Going to Monterey

Apr 27th, 2005, 07:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 15
Going to Monterey

May 23 -28
Will be exploring the beautiful Cali Coast from Big Sur to Monterey.
Whats some unique towns or places to go?
Other than the aquaruim, cannery row etc.
How is Pacific grove? Hotels to stay at, etc?
Best seafood restaurants, not necessarily the most expensive.
Thanks can't wait.
keithlb1 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I like to explore the areas food growing areas myself. Gastronommic tourism. Several of these areas have festivals but I'm not sure when or where they are this year. Probably later in the summer if I recall from the past.

Right around Monterey:
Castroville = artichokes (see pezzinifarms.com)
Watsonville = strawberries - a couple of roadside stands on HW1
Gilroy = Garlic
Salinas = lettuce (never quite did it for me)
J62 is online now  
Apr 27th, 2005, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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The only thing I can think of for the food response it Bubba Gumps. They have some of the greatest food. They are right on the ocean and if you can get a window seat or something near that and you go near sunset you can see the Otters and some other sea life swimming and playing in the water. IT's awesome and there are some cute shops to see afterwards. I think it's straight down from the Aquarium but I can't say that for sure. I just know I always want to go Monterey for Bubba Gumps.
rain_monkey03 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 03:07 AM
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Hi, keithlb1!

Lifelong Monterey County resident here to make a few suggestions. Can't comment on hotels though. Check tripadvisor.com for reviews and rates.

Nepenthe (Big Sur) is on the ocean-side of the road. Have a burger and enjoy the view! http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/

Carmel Mission and Downtown. If you drive all the way down Ocean Avenue you'll hit a great beach.

Pacific Grove is a nice little town you can drive through on your way to Monterey. Take Holman Highway 68. The Fishwife Restaurant has been a local favorite for years. It's on the Pebble Beach side of PG.
Downtown is on Lighthouse Avenue which takes you into Monterey.

How about whale watching? If you're near the Monterey Wharf, walk to the Custom House Plaza, the old custom house adobe and the Maritime Museum. Continue past the Doubletree Hotel and up Alvarado Street. Farmer's Market on Tuesday afternoons.

Another local favorite seafood restaurant is Monterey's Fish House (2114 Del Monte Ave) minutes from the wharf area. From there, drive over to the Monterey Beach Resort (at the end of Canyon Del Rey) where you'll get a different view of the peninsula and walk along the sand dunes.

The Castroville Artichoke Festival is the weekend before you're here.

Happy and safe travels!
mlg968 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Another recommendation for Fishwife. Terrific food and really nice people.

We go to Monterey to Bubba Gumps every year for my husband's birthday - his choice. We like it, but as a tourist, I wouldn't choose it just because it is the same no matter which one you go to. I would choose something more local.

If you like clam chowder and will be north of Monterey, check out Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing. It is really good. I recently tried a new place called Sea Harvest, which is also in Moss Landing. The fish and chips were terrific, but the clam chowder couldn't hold a candle to Phil's.

At the very end of the wharf is a place, I can't remember the name, but the views are terrific - it would be a great place for a sunset dinner.

Pacific Grove is great - cute town with some really wonderful houses and a spectacular coastline. There is a walking/biking trail along the water that has some incredible views and there are some nice tide pools at the point.

Point Lobos is just south of Carmel and it is really wonderful - beautiful coastline, nice level hikes.

In Monterey, near the wharf is the Monterey Historical Park, which is a collection of historical buildings dating back to Spanish and Mexican California.

I definitely second the recommendation to head up to Castroville if you like artichokes and up to Watsonville for some strawberries. If you have the time, head inland a little ways on Hwy 152. Before you get to the mountain, you will see signs for Gizdich Ranch - terrific place for some Gastronommic tourism.

J_Correa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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Hi there! Yes, Pacific Grove is very nice. There's a place there we like called the White House that serves a really nice three course dinner. If you go here, save room for the chocolate "sac" for dessert.

The walking paths along the coastline are gorgeous and there's a small beach in PG with a little cove where we like to go. In Monterey, we like the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, www.woodsidehotels.com and we also enjoyed a nice stay at the Spindrift Inn located right in Cannery Row.

I haven't been to Bubba Gump's, but we really like the fish and chips at Schooner's Bistro. We like to sit out on the patio while we eat there. The Whaling Station is also good for both steaks and seafood.

We'll be in Carmel next month, staying at La Playa. We'll be trying Bouchee for the first time and also the Forge in the Forest. Have a great trip! ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:05 PM
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J62, Google for Gilroy Garlic festival, but if you can't make it, just go to the Stinking Rose restaurant in San Francisco. They serve everything with garlic.
FainaAgain is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 03:03 PM
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Bubba Gumps is like a lot of the wharf restaurants in that it gets lots of tourists. The Monterey Fish House and Sea Harvest are both very good and reasonable. Sea Harvest on Foam St. is also a fish market so what you're getting for meals there is very fresh. Vivolos on Lighthouse near PG also has excellent chowder (a specialty) and good reasonable seafood. Heven't been to Fishwife but it gets great reviews.
je is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Best seafood, IMO: Sea Harvest and Monterey's Fish House, both for pulled-out-of-the-Bay-this-morning specials. I would be suspicious of Bubba Gump's sources; we like it at the Mall of America, but in Monterey, there are many better options. For great pizza, Gianni's on Lighthouse; for Italian, Pasta Mia; for awesome chocolate shakes, Ghirardelli on Cannery Row; Roy's at Pebble Beach for the golfer in you.

Places to go: Point Lobos, Carmel beach, Elkhorn Slough, Asilomar Beach (tidepools!). I like strolling through Carmel for little shops better than Cannery Row. Take a coffee to the walking path thru Monterey and PG and check out the otters and sea lions.

Have fun!
E is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Oh, and I love J62's suggestions--Gilroy Castroville and Watsonville are unique and a real slice of California. Can anyone recall the name of the mission that's past Gilroy on the way to Monterey? That, too, is a piece of history, both of missions and Hollywood: scenes in Vertigo were filmed there.
E is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 11:03 PM
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I think the name of the mission that E is thinking of is Mission San Juan Bautista, which is in the town of San Juan Bautista. When I was a little girl, there was a wonderful bakery there where we would get yummy Mexican Wedding Cookies which are covered in powdered sugar. (At least I think that is what they're called!)

I know there is a mexican restaurant there called Jardine's which has decent food and a nice outdoor patio. We usually stop there on our way home from Giants games, but I am unfamiliar with the rest of the town.
moneygirl is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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San Juan Bautista is an exellent place to stop. It is pretty unique in that in addition to the mission there are quite a few restored or rebuilt historical buildings all around the old town square. And because San Juan is still a pretty rural town, you can get a real feeling for the history. El Camino Real, which was the first California "highway" runs right on the other side of the mission (it is a dirt road barely wide enough for 2 teams of horses to pass) and beyond that there are acres of farm land. The modern town has some good shops and is nice to walk through.

It is definitely a slice of California history that a lot of tourists miss.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Yes moneygirl, it's the Mission San Juan Bautista. Never missed a 4th grade field trip to this beautiful mission when all the kids were in elementary school. A true slice of California history. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Another stand up vote for Monterey Fish House.
PamSF is offline  
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