Weekend in Monterey

I took a romantic weekend getaway last year to Monterey, where we were able to enjoy every second.


Lone Oak Lodge

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by pinguinigal on October 17, 2006

When we went away this weekend, we were students on a budget, so we were looking for a budget hotel that wouldn't make us cringe. We found much, much more than that.

It was super cheap (we booked online and spent less than $150 for 3 nights), but it was also VERY clean. The staff was VERY friendly, helpful, professional, etc.

Some might call the decor tacky (pink, green, orange), but I'll call it quirky. Hey, what can you expect, right? There was more than enough room for us in a queen-size room, and we were provided with coffee each morning. My favorite part was the flower pots outside. It made it feel like you were at HOME. It was great.

It was maybe 5 minutes away from the beach/cannery row/aquarium and quite close to the freeway. Very easy to find. They also had a room with a Jacuzzi for relaxing.

We definitely would go back there again, as we were incredibly pleased.

Lone Oak Lodge
2221 N. Fremont Street
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 372-4924

Monterey Whale Watching

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by pinguinigal on October 17, 2006

On our trip, we decided to do some whale watching, since it is such a popular activity in Monterey Bay. We chose this company through word-of-mouth, as well as seeing how professional they seemed from the rest of the companies on the wharf.

It was a wonderful experience, but I would like to first warn that you aren't really going to be able to see the whales up close. It was explained to us that because of certain laws, the boat has to be several hundred feet away from the whales. So by looking at the pictures, you can see that we weren't able to see them THAT close. However, I was able to see sea otters, lots of birds, two different kinds of whales, and dolphins. We even got to see a baby whale and its mom! It was very cute. The dolphins swam up closer to us, and there was a whole school of them. It was very beautiful.

The guides were VERY informative. The whole trip lasted about 3 hours total, and they did not run out of things to tell us. They spoke over a loudspeaker on the boat that could be heard from wherever you were, so you didn't miss any information.

A warning, though: even if you aren't prone to seasickness, you might want to take precautions and take some Dramamine. The ride out there is VERY choppy. It felt like I was on some kind of roller coaster ride. After an hour or two, you might get kinda lightheaded, like I did! Luckily, there are seats inside the cabin where you can sit down away from the outside and buy hot chocolate (or other snacks).

It's also important to note that it's VERY cold out on the sea, even in the summer! Do NOT wear flip-flops! Your toes will freeze AND you might slip on the deck. It's very wet because of the water mist. It feels like it's raining at times.

We booked online, so we were guaranteed spots. You might want to call ahead or get there early because they do fill up, especially during peak season. The trip cost a little over $20 per person.

Monterey Bay Whale Watch
84 Fishermans Wharf
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 375-4658

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by pinguinigal on October 17, 2006

You cannot go to Monterey without going to the aquarium! It is a definite must. Even if you aren't traveling with kids, it's still a great place to visit.

It costs around 20 bucks, and you can spend a good 2 or 3 hours inside just looking at the wonderful marine life. Get a visitor's guide in the front so you can catch otter- or penguin-feeding time. (On a side note, in case you DO have kids, the Monterey Aquarium has the feedings on webcam. You can get the kids excited a few days earlier by showing them this!)

You can also rent out scuba gear and they will take you on a short snorkeling lesson. It was a bit pricey, though, so we passed and were able to enjoy ourselves just fine.

There are a few stations where you can actually touch a stingray or a starfish or an urchin!
This is a great place for kids, but aren't we all kids at heart? I'd definitely go again, and you should too!

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

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