Thursday, 18 June 2015

Monterey Musings

We cruised along the Californian coast from San Francisco, to our home for the night which was the beautiful city of Monterey.  We unpacked at the Hilton Monterey, which was a very welcome and luxurious stop. I highly recommend staying here.  We had a quick dip in the outdoor heated pool (which wasn't that warm, so we swam extra fast) and then we made our way to the Old Fisherman's Wharf

The Wharf looks out onto the rugged coastline of California and was scattered with restaurants and gift shops.  It had a real old world feel to it and there were historic buildings around every corner.  We also spotted amazing wildlife from giant pelicans and sea lions to this huge otter just relaxing in the water.  

We didn't eat in the Wharf, but we did wander past this sign and I couldn't resist taking a photograph. It seemed like such a welcoming and child-friendly place!!! Though in my humble opinion, I would like to add that I have sat near adults in restaurants who behave worse than any children! 

In the morning, we did the 17 mile drive along Pebble Beach.  This is a world famous drive along the coastline and through the areas where the U.S Golf Open Championship is held, so I'm told.  My husband is a big fan of golf, whereas I, on the other hand am not.  I was a little dubious about the drive as I thought I may be a bit bored staring at golf greens, but there was alot more to it than that, and the scenery was beautiful. 

Unfortunately for us, the weather was a bit murky when we went, but on a sunny day, this place would be amazing to go and have a picnic and explore. We also saw sea lions, hidden coves and beautiful old Cypress trees. There was no rush to drive round and at least every mile was space to pull over and explore the area. Unfortunately, we only had an hour to spend but you could easily spend a day roaming around. We also met this not so little guy who landed on our car. 

After our drive, we headed to Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The aquarium has been voted as one of the world's best.  The setting is beautiful with both inside exhibits and outdoor areas. There were lots of interactive exhibits for the little ones. The aquarium was spotless and the tanks were beyond huge.  My favourite was this huge tank, I couldn't even explain how big it was, with shoals of fish that all swam in the middle and then they would suddenly change direction.  As there were so many of them it looked they were doing a synchronised dance. It's always hard to try and capture the actual atmosphere and beauty in photographs. 

We visited on a Sunday, and it was also Memorial weekend, and the aquarium was incredibly busy.  To the point where it was hard to see some of the exhibits which was a shame and I think this hampered our visit a little.  So try and visit in the week and not on a holiday weekend if you can!  

We could have spent so much longer in Monterey, but had to leave to get back onto the Pacific Coast Highway. Monterey was very picturesque with lots to do and see.  But for us, it was back on the road, next stop: Santa Barbara. 

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  1. Loving these photos. This looks so amazing, still thoroughly jealous of this entire trip. Am definitely going to be a bug in my hub's ear to say we need to save to do this in the future! xxx