This review presents a summary of existing visitor monitoring methods and relevant studies in land and marine-based areas, with a focus on the application to unique aquatic settings. Various opportunities and challenges exist with respect to the use of each method in different marine settings. These methods differ in terms of the complexity, costs, level of accuracy, and detailed information they provide. Furthermore, the feasibility of applying these methods also depends on the site attributes of a marine area. Since each marine area varies in geographical scale and environmental and social conditions, some methods will be more appropriate or perform more successfully than others in a particular location. Therefore, the consideration of these methods should be part of a proposed alternative process, focused on adaptive monitoring that scales to address visitor ebbs and flows in these aquatic areas. The proposed alternative seeks to develop consensus around quantitative goals for visitor monitoring and estimating techniques in marine settings, using a customizable mix of methods and techniques. This alternative effort progresses to subsequent tasks and discussions, and recommendations are made considering the feasibility and confidence of using these methods in particular marine settings and future pilot sites.