Adventures in Monterey, CA
Happy Monday friends!
With that, below are notes from my trip to Monterey, CA!
In mid-March, I had the opportunity to visit Monterey, CA, and it was an incredible experience. I do my best to live frugally, and I love to invest in experiences (like this trip). If you suggested restaurants or cafes on the Social Internet, thank you! Sadly, I don't have super powers, and I didn’t get to see all the sights.
I could have driven to Carmel, Big Sur, and other beautiful locations. But I didn't want to get the car after driving all the miles to Monterey. While Logan attended his conference, I spent my time outside walking and cycling. Monterey was the perfect place to do both!
Before writing this piece, I reviewed my logbook and decided to share a loose itinerary of the trip with you. At the bottom of this article, you’ll find links to my favorite cafes and restaurants.
Day 1 — Drove all the miles.
After driving from Yreka to Monterey, CA (346 miles to be exact), we checked into our hotel, flopped onto the bed, and Googled a list of local restaurants. We ate at an Italian restaurant near our hotel called Cibo at 9 pm. Our timing was perfect because they closed the kitchen soon after we arrived. I highly recommend their gnocchi sampler. Also, they had live jazz, and it was lovely to listen while we ate yummy food.
Day 2 — Walked all the miles.
We started the day at Cafe Lumiere—a lovely cafe across from the Marriott in downtown Monterey. It was Pi Day, so it was the perfect excuse to have pie for breakfast. I had a slice of warm apple pie, and Logan went for the pecan pie with chocolate chips; both were divine! The carbs, sugar, and coffee were good fuel because I walked roughly 8 miles on the second day of our trip along the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.
I did hit one tourist attraction—the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Roughly ten people recommended visiting the aquarium, so I decided to go. My only regret was not getting to the aquarium when it opened because it was very crowded by early afternoon. The beautiful sea creatures and exhibits made up for the crowds, though.
Day 3 — Biked all the miles.
I started the day with the best strawberry croissant ever and café au lait at the Paris Bakery. I also spent time journaling and people watching.
Rather than walking all the miles, I decided to rent a bicycle from Adventures by the Sea. I cycled along the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, cruised onto Oceanview Boulevard, and ended up at Asilomar State Beach before turning around. I’m glad I took advantage of the gorgeous morning because it was rainy and windy in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, I went back to Cafe Lumiere for more coffee, walked along Fisherman’s Warf, and closed the day with a lovely dinner at Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill.
Day 4 — Drove all the miles (again).
I didn’t have the energy to walk or bike all the miles, so I spend the morning hiding from the rain and drinking coffee at the Paris Bakery. Sadly, I didn’t have room to eat any of their baked goods. I had my share at the complimentary hotel buffet. We were on the road by 12.30 pm.
Parting thoughts ...
There is so much to see and photograph in Monterey and the surrounding area. We'll be back for another visit!
Other than walking, biking, taking photos, and gawking at sea creatures, I spent my time eating delicious food.
Here's a list of the good eats I enjoyed in Monterey and Pacific Grove:
1. Cibo’s gnocchi sampler.
2. Apple pie and coffee Cafe Lumiere.
3. An amazing strawberry croissant and café au lait at the Paris Bakery.
4. The yogurt parfait at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
5. Salmon crab cakes and a green salad at Montrio Bistro.
6. Crab cake and salad Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove.
7. Street salmon tacos at Alvarado Street Brewing.
8. Citrus Prawn Salad at Ladera Grill in Morgan Hill.
Cheers to savoring good food and magnificent views!