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Anyone travel or live on the Monterey Bay, Big Sur area?
Old 06-21-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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Anyone travel or live on the Monterey Bay, Big Sur area?

Heading out there in a few weeks, any ideas on things to do ?see?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:41 AM   #2
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The MontereyBay Aquarium, Carmel, 17 Mile Drive Pebble Beach. Drive up the coast to the Paul Mason Winery.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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In Carmel area - I've always enjoyed being at Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch Inn - he hangs there when in town...plays piano in the restaurant...rooms are filled with stuff from his movies..
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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Although this has been mentioned in a prior post, do NOT miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is so beautiful that it literally brought tears to my eyes. I just stood with my mouth hanging open and bawled when I saw the huge tank at the entry, for those familiar with it.

Don't know about the rest. I haven't been there in 40 years except for a week for work recently. I had to race through the aquarium during lunch break from meetings.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:33 PM   #5
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If you are in the Pacifica area around dusk it's nice to just watch the beach from the car or sit on the sands. It's a good time to view the Sea Otters diving for food and eating it while swimming on their backs. It's a good idea to have had a sea food dinner before that. Also Pt. Lobos shouldn't be missed. You might want to go there early as it can get filled up (and closed I think) on weekends. Some nice short walks and wonderful scenary. Go to the aquarium very early -- it's always crowded.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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Point Lobos (State park) does not close on weekends, but it does fill up much faster on weekends.

If you have any specific questions feel free to PM or post here - I live at the North end of the Monterey Bay in the Santa Cruz area.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel9 View Post
Point Lobos (State park) does not close on weekends, but it does fill up much faster on weekends.
What I meant to say is that from what I recalled when the park fills up they don't let another car in until one leaves. Maybe wheel9 can confirm if this is currently how they operate.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:11 AM   #8
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Definitely go to Carmel and just walk around. Have dinner at Schnarley's Pizza in Monterey or Carmel - best pizza I've ever had in my life. Go to Hearst Castle (that's about a 2 hour drive from Monterey) but up highway 1, which is an awesome drive.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:51 AM   #9
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Our first and only trip to Monterey was in 2004, first week of June (June gloom was in full bloom darn it). We drove the coast from Zuma Beach all the way up (long but beautiful). We stopped in Cambria. Lovely little (very) town, cute history there. Stayed on Moonstone Beach which has a wonderful diner with outdoor seating in front of the water. Further north, we took a tour of Hearst Castle, watched surfers, picnic on the beach with friendly (hungry) squirrels. 17 mile drive (Carmel) is a MUST! Pacifc Grove, home of the monarch butterfly is a wonderful place (north of Monterey), Cannery Row and the Aquarium are wonderful too. We stayed at Munras Hotel which has incredible clam chowder and near the transit center where you can take a bus tour of Pacific Grove, Cannery Row, Fishermans Wharf, etc. The bus tour is VERY CHEAP and relaxing and enjoyable! Have fun!
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Old 07-15-2008, 04:52 AM   #10
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There's a youth hostel just north of Santa Cruz that's in a light house! Plus the best part is there's an incredible private hot tub perched on the cliff, just next to lighthouse that only those staying in hostel can use. Lots of trails in the area as well.
Don't know if you're going as a couple, but no one should let the "youth hostel" label scare em off. Last time I stayed there were more married people than singles and we were the only ones under 30.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #11
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Before you go, check the Basin Complex Fire status. Big Sur had several evacuations a couple of weeks ago and some of the activities there may be limited due to the fires.

I second (or third) the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Show up early in the day. Enjoy the anchovy tank (my favorite, it's like watching liquid silver spin across a blue sky).

Lunch/exploration on Cannery Row is fun.

In Salinas, about 45 minutes inland, is the National Steinbeck center. Steinbeck wrote a lot about the area, we've never been to the center but hope to go someday soon.

Santa Cruz has the boardwalk, pretty fun especially if you have kids.

Big Sur is gorgeous, highly recommend the scenic drives along the coast if they're open (see fire info above).

If you're into artichokes, welcome to artichoke country! Castroville (between Salinas and Monterey/Santa Cruz) has a couple of fun fruit/artichoke farmer's stands.

The Salinas rodeo is a pretty big deal, if you're into that you might see when it is.
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Smile One other thing
Old 07-20-2008, 04:37 PM   #12
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Smile One other thing

We stayed in Montery Bay a couple of months ago....agree with all that's said in the other messages. We did stay right in Monterey. One unusual thing for us...we went to the Imax Theatre which was a street or so over from the Aquariaum and saw in 3D a couple of shows. One was a U2 concert and the other was about sharks and other ocean predators....both were fantastic especially because of the 3D experience.
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Monterey's Fishermans Wharf, Seal invasion of June 2003
Old 07-20-2008, 08:42 PM   #13
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Monterey's Fishermans Wharf, Seal invasion of June 2003

If you look closely behind me & my hubby, you can see that the seals have taken over the marina at the Monterey Fishermans Wharf and were sinking the local boats. Because of the "sealife protection acts" they have up there, no one was allowed to move them off. Therefore, you couldnt do anything to save your boats! Thats why you see all those people in the background just staring at the sight! June 1, 2003
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:46 PM   #14
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Ditto Rustic's list.

Sea Lions should not be a protected species any longer, particularly when they are now common in fresh water 100 miles from the ocean.
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