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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Monterey Bay, CA 93940
831-647-4201
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Kayaking, Viewing wildlife, Whale watching
Owner description: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria,... more » Owner description: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the sanctuary encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 4,601 square nautical miles of ocean. The sanctuary contains our nation's largest kelp forests and one of North America's largest underwater canyons. Its diverse marine ecosystem also includes rugged rocky shores, wave-swept sandy beaches, and tranquil estuaries. The sanctuary is managed to balance recreational and commercial uses with protection of natural resources, water quality, habitats, and its bountiful resident and migratory marine life. Visitors will find in the southern half a mostly undeveloped shoreline of rocky shores and steep mountainsides. The northern shoreline is similar but is dotted with settlements of small towns and moderate-size cities. Visitors to Monterey Bay National Marine Sancuary can enjoy surfing, diving, snorkeling, tidepooling, and camping. Hiking, biking and touring by car are just a few ways visitors can view this stunning coastline. « less
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41 reviews from our community

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texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

Highway 1 provides great access to the hundreds of miles of coastline in this sanctuary. We stopped at many locations and were impressed by so many working to protect the animals. Volunteer docents roamed the paths overlooking the elephant seal beaches providing interesting tidbits. The views are gorgeous and my wife has thousands of photos to prove it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

This aquarium is top notch. The only other one close is the Shedd aquarium in Chicago. The exhibits are beautiful. We love the large tanks with a variety of fish. Our favorite things were the jelly fish exhibit , the sea otters, and the deep ocean tank with the large fish. It's worth the trip. My daughters and wife all... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ashland, Oregon
Top Contributor
225 reviews 225 reviews
69 attraction reviews
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

A biologist's dream! Lots of animal life in the tide pools, and the plant life is abundant! The ocean is a beautiful aquamarine color.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
37 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

The Marine Sanctuary is all the water from the beach, the entire Bay and out to sea several miles. On whale watching trips this weekend we saw Gray Whales, Orca whales, Risso's Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Sea Otters swimming and eating, a huge jelly fish, and different types of birds like Pelagic Cormorants, Brandts, Surf... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Rockville
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

We were there in December and got to see the stragglers still feeding in the bay. A trip worth taking and of course, the bay seals is a sight to behold. Very raucous bunch but funny.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013 via mobile

If you want to see lots of wildlife, come visit this amazing coastline. Seals, sea lions, otters, whales, dolphins, seabirds, tide pool creatures and jellies galore await you on its shores. There is so much to see and do. Visit montereybay.noaa.gov/visitor/

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Fountain Valley, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

Spent two days exploring the Bay. From Moss Landing to the Marine reserve outside the Aquarium. Beautiful weather, even in November. We were right in the middle of a pod of about 1000 Rizzo Dolphins. The Red Nettle jellyfish hovered throughout the water column. Great flocks of Pelicans in the marsh areas. Otters close enough to take great photos of....What... More

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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Just could not get enough hang time with the otters out in the Bay. Ocean was calm but rolling, kelp was thick and water was cold. Could not ask for a better experience with nature.

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Silicon Valley
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
19 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Take a day and spend it on the bay! Kayaking or whale watching is amazing. Whale watching is spectacular -- so many types of animals living in & swimming through the MBNMS. Enjoy!

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Fresno, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Watching Dolphins play while eating breakfast is a great way to start the day. There is such abundant wildlife, from the otters to the sea lions, the whales, the birds and so many others that the kids can really get a good idea of why we need to protect the oceans. The whale watch was great but so was sitting... More

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