Bed and Breakfast and Penguins on the Monterey Peninsula

We were determined to see the penguins currently in residence at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so we ran away from our home by the ocean to go stay at someone else's home by a different part of the ocean.

Bed and Breakfast and Penguins on the Monterey Peninsula

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 20, 2002

On your first visit to Monterey--or your first visit in a long time--there's no shame in doing the tried-and-true. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, the restaurants at Cannery Row, and the shore at Pebble Beach are all relaxing and worthwhile.${QuickSuggestions} If you want to visit Monterey in October and stay at one of the nicer properties, plan on making reservations several months in advance. October has a lot of festivals and locals from the Bay Area know to book early.${BestWay} If your main destination is the aquarium, choose accommodations near or on Cannery Row and walk (or wheel) there. It's a beautiful neighborhood.

The Jabberwock Inn

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 20, 2002

I found this inn online and was attracted by its name, inspired by Lewis Carroll''s "Jabberwocky." A recent visit to the Jabberwock Inn proved to be a memorable and delightful experience.

The Jabberwock has seven rooms, ranging from US$115-235 per night. My husband and I stayed in The Toves, the downstairs bedroom, which has a regular rate of $215. The Toves has a king-sized bed, a two-person jacuzzi tub, and a small private garden off the dressing area. Its dominant colors/textures are brown woods with green and cream accents to the furnishings and linens. It is a visually restful room with antique furniture and a luxuriously contemporary tub and shower.

The bed is not only king-sized, it also has separate comfort setting for each side. My husband and I were each able personalize the mattress for firmness. This was an unexpected and unadvertised bonus; I do not know whether it is available in other Jabberwock rooms. The linens were deliciously soft, and there is a reading light with independent controls on each side of the bed. It was a wonderful environment in which to read and unwind--no back strain, no eye strain. The world was rosy.

The jacuzzi tub with fine British fixtures is a real jacuzzi, which means a high degree of options for the power and activity of the jets. My husband, who is six feet tall, was particulary appreciative of the tall shower fixture which allowed him to have water cascade directly onto his head, instead of water pointing at an angle towards his chin or chest. (I am only 5''3" so I wouldn''t have recognized this as an unusual luxury all by myself, but since he mentioned it, I can see the attraction.)

The dressing area is two steps down from the bedroom and bathing area and has a very nice bureau and the door out to the aforementioned garden area. To the right of the dressing area and one more step down is the sink, a short closet with ample width and an automatic light, and the toilet area. The "bathroom" is an extended affair in the Toves room, but we felt that it contributed to the romantic appeal of the room. The tub is near the bed and the dressing area--since clothes are important only for going out into common areas--was a bit removed from sight and mind.

The private garden is small in a way that feels intimate as opposed to cramped. There is plenty of room to eat lunch while sitting in the wrought iron chairs and admire the small stone fountain. It is also an excellent vantage point from which to speculate on the evolution of the architecture of the house, which used to be a nunnery.

The Toves room sports complimentary brandy if one should want a nightcap. The Jabberwock also offers milk and cookies in a common area at bedtime (with dessert plates, so you may steal back to your room) and appetizers and sherry at 5 p.m.

Jabberwock Bed & Breakfast Inn
598 Laine Street
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 372-4777

The Id Eats Breakfast at the Jabberwock Inn

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 20, 2002

Breakfast at the Jabberwock presumes that one is stayng at the inn, so there is no separate price. The food does, however, deserve an entry separate from the accommodation.

Breakfast is served from 8:30 to 9 o'clock a.m. Fruits and breakfast bread are represented regularly; we had soft-boiled eggs decorated to resemble the eater one morning and a breakfast custard--think breakfast creme brulee--the other. My husband, who does not eat eggs, was served a breakfast bread pudding instead, as we had informed the hosts of his dietary preference. I would also suggest that if you are watching your weight and wish to stick to your diet, make this known ahead of time as well! The Jabberwock serves some of the most appetizing and caloric breakfast foods I have ever seen. If you do not wish to drink coffee, you may choose either tea or cocoa; the cocoa is rich and quite fine. The signature breakfast beverage is the Jabber Juice, a thick and delicious blended juice that seems to be based in pineapples and coconut juice. Fortunately, the Jabber Juice supply seems to be unending; I had three glasses of it the first morning we were there and profited greatly from its nutrients during my sightseeing.

Jabberwock Inn
598 Laine St
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 372-4777

The Market--Pebble Beach

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 21, 2002

I am torn whether to label this a cafe or "fast food"; it was very fast, but it was very good food. We were about halfway through our exploration of 17-Mile Drive when hunger struck. We stopped at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, which is the major golf course and resort there. We ventured into the Lodge itself in search of directions to The Gallery Rotisserie and Sandwich Shop but my husband was distressed by the country club ambience and requested that we rethink. We wandered back to the Pebble Beach Market which was close to the bank where we had parked. The Market has a low-key resort town feel to it There is a gourmet deli case as well as a market selection of cheese, wine and staples. I was able to find chicken tamales and a very fine fruit salad. My husband opted for a snack of hazelnut cheesecake. They also have gourmet coffes. We ate at the tables outside the market. It was delightful, quick, relaxing, and didn't cost a whole lot--unexpected in Pebble Beach. I am glad we didn't go for a sit-down meal--it would have slowed us down quite a bit.
Pebble Beach Market
17 Mile Dr
Monterey, California, 93953
(831) 625-8528

Bullwacker's Restaurant and Pub

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on March 20, 2002

Our first night in Monterey we got hungry right around 9 p.m. We headed down to Cannery Row and were forced to discard a number of restaurants because they were exceedingly noisy, either with music or people. We selected Bullwacker's on the basis of menu and ambiance. At 9:20 or so on a Sunday this bar and restaurant was calm but not deserted. There were easily 25 people in the bar and front dining area engaged in the various pursuits of eating, drinking and talking.
Bullwacker's was dark in a pleasant--not depressing--way and has groovy nautical decor. We were especially entertained by a wall display of sailors' knots and the driftwood in the window seemed charmingly in place.
The food was quite nice! I was expecting okay-to-good pub food and what I got instead was simply the best steak sandwich I have ever had. I am not a steak sandwich fanatic, but I have sampled them in more restaurants than I can count. Bullwacker's wins. The meat had been prepared in an excellent marinade and its sandwich roll was an excellent compliment. My discerning husband gave the apple pie a la mode a 7 out of 10. We had fun there, sitting by the window, looking out at the Row, nursing a beer. The service was efficient and cheerful. Perhaps the best way to sum up is that Bullwacker's a pub to which I could take my least on a Sunday night.
Bullwacker's Restaurant and Pub
653 Cannery Row
Monterey, California, 93940
(831) 373-1353

Book Worm and Temple of the Frog Imports

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 22, 2002

Book Worm is an interesting used bookstore just a couple of blocks up from Cannerey Row. It sees a lot of tourist trade, but it is not as much of a tourist trap as the shops on the main drag. The store is small and does not have a remarkable amount of stock, but the space is packed full. If you are keeping your eyes open for a certain older volume, you may want to take a look. I found a hard-bound title for which I have been searching since 1996. The prices are quite reasonable. Upon entering the Book Worm you will notice a great array of "New-Age" books that will please you if that is your taste; if not, I encourage you to press on four feet farther into the store where the selections become less ethereal. The Temple of the Frog offerings include scarves, journals and incense. My book smells very exotic as I turn the pages, which I like. (A professional archivist would probably be horrified.)The gentleman working behind the counter was reserved and pleasant. If you are staying in Monterey anywhere but on Cannery Row itself you will have ample opporunity to make a stop on Lighthouse Avenue and check out this--clearly independently-owned--shop.
Bookworm Used Books
600 Lighthouse Ave
Monterey, California, 93940
+1 831 375 4208

Monterey Bay Aquarium (Penguins!)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 22, 2002

Monterey Bay Aquarium is an all-day affair, if you want to see every single exhibit. My husband and I happily settled spending a half-day focused on the Nearshore Wing looking at the penguins, Monterey Bay Habitats, and the seahorses, among others. There is a jellyfish exhibit due to open in the Outer Bay Wing in the spring of 2002, so figured we'd come back and see the flipper, fins, and Vanishing Wildlife then. The blackfooted penguins were a delight to see and if you are traveling with small children they are conveniently located near the Splash Zone, where little ones can learn about marine wildlife in a hands-on setting. My husband and I do not have any children; I am relieved to report that the penguin exhibit, while busy, was not overwhelmed by noisy Splash Zone activity. The aquarium keeps a remarkably good website at, so I will conclude with a few suggestions:

1. Get up and get there at 10 a.m. when the aquarium opens, if you can. At 11 .a.m. on a Monday, the halls were populated. By 12:30 p.m. they had crossed over into "crowded" which is not nearly so pleasant.

2. The aquarium is currently renovating its restaurant, the Portola Cafe. Consequently, the food is temporarily next to the sea otter exhibit. This locale is fun but makes conversation a challenge. The aquarium allows "ins and outs" as long as you get your hand stamped; remember that if you need lunch, you have options fewer than 25 yards out the door of the aquarium.

3. The gift and bookstore sells handmade items by indigenous peoples. Some percentage of the profit goes to the artists so that they do not have to "mine" animals in the ocean where they live. While I find the whole first world/third world paradigm troubling, I would rather buy interesting household goods in the hopes that I was contributing to seahorse conservation than...not.

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

Animals on Seventeen Mile Drive

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 20, 2002

Seventeen Mile Drive is a loop of eponymous length that can be picked up a various entry points, or gates, on the Monterey Penninsula. There is an $8.00 toll fee. Part of the drive is shoreline and golf courses, and part of it is forest, interspersed with impressive residential housing. There are resorts on Seventeen Mile Drive, but many tourists, including my husband and me, stay elsewhere and then take the drive as a separate attraction. Some people go for the golf, some people for the architecture. My husband and I went to look for animals.

The first animals we saw were deer on the Spanish Bay golf course, where there are also accommodations. We pulled the car over and both steadily regarded and were regarded by the deer. The deer did not approach us, probably because they are wild animals and also probably because they associate human beings with the wild swinging of metal rods.

We next saw ground squirrels at Seal Rock Picnic Area along with gulls and what--being largely bird-ignorant--I supposed was some kind of sparrow. Tourists are not supposed to feed the animals, the posted signs explain, because it leads to malnutrition in the wildlife populations. Be warned, it is very difficult to not feed these squirrels. They are very cute and extremely aggressive. They know we have snacks in our cars. After one tried to climb my leg while I was standing, we decided to feed them a few plain almonds, thinking (and believing still) that while it reinforced naughty behavior, the nuts themselves would be nutritious. If you have nuts, these grounds squirrels take great liberties. At this picnic area, we looked across the water to Bird Rock, which is covered with seals and sea lions. It takes good eyesight to make out their features, but it is a thrilling sight.

The rest of our drive was spent taking in the impressive forest. We pulled over at Lone Cypress, Ghost Tree and Pescadero Point, but did not see any more mammals. We did see ants, which was entertaining. My husband likes trees as much as he does animals; this was a very relaxing tourist activity. We know that our excursion--filled with golf courses and luxury homes--is laughably far from "ecotourism" but the coast line is beautiful, the air is bracing, and this is as near to wild as some city-slickers want.

Note: please observe the speed limit. We saw two dead porcupines that we would have much preferred to see alive.

Animals on 17 Mile Drive
17 Mile Drive on Monterey Peninsula
Monterey, California

Disabled Access--The Lowdown on the Jabberwock

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on March 20, 2002

We stayed at the Jabberwock Inn, which is four blocks from the ocean. The Jabberwock, being a small bed and breakfast, is not required to meet ADA standards and makes plain on its website that they are not handicapped accessible. After a talk with the proprietor, however, I elected to stay in the Toves room which is on the ground floor of the inn. If you must ration the number of steps you take each day, you must arrange to be dropped off in front of the inn on Laine street--easily done, I assure you; it's not a busy street. Do not expect to be able walk up the driveway.

In order to get onto the front porch you must be able to mount two steps and cross a slightly raised threshold. The front door requires two hands (not necessarily on the same person, though). Once in the inn, there are no more stairs to get to the Toves but the dressing area is two steps down from the sleeping area....and the sleeping area is then two steps UP, of course. The gardens at the Jabberwock are lovely and filled with brick steps. However, if you have power wheels, or a hardy travelling companion, you can wheel from the parking area to the gardens and enjoy them just fine.

Just to test myself, the Jabberwock driveway, and my scooter, I rode both up and down while my husband looked on. He was a bit nervous--it does LOOK steep. Heck, it IS steep, but if you've ever been forced to wheel around a parking garage looking for elevator access, you've already done worse.

My scooter took the slope no problem going up, slow, straight and steady got me to the top with no "iffy" or "ohhh" moment. The way down was even easier, to my amazement. Please bear in mind that I am 33 years old with average reflexes. So, there it is. If you can walk a little, or have personal assistants to carry you about, you will have an excellent time at the Jabberwock. If you require ADA compliant accessibility, the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa has some rooms within the same price point. Go to their site if that sounds like a better match.

I have yet to find an accessible B&B in the Monterey/Carmel area--most of the inns are remodeled homes from the turn of the century...generally not intended for wheels.

Disabled Access--Wheeling Around Monterey!

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on March 20, 2002

I had a great time wheeling around Monterey near Cannery Row and the aquarium. If you have wheels and you have not been to Monterey before, perhaps this entry will allow you to feel a bit more prepared.

If you stay in a hotel on Cannery Row, you're in good stead to navigate that strip of shops and restaurants. The sidewalks vary between generously wide and just wide enough, but the paving is fairly good. Expect a few bumps and cracks for history's sake.

If you choose to stay a few blocks inland, you need to be prepared: it's definitely downhill to Cannery Row and then uphill to your accommodations. David Street is too steep for my scooter, but we had good luck with taking the more gradual Irving Street whenever we headed away (southwest-ish) from Cannery Row.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has very good accessibility, with one notable exception: the captive sea otter exhibit can only be reached by stairs. If I may be bold, please don't let this inequity ruin your time--I was able to wheel into/over/through every other exhibit and the sea otter exhibit in Monterey is not outstanding...the one at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is much finer, sea-otter-wise. Also, you may wheel outside to the observation deck at Monterey's aquarium and watch the ocean for non-captive otters, which do turn up pretty regularly.

Access into the shopping enclaves on Cannery Row is adequate. I found myself colliding with the wares in some of the truth, the aisles could be a bit wider in about half the stores we checked out, but I didn't break anything or knock anything over, and the proprietors were very friendly and quick to move obstacles out of my way. I suspect the high cost of rent along Cannery Row makes piling as much merchandise as possible into each store a matter of business survival.

The motorists in Monterey were really very pleasant as I wound my way through the streets at 4.6 miles an hour. I hope that if you decide to investigate Monterey on wheels that your time is as pleasant as mine was.

Common Areas at the Jabberwock Inn

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 20, 2002

The Jabberwock has a living room and a sun porch for guests to enjoy. While the 5 p.m. sherry is an occasion for guests to get to know each other, should they be so inclined, there is no air of "forced togetherness." My husband and I were able to play a game at the Alice in Wonderland chessboard in one part of the living room without feeling that we were supposed to engage the guests on the other side of the room and on the sun porch. Breakfast at the inn can be eaten at either the main table in the formal dining room, which seats ten, or at the small table, which seats four, in the sun porch which overlooks the large and well-sculptured gardens. If you prefer to sit at the small table, plan to arise early and get to it when breakfast begins, at 8:30 a.m.

The gardens are extremely well-maintained and have patio furniture on which to sit and take in the architecture. There is also a large black cat that will look at you but does not wish to be petted.

The Jabberwock also has a library of travel books, works by Lewis Carroll, and the works of John Steinbeck. There is also a nice collection of parlor games, including Pass the Pigs.

With breakfasts like "Burnt Brumbleberry" and "Humpty Dumpty" the Jabberwock is a themed inn, but not cloyingly so. Characters in costume do not jump out of closets and the staff does not spout nonsense in meter when asked a question. The primary ambiance is one of comfort and elegance.

Rooms We Peeked In--Jabberwock Inn

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 20, 2002

We stayed in the Toves, but our hosts were gracious about allowing us to look in the vacant rooms after checkout time. The Mome Rath is the other Jacuzzi tubbed room at the inn; it is on the 2nd floor and has a modest view of the ocean. The Mome Rath room has a more spacious and elegant air than the Toves, which has a "cozy" feel.

On the third floor of the Jabberwock, there are two garret rooms plus a small parlor named the Mimsy and the Wabe. At $140 and $115 per night, respectively, these rooms are a steal! They share a bathroom with shower, which is adjacent to the parlor, but would be perfect for companions in need of separate beds who are traveling together. The parlor lets Mimsy and Wabe's guests spend private time together without invading each other's bedrooms. These rooms are less spacious than the others at the inn, but no less comfy-looking and no less decorated and attended. Even having stayed in Toves already, I would book the Mimsy and Wabe if traveling with friends and not feel deprived or that I was missing out on the best experience of the inn. These rooms are available for separate booking if you don't mind a shared bath. Cleverly, this bathroom has what looks to be a vintage "vacant/occupied" knob so that there will be no anxiety about surprising another guest with a knock.

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