Monterey, California, is a magical city along the stunning Pacific Coast. It’s a great place for families to visit with young children as well as for travelers who are young at heart.
Where to Stay
While the city spans less than 9 square miles, some parts are more centrally located than others. To fully enjoy Monterey, you should stay near Dennis the Menace Park. Here, you’ll be close to several parks, beaches, restaurants, shops, and many other sights. Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly accommodations in the area.
What to Do
If your family loves the great outdoors, there are plenty of options to choose from in this charming little city. The first thing the kids will want to do is visit Dennis the Menace Park. This sprawling playground will be the highlight of Monterey for the littles. Hank Ketchum, the man behind the Dennis the Menace cartoon, created the park back in the late 1950s. Throughout the years, it has continued to draw locals and tourists alike.
Children of all ages can enjoy this fun-filled play area. For safety, the park offers special areas for different age groups, so there’s no need to worry about the little kids being run over by the big kids. Some of the cool features of the park are the suspension bridge, super slides, rock climbing walls, and jungle gyms. When the family gets thirsty, see who’s brave enough to put their head in the lion’s mouth for a drink of water. Don’t forget the camera!
Once the kids and the adults have had their fill of running around the park, head over to Monterey State Beach to cool off. There are several places to set up and enjoy a splash on the beach. If you like the water but don’t want to get wet, check out Monterey Bay Waterfront Park for paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Plus, there are more areas for picnics and barbecues.
The skaters in the family will enjoy Monterey Skate Park, too. Don’t forget your protective gear, as the park requires helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist and hand guards.
If you have time, stop by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, too. Less than 10 minutes away from Dennis the Menace Park, the aquarium provides hours of fun for the entire family.
Where to Eat and Shop
Image via Flickr by Allie_Caulfield
Cannery Row has 25 restaurants serving up everything from pizza and pasta to seafood and desserts. Not only can you feed yourself silly, but you can also shop till you drop. Cannery Row shops sell clothing, accessories, gifts, and more.
Spend some time window-shopping, grab a hearty dinner, and pop over to the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop for dessert. Make sure to order a treat that will satisfy the big kids and the little kids! I always go for hot chocolate and ice cream.
Monterey is the perfect family-friendly destination with so much to offer. You won’t be disappointed! I would recommend it to singles, couples, and families with children of all ages.
Have you been to Monterey? Tell me about it in the comments!
[Note: Feature image via Flickr by John Loo]