Skip to main content

Discover the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

One of just 13 designated National Marine Sanctuaries, the MBNMS stretches for 276 miles along the California coastline, from Marin to Cambria. Situated at the heart of the sanctuary, Monterey Bay is home to one of the world's largest submarine canyons and an ecosystem that is rich in wildlife. The area offers abundant activities for adults and children, including kayaking, diving, beachcombing, tide pooling, and fascinating views of marine mammals like otters, sea lions and whales.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Pacific Street, Monterey, California , 93940
Distance from Hotel: 1.2 miles

Hours and Prices

Hours: Open 24-hours

Prices: Free


  • Coastal Clean-up Day
  • Get in Your Sanctuary
  • WhaleFest


  • Tide Pools
  • Whale Watching
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
  • Fishing
  • Paddle Sports

Wildlife Viewing

From cute otters bobbing on the bay to huge blue whales migrating through the area, the MBNBS offers visitors an array of fabulous wildlife to enjoy. Explore tidepools teeming with sea anemones, sea stars and shellfish. Swim with sea turtles, fish and dolphins. Or simply enjoy the native flora and amusing antics of sea lions on the beach.

Kayaking, Boating & Diving

If you want to see the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary waters and wildlife up close, go diving or rent a kayak or paddleboard. For visitors who need a little guidance, consider hopping aboard a sailing cruise or joining a whale watching, kayak or diving group tour. There are many tour operators and equipment rental companies who can help you enjoy your time on Monterey Bay.

What is a marine sanctuary?

Similar to National Parks on land, National marine sanctuaries are protected waters that safeguard, shelter and preserve coastal habitats such as reefs, kelp forests, and deep-sea canyons and wildlife including otters, fish and whales.

Learn More about What is a marine sanctuary?

Where are the beaches and tidepools?

The sanctuary offers a myriad of beaches and tidepools that stretch along the coast. Discover unique marine animals in their natural habitats at low tide or soak in the views as you walk along white sand beaches. Point Pinos, Asilomar State Beach, and Point Lobos State Reserve all offer fabulous opportunities to visit beaches and tide pools.

Learn More about Where are the beaches and tidepools?