Travel on a Shoestring: Five Tips to Plan a Budget Trip to Monterey


Have you ever looked at a City Guide for Monterey, California?  I have never been to California, but would really like to visit one day.  Enjoy the following info, it should really come in handy if you plan on visiting this area.

Magnificent Monterey is perched on the Pacific Coast, and it is home to beautiful beaches, rich Hispanic heritage, world-class restaurants, and the 6th largest aquarium in the world.  Throw in a temperate all-year round climate, and it’s no surprise why Monterey is a hit with vacationers who want to relax and soak up the laid-back vibe of Central California.

While Monterey has accommodation options to suit those with cash to flash, there are also a whole host of affordable Monterey hotels available for travelers on a more modest budget.  Eating and sightseeing on the cheap is also doable providing that you know where to look.  Follow these five simple tips and tricks to plan a low-cost adventure to Monterey.

Getting There

Monterey’s location on the Pacific Coast Highway makes it easily accessible by car, and a drive up from LA is definitely worth it for the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.  Many of the larger hotels offer free parking for guests, while 31 other paid parking facilities are available in the area.

Monterey Peninsula Airport is just 3 miles south-east of the heart of the city, and it offers domestic flights to destinations such as San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

Getting Around

Many of Monterey’s attractions can be easily explored on foot, while bicycles are available to rent if you fancy an adventure on wheels.  The Monterey-Salinas Transit public bus service connects Monterey to Carmel, Pacific Grove, and Big Sur.  During the summer months, a trolley bus service runs through downtown Monterey.  An affordable wine route tour is also available on the MST and it provides a great way to see some of the areas most notable wineries.

Affordable Accommodation

The most convenient way to find budget accommodation in the area is to use a hotel comparison site such as Hipmunk. Hipmunk searches Monterey hotels, guesthouses, motels, and even Airbnb listings to find you the best deals going.  Off-peak season starts around October through to April, and a visit during this time will land you some slashed hotels rates.

Cheap Eats

Avoid restaurants on the seafront and instead venture down Monterey’s side streets for quaint cafes and locally run restaurants that serve up delicious food for a fraction of the price.

A sneaky insider tip is to head down to Fisherman’s Wharf, where restaurants hand out free samples of their delicious clam chowder to passers-by.

Shoestring Sightseeing

Monterey has a large selection of free and low-cost activities.  A leisurely stroll along Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Monterey Recreational  Trial is an excellent way to start your vacation and soak up the atmosphere of the area.  Or how about seal and otter spotting at Moss Landing Harbor?  Follow your walk with a trip to the free Butterfly Grove Park which is home to thousands of beautiful Monarch butterflies.

While Monterey Bay Aquarium admission comes with a price, it is well worth it to view over 600 species of marine life including rare and enormous sunfish.

Make your trip to Monterey a magical and memorable one by following these cost-cutting tips. Enjoy your vacation!

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