Monday, October 21, 2013

Magical Monterey

Our visit to Monterey has been absolutely awesome! We've been docked at the City of Monterey Marina, which is clean and well maintained. Well worth the $28/night for a 40ft slip. Sea lions and sea otters frolic in the marina waters and the location is within walking distance to everything you could need.

Sea Lions

Our first full day in town we took the bike/walking path from the harbor all the way to Pacific Grove. This pedestrian highway is heavily used and in great condition. It is scenic and takes you from the wharf, past lounging harbor seals, thru Cannery Row and up to Lover's Point where a beautiful picnic area and beach await you.

View of the marina from the bike path

Harbor seals lounge in the sun
Harbor seals
Beautiful views from path
More harbor seals!!
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Along Cannery Row
My otter friend!
Lover's Point
Lover's Point
Turn inland from Lover's Point and explore the historic and positively adorable town of Pacific Grove. In town is the Monarch Butterfly habitat! This is one of the stops the Monarchs make on their migration south every year. We stopped in and saw several, but the bulk of the migration will be showing up some time in the next few weeks. If you get a chance, come and see them!

On Tuesday evenings a vibrant Farmer's Market takes place on Alvarado Street. Musicians and live parrots and dozens of organic vegetable booths line the street. The mood is festive and families are everywhere. This is truly an event and a great opportunity for people watching!
Bustling Farmer's Market

If you're traveling on the cheap, something we know a little about, their are many free things to do in this town. Visit the many beaches, walk the history trail or stop by the municipal wharf after dark to watch the fishermen unload their catch. The night we stopped by it was squid arriving by the thousands.

Night squid delivery!
If you have access to a stove on your visit, come back to the wharf in the morning to pick up some super fresh and super inexpensive seafood. For Keegan's birthday we feasted on 1lb. of squid, 1lb mussels, 1lb clams and 1/2lb shrimp. All for only $14!

Yum! Fresh Fish
Keegan making his selections
Squid it is!
Squid prep
Cuttle Bone
If you are less in the mood to clean squid, but would still like to go on the cheap might I recommend a walk down wharf #1 around dinner time. All of the restaurants pass our samples of their clam chowders and by the time you reach the end of the road you've had a bowl of it!

Monterey is also packed with historical significance. Many of us know about Steinbeck and Cannery Row, but Monterey was the site of California's first theatre and first library. There was a time when it was the only port of entry for taxable goods into the state. The customs house still exists and is California's Historic Landmark #1. There is much to be learned about California history in this town.

Kayak rentals, snorkeling or scuba are also widely available activities here at Monterey. This, of course, costs some money, but with the ample sea life in this bay I think it is well worth it! And the water is so clear!

One other great place we discovered just a block from the marina is a new place called the Wharf Marketplace "The Bounty from the County" The prices are outstanding and the selection is wonderful! It has only been open 9 weeks, but it looks to have a bright future. Stop in for a delicious breakfast sandwich for $3, or to purchase local veggies and fish at awesome prices.

All told, it is sort of sad to be leaving this bountiful, beautiful town. We highly recommend a visit by land or by sea!

Great veg at Wharf Marketplace

Sandwiches, coffee and smoothies at Wharf Marketplace

Birthday YUM

After the birthday YUM

Fishing boat

Pics from the beach

More beach pics

This little girl is rescuing a star fish


  1. Absolutely ROTFL after seeing the before and after giant-ice cream pictures :-)

  2. Hi Amanda & Keegan! I've set up a shop G+ account so we can all comment on your fantastic adventures! Hooray!


  3. Oh Amanda! It looks like I need to take a trip to Monterey the next time we're in CA visiting Joshua & Alessa. It looks like a lovely place. It also sounds like you had a great visit. I bet it was hard to leave such a magical place.
    I just love the photo of "after birthday yum", it looks like Keegan is in a carb coma. The seafood dish Keegan made looks delicious too!
    Hope you are having good sailing weather on the next leg of your adventure.
    Happy Birthday Keegan (the check is in the mail!)
    Love You!