roadways in California at sunset. You can drive or bike to see the golf courses and high-end resorts of Pebble Beach, the Lone Cypress, and the rocky coastline dotted with beaches and lookout points.