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National Steinbeck Center


What to do and Where to go

From the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium, to the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, Monterey County offers an endless list of fun things to see and do, for both the first-time and the regular visitor.

History buffs will enjoy walking the Path of History looking for landmarks detailing Monterey's brief stint as the capital of California. Outdoorsy-types will enjoy tide pooling along the rocky shore, or hiking in one of our many nature preserves. If you entertain more romantic notions, book a special getaway, and indulge in one of our many pampering spas. And for those who want to "shop 'til they drop" there is something in every price range, from the upscale stores at the Lodge in Pebble Beach and on Carmel's Ocean Avenue, to the Outlets at the American Tin Cannery in Pacific Grove and dozens of local 'treasures' across the county.

If you will be traveling with the kids, make sure you check out our Family and Children link for a list of great activities geared toward the younger crowd.

With all of the many fun things to see and do in Monterey County, it's best to plan your itinerary in advance, so you don't miss any of the area's great attractions. But don't worry, if you can't fit it all in on your first trip, you have a great excuse to return time and again!

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Monterey County & Nearby Attractions

Rosa the Otter Joins the Aquarium

Just seven months after a young otter named Mae joined the Monterey Bay Aquarium's sea otter exhibit, she has a new companion. Young Rosa (like all the Aquarium's otters, she's named after a character in a book by John Steinbeck) has returned to the Aquarium's care after almost two years in the wild. Although a "graduate" of their release program, Rosa was just too curious about scuba divers and kayakers: she had a reputation for climbing into occupied canoes! Everyone agreed she'd be safer and happier playing with Mae in the Otter Tank.

The sea otters are just one of the Aquarium's myriad fascinating exhibits. There's something here to intrigue and educate everyone in the family. The newest 'don't miss' exhibition is Jellies: Living Art. Visit for more information.

Monterey County Attractions

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