Carmel, Pacific Grove, or Monterey?

Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Carmel, Pacific Grove, or Monterey?

My mom and I are planning a trip to the Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove area. She is 55, and I am 30 and 5 months pregnant. I am interested in your opinion about where to stay, is one town better than the other? We are mostly interested in seeing the water, eating good food, a little shopping and simply relaxing. We will be flying in San Jose and renting a car. Also any "must do's" would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 02:40 PM
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I would choose Pacific Grove for relaxation, ocean views, etc., and Carmel for more access to shopping.

Must do's:
1. Carmel Mission
2. Monterrey Aquarium
3. drive down Big Sur coast as far as Nepenthe restaurant (about 28 miles) for lunch/views
4. Carmel shops
5. Carmel beach
6. 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach for views/picnic area
7. Point Lobos state park for walks, stunning ocean views, wildlife, etc.
knute is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Sounds like you're planning the same vacation I am. I'm staying in Pacific Grove. You can click my name to find a thread I had a few days back on this very subject.

I used to live in the area and I recommend everything knute already mentioned.

I hope you have fun!
Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 02:58 PM
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I'd choose Pacific Grove too. All 3 towns are close together so you can easily visit all of them, but Pacific Grove is really a cute town and the walking path along the water is terrific.

The only thing that knute mentioned which isn't a must-see for me is 17-Mile Drive. Golf and big houses just isn't my thing, esspecially when there is so much natural, undeveloped coastline to see south of Carmel.

If you are interested in history, a visit to Monterey Historical Park is good. It is at the base of the wharf and there are several buildings to look into including the old Customs House.

The wharf itself is ok. The main reason to go there would be to take a boat tour out on the bay, but that probably wont be on your itinerary this trip
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 04:22 PM
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I am writing this from Pacific Grove. We live here and the town is great. Go to for ideas on places to stay. PG has the most coastline of the three cities. You are surrounded by ocean in PG. Carmel has the Ocean Avenue shopping.

Another great shopping area is the Barnyard Shopping Center at Hwy 1 and Rio Road. Great place to eat is there: Tommy Bahama's.

Eating in PG: Fandango's, Passionfish or Peppers for Mexican food.

Carmel: Casanova's, Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch for burgers in the afternoon (weekends only) or dinner. Nice setting.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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Traveldog, are you sure there is a Tommy Bahama cafe in the Barnyard in Carmel? We have not seen one, and TB's own website doesn't show one there, nor anywhere else in northern CA.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 05:26 PM
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It's Bahama Billy's in the Barnyard. In Pacific Grove, we really like the Old Bath House and the White House. I didn't care for Passionfish.

In Carmel, we recently enjoyed Forge in the Forest for lunch and had an excellent meal at Bouchee in Carmel. We stayed at La Playa this trip and really enjoyed the hotel and the location of the property. Which ever place you choose to stay, visiting the other two towns won't be a problem, they are all very close to one another. Have fun! ***kim***
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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The restaurant in The Barnyard is called Bahama Billys,not Tommy Bahama.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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If you enjoy a nature type walk, drive north to the Elkhorn Slough (pronounced slew) for a guided tour of local sea life and wildfowl. It's near Moss Landing which also has some good eating places such as Phil's Fish Market and the Sea Harvest restaurant.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:21 PM
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On your way in from San Jose, stop at the mission in San Juan Batista, its charming. Since all the California missions are different, its nice to be able to see several of them. I believe there is one in Monterey too..But there are historical buildings in Monterey which was our state capitol at one time.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:40 PM
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if you do go on the 17-Mile Drive, stop off at Roy's at Spanish Bay for lunch. Great views and the prices are not as steep during lunch.

Pacific Grove - stay in one of the B&Bs and I hope you are here during the time that the ice plants are in bloom. Gorgeous!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:47 PM
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I fourth or fifth Pacific Grove. The walk along Asilomar State Beach is dead flat and beautiful. The main drag in PG has some great thrift stores if you like poking around in those. For breakfast or lunch, we enjoyed Toasties in PG.
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