An April 2000 trip
to Monterey by Barb B
Quote: Since my husband and I are both SCUBA divers, we have stayed in Monterey many-many times. We live in Northern California and frequently take our students to Monterey for checkout dives. It is also a wonderful place for non-divers to enjoy romantic weekends.
Since my husband and I are both SCUBA divers (He is a NAUI Instructor, and I am an assistant instructor.) our favorite attraction is, of course, the beautiful underwater world or the Monterey Bay. The tourist attractions are many and the SCUBA Diving is superb!
Monterey is sometimes referred to as the city of Butterflies because of the swarms of monarch butterflies found there in the spring.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 18, 2000
Casa Munras Garden Hotel
700 Munras Avenue
Monterey, California 93940
Hotel | "Embassy Suites"
Embassy Suites Monterey Bay - Seaside
1441 Canyon Del Rey
Seaside, California 93955
Restaurant | "The Sardine Factory"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 18, 2000
701 Wave St
Monterey, California 93940
+1 831 373 3775
Restaurant | "Tillie Gort's"
Tilie Gort's Cafe
111 Central Ave
Pacific Grove, California 93950
+1 831 373 0335
Restaurant | "Stammtisch-Germany without Jet Lag! "
When visiting in Germany, you frequently notice a dining table bearing a small card with the word "Stammtisch". Although not easily translated, the word vaguely indicates that this table is reserved for the favored locals who frequent the establishment. The best table-in-the house, reserved for the establishment’s faithful customers.
Reminiscent of shuttered farmhouses, which dot the hillsides along the Rhine, Stammtisch offers genuine home-style German food in an unpretentious atmosphere. While German food can frequently be somewhat heavy, we found that here with a degree of Austrian influence, a dash of German creativity, and a new-generation chef, Stammtisch offers hearty foods which can be enjoyed by even the most diet conscious diner.
Schwelnebraten, old fashioned roast pork served with potato dumpling and red cabbage ($11.50) provides a hearty helping of traditional German favorites. My husband selected the Schweizer Sahnesteak, a tender pork steak topped with asparagus and cheese combined with a refreshing herb sauce ($15.95). The Hausschnitzel ($14.95) a breaded snitzel, topped with mushrooms, onions and cheese and served with spaetzle and mushroom sauce is so huge it almost overflows the plate. If you are unable to decide, I recommend the Hausplatte ($14.95) which contains small portions of various German favorites: Pork, Wiener Schnitzel, spaetzel, sauerkarut and red cabbage.
The intimate and well appointed dining room contains simply set tables with red linen cloths and lighting from Bavarian style chandeliers. Accents of copper, pewter, and greenery flowing from free-standing flowerboxes all enhance the warm and inviting ambiance. Inconspicuous background music, accented by the pure guttural tones of the German language, recalls many glorious vacations in Germany!
Round out your meal with a choice from the huge assortment of imported German beers or a delightful German wine from the Rhine, Mosel or Rheingau area (sold by the bottle or by the glass). We selected a 1993 Alsheim from the Rheinhessen area and found it a delightful addition.
Stammtisch - Germany without the Jet Lag !
Open Tuesday - Saturday 11:30am to 2:00pm - and - 5:00pm to 9:00 pm
Sunday 4:00pm to 8:30pm
Heustadel music and Dancing - one Saturday per month (call for specific date)
Faushing celebration and other festivals, with dancing and music are provided periodically (call for specific dates)
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2001
1204 Echo Ave
Attraction | "SCUBA Diving at Monterey's Breakwater"
Parking is available, but be warned: GET THERE EARLY--with both boaters and divers competing for space, the parking area fills up fast! Take lots of quarters to feed the meters!!
Because the Coast Guard Breakwater juts out into Monterey Bay at this spot, it is a good vantage point for non-divers to view the divers below. A huge contingent of sea lions rests on the rocks at the end of the Breakwater.
The bottom is basically sandy at about 30 feet. There can be lots of kelp, so be careful if you are not accustommed to diving in kelp. Hiding in the kelp, you will find decorator crabs, and if you are lucky, you may find a tiny octopus living in a can or bottle on the bottom. If you are a certified diver, but have not dived on the California coast before, I STRONGLY recommend you talk with local divers and the dive shops BEFORE going into the water. A full, quater-inch wet suit (or a dry suit) will be necessary, because the water temperature usually remains at about 55 degrees year round. It is generally best to plan your dives for mornings, because the wind surf frequently pick up in the afternoon.
Generally, dive shops in the area are not geared to serve divers flying-in from other parts of the country. If you want to dive here, you are pretty much on your own. You will have to arrange a rental car, and plan to bring or rent your gear from one of the local shops.
Our waters here are beautiful, but very cold and surf can become rough unexpectedly. Enjoy yourself, but be careful!
Scuba Diving at Monterey Breakwater
Attraction | "A walk at Lovers' Point"
As you walk along the manicured paths and enjoy the flowers, you can see the commarants on the nearby rocks and hear the cry of the seagulls overhead. This is the area of the bay which was once the home of the numerous sardines which made Monterey famous and accounted for the many sardine cannerys along cannery row. Sadly, the sardines and canneries are now gone replaced by numerous tourists like you and me. As you walk further out toward the Asilomar area the waves become larger as they crash against the rocks. Admire the quaint houses along this area and envy the owners for their lovely views. After you finish your walk--there are 2 nice restaurants near the parking area: The Old Bath House restaurant and the Tinnery. Both are very good, all be they a bit pricey.
Lovers Point Park
Ocean View Blvd. and 17th St.
Pacific Grove, California
Attraction | "Shopping at THE BARNYARD"
We needed to liven things up--the backyard garden of our home was dull and sorely in need of some creative new garden ornaments and decorations. So a visit to the Succulent Garden Shop in The Barnyard Shopping Complex in Carmel Valley was at the top of our schedule during a recent trip to the Monterey Peninsula area.
Twenty years of creative effort has been lovingly poured into the Succulent Garden Shop. Here, you will find every item you can dream of to enhance your garden, as well as loads of creative ideas to display items in your yard. Succulent plants of every variety, ceramic sculptures as far as the eye can see, planters in every shape and design, distinctive weathervanes, living wall sculptures, pottery, natural murals, lush orchid plants and much, much more. The staff is extremely helpful and graciously offers advice and assistance about your gardening problems. Items can be conveniently packed and shipped, so even if you are a "visitor from afar" your purchases can be safely and easily delivered. You can visit their website at -- http://www.succulentgardens.com --Take the virtual tour!
The Barnyard Shopping Complex allows you to stroll along brick walkways amid sun-drenched gardens surrounded by 7 rustic barns. Depending on the season, flowers are everywhere--wildflowers wave during Springtime, fragrant honeysuckle and roses fill the air in Summer, 6 foot tall sunflowers bend to greet you in the Fall and the Christmas gardens are aglow with hundreds of tiny lights. Over 40 unique specialty shops offer distinctive one-of-a-kind treasures including designer apparel, fine jewelry, books, home accessories, and special gift items. Restaurants extend a world of choices--Japanese, American, British, Chinese and Italian are all on the Barnyard’s menu.
The Barnyard is located at Highway One on Carmel Valley Road (look for the windmill). The Succulent Garden is at the north end of the shopping center. Plenty of free parking and a shopping experience you won’t forget!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 28, 2001
Highway One at Carmel Valley Road
Monterey, California 93923
Attraction | "Old Fisherman's Wharf"
The century old Wharf was originally built by local shipping companies to accommodate steam schooners bringing cargo and merchandise to the general stores along Alvarado Street. Eventually, it became Headquarters for the wholesale fish shippers and the thriving sardine fishing fleet. During its heyday, the catch of salmon, albacore, mackerel, rockfish, ling cod and squid from the blue waters off Monterey Bay, were brought in daily by local fishermen. Burly fish butchers prepared the catch for shipment to West Coast retail outlets and restaurants.
Today, most of Monterey’s commercial fishing activities have moved North to the city’s new Municipal pier, but the ancient wharf, with its tired timber pilings, remains alive with a variety of colorful waterfront activities. Old Fisherman’s Wharf has become a Mecca for the throngs of visitors, tourists and vacationers touring this historic area. The unique Wharf Theater majestically sits in command at the end of the wharf and files of seafood restaurants line the promenade. Short-fingered piers reach anxiously into the bay, each offering its own variety of sport-fishing trip, whale watching excursion or SCUBA diving tour. A proliferation of Art galleries, craft vendors and salt-water taffy shops contribute to the welcoming atmosphere of the Wharf and the Daily Catch can still be found at one of the few remaining fresh markets.
On the windswept bluff just south of the Wharf and overlooking Alvarado Street, one sees the statue of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of the Monterey fishing fleet, constantly watching her beloved wharf below.
OLD FISHERMAN'S WHARF IS - Open daily, year 'round - Shops are opened from 10am to 10pm, Restaurant times vary.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 23, 2001
Monterey, California 93940
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona