If you find yourself within the vicinity of California’s central coast, Monterey is a must see! My husband and I recently took the 337 mile road trip from Los Angeles, and when you only have a weekend’s worth of time to spend, it can be overwhelming to decide which sites to see!
If you’re planning a weekend visit, I’d like to share everything we enjoyed to help you narrow down your list:
ACTIVITIES & DESTINATIONS
1) Whale Watching
This was a first for me! We used Discovery Whale Watch and saw tons of Humpbacks! (A word to the wise: If you struggle with seasickness in any way please do yourself a favor and bring a motion sickness medication such as Bonine. 4+ hours on the water can be a struggle if you’re not prepared!)
2) Old Fisherman’s Wharf
Whether you stop by to watch the sea lions engage with the passers by, enjoy some ice cream, or hit a restaurant, it’s a fun hangout at any time of day.
This super charming city is straight out of a storybook. Walking the streets is enough in and of itself, but it’s also filled to the brim with fun shops, amazing restaurants, and beautiful beach views.
4) Point Lobos
You’ll want to save a whole day for this incredible park! It’s a very short drive from Monterey, and entry is free if you park outside the entrance and come in on foot (though the views are well worth the fee if you have to drive in). Between the incredible coastline, seal sightings, beaches, and tide pools brimming with life, you’ll never want to leave.
5) Monterey Aquarium
This one is a must! Whether you go as a larger family or attend solo, this aquarium has so much to offer from otters to penguins to crazy sea life from the deep. At the time we visited they also had some impressively informative information regarding plastics and microplastics and the detrimental effects on our oceans. It definitely inspired us to make more changes where we can!
1) Crepes of Brittany
Offering both sweet or savory, this restaurant is located right by Fisherman’s Wharf and offers very authentic French crepes. Their savory galettes made with buckwheat were delicious and substantial…Mine held me over until dinner!
2) Lalla Grill Del Monte
This casual dinner spot was a great find. Their heated outdoor patio was perfect for the weather and the fish tacos were out of this world! Their menu is super diverse and they have something for everyone.
3) Manasiri’s Crepes & Sandwiches
This is a great cafe for breakfast for lunch. The Greek salad was delicious!
It’s a lovely special occasion restaurant. It’s more expensive but if you happen to be celebrating the food is delicious!
5) Abalonetti Bar and Grill
There’s a reason their calamari is famous! It was truly the best calamari I’ve ever had, and other reviewers all say the same. This seafood restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants out on Fisherman’s Wharf, and their outdoor patio was fun and super welcoming. Their Fish & Chips was also one of the best I’ve had.
6) Old Monterey Cafe
This place has everything on the menu you could think of for breakfast in a fun diner atmosphere. If you’re looking for pancakes bigger than you are, this is the spot!
If you want to be transported to Italy, this is the place to go. Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, this was the perfect place to end our trip and to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of our Italian honeymoon. The owner and staff were wonderful and the food is an authentic treat!
I wish we could have stayed longer in this beautiful place, and we will definitely be back again!