Cultural Experience | California

3 Days in Monterey Bay, California

A few days in California can bring memories for a lifetime.

Sometimes there is not a whole lot of time to explore a place. School schedules can be a little tight but that doesn’t mean that you should stop exploring. With a little bit of research, planning and organization you can make the most of your limited time in a new city.

Try a long weekend off school in Monterey, California, on Central California’s Pacific coast.  Do some research before going, and look up local places on Instagram to get inspiration for cool spots to visit.  Click here for tips on using Instagram for travel.

You can fit in a little bit of everything during your short stay; I started off my first day with breakfast at a local bakery named The Wild Plum Café, Bistro & Bakery. Many, if not the majority, of restaurants I encountered that whole weekend had vegan and gluten-free options. Everything was organic, fresh and perfectly delicious. The whole town was very environmentally friendly. This was one of my favorite things about Monterey.

After breakfast, take a drive down Pacific Grove. Stop at Lover’s Point Park, a lovely spot where people were picnicking, kayaking, cycling and enjoying the view. The view was absolutely breathtaking. I spent a few hours here taking pictures and admiring the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the gorgeous cypress trees.

A few days in California can bring memories for a lifetime. 3 Days in Monterey Bay.

Lover’s Point Park, Monterey

Then continue along the coast and take a walk on Pacific Grove Beach, where many surfers were out.You’ll come across a spot where there are many balancing rocks. Naturally, you’ll need to take the time to build one.  After a day of exploring the coast and the beaches head out that night to a local bar where the people are friendly, the air was fresh and the sound of the sea lions was never too far away.

Balancing Rocks on Pacific Grove Beach Image

Balancing Rocks on Pacific Grove Beach

A visit to the Monterey Peninsula isn’t complete without visiting Cannery Row and the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Watching seal lions play and sunbathe at the docks. Try some local fresh fish and stroll around the piers browsing through the souvenir stores.

Visit the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium (IG: @montereybayaquarium), which hosts more than 600 species on display, a 28-foot-tall Kelp Forest exhibit and open sea galleries. It was the most impressive display of marine life I had ever seen. It was also extremely educational, my visit taught me about species that are endangered and which fish are more eco-friendly to eat through fun dynamic activities.

Open Sea Exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Image

Open Sea Exhibit, Monterey Bay Aquarium

I explored the Middlebury Institute of International Studies ( where a friend of mine is currently studying International Environmental Policy. I spent the afternoon at their Our Green Thumb Community Garden- a community garden shared between MIIS students, faculty, staff, neighbors and friends.

Our Green Thumb Community Garden, MIIS Image

Our Green Thumb Community Garden, MIIS

On my last and final day in lovely Monterey I took a drive to Carmel to got to the Garrapata State Park, which is just north of Big Sur. You can’t leave Monterey without a hike. The sight of the grand Redwoods is amazing; they are so magnificent as is the entire hike. You will see a great variety of plants, trees and flowers. The air is so fresh and the hike, unforgettable.   10 more things to do in California.

Hiking in Monterey Image

Hiking in Monterey

My three days in Monterey Bay were unforgettable and I plan on visiting again in the future. This beautiful place completely won me over.

Nikki Mckenna

Florida Atlantic University | 9 stories

Nikki is Mexican and Scottish. She was born and raised in Mexico, then spent two years in England and is now living in South Florida. She recently graduated with a Languages and Linguistics degree from Florida Atlantic University. Nikki loves travel, languages, cultures and adventure. She's always longing for distant places.

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