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Monterey Destination Guide

06 Apr 2022
Monterey Destination Guide

Monterey County has so much to offer as a travel destination, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin to plan your Monterey getaway. We created a comprehensive Monterey destination guide on where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and more, so that you can spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time planning.

Where to Stay

The Portola Hotel & Spa is conveniently located in downtown Monterey. We are nearby Monterey's most popular attractions including Fisherman's Wharf, Alvarado Street, and the Monterey Rec Trail, which leads you straight to Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Portola Hotel & Spa has two on-site restaurants, Jacks Monterey and Peter B's Brewpub, making it so easy to relax and dine after a long day of exploring.

downtown monterey

A Guest Room at the Portola Hotel & Spa

Things to do

When it comes to things to do and see, Monterey has a long list. You can take a bike ride on the Monterey Rec Trail, kayak in the harbor, hike our scenic trails, visit our art museum, roam our local historic gardens, go to the beach, and so much more! Check out Monterey's most popular attractions below.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a wonderful spot to visit whether you are traveling with kids, on a romantic getaway, or travelling alone. It has many beautiful exhibits including a kelp forest, sea otters, a large jellyfish exhibit, and many more attractions. To plan your visit, check out their website.

Fisherman's Wharf

Old Fisherman's Wharf is just a short 5-minute walk from the Portola Hotel & Spa and is a fun place for the whole family. There, you can grab a bite and enjoy their many attractions. Take a whale watching tour, go sailing, or go souvenir shopping all on the wharf.

Cannery Row

Historic Cannery Row is great place to spend an entire day. With the Monterey Bay Aquarium, many great places to eat, fun shops, and  beautiful views of the bay, Cannery Row has so much to offer.

aquarium kidss

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Where to Eat

There are many places to grab a bite in Monterey. Alvarado Street has many options including Mexican, American, Italian, and Asian restaurants. Fisherman's Wharf also has many options if you'd like to indulge in the best of Monterey's Seafood. If you're staying at the Portola Hotel & Spa, you'll not only have easy access to both Alvarado Street and Fisherman's Wharf, but also our two on-site restaurants Jacks Monterey and Peter B's Brewpub. Join us for breakfast at Jacks on Wed-Sun from 6:30am-10:30am, and for dinner at both restaurants from 4pm-10pm on Wed-Sun.

monterey bay salmon 60

Monterey Bay Salmon at Jacks Monterey

Best Shopping

Alvarado Street

Located just outside the front doors of the Portola Hotel & Spa is Alvarado Street. Alvarado has a few boutiques for shopping, but the best time to visit is on Tuesday evenings when the whole street turns into a Farmers Market. Local businesses sell artisan goods including soaps, jewelry, and many yummy treats.

Del Monte Shopping Center

The Del Monte Shopping Center offers a beautiful outdoor shopping experience. You can find many popular retailers such as the Apple Store, Macy's Sephora, Gap, and Pottery Barn, not to mention many dining options and a movie theater.

Downtown Carmel

The beautiful village of Carmel-by-the-Sea is a great place for shopping and exploring. This unique town offers many locally owned shops, as well as high-end retailers such as Cole Haan, Tiffany & Co., Coach, and more.



If you stay at the Portola Hotel & Spa, walking is one of the best ways to get around Monterey. Because it is centrally located, you'll have easy walking access to most of Monterey.


Biking is another great form of transportation in Monterey. Our hotel is just a 2-minute walk from the Monterey Rec Trail, and biking will give you a scenic ride to more attractions.


In the summer months, the Monterey-Salinas Transit offers a free trolley service around Monterey. There are many stops around the Portola Hotel & Spa making it so easy to take advantage of this service.


If you want to explore other parts of Monterey County like Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea, or Pebble Beach, traveling by car will be best. Drive through our county's scenic towns and take it all in on your own time.

monterey rec trails

Biking on the Monterey Rec Trail


Monterey has a mild climate year round with temperatures ranging in the mid 40s-low 60s in the winter, high 40s to mid 60s in the spring, 50s to high 60s in the summer, and our warmest season—50s to 70s in the fall. With an average of 267 sunny days in Monterey County, any season is a great time to visit Monterey.

climate year round with temperatures

The sun setting at Asilomar State Beach

See You Here in Monterey

We hope this guide helped you with planning your getaway to Monterey. There's so much to do and see on the central coast, and we look forward to welcoming you soon! To book your room visit our website or call us at (888)-222-5851.

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