What to do and see in Marina, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 15, 2017 Karren Gelb

Marina is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2013 population at 20,370. Marina is located along the central coast of California, 8 miles (13 km) west of Salinas, and 8 miles north of Monterey. Marina is also connected to Monterey, California by California State Route 1, which also connects it with Santa Cruz, California, after driving for about 35 miles. Marina is at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m). Marina was incorporated in 1975 and is the newest city on the Monterey Peninsula. The city includes part of the California State University, Monterey Bay campus, the UCMBEST branch research center of UC Santa Cruz, and the Veterans Transition Center (VTC). In 2012, Marina was named one of the 100 Best Community for Young People by America's Promise Alliance. The Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital, built in 1941 to provide healthcare for U.S. Army horses and mules, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. This is the first such official recognition on old Fort Ord.
Restaurants in Marina

1. Monterey Bay Aquarium

886 Cannery Row at David Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940-1085 +1 831-648-4800
Excellent
72%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 12 reviews

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Located at the ocean's edge, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a window to marine life -- for dive masters and non-swimmers alike. It's home to sea otters, penguins, sharks, jellies and thousands of other marine animals and plants. Its mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans.

Reviewed By DERTUR - Annandale, Virginia

We go to every aquarium we can find. Monteray Bay has the most fascinating exhibits for educational purposes. I found them being operated by adults as well as young people. Very clever items added to each exhibit (like mechanical octopus displays/dioramas in the live octopus area) made them more unique. Of course the otters steal the show and the videos on the otters and on their research arm were short but really well put together.

2. Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

Pacific Grove Oceanview Blvd., Pacific Grove, CA
Excellent
86%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 628 reviews

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

Reviewed By Lions A

I fell in love with the entire shoreline from Lovers Point Beach onward. Be sure to see Asilomar beach and the Tide Pools thete. Also the Marine Preserve. This is so worth while . Best to go when there is minus tide . One can find the timetables for the tide pools online. The water is so blue blue with gushing waves like you see in the movies . It is a must see for nature lovers and especially for someine who does not like to or cant hike. And it also is free.

3. Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course

1 McClure Way, Seaside, CA 93955-7100 +1 831-899-7271
Excellent
60%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 105 reviews

Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course

A well-kept secret in the Monterey area, this golf course is long and technically challenging.

Reviewed By Bucky6478 - New York City, New York

Really enjoyed playing Black Horse - this is a difficult and long course but fun and rewarding, offering some great views of the bay. Playing hole 18 from tips is over 600 yards! Only thing is that there are areas where conditions are poor with brown patches and dirt in fairway. Needs some work before future tournaments are played there.

Recently played at end of day for $59 including cart (through Golfnow); well worth it.

4. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

1021 Monterey Salinas Hwy, Salinas, CA 93908-8937 +1 831-242-8201
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 200 reviews

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

The Monterey Peninsula's love affair with world-class racing traces its beginnings to the inaugural running of the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1950. Those sports car events quickly outgrew the public roads of the Del Monte Forest and a beautiful new road facility was born on November 9, 1957.Since then, Monterey has been visited by some of the most prestigious racers in history; Roger Penske, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Kenny Roberts, Bobby Rahal, Wayne Rainey and Valentino Rossi to name a few. The late 60's and 1970's may be remembered as the "Can-Am Years," but it was also the debut of Trans Am, IMSA and AMA motorcycles. CART Indy Car racing and Grand Prix Motorcycling put their stamp on the track in the 80's and 90's. More recently, the huge evolution MotoGP has created a phenomenal global following for the track.Today, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosts five world-class race weekends each season, with elite road racing series from around the world visiting the Monterey Peninsula every year.

Reviewed By TREVI36 - Driftwood, Texas

We went to see the track but were more entertained by the literally hundred squirrels running everywhere.

5. Blue Ocean Whale Watch

7881 Sandholdt Rd, Moss Landing, CA 95039-9616
Excellent
92%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 601 reviews

Blue Ocean Whale Watch

Blue Ocean Whale Watch is owner operated and has the most unique boat on the bay. Our boat, High Spirits, is a 60ft yacht with plenty of space for you inside and out. We have an observation deck up top which provides a 360 degree view of the bay - a perfect vantage point for taking photos. Our tours depart from Moss Landing Harbor, the heart of the Monterey Bay. Moss Landing is the closest port to the beginning of the Monterey Submarine Canyon - a nutrient rich area that attracts a variety of wildlife. Blue Ocean Whale Watch was created in 2011 and is owned and operated by Captain Jim Davis and Captain/Naturalist Kate Cummings. Both Jim and Kate have a deep respect for the ocean and its inhabitants. They also completely love their job which makes a big difference for the customer's experience. We are excellent wildlife spotters, locating anything and everything that might be hanging out in the Monterey Bay that day - from endangered leatherback sea turtles to blue whales. We also guarantee whale sightings; if you don't see a whale, come back for free until you do. Different whales are in the bay year-round, so there is always something amazing to see. We look forward to welcoming you on board!

Reviewed By chelsea_behymer

Amazing day on the water with a fantastic captain and crew! Great boat with great viewing from anywhere onboard.

6. Marina State Beach

Reservation Road, Marina, CA 93933
Excellent
59%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 161 reviews

Marina State Beach

Reviewed By Noreenanmarina - Marina, California

What a wonderful beach. I loved seeing the Peninsula from a totally different angle. The views at this beach are spectacular. I love walking through the "canyon" and coming out to the beautiful beach. If you want solitude, this is the place for you.

7. National Steinbeck Center

1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901-3436 +1 831-775-4721
Excellent
63%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 331 reviews

National Steinbeck Center

A celebration and exploration of the well-known author's work through multi-sensory exhibits, priceless artifacts and live theater performances.

Reviewed By Cllark W - Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Great place to visit if you are a reader of the famous author. The Salinas-Watsonville-Castroville-Monterey farming and fishing areas are well represented with cameos and vignettes in the displays and memorabilia, and the agricultural communities well-honored, including Latino, in the short film. I was not disappointed to see the completely restored original Dodge truck, complete with camper, of "Travels With Charley". Hard to get a good picture with the beams in the way, and kinda dusty, but the real McCoy. There are interesting critiques of some of Steinbeck's works, even life. This gives balance. Cheap parking, tall admission. Worth it. Beware, you might get the urge to collect old Steinbeck print books. All students should watch "The Grapes of Wrath". Easily good for a whole day.

8. Sanctuary Cruises

7881 Sandholdt Rd, Moss Landing Harbor, Moss Landing, CA 95039-9616
Excellent
88%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 683 reviews

Sanctuary Cruises

Explore Monterey Bay year-round with a marine biologist aboard Santuary, a beautiful boat that is only booked to 80% of her capacity for a more personalized passenger experience. We run longer trips with fewer passengers. We really care about the environment and run 100% local biodiesel. Knowledgeable, warm owner/operators engage and enchant. Responsible captains who don't crowd the animals but ease into the area, which often results in fantastic sightings. We have a great device for avoiding seasickness. Located in Moss Landing at the heart of the Monterey Bay & beginning of the submarine canyon for awesome sightings. We are the boat the locals prefer and the National Marine Sanctuary recommends.

Reviewed By Grampy_Bob - Concord, CA

We took the Sanctuary whale-watching tour on Monterey Bay out of Moss Landing while visiting the area. It was a great cruise, we saw maybe 10 whales, including a big humpback that breached spectacularly near our boat. Exciting! Among others aboard the boat were a woman from France and a woman who grew up in Concord, our hometown. The captain and crew were great.

9. Asilomar State Beach

800 Asilomar Blvd, South of Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-3704 +1 831-646-6440
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 884 reviews

Asilomar State Beach

The name of this State Beach means "a refuge by the sea," which describes the breathtaking views of forest, surf and sand on more than 105 secluded acres of scenic forest and sand dunes.

Reviewed By SeattleMeadowlark - Seattle

This is a wonderful beach for beach combing and tide pooling, but the fact that every dog owner in the city ignores the Leash laws makes it hard to give it a good rating. There is one man, a guy with a black German Shepherd, who I was told by a park ranger routinely disobeys the leash law. His dog runs loose and chases the surf birds...and mind you, the birds are protected by law. And the man watched his dog poop on the beach and walked off. Please, enjoy the beach and pick up your dog's poop and take it OFF the beach and into the numerous trash cans on the road.

10. Skydive Monterey Bay

721 Neeson Rd., Suite #1, Marina, CA 93933-5108
Excellent
84%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Skydive Monterey Bay

The world’s highest tandem skydives | the largest and fastest jump plane in the world | super king air 200 | breathtaking ocean views | best safety record

Reviewed By Anne C - Palo Alto, California

This was my second time at Skydive Monterey Bay. The first was 13 years ago and I jumped at 18,000 feet. This time I opted for 15,000 and wasn't disapppointed. Seems there are more jump masters now and I was comfortable with them all. Ryan was my tandem partner and was a terrific coach all the way down. Discussed the safety status of our chute as we descended, and let me 'drive' until time to land. Highly recommend this group!

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