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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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Address: Monterey Bay, CA 93940
Phone Number: +1 831-647-4201
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Description:

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a federally protected marine area...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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See it by Kayak!

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is truly the highlight of any visit to Monterey and it would be shame to go there and not get in out into the water. I did a great... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Tony K
,
Los Angeles, California

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46 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is truly the highlight of any visit to Monterey and it would be shame to go there and not get in out into the water. I did a great kayaking trip with Adventures by the Sea and saw otters with pups, dolphins, sea lions, migratory birds, and even a gray whale. This was in... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tony K
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
2,209 reviews
1,225 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,707 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2015 via mobile

My friends and I are so glad this place exists. It's beautiful, and sea life watching is phenomenal! My friend is a marine biologist, and she had so much fun telling us what was what and fun facts about all the animals and plant life. I recommend a lengthy visit!

Helpful?
1 Thank WhitO5214
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015

A World Class Aquarium representing California's unique and rich marine life. The most popular exhibit is the Otter tank - of course they are incredibly cute, especially at 4pm (feeding time!). Pair a trip here with a trip to relatively nearby Point Lobos State Park to see Otters in the wild.

Helpful?
Thank annsch4
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
374 reviews
178 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

There are plenty of places in the area to enjoy views of the coast and the wildlife. It's a great area to spot seals, otters and lots of birds. There are nice beaches throughout, where you can park and explore or just relax and enjoy the wonder of nature.

Helpful?
Thank SteveinCH
texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 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.

Helpful?
4 Thank TJ T
Ashland, Oregon
Level Contributor
345 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 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.

Helpful?
3 Thank LindaMG
Del Mar, California
Level Contributor
269 reviews
131 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 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 

Helpful?
7 Thank Travelin M
Rockville
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 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.

Helpful?
2 Thank Pupasaurus
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 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/

Helpful?
7 Thank Liz L
Fountain Valley, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 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 

Helpful?
4 Thank 5harkboy

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