California Roadtrip: How to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium for FREE plus cheap eats!  

My friend and I took our rental and headed towards Monterey Bay – home of the world famous aquarium. I remember visiting the aquarium back as a child, but with adult admission circling the $50 range, I had a hard time convincing myself to make it a pitstop on this road trip. But I was able to kill two birds with one stone, by booking a local air bnb room with complimentary tickets! Sweet!

Just an FYI, many of the local air bnb lodging will provide this incentive to attract visiting guests.

After my friend and I checked into our airbnb space to pick up tickets we headed towards Cannery Row. There’s certainly a great deal of things to see, hear and touch and as an educator I especially loved learning about all the different sea creatures.

The aquarium is divided by themes spread across two floors. We were recommended to start on the west wing and work our way towards the east as it’s home to the new exhibit – Tentacles (yes!!! octopuses! :D).

Penguins, sea otters, sharks, sea turtles, you name it and they probably have an exhibit dedicated to it. My favorite was the jellyfish exhibits. They’re just so graceful and calming. Combined with the serene music that they play in the background you just can’t help but feel at peace.

We finished the aquarium in about three hours and spent the rest of our late afternoon and early evening walking around Cannery Row and enjoyed the sunset.


Now a post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t give a recommendation on a hidden gem and this one is definitely a must especially if you love carbs!

When we punched in directions and headed towards Palermo Bakery we were surprised by the industrial exterior. You would never think to go here as it looks like a warehouse. There was no cash register, menu, na-da! It’s straight up bread factory. Regardless, we went in bright and early in the morning to see their offering. They sold everything from sourdough, to dinner rolls to entire loafs. My friend and I each bought a loaf for $2.40 a piece since our next destination is considered the SoCal Napa Valley. Stay tuned for my next post to find out where!

What’s a must see local attractions in Monterey Bay?




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