California’s stunning coastline is truly world-famous, with visitors from across the globe enjoying the majestic sights of the Pacific Coast Highway each and every year. But even along shores crammed full of highlights, the bay at Monterey is a stand-out. This historic city boasts everything from literary links–in the form of famed novelist John Steinbeck–to a vibrant seafood scene, and from popular bars and shops along Cannery Row to family-friendly entertainment at the likes of Monterey Bay Aquarium. And when the sun goes down you don’t have to scale back on your sightseeing fun. Read on for some of the activities you can enjoy on an evening in this beautiful place. These are the best things to do at night in Monterey, California.
1. Go shopping at Steinbeck Plaza, Cannery Row
The historic street of Cannery Row is a must-see destination during any Monterey visit. Originally known as Ocean View Avenue, its current moniker is a former nickname derived from the various sardine canneries which once operated in the area. The last of these closed in 1973, just a few years after the road’s nickname was adopted as the official street name in honour of famed author John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row. Today the picturesque and historic street is a popular entertainment hotspot with a host of upmarket waterfront hotels, boutiques, and tasty restaurants to enjoy. And, speaking of Steinbeck, why not stop off in Steinbeck Plaza to enjoy the bay views and maybe grab a photo alongside the bust which commemorates the author.
Address: Prescott Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Cannery Row
2. Go looking for clues at Exodus Escape Room
If you’re looking for a little fun on a beautiful evening, then why not channel your inner Hercule Poirot and pit your little grey cells against the Exodus Escape Room. It features a range of escape room options, including bank and jewel heist scenarios for those who enjoy the thrill of a caper. And, speaking of famous detectives there’s also a ‘Sherlock’s Study’ option to enjoy. Each lasts an hour and can be enjoyed from early afternoon right into late evening–so you’re sure to find a time slot to suit.
Exodus Escape Room
Address: 765 Wave Street Suite A-2, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Exodus Escape Room
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 10:30pm (closed on Tue; last room begins at 9:30pm)
Price: 30 USD
3. Taste international beers at The Crown & Anchor
Ahoy, sailor! If you’re a fan of a fine real ale then you’ll almost certainly want to make a beeline for The Crown & Anchor one evening. This nautically-themed British bar, which is located in historic Old Town Monterey, features a range of traditional pub food to tantalise those taste buds. But it’s the range of beers that truly stand out. It has no fewer than 20 different international beers on tap - and that’s before you get to the bottled selections on offer. Little wonder then that it has been voted Monterey’s “most authentic pub” in the past.
The Crown & Anchor
Address: 50 West Franklin Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: The Crown & Anchor
Opening hours: 11am - 1:30am
Price: 11 - 30 USD
4. Tackle multiple scenarios at Escape Room 831
Operated by the same entrepreneurs who run the nearby Exodus Escape Room, Escape Room 831 features an even larger range of mysterious locked-room scenarios to entice you–from classic murder mysteries to rooms set on a pirate ship, prison, and even a space station. With so much choice there’s bound to be a scenario to tempt you and the family–and certainly plenty of options to ensure a unique experience each time you visit. Its location on Lighthouse Avenue also places it within easy reach of the likes of Cannery Row and its eateries for a meal after you’ve tested your wits.
Escape Room 831
Address: 599 Lighthouse Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Escape Room 831
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 10pm (Tue times by appointment)
Price: 30 USD
5. Enjoy a comedy show at Planet Gemini Taqueria & Club
If you’re a comedy fan then you’ll likely want to check out the local scene during your stay. Planet Gemini Taqueria and Club is one such option. This restaurant, bar, and venue hosts a number of different entertainment options, with comedy acts lined up on Friday and Saturday nights. In the past, local comedians have rubbed shoulders with big names from the likes of Comedy Central and HBO. Shows typically run from 9:15pm to 10:45pm, with DJs providing musical entertainment in the After Party. Check the bar out before you go for the latest listings.
Planet Gemini Taqueria & Club
Address: 2110 North Fremont Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Planet Gemini Taqueria & Club
Opening hours: 11:30am - 1:30am (daily)
6. Watch a chain of movies at Cinemark Monterey 13
Whether the weather’s bad, or you just happen to be a bit of a movie aficionado, you’ll likely want to consider an evening visit to the local cinema during any visit to Monterey. One such venue to get your movie fix is the CineMark Monterey 13 site. This major chain, which operates from 525 locations across the US and internationally, screens the biggest and hottest new releases. What’s more, its location at the Del Monte Shopping Center is sure to appeal to shopaholics and also places it close to eateries, for a bite to eat before or after your film.
Cinemark Monterey 13
Address: 1700 Del Monte Center, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Cinemark Monterey 13
Opening hours: Vary depending on screening times (check website)
7. Knock down some pins at Monterey Lanes
And if a night at the movies doesn’t appeal, then how about hitting the lanes at the local bowling alley for some family-friendly fun? Monterey Lanes was recently remodelled and features no fewer than 24 lanes, so you should hopefully have little trouble finding a free lane to enjoy a few games. The venue also boasts its own sports bar and grill for a family feast during your visit, as well as everything from billiard table to foosball when you aren’t hitting the lanes.
Address: 2161 North Fremont Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Monterey Lanes
Opening hours: Mon - Thurs: 9am - 12am; Fri & Sat: 9am - 1am; Sun: 8am - 12am
Price: From 14 USD (per hour per lane) or 4.65/3.95 USD (per game)
8. Relish home-style seafood at Monterey's Fish House
Monterey’s famous bay and coastline mean many things to many people–but one thing they also guarantee is a thriving seafood scene. The family-run Monterey’s Fish House is located right next to the sea on Fisherman’s Wharf and is one of the top eateries for those who like a little surf in their dining. Voted the best seafood in Monterey on more than one occasion, the restaurant has even been featured on US TV food shows. What’s more it’s open every evening of the week, so you’ll have ample opportunity to sample such signature dishes as its Oak Grilled Oysters and its Sicilian Holiday Pasta. Reservations are advised though, owing to its popularity.
Monterey's Fish House
Address: 2114 Del Monte Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Monterey’s Fish House
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11.30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 9:30pm; Sat & Sun: 5pm - 9:30pm
Price: 11 - 30 USD
9. Go on a ghost tour of Old Monterey with Tours Monterey
If you’re not afraid of things that go bump in the night, then a ghost tour around the streets of Old Monterey is sure to prove an attractive proposition during one evening of your stay. Monterey’s rich history–which included a time as the capitol of Mexican California–is full of fascinating chapters. Tours Monterey operates 90-minute guided paranormal tours every Saturday night between mid-April and early November. So why not let the guides whisk you off on a modified trolley bus for a little ghoulish evening’s entertainment? And, if that doesn’t sound appealing, the firm operates a range of other trolley bus events throughout the week to enjoy.
Address: 290 Figueroa Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Tours Monterey
Opening hours: 8pm every Saturday during season (check website for details)
Price: From 35 USD (adults) and 20 USD (children)
10. Relax at Asian Spa
If you’re looking to unwind and forget the stresses of daily life, then massages at a local spa will certainly prove appealing. Massage therapy will certainly help to get the knots out of your back. Asian Spa on Fremont Street is just one of the numerous options available during your visit. And it’s open until 9pm, so you’ll be able to fit in an evening massage after a busy day enjoying the sights or cooped up in an office on a business trip.
Address: 2252 North Fremont Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Website: Asian Spa
Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)
Where do you want to start?
Whatever you fancy doing of an evening–be it a slap-up meal in good company, brain-teasing entertainment at a local escape room, or a little spooky fun as you tour the city’s streets–there’s plenty to entertain you and your loved ones during a visit to Monterey.
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