Famed as one of America's best, this aquarium boasts an amazing 350,000 marine animals and 550 different species. The highlight is a three-storey glass tank where you can watch leopard sharks, jellyfish and sea otters swimming through a giant kelp forest. Plus you can see giant octopuses, penguins and sea turtles, have fun in the kids' Splash Zone, and touch bat rays and starfish.
This is one of the top scenic drives anywhere, and runs from Pacific Heights to Pebble Beach, with some stand-out sights along the way. You'll see: the iconic Lone Cypress, perched on its outcrop for the past 250 years; sandy beaches; some stunning mansions; marine wildlife; the emerald fairways of some top-notch golf courses; and, of course, famous Pebble Beach Lodge.
Old Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey holidays just aren't complete without a visit to the Wharf. Here it's all about people and ocean watching: sea lions on the rocks; sea otters in the water; and both fishing boats and fishermen bringing in the catch. There's also a clutch of restaurants to stop off at, stalls selling seafood and clam chowder, and plenty of shops to browse.
Monterey Jazz Festival
The oldest jazz festival of them all takes place over a long weekend every September, when Monterey swings to an amazing array of top jazz musicians and singers from round the world. Dates for 2014 are September 20-22, so book your tickets early.
There's plenty to do out on the water on Monterey holidays. Cruises and glass-bottom boat tours leave from Fisherman's Wharf. Surfers can ride the waves at Asilomar and Marina State Beaches. There's some great underwater action for experienced divers. Fishermen can go out in search of cod and salmon. And kayaking trips provide the perfect way to get up close to sea otters.