This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Monterey. To help you make friends with Monterey before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Monterey, located on the coast of California south of San Jose and San Francisco, is a port city characterized by many adobe, Spanish-Colonial-style buildings. Its main attractions are along the waterfront. That's also where you'll find hostel and hotel accommodations.
There are so many things to do in Monterey, it’s hard to know where to begin! Head to the oceanfront Cannery Row for shopping, dining, and nightlife, as well as a super funky mirror maze. The nearby beaches of MacAbee and San Carlos are great for kayaking (rental kayaks are available, as are bikes, surreys, skates, skateboards, paddle boats, and surfboards). If you head further down Cannery Row, you’ll come to Fisherman's Wharf (Monterey), not to be confused with the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. This area features more shopping and dining, and sea lions can be spotted in the bay. You can also take a whale-watching tour from Fisherman’s Wharf. After the sun sets, you can go watch live music at one of the many bars or enjoy a drink on an outdoor patio before heading back to your hostel.
Other major attractions include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, historic missions, the Pebble Beach scenic drive, and the Monterey Museum of Art. The Monterey Jazz Festival is held in September at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Historically, the Monterey County Fairgrounds also held the counterculture-inspired Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, one of the first huge rock festivals and a precursor to the Woodstock festival, and where Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and the Who made their first major appearances.
You can find a hostel in Monterey near Cannery Row, so there are plenty of places to shop and eat at nearby. The cost is a bit pricey, but it’s an amazing area. Monterey can be reached off the 101, by Amtrak, and by the Monterey Regional Airport. There is no Greyhound station in Monterey, but the Monterey-Salinas transit system provides transportation to the Greyhound station in neighboring Salinas. Through Salinas, cities such as San Jose and San Francisco can be reached by bus.