Monterey Journals

Running the Big Sur in a Monterey Weekend

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An April 2001 trip to Monterey by barbara

The Big Sur International Marathon Photo, Monterey, California More Photos
Quote: I lived in Fort Ord when I was a child. I have grand memories of the beautiful California coastline, and running the Big Sur Marathon along one of the most famous highways in the United States, Hwy 1, was a soulful experience that felt to me like coming home.

Running the Big Sur in a Monterey Weekend

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Overview

Cannery Row Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Monterey is a small town with a lot to offer. Much smaller and less garish than San Fran's more commercial version of Fisherman's Wharf is Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf with its gift shops and restaurants. Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row is recognized as one of the premiere aquariums in the world. Call 1-800-756-3737 to purchase tickets in advance or visit www.montereybayaquarium.org online. Cannery Row is worth a walking tour as you look for gifts for loved ones at home. Kayaks and rollerblades can be rented from outfitters you will walk by in the downtown area so that you can better enjoy a day of exploring. Nearby Salinas offers a close look at one of the most beloved American writers...Read More

Hyatt Regency Monterey

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Hotel

Quote:
The Hyatt Regency was a comfortable hotel located right off the highway near Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. The main draw to this establishment is the golf course. As I do not play golf, I found the rates for our room a bit exorbitant. However, hotels in general in Monterey can be expensive. What the Hyatt provided for $300/night was a decent sized but generic room with a small bathroom and no mini-bar. However, the beds were very comfortable, and the hotel's restaurants are good. We spent the evening before the Big Sur Marathon watching an ordered movie, snacking on room service and studying our race packets in comfort. Our room was on a locked floor (an additional $35/night), thus we w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2001

Hyatt Regency Monterey
1 Old Golf Course Rd.
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 372-1234

Days Inn Monterey

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Hotel | "Days Inn"

Days Inn Monterey Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
There is nothing special about the Days Inn on Munras Avenue, but it is a decent place to stay. Downtown Monterey is nearby. The main attractions for tourists---Fisherman’s Wharf, the ocean, Cannery Row---take no time to get to at all. Fast food restaurants are nearby, too: a Wendy’s is within walking distance. My room was small but decorated nicely in a deep burgundy motif with a wreath hanging over my bed. While there was no mini bar in my room, there was a refrigerator, which came in very handy for me as I enjoy drinking juice when I first wake up in the morning. There was also a small microwave, VCR, and cable TV. The bathroom was tiny, but the water pressure in the shower---a very important...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 4, 2002

Days Inn Monterey
1288 MUNRAS AVE
Monterey, California 93940
831 375-2168

Knuckles Sports Bar

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Restaurant

Quote:
Knuckles Sports Bar is located in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It has a masculine feel with sports equipment hanging from the ceilings by the dimly lit bar. Where ever there isn't a golf bag or tennis racket hanging, there is a television tuned into a sporting event. The bartender happily turned the station of one corner TV to a baseball game per a patron's request. Diners can help themselves to peanuts or popcorn while waiting for their food. The service was prompt and friendly, and the menu was reasonably priced for a sports bar. I had an absolutely yummy hamburger smothered in bacon and cheese and mushrooms. It had been grilled and was served with french fries. Knuckles is a good place to eat i...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 3, 2001

Knuckles Sports Bar
1 Old Golf Course Rd
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 372-1234

Rosine's Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
Rosine's is a family owned and operated restaurant, and it is a wonderful place to go if you would like a good Italian meal. The atmosphere is casual but nice. The service was quick and friendly. The homemade lasagna was absolutely out of this world: lots of cheese and meat in layers of baked lasagna noodles. I chose a local Monterey Chardonnay to accompany my meal, and I had a huge piece of Almond Joy cake for dessert. The slice was big enough to feed a small country, much less me, but I enjoyed every mouthful! The tab for a party of two with salads, desserts, alcohol and tip was a very reasonble $50, and the food was a much higher quality than an equally priced (but much smaller) lunch ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2001

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

Monterey Jacks Fish House

Restaurant | "Monterey Jack's Fish House"

Quote:
Monterey Jack's is a Sports Bar located on Cannerey Row. We were looking at the menu outside when a group of people walked by and told us the food was really good. We decided to give it a try. This would be a good place for a sports fan to eat. Memorabilia is everywhere. Signed photos of sports celebrities are on the walls. Signed baseballs are in glass cases. We ate on the second floor and had a nice view of the water. We used the crayons on our table to sketch pictures of the flowers growing along Cannery Row. The atmosphere was pleasant and the service was quick and friendly. The food, however, was not as good as I would have liked. I had an angel hair and shrimp pasta dish w...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 18, 2001

Monterey Jacks Fish House
711 Cannery Row
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 655-4947

Abalonetti Seafood Trattoria

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Restaurant | "Abalonetti"

Quote:
Located right on Fisherman’s Wharf, Abalonetti is a small seafood restaurant that has been serving lunch and dinner since 1951. I had the great pleasure of eating there with a good friend who lives in Monterey and says she enjoys the current chef’s cooking. The tables in the restaurant are arranged to give as many diners as possible a view of the harbor, but reservations are recommended for seating by the tall windows facing the ocean. Without reservations we sat at a small table by a window facing the wharf, but we were so engaged in conversation that the view was not an issue. The service was very prompt and friendly. Our waiter was efficient without being intrusive, and he was patient when it ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 4, 2002

Abalonetti Seafood Trattoria
57 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, California 93940
+1 831 373 1851

Portola Cafe

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Restaurant

Quote:
The Portola Cafe is located inside the Monterey Bay Aquarium, an area must-see attraction. Named for Captain Portola, the Spanish sailor who first established a colony in Monterey, the cafe offers visitors several dining options. A self-service cafe is open from 10-5 daily. This is a good choice for kids because the bar includes finger favorites such as pizza and sandwiches. For those who would like to linger over the views of the Bay the cafe's wrap-around windows afford, a full- service restaurant operates from 11-3 with an oyster bar from 11-5:30 daily. Order a glass of wine from the bar and enjoy a wide selection of scrumptious dishes such as the pan seared Alaskan halibut in a banana rum gla...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2002

Portola Cafe
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 648-4870

Quote:
The best thing about the Stillwater Bar and Grill is the view. Located on the 18th hole of the famous Pebble Beach golf course, you can gaze across Carmel Bay from any of the tall windows. Seafood is available on the menu, but there is lighter dining, too. Much more casual than the exclusive Club XIX, also at the Lodge, you can eat at the Stillwater bar after a round of golf or go to an exquisite brunch on Sunday. Breakfast is served here as well as lunch and dinner.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2002

The Stillwater Bar and Grill
1300 Sylvan Rd
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 624-3811

Cibo

Restaurant | "Cibos"

Quote:
Cibos is a nice Italian restaurant on Alvarado Street. With white cloths on the tables, there is an upscale feel to the dining area. Still, with an eclectic menu and artsy decor, there is nothing stuffy about the place. Enjoy a meal of ravioli stuffed with spinach and four cheeses after an appetizer of crab cakes or calamari. Then kick back for the real attraction: live jazz. On Friday and Saturday nights dancing is on the agenda. Music opens up to every kind of style with a beat, and people crowd the dance floor. Open until 1:30 a.m. weekend nights. No music on Mondays.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2002

Cibo
301 Alvarado St
Monterey, California 93940
+1 831 649 8151

Hog's Breath Inn

Restaurant | "The Hog's Breath Inn"

Quote:
Co-owned by Clint Eastwood, this restaurant capitalizes upon the actor's fame. On the American fare menu, you will find food named after the politician/actor's movies (i.e. the Dirty Harry Burger) as well as other entrees. The atmosphere? There are boars' heads on the walls, so I can only describe it as casual. Open until 2 a.m., this is known to be a good place for getting late night drinks and socializing. There's an outdoor patio for nice weather.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2002

Hog's Breath Inn
San Carlos St & 5th Ave
Monterey, California 93923
(831) 625-1044

The Big Sur International Marathon

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Attraction

The Big Sur International Marathon Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
The Big Sur Marathon is a beautiful race along the prettiest highway in the United States. For one day a year only Highway 1 is closed to traffic to accommodate runners, and the incredible ocean views are worth every second of pain you will feel as you navigate the difficult and sometimes windy course. Hurricaine Point, for instance, is a brutal, almost three mile long incline at a steep angle that you confront about ten miles into your race. When you get to the top, however, and you look over your shoulder at the mountain you have just conquered, at the sea churning below the cliffs, your breath will be taken away. It is truly a truimphant moment for any distance runner. The race is ext...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2001

The Big Sur International Marathon
from Big Sur to Carmel
Monterey, California

Fisherman's Wharf

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Attraction | "Old Fisherman's Wharf"

Fisherman's Wharf Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
I used to love to go to Fisherman's Wharf when I was a child. I liked to watch the salt water taffy being made in the windows. I liked to listen to the sea lions bark out their conversations on the rocks. I liked to look at the boats bobbing up and down on the ocean. This is a fairly peaceful place that suits me a hundred times more than the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. There are many restaurants (some with excellent clam chowder) and stores in which to browse. There are often art festivals going on nearby. Upon my visit there was one in progress that displayed all kinds of eclectic local wares. I bought this completely cool windchime made from an old metal wine goblet and clinking silv...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2001

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

Emporia Video Arcade and Carousel

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Attraction | "Emporia Arcade and Carrousel"

Emporia Video Arcade and Carousel Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
The Emporia Carrousel has been there since 1979. I remember riding on it when I was a young girl in elementary school. Of course, back then, there were no video games to entertain me, too! This is a nice place to drop in after walking around Cannery Row.... especially if you have children with you. Kids will appreciate a short break from window shopping to ride the carrousel that was made in Germany in the early half of the twentieth century. And, of course, a friendly game of air hockey between friends is always a fun diversion from the sun....

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2001

Emporia Video Arcade and Carousel
Cannery Row
Monterey, California 93940

The Steinbeck House

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Attraction

The Steinbeck House Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Located just a few blocks from the expansive Steinbeck Center in Salinas, I could not bring myself to leave the Monterey Bay area without at least driving by my favorite Nobel prize winner's boyhood home. It was actually grander than I had anticipated! I did not get to eat there, but the Steinbeck house is now a restaurant serving lunch from 11:30-2:00 p.m. Reservations are advised. The number is 831-424-2735. There is a gift shop at the house and also at the Steinbeck Center.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2001

The Steinbeck House
132 Central Avenue
Monterey, California 93901
(831) 757-0508

Rappazzini Winery

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Attraction

Quote:
The friend I traveled to Monterey with wanted to tour a vineyard. After running in a marathon, however, we found ourselves short on time and energy. She was thrilled when we saw a winerey open on our way to the San Jose airport. We stopped at Rappazzini's somewhere around brunch time and were greeted at the door by the family Rottweiler! This big guy's portrait actually dons a label or two, and we found our canine host to be very friendly.The lady behind the counter explained that Rappazzini Winery does not have a vineyard of its own. Instead, the owners pick and choose the grapes they want from the best vineyards in Monterey County. They do not have a national distributor, so we enjoyed tast...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2001

Rappazzini Winery
4350 Monterey Rd
Monterey, California 95020
(408) 842-5649

Quote:
I remember Dennis the Menace Park from my own childhood. How wonderful to find it is still enjoyed by kids today! It is a wonderful public playground by the lake with enough slides to make Hank Ketchum's rambunctious cartoon creation proud. This is a great place to bring a family to run free and burn up excess energy.

Inquire at the visitors' center on Camino El Estero about paddleboat rental for the lake.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2002

Dennis the Menace Park
9125 Arrington Ave.
Monterey, California

Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Courses

Attraction | "Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses"

Quote:
The Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses used to be owned and operated by Fort Ord, the domain of golfers in the military. My parents are both avid golfers, and I spent many an afternoon as a caddy walking these well-maintained courses, looking at the views. Now both the Bayonet and the Black Horse are open to the public. Suited for golfers of all levels, these are good (and MUCH less expensive) alternatives to Monterey's most beautiful and famous course at Pebble Beach (Located on 17 Mile Drive/Green Fees: $350/800-654-9300). While in Monterey I also had the pleasure of eating a Portobello sandwich and salad from Bayonet Bar and Grill. My friends had succulent hamburgers served with thick fri...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2002

Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Courses
1 McClure Way
Monterey, California 93955
(831) 899-7271

Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Attraction | "The Monterey Bay Aquarium"

Monterey Bay Aquarium Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Located at the end of Cannery Row in an old sardine factory, this attraction is a must-see for travelers with children in tow. In fact, I would suggest it to any marine life lover as one of the nicest aquariums I have ever visited, well worth the price of entry. Whales hang from the ceiling, and the visitor must choose which direction to go: to visit the kelp forest through which sharks quietly glide amidst hundreds of other species of fish, to see the otters playing in their tanks, or to the largest jelly fish exhibit in the world. All of these places mesmerized me. I found myself nose to nose (Does an octopus have a nose?) with a giant octopus, his tentacles curled around his bu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 5, 2002

Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 648-4888

An Easy Run for a Visitor

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Attraction

An Easy Run for a Visitor Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
It is easy for me to understand why so many people on the West coast are physically fit. The Monterey Bay area is perfectly suited for anyone who enjoys exercise. Running is as big a part of my life as breathing, and taking in a city on foot is a wonderful way to explore. If you don't want to take on the Big Sur Marathon (see separate entry), a route I would suggest for any runner visiting Monterey would begin at Lover's Point past the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There are paths that extend for miles--beyond Old Fisherman's Wharf--that will allow for any distance you'd like to go on mostly flat terrain. The weather in Monterey can get chilly, but it is never harsh either. I went running near the o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 6, 2002

An Easy Run for a Visitor
start at Lover's Point
Monterey, California

National Steinbeck Center

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Attraction | "The Steinbeck Museum"

Quote:
John Steinbeck is one of the most revered and beloved of all American writers. He grew up in Salinas, playing near the river, absorbing the culture and nature around him as readily as the sea sponges he would study later as a marine biologist. His book The Grapes of Wrath examined one of the most trying times in our nation's history---The Great Depression---and how it affected his home state. The more light hearted Cannery Row made the street by that same name in Monterey famous. The Steinbeck Museum is a wonderful tribute to the writing of Salinas's most famous son. The visitor journeys through Steinbeck's life by walking through his books. Exhibits are built around each of his...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 6, 2002

National Steinbeck Center
1 Main Street
Salinas, California 93901
(831) 775-4721

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

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Attraction | "A Word on Golf in Pebble Beach"

Quote:
Monterey and Pebble Beach are known for golf. Stunning views, exclusive clubs, prime real estate and incredible landscapes have long attracted the rich and famous. The Bing Crosby Golf Tournament, which first started in 1947, brought amateurs, pros and celebrities to the area in droves. Now called the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro AM, the tournament is played in the first months of each new year and is a hot ticket for tourists. Golf greats like Tiger Woods play the Pebble Beach Links as well as actors and other notables.When I was a little girl I attended the tournament with my parents. I remember watching Clint Eastwood in the midst of his Dirty Harry days hitting a line drive down the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 27, 2002

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
200 East Franklin St
Monterey, California 93942
+1 831 649 1533; 1 8

17 Mile Drive

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Attraction | "Seventeen Mile Drive Highlights"

Quote:
The Seventeen Mile Drive is one of the prettiest stretches of road in the country. You may enter at a number of gates where each car has to pay a nominal fee. While it would be easy to whiz through the area, the Seventeen Mile Drive should be savored like a fine wine. Visitors will find areas to pull over and park as they explore. Many picnic tables also line the way, so bringing lunch can be a nice diversion, especially with children. Following are a few highlights:Moss Beach is famous for the variety of sea moss that swirls in the waters. Point Joe is within easy walking distance of Moss Beach. This craggy area caused many a shipwreck in the late nineteenth century.If you'd like, kee...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2002

17 Mile Drive
Pebble Beach -- Monterey Peninsula
Monterey, California

Maritime Museum of Monterey

Attraction | "Monterey Maritime Museum"

Quote:
Located near Old Fisherman's Wharf is the Monterey Maritime Museum. The two story building is full of mementoes about the nautical history of the area. Among the exhibits, visitors will find the paraphanlia needed by those people who first braved the Monterey sea to farm abalone from the depths of the ocean. Children will like the whale harpoons and adults will enjoy the history. There is a nominal admissions fee for entrance. Call 831-373-2469 for hours.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 28, 2002

Maritime Museum of Monterey
5 Custom House PLZ
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 375-2553

Fort Ord, California

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Story/Tip

Quote:
For anyone associated with the military who has ever lived in California, a trip to Fort Ord might be like a trip down memory lane. Unfortunately much of Fort Ord was closed down some time ago and is left boarded up and neglected, little use to anyone. However, do not let this stop you from driving through. Part of Fort Ord has been taken over by a local university, and part of Fort Ord was never shut down at all. In fact, when my father was stationed at Fort Ord over twenty years ago, we lived in Fitch Park which provided housing for officers. This area is still used for military housing. It is alive with young families whose military member is taking classes either at the Naval Post Graduate S...Read More