"City by the Sea" Top 5 Page for this destination Monterey by Lhenne1

Monterey Travel Guide: 922 reviews and 2,753 photos

“So my job is sending me to a new office,” my boyfriend told me one evening over dinner in his Delaware home.
“Where to? Philly? New Jersey? DC?”
“Not quite,” he replied.
“Where?”
“Monterey, California,” he said.
“Half of the Parent Trap takes place there,” I’m a Haley Mills fan, “Where is it?”
It turned out neither of us had an answer for that so off the Mapquest we went. A year later I was packing up my little apartment in northern Delaware, my two cats and my car and getting ready to leave the east coast for a life in “Sunny California.” Little did I know that Monterey is actually “Foggy California.”

Located 5 hours north of Los Angeles (when I’m driving, at least) and 2 hours south of San Francisco, Monterey is a world all it’s own. It’s not the California you see in the movies…it’s about 1,000 times better. Well, that’s just my opinion.

Infested with nature

Being an east-coast girl, I’m used to seeing plenty of squirrels and sparrows hanging around heavily populated areas. I'm used to the occasional deer sighting when out of those heavily populated areas...but I was not ready for the animals I encountered in Monterey.

Sea lions fill the water and bark at each other loudly. Raccoons are as plentiful as squirrels (I had never seen a raccoon outside of a game preserve before). The trees are huge and twisted in odd contortions. Deer relax on golf courses as cars whiz by. The water is blue and clear.

I never expected to associate so much wildlife and nature with Monterey. From the creatures in the bay to the random and plentiful gardens downtown, Monterey is an interesting blend of natural and manmade that will keep you as entertained as the town's attractions.

No driving necessary

The city is not large and you can walk from the wharfs to the aquarium to downtown easily. Since the area tends to be expensive, a drive down the coast is a nice way to spend a pretty Saturday afternoon. Big Sur and Carmel aren't far from Monterey and offer great sights.

Walk around the town and you'll find little gardens and plenty of historic buildings, from California's first theater to John Steinbeck's home. There are plenty of bars and restaurants, though the fare can be a bit pricey.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fun people, pretty views, great food.
  • Cons:Sea Lions: cute for a day, then you realize they like to yell at each other at 3am.
  • In a nutshell:Eclectic blend of a city, an historical society and a wilderness preserve.
  • Last visit to Monterey: Oct 2006
  • Intro Updated Apr 12, 2009
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Reviews (72)

Comments (12)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Nice pages, eminently readable, thank you for sharing.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    I have been there 4 times but never saw the jail to tour, or to stay. You show the nice sites of this special town, and glad to see the sea lions still hang out.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Interesting tips on your former home town. I like the sound of that 29 mile coastal Bike Trail. I never knew the sea lions like to yell at each other in the middle of the night.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2008 at 9:18 PM

    Great page that reminds me of my short passages in Monterey when I lived a year in Davis! You show much more than I did, thanks for sharing!

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2008 at 8:52 PM

    One of my favorite areas, Monterey Bay. I'll have to try some of your restaurant tips. Did you see my Carmel-by-the-sea restaurant Mission Ranch photo of you know who.

  • magdalena2007's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    thanks for stopping by! ;) Love your pages and your tips. keep them coming! hopefully i'll visit canada one of these days ;)

  • risse73's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    I missed all these wonderful restaurants before. The fried olives sounds interesting. Thanks for the detailed tips!

  • garridogal's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    Stopped in Monterey and went to the aquarium en route from San Francisco to Carmel. Lovely place. You're lucky to live there!

  • Manara's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2008 at 5:08 AM

    I've read only a few of your tips, but they sound great. I will return to your page to read more.

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Nice updates

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