A Relaxed Weekend in Monterey, California
I mean this when I say it, there is absolutely no place in the world for me like Monterey, California. Growing up my parents took me and my siblings to the ocean fairly often. I played with little crabs on the rocks, went to the tide pools every chance I got, and I had a sea shell collection that you wouldn’t believe and caught sand dollars at 5AM until my fingers were so cold they couldn’t move. I’ve got a heart for the ocean and also quaint towns and places. Monterey is everything I love and stand for in one place, I promise next time I go, not to lose all of the photos!
We arrived at Monterey Plaza Hotel in the early afternoon, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the weather! We stayed in an oceanview room that allowed us to see and hear the sound of the waves, there is nothing quite like that sound. After settling into our hotel we went over to the local market and picked up a few fresh snacks during our stay.
Afterwards we headed over to Cannery Row Brewing Company for lunch. I ordered the Pan Crusted Sand Dabs and of course Brady got their signature burger – no shame! The atmosphere is beachy and laid back. They have a rooftop complete with fire pits that overlook the ocean.
Next, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I hadn’t been back here since I was a kid – so many of my favorite memories flooded back, it’s a very special place for me! I know there are aquariums all over the place, but they are incomparable to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They have an exhibit, Ocean Sea, that holds a school of fish (thousands of fish) and it is the most serene experience.
If you are looking to go to Monterey, I suggest renting a car for a day to go on the scenic 17 Mile Drive along the ocean. If you really want to have a good time, go for a car that allows for you to take the top down, you won’t regret a single second. If you are willing to go just a little bit farther, head down to Carmel for a day or two.
I woke up before Brady in morning to the sound of the ocean, the ocean breeze was swaying the curtains lightly around the balcony. We slept with the balcony door open so we could hear the ocean and smell the salt throughout our room. I slipped into a relaxed maxi dress and sat on the balcony, enjoying the view and seals before he woke.
Once Brady woke up we poured a couple mimosas and sat together on the balcony. We bought a couple of croissants the day before and ended up making friends with a couple of seagulls – who doesn’t love a good croissant? After a couple mimosas, we headed down to Lilly Mae’s Cinnamon Roll shop. I am personally not a big cinnamon roll kind of girl, but I enjoyed these – especially since they were homemade and in a sweet little shop filled with nice people.
Afterwards we headed up the street and rented beach cruisers to ride along the ocean. We headed towards Lover’s Point then to Asilomar State Marine Reserve and over to The Links at Spanish Bay Golf Course. Our ride took a few hours since we stopped to play on every beach along the way. When we got to Asilomar we had the best time; we ran with these enormous groups of small white birds, watched the waves, and really just played in the sand and had a good time. There wasn’t a single person at the beach while we were there so it was really peaceful.
After returning the bikes we walked around shops downtown and popped into a few. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped and got chocolates at Ghirardelli – the dark chocolate filled with raspberry.
For dinner, we went to Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar, and it was absolutely delicious. It was set up as a 3 course meal, super intimidating for me, but the proportions were perfect for the amount you get.
Monterey Travel Tip: November is one of the best times to go there for sunny and comfortable weather!