Monterey Journals

10 Glorious Days in Monterey

A July 2005 trip to Monterey by mountainlake

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Photo, Carmel, California More Photos
Quote: I spent 10 days in Monterey, mainly for business. But I stole away at every opportunity to enjoy the fantastic food, hikes, and nature all around me.

10 Glorious Days in Monterey

Overview

Quote:
My list of highlights will not revolve around cheap souvenirs or tacky tourist traps - sorry! Instead, I challenge you to see the real beauty of Monterey and surrounding areas. Walk along the biking trail that extends from Fisherman's Wharf all the way up to Cannery Row. Visit Point Lobos and Big Sur. Go kayaking in Monterey Bay or Elkhorn Slough. Enjoy the fresh local seafood and wonderful Monterey wines. And don't miss the world-class Monterey Acquarium.Quick Tips: You can read upcoming events in the Monterey Herald, available free online at http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/. When you arrive, go to the visitor's center on Del Monte and pick up maps, brochures, etc. A...Read More

Passionfish

Restaurant

Quote:
One of the best restaurants I've ever been to - the food is so fresh and prepared in such wonderful, unique ways. At my first visit, I had gulf shrimp in a Vietnamese sauce with rice fritters and lemongrass slaw. The food was so good, I almost melted. Dessert was a fantastic, flavorful berry cobbler. I wanted to spend each evening out at a different restaurant, but Passionfish was so good, I had to come back. The next night, I had an appetizer (sweet potato fries - mm!) and a salad (baked gorgonzola - to-die-for) and dessert (banana lime rum - if you miss this, you will regret it--it's the closest I've come to licking a plate in public).

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Passionfish
701 Lighthouse Ave
Pacific Grove, California 93950
+1 831 655 3311

Sea Harvest Fish Market & Restaurants

Restaurant | "Sea Harvest Monterey"

Quote:
Little "atmosphere", since the restaurant is just stuck into the fish market. But the lack of ambience is more than made up for with the VERY fresh seafood. Just point to whatever is in their case, and they'll make it up for you. Don't miss their pine nut and raisin coleslaw - out of this world. I ate here three times in 10 days - it was so fresh and so inexpensive. My favorite meal was the fried prawns -- they are enormous and so fresh, I couldn't believe it. I didn't need lemons, cocktail sauce, or anything else ... the flavor was so fresh and crisp. Prices are extremely reasonable, and service is good. I had the clam chowder at one of my meals, and thought it was so-so - lots of clam meat but the s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Sea Harvest Fish Market & Restaurants
598 Foam Street
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 646-0547

Rosine's Restaurant

Restaurant

Quote:
Very good food, decent service, lots of variety in a decent price range. This isn't the first place I'd go in Monterey, but it's certainly not the last! Their cakes look fantastic, but watch out--the slices are $5 each and would feed three people.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Rosine's Restaurant
434 Alvarado Street
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 375-1400

Turtle Bay

Restaurant

Quote:
I stayed with a local in Monterey, and when I asked her where I should eat, she said emphatically, "My favorite place to eat is Turtle Bay!" I wondered what provoked such passion, but once I stopped by, I wondered no more. Turtle Bay is funky, fun, inexpensive, relaxed, and FABULOUS. The food is out of this world yet oh-so-cheap. How they do it, I'll never know. The soft tacos are great; I've had the chicken, grilled shrimp, and veggie. There's also wild salmon, snapper, and more. I had a house salad, organic greens and a tangy mango vinagrette, and couldn't believe how fresh it was. Don't miss their homemade salsas: I went back three times for more of the cranberry salsa. The service is fan...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 29, 2005

Turtle Bay
156 Fourth Avenue
Monterey, California

Monterey Fish House

Restaurant

Quote:
Since I love seafood, and I had heard so many people recommend the Monterey Fish House, I decided I had to try it out. During the summer, the Fish House is absolutely packed in the evenings. Since the restaurant is small and doesn't have much parking, I didn't relish the idea of hassling over a parking spot and waiting forever for a table. So, I decided to go for lunch. I arrived when the doors opened for lunch at 11:30am. This is a great time to come if you want to try out the restaurant, since it stayed relatively quiet the whole time I was there.I have to say, I did not like my meal. I wanted prawns, and they didn't have any non-fried prawns on their lunch menu. However, the server said...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 11, 2005

Monterey Fish House
2114 Del Monte Ave.
Monterey, California
831/373-4647

Monterey Bay Kayaks

Attraction | "Moonlight Tour of Elkhorn Slough"

Quote:
Fantastic experience - your guide goes thoroughly over the basics, and you and another person get into the tandem kayak. You explore the mouth of the bay, and the harbor seals are splashing all around. A baby harbor seal followed us as we started paddling into the slough. We enjoyed the birds, the scenery, and the night air. We stopped about 2 miles back into the slough, and our guide surprised us with hot chocolate. Mmm. Then it was time for the real work, paddling against the tide to make our way back. We got tired, and our guide just hooked us onto her kayak and towed us in. Wow, so much fun for such little money!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Monterey Bay Kayaks
693 Del Monte Avenue at Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, California 93940
800 649 5357

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Attraction | "Point Lobos State Park"

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Photo, Carmel, California
Quote:
Point Lobos State Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country. There's so much beauty, so close to the trails. Sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, wildflowers galore, cypress trees, and the list goes on. If you are near Monterey, do not miss this park. It's very close (about 6 miles south on Rt 1), and the way the glorious cypress, stunning wildflowers, and craggy cliffs meet the sea--it's just too beautiful for words.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Highway 1 South Of Carmel River
Carmel, California 93923
(831) 624-4909

Fisherman's Wharf

Attraction | "Heart of Monterey"

Quote:
Excellent, low-pressure wine tasting - $5 for four samples of outstanding local wines. No pressure to buy, since this isn't a winery--it's just a set-up so tourists can try different local wines. Of course visiting the actual winery is more fun, but I liked this because I could just pop in, pay $5 and try 4 outstanding wines ($25-35 per bottle), and not have a salesperson breathing down my neck to buy.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, California 93940

Quote:
This coastal walk is fantastic, peaceful, and free. Just park in one of the many designated parking spots along side Sunset Drive and enjoy the wildflowers, tidal pools, craggy rocks, and waves crashing into the sand. This is what the coast of California is supposed to be like! I jogged here twice (it's just south of Monterey) in the evenings, and not many people were about, though plenty enough to make me feel safe.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Asilomar State Beach
Sunset Drive
Monterey, California

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Attraction | "Short Side Trip to Big Sur"

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Towering redwoods alongside a rushing stream--this is California. When I visited the main trail to Pfeiffer Falls was closed due to a bridge being out. Instead you are told to take a detour up the Valley View trail. The detour wasn't worth it - you hike way up and then hike down to the falls. The falls themselves are not what make this place special. It's the redwoods. They will let you go halfway up the main Pfeiffer Falls trail (obviously, it doesn't get you all the way to the falls though), and you should do it. The redwoods, the lush green ferns, the babbling water - the beauty is tremendous. In addition, the trail is quite easy. In my opinion, the Valley View trail is strenuous, and the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2005

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
47225 Highway 1
Big Sur, California 93920
(831) 667-2315