The Couple does Monterey

Monterey was on our list of places to visit, we'd heard fantastic things about the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and we really needed a getaway... so Monterey it was.


Monterey


The Couple does Monterey

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

Drive down Ocean View Boulevard - the views are astounding! ${QuickSuggestions} There's a company called Adventures by the Sea. We didn't rent from them, but we saw several families peddling around in those little pedi cabs. ${BestWay} If you have to park, do it at Custom House Garage East. It's for all day and on Washington between Del Monte and Franklin. Take the Monterey-Salinas Transit Trolley, which is free! It runs through all the popular attractions (the aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, and historical sites) and to parking sites (Cannery Row Garage, the Downtown Garage, and the Transit Center). You can take it Memorial Day through Labor Day, and during other peak times (like spring break).

Discovery Inn

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

This hotel is easy to find right on the main drag of Fremont. Employees were friendly and there's coffee and pastries in the mornings around 8am. The room was $55 a night, which includes tax.

We had a mini fridge (I'm guessing the standard in all rooms) and paper-thin walls. It was a little ragged around the edges but excellent for the price. For the quietest sleep, you will probably want room no. 20, which is on the end and only has one neighbor, whose headboard will not back up to your own.

You can reserve a room online at their website discoveryinnmontereybay.com.

Discovery Inn Monterey Bay
1106 Fremont Boulevard
Seaside, California, 93955
(831) 394-3113

Whole Foods Market

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on July 20, 2005

Whole Foods is great! They only have all natural, organic items (you won't find any Snickers bars).

We stopped in to buy a few foodstuffs for our trip to the aquarium. We bought everything from the counter staff, including roast beef and Black Forest ham for sandwiches, and both were very fresh and flavorful. My husband loved the Moroccan chicken salad. We also bought two cookies, which were expensive at 99 cents each, but oh-so worth it. I had cranberry orange, and Jason had espresso chocolate, which even I had a taste of (and I hate coffee flavors).

Help was quick, especially when we couldn't figure out what to buy. The store was clean and neat and had an amazing amount of prepared food and fruits.

Phone number: 831-333-1600

Whole Foods Market
800 Del Monte Center
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 333-1600

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

The aquarium was lots of fun. We were not prepared for the long line to get in, but don't worry. Even though we were in the black maze part of the line, we moved quickly and were inside the aquarium within 20 minutes. The aquarium was a lot more than I expected. It wasn't just amazing animals and plant life I had never seen before. It was sweeping vistas looking out over the Monterey Bay and amazing art and historical items interspersed with marine life. There were several areas just for children where they could explore items on their own terms. It wasn’t just observation either, as there were hands-on activities, art, dress-up, and play structures.

Open 10am to 6pm; on holidays they open at 9:30am. Re-entry allowed on same day. Bring in food, as you can eat outside.

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

California's First Theater

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

Although it's currently closed for renovations, it did have markers explaining the significance of the structure. This is one of the stops on Monterey's Path of History.

The building was built in the 1840s and was a saloon with adjoining apartments. Soldiers stationed in Monterey performed plays, hence the name.

California's First Theater
Monterey Historic State Park
Monterey, California
(831) 375-4916

Pacific House

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

This is an amazing little museum! Jason felt this was a museum, but I thought it was a hotel. We're just lucky we stumbled upon it!

On the bottom floor is a museum about Monterey, and on the top floor is a totally separate museum, both of which are free!

The Pacific House, while not huge, has an enormous amount of material packed into it. There is information about Monterey's early days and about how the great state of California was founded. There's a lot about the cattle industry and the local Native Americans. Most of the printed material is also available in Braille. On the opposite side are little stations highlighting most of the sites on Monterey's Path of History walk.

The museum is open from 10am to 3pm and closed Tuesday and Thursday.

Pacific House
20 Custom House Plaza
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 649-7118

Monterey Museum of the American Indian

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

This museum is mostly from the private collection of one couple. The museum is housed on the upper level of the Pacific House. There is no disabled access, although there is a video on the lower level that shows the collection.

Make sure that you grab a guide once you make it into this museum. None of the items displayed have tribe names; all that info is in the guide.

Monterey State Historic Park: Museum of the American Indian
20 Custom House Plaza
Monterey, California

The Loose Noodle Pasta House

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

The pasta was good but nothing spectacular. I had lemon-garlic shrimp with fettuccini alfredo ($11) and Jason had artichoke salmon ($11). Both of us added soup and salad for $3 and had a very good clam chowder. The menu said meals were served with fresh ciabatta bread, but we were given five thin slices of French bread. The prices were fair, but Jason thought the price was high compared to the amount of food given. Soda was $2.50 for a bottle. Our waiter was not very attentive and had trouble communicating with us. This might be a better place for lunch (food costing $6 to $8) or the early-bird special, which was $10.
Loose Noodle Pasta House
538 Lighthouse Ave
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 641-0130

Rosine's

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

We went in a little before 5pm hoping to miss the dinner rush, which we did. The first thing that struck me was that sodas were expensive, and for every drink you only got one refill. That put me off and we got water, although we had to add some lemon, as the water wasn't that tasty.

Our waitress was not attentive and didn't stop by to see how our meal was. When she brought our meals, we asked for ketchup and had to flag her down about 10 minutes later to get it. We had read good reviews about dessert on this site, and when we asked to see a dessert menu, there was none. We were told we would have to go upfront (where it had become very crowded) to see them. Well, nothing was labeled and the woman behind the counter didn't seem all that interested in answering our question of, "What is that?" We decided on a peanut-butter pie, which was good, and the piece was larger than usual, but I don't know if that justified that $6 price.

The food was okay, but not worth the money we paid. I'd have to compare it to Olive Garden, a little bit more in terms of price, a little less in terms of food and not as good. Overall, I thought the place was overpriced and not as good as other reviews led me to believe.

Visit online at rosinesmonterey.com

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

Lucas Point

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

We were a little north of Lucas Point (on Ocean View between Coral and Acropolis) when we decided we had to get out and scramble on the rocks. It was a beautiful day, and there was a turnout with parking. There was even a little spot where you could go down and actually get your feet wet. This area is not suitable for swimming and very rocky, but it made for a great photo opportunity.
Lucas Point
Ocean View Blvd and Coral St
Monterey, California


Carmel


Carmel State Beach

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

We landed at Carmel State Beach, after deciding to pass up Point Lobos State Reserve ($9 for entrance and a map, was too much for our budget for an hour or two) which is a short drive away.

After parking along Highway One and walking across the street we were at the beach! There were a few families out enjoying the weak late afternoon sunshine. Kids were playing in the sand, running in the surf and playing with driftwood. The surf doesn't appear to be much for swimming, but it was a nice place to sit and rest as we watched the crashing waves and felt the sea spray on our faces.

A nice quiet, free!, way to spend an hour or two.
Carmel State Beach
Highway 1
Carmel, California

Katy 'n Harry's Wagon Wheel Coffee Shop

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

Katy 'n Harry's Wagon Wheel Coffee Shop was a fun little place in Carmel Valley to stop for breakfast.

After driving out there we were more than ready for some breakfast. It's a little (maybe room for 30 people) local place and sometimes you can spot Clint Eastwood there (we didn't see him).

While the food was good, it was marked up! Breakfast for the two of us was $26. We didn't have anything fancy either, a Spanish omlette, Biscuits and Gravy, a Cinnamon roll (yum!), coffee and orange juice. Well, the orange juice was fancy it was fresh-squeezed and at $6 for a glass it wasn't worth it!

People are friendly and if you want a taste of how the locals do it (and try and catch a glimpse of Clint Eastwood) then stop on in. I doubt we'll go back the next time we make a trip up there, but it was nice to do it once.
Wagon Wheel Coffee Shop
7156 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel, California, 93923
(831) 624-8878

Carmel Mission

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission was beautiful. The mission opened at 10:30am, and there's a $4 fee for admission. You could skip paying the fee if you are there when a wedding is going on (there were three the day we were there), but I feel that would be dishonest. If there are weddings going on when you visit, make sure you slip into the sanctuary when the wedding guests leave. There isn't a whole lot of time between weddings, but enough to go in and get a look around. There are several little museums on the ground: one dedicated to a local family, one to the man who restored the mission (he and his wife are buried here), and lots related to the actual mission. Fray Sierra is buried in the church up in the front, and there is also a cemetery to the right of the church building. You can visit their website at carmelmission.org.
Carmel Mission
3080 Rio Road
Carmel, California, 93923
(831) 624-3600


Pacific Grove


A Walk at Lover's Point

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

This had great views of Monterey and the bay. We had lots of fun climbing up on the rocks and taking pictures. There's a beach volleyball court and a place to walk into the ocean in a little cove. We parked for free.
Lovers Point Park
Ocean View Blvd. and 17th St.
Pacific Grove, California

Point Pinos Lighthouse

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by CoupleTravels on April 4, 2005

We didn't actually get to go into the lighthouse because it had just closed. It is the longest operating lighthouse on the West Coast and built in the Cape Cod style.

It's open from 1to 4pm Thursday to Monday. In the summer it's open 11:30am to 5pm every day. The requested donation is $2 for adults and $1 for kids.

Even if you don't make it to the lighthouse, Point Pinos is breathtaking. All you can see is the Pacific stretching out in front of you.

Point Pinos Lighthouse
Asilomar Avenue Between Lighthouse Ave and Del Monte Blvd
Pacific Grove, California, 93950
1 831 648 3176

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