Kids playing at the beach

Making the Most Out of Your Monterey Getaway: Family Travel

It’s always our goal at Central Coast Living to provide a local’s perspective with tips and ideas for the many types of travelers that visit the Monterey Peninsula and the Portola Hotel & Spa every year. So…we thought it might be fun to start a series on how all of our guests can get the most out of their getaway, whether it be a honeymoon, family vacation, a weekend away with friends or just a leisure trip to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful area.

Our first blog post of this series is going to focus on Family Travel and how to make it fun, low stress, and of course, affordable! Are you ready for an insider’s perspective? Well, here we go!

Location, Location, Location

When you book your stay at the Portola Hotel & Spa, you have taken the first step to experiencing the Monterey Peninsula with ease! The hotel’s central location, in the heart of downtown Monterey, makes needing your car almost an afterthought. Forget about transporting those bulky car seats and dealing with shuffling of kiddos from numerous parking lots or distant parking spaces. Just steps from the Coastal Recreation Trail and some of California’s most iconic landmarks, walking or riding a bike is one of the easiest and heathiest ways to enjoy Monterey. Walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, historic Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and leave behind the worry of feeding parking meters or spending extra money for garage parking. No parking tickets during this trip!!

Biking Path

Monterey Coastal Recreational Trail

The Right Package

Often times when planning a family getaway it’s difficult to know where to start. The simple task of purchasing tickets for attractions has become a full blown project of managing time and figuring out what will make everyone happy. The Portola is committed to welcoming families with open arms and designing specialty packages that help to take the stress and worry out of selecting activities and tours. Choose from Whale Watching, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Golf and Family Picnic Packages just to name a few (View All Portola Package Here).

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Portola House Made Chocolate Chip Cookie

And besides being greeted with a warm and delicious chocolate chip cookie upon arrival, all Portola guests under the age of 12 are welcomed with a treasure map and Portola Pirates self-guided treasure hunt to help get acquainted with the hotel and local surroundings. AND the Portola’s knowledge and helpful crew of concierges are always there to assist with planning, tips and attraction reservations.


Known for some of the freshest seafood in the world, the Monterey Bay is at the center of the seafood universe. To experience this edible paradise, start at Jacks Restaurant & Lounge. They are committed to sustainable and responsibly sourced seafood through their participation in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® Program and their award-winning seafood chowder is among some of the best in the region. From Crispy Dungeness Crab Cakes and Monterey Bay Calamari to Jacks Lobster Cioppino or Classic Monterey Bay Sand Dabs, you will definitely get your fill of quintessential Monterey Bay cuisine.


Jacks Restaurant’s Crab Cake and Jordan Chardonnay on the Heated Patio

If you are looking for something more casual and some of the best craft beer in Monterey, then you really are in the right place. Located right behind the Portola is Monterey’s original craft brewery Peter B’s Brewpub. Their award-winning brews and pub fare is just what the doctor ordered for a midafternoon break or low key dinner. Oh – and did I mention, kids five and under eat free at both restaurants?

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