Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Kids, commercial Cannery row for seals, or quaint carmel?

Kids, commercial Cannery row for seals, or quaint carmel?

May 22nd, 2010, 01:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 350
Sigh! Don't know what to do now. We will only have one day and night in this area before we head south, so I was trying to get as much bang for the buck as we could. Thought my DH and the boys could be looking out the balcony or go exploring by the water while I got dressed and packed up. We will hate the street side of Cannery Row. We don't need a spa, or nice rest. in the hotel and we won't be eating anywhere near Cannery Row. Was actually going to drive to Carmel for dinner.
Is there a rec. in Pacific Grove outside of Asilomar conf. center where they could easily walk across the street and get to the water to explore and maybe see the sea lions? Does that trail go all the way to PG?
How difficult is it to find parking in Monterey to go exploring if we stayed in PG?
Also, are the bay view rooms worth it in the Portola Hotel?
hibiscushouse is offline  
May 22nd, 2010, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,597
The coastal trail goes all the way to PG and beyond. If you stay in PG you don't need to drive to Monterey and park to go exploring because you can pick up the coastal trail anywhere along the ocean in PG. I've stayed in the Portola bay view rooms and the view is very nice. Even if you stay at the Portola without a view, it is a good location because it is an easy walk to the coastal trail, fishermans wharf, and the beach as well as downtown historic Monterey. The Portola is always my favorite place to stay because of it's reasonable prices and good location. The only places I know of to stay in PG with ocean views are expensive B&B's. The kids will have so much fun exploring the rocky coastline, that you can stay either in Cannery Row or the Portola in a non-view room, save money and they will have a fantastic time at the ocean. Of course if you want to splurge for the view that's always an option.
montereybob is offline  
May 22nd, 2010, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 61
How about the Beachcomber Inn in Pacific Grove?

I drive past it all the time, but have no personal experience.
Kids can walk to the beach and watch the wildlife (surfers and golfers from Spanish Bay.) Kind of quiet but a 15 min drive to Carmel or to Monterey if you want to go to either. It's right next to the Asilomar Conference Center.

Looks like it's a little older and pretty basic, but travel review websites would have reviews from others if you think it might be an option for you.

cheers, krista
Krista is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,630
We stayed at the Portola last year and really liked it. The hotel is good and there is a lot within walking distance.
november_moon is online now  
May 23rd, 2010, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
I don't think it will matter much where you stay in Monterey or Pacific Grove. I recently chose The Clement Intercontinental because I took my mother who can't walk much. This hotel is on Cannery Row, the rooms are wonderful, even without a view. Ocean view there meant any view of the water. We only had a partial view, but paid for the lowest rate room. You would feel comfortable with the kids walking outside; the walkway along the water is public. So, you could stay anywhere within walking distance and the kids could still enjoy it all. We saw otters and sea lions every day. There are less expensive places nearby like Best Western and Holiday Inn Express.
On your way south, stop in Carmel and drive right down to Carmel Beach for a little walk. It has beautiful soft white sand and a great view, enjoyable enough for kids and adults for an hour or so.
We've gone to Monterey area many times over the years (with kids) and we enjoyed Pacific Grove best. This was the first time I had ever stayed on Cannery Row and enjoyed it more than expected. It is right next to Pacific Grove and connects to that wonderful trail out to Lover's Point and beyond. Do stay away from motels on Munras Ave. Cheaper but not the experience you are looking for.
elnap29 is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 01:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 350
Well, all I can say is I must have come down with a rampant case of California fever, 'cause I've gone ahead and booked an ocean front room at the Spindrift Inn. If I think about it too much, I'm gonna get sick for the expense of it all. So I must not think about it too much and just go and enjoy it.
I got a slightly better rate using Resort2me.com. They got them to agree to forgo the 2 night min.
Must justify this (see, I'm thinking about it too hard) based on the fact this may be the only time I get here with my kids, and we will be limited on how much time we will have walking from another hotel down towards the ocean. I almost booked 2 rooms at the portola hotel, but didn't feel comfortable letting my kids walk to the beach from that location. Also was concerned about spending $350 at the Portola to end up with a street front room. Read that it was loud with the windows open. (Those reviews can scare you away from any hotel!)
I've spent days on this decision and have gone back and forth bouncing between P.G., Monterey and Carmel. The good thing is I now have a much better understanding of the area.
Now, moving on south of Carmel....I have one more hotel to find and book. Ugh!
hibiscushouse is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 01:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 350
Meant to add how much I appreciate all the input! Thanks for taking the time to help me.
hibiscushouse is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,597
An oceanfront room at the Spindrift is a great choice. Have fun.
montereybob is offline  
May 25th, 2010, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,630
hibiscus - I just wanted to comment on letting the kids walk around on their own in Monterey (down to the beach or whatever). Everybody has their own comfort level and all kids are different, of course, but in general Monterey is a pretty safe place. I wouldn't have any qualms about letting the average 16, 13, and 11 year olds walk around together without their parents in Monterey as long as they stay together. I'd make the water off limits without mom or dad around though - I think 11 is too young to swim in the ocean without adult supervision, and 13 probably is too.
november_moon is online now  
May 25th, 2010, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 69,792
Take them kayaking in Monterey Bay. One of my favorite travel experiences ever.

They'll have the chance to see the otters close up. I went a little bit off to myself (from the group) and was very quiet. An otter actually slipped up on the bow of my kayak to take a closer look. My heart was pounding. It was wonderful!

I would be shocked if it weren't the highlight of the trip for your boys -
starrs is offline  
May 25th, 2010, 06:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 350
November_moon, thanks for your reply. I was more concerned about them walking from the Portola down to the bay and crossing, what appears on google map to be, a couple of major roads on the way down to the bay from the hotel. Coupled with the limited time we have staying there (1 night), I just thought it would be easier to go out the back door to the bay.
Starrs, they are so cute (but can be quite vicious little things) aren't they? My son's would love it! We do have them in our lakes and creeks here in Fl., but not in our bays. Sounds like a great experience for you. We have manatee's off from our dock. Pretty amazing, but they are much bigger and we give them their space. I think you are right..it would be such a memory for them. (Me and their Step Dad as well)
hibiscushouse is offline  
May 26th, 2010, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,630
I checked out google maps to see what it looks like, and yeah - it makes it look like you have to cross major roads. In reality, the road is a tunnel and you don't have to cross any roads from the Portola to the water. And major road in Monterey proper is 2 lanes in each direction with a speed limit of 35mph - maybe 40mph. Monterey is a great walking/biking town. I think your hotel choice is good though.
november_moon is online now  
May 26th, 2010, 06:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 350
I should have asked. Would have been helpful to know when I was fretting over my decision.
Good to know though. Thanks.
hibiscushouse is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 60
Kayaking is a great idea! did it with my kids a couple of years ago and my dd and I were in a double and we left the other two and found this cove area. Saw a sea otter eating lunch and watched him for a good 10 minutes, rolling and cleaning. Also had some VERY friendly seals that would sort of bump our kayak and then pop up in front of our kayak as if asking us to play tag.

My kids loved eating at Bubba Gumps. We had a water front table and saw lots of sealife.

As far as seeing sea otters...we have found that the back of the aquarium has a viewing area and everytime we have been there we have seen several. Nice to use their big binoculars too.

Great ice cream place right down the block from the aquarium...where you put on your own toppings and pay by the weight. There were dozens of choices and it was not that expensive. lol

This was my kids favorite place to visit.
buzymom3 is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
Cannery Row -- the aquarium plus, there is a very long and beautiful shoreline trail (walk/bike) heading south towards Pacific Grove and into the 17 mile Drive to Carmel. Lots of beaches, places to watch seals, etc. PG also has a safe beach for kids plus depending on the tmie of year, migrating monarch butterflies. Our family usually stays in PG - more lively than Carmel, but not as hectic as Cannery Row.
amjacobson is offline  
May 27th, 2010, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,523
I have a membership to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and every time I've been there (which is lots and lots) I've seen otters from their viewing area. A couple of times even mommy otters with babies. The other good no fail place is along the path heading towards Pacific Grove just past the aquarium.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Sep 29th, 2011 06:35 AM
United States
Mar 9th, 2011 08:49 PM
United States
Feb 29th, 2008 09:52 AM
United States
Mar 3rd, 2005 03:06 PM
United States
Jul 30th, 2004 01:25 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:35 AM.