1) When you visit Monterey, you will thank your high school English teacher for requiring you to read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. If you managed to pass the class by only reading the Cliffs Notes, then please review what you were supposed to have learned by clicking here. As you drive through this colorful fishing village, you will understand why Steinbeck chose the place for the setting of his book. So unique and full of history as well as fictional lore. Walk inside Cannery Row and along the streets outside. Somehow, it just makes you feel smart. What can I say?
2) Be sure to spend time at the world-renowned oceanfront Monterey Bay Aquarium. Their great website will prepare you for the experience. There is a 1.3 million-gallon giant kelp tank where you can look for sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, starfish, and sea otters. Kids (of all ages) are sure to enjoy it.
3) Have dinner and wander around Fisherman’s Wharf taking time to enjoy the antics of the many resident sea lions.
4) Take the famous Seventeen Mile Drive, stopping to photograph the Lone Cypress and dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
5) While driving through Big Sur, be sure to get close-up views of a redwood grove. Some of those redwoods have lived for 2000 years and are more than 350 ft. tall.
6) Drive to nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea and visit their beautifully-restored Carmel Mission. It’s a charming town with plenty of attractive shops and upscale bistros and cafes. Click here for specifics. I am old enough to remember when Clint Eastwood was elected Mayor of this town. If you are in the younger generation, you might want to learn more here.
Check out the Monterey tourism website for additional suggestions on lodging, dining and area attractions. We spent two nights at the Embassy Suites in Seaside, CA. It was beautiful and in a very central location. I recommend it heartily.