Say Hello to California Sea Otters

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.

california sea otter poster monterey bay aquarium

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

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.

family kayak monterey bay ca

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.

california sea otter

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.

For more Photo Friday posts visit Delicious Baby.

Relevant Links:

Ciao Bambino recommended Monterey and Carmel kid-friendly hotels

Favorite activities in Monterey with kids

Things to do in Carmel with kids

Exploring the California Coast with kids


  1. I’ve seen them many times on drives up and down the coast. Didn’t know their numbers are dwindling. I know the Monterey Bay invests a lot in marine conservation – I hope they can find the cause.

  2. I lived in Northern CA for years and never got around to kayaking Monterey! Always spent too much time a the aquarium and out int own…

  3. Yay for no involuntary swims! Kayaking is so great. I can’t wait to try it with my little guy. Great post.

  4. It is sad that the numbers of otters are dwindling, I hope we find the cause and can get their numbers back up. Good for you getting the otter shot, I’d be so worried about the boat capsizing that it would be difficult at best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • separated by commas

Insight. We constantly hear from parents that our insight into what works well for families with kids of different ages is unmatched.

Time. The Internet is filled with too much unqualified information for time-sensitive parents. We cut through the noise to help families plan vacations better and faster. 

Customized. Everything at Ciao Bambino! is customized. There’s just no substitute for reliable one-to-one advice on where to go, where to stay, and what to do with kids.

Virtuoso. Ciao Bambino! is part of the exclusive Virtuoso network and we pass incredible values to our clients at Virtuoso Preferred Suppliers.