I read an article recently about the rapidly dwindling number of California sea otters (they don’t know why this is the case yet) that left me sad. As a native Northern Californian, I grew up appreciating our spectacular coastline from Monterey to Big Sur. This is home to the much-adored sea otter.
If you visit Monterey with kids, the star attraction is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s a fantastic museum for children and adults alike with interactive exhibits and spectacular marine life. On our last trip to the area. we paired our aquarium visit with a kayaking trip out into the bay. The experience is tremendous as you are able to get close to otters in their natural habitat.
Kayaking in Monterey Bay
I highly recommend a kayaking excursion for families. My caveat is that the water here is cold and can be rough. Getting the kayak launched and back on the beach is an adventure.
Hooray, they got out of the kayak without an involuntary swim
Admittedly, I had a few “Am I the dumbest parent ever?” moments as I envisioned the kayak capsizing and my son floating helplessly away with the waves. Life jackets are mandatory for everyone, but even so, I like this activity for school-age+ kids who are strong swimmers.
Hello sea otter (the waves make photos a challenge)
If you have little kids, another option is to take a larger boat into the bay. We did that as well and chose a few-hour tour on a sailboat. You can easily find companies offering kayak rentals and boat trips throughout the wharf area.
One very special activity is to join one of the sleepovers at the Monterey Aquarium. Combine the two activities together for the ultimate Monterey marine adventure.