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Monterey, CA 750 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940
  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary - California

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, the Monterey Bay is home to one of the world's largest submarine canyons and an ecosystem that is rich in wildlife. Wonderful for adults and children alike, the area offers abundant activities including kayaking, diving, beachcombing, tidepooling, and views of marine mammals like otters, sea lions and several species of whales.


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  • Coastal Clean-up Day
  • Great Annual Fish Count
  • WhaleFest
  • Snapshot Day


  • Tide pools
  • Whale watching
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba diving

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 anemonies, sea stars and shellfish. Dive in to swim with sea turtles, fish and dolphins. Or simply enjoy the native flora and amusing antics of sea lions on the beaches.

Kayaking, Boating & Diving

There's no need to just view the MBNMS from afar, so if you want to see the sanctuary's 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 the 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.
  • Where are the beaches and tidepools?

    The sanctuary offers myriad beaches and tidepools all along its length. Discover unique marine animals in their natural habitats at low tide or walk along white sand beaches and enjoy the views. Point Pinos, Asilomar State Beach, and Point Lobos State Reserve all offer fabulous opportunities to visit beaches and tide pools.

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