Living in the Monterey Area

Old Nov 19th, 2002, 08:17 PM
  #1  
Kevin
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Living in the Monterey Area

What is it actually like to live in the Monterey area? I am relocating there for work. I would like to rent a nice apartment or townhome. I would be actually working in Seaside. What is the best area to live in?
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:45 AM
  #2  
E.
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My husband and I lived in Monterey for one year and absolutely loved it. Our favorite time of year was actually winter, when all the tourists are gone, because staff in restaurants and stores became markedly friendly to "locals," and we felt we were part of a real community. Then, when the tourists returned, we could be sure of being seated promptly by our new waiter pals!

I guess this indicates that we ate out a lot, which we certainly did! We also loved going for walks along the bay, the open ocean at Asilomar, and the woods, too. Wildlife watching there is amazing, from birds to whales to otters to the tiny lives in shallow tide pools on the beach. The beach in Carmel was a favorite spot, as was Point Lobos. And there are any number of day trips to be enjoyed...SF is only about 2 hours away, assuming no traffic (a big assumption). Monterey has its own airport, but San Jose's is only 1 1/2 hours away.

The Monterey Bay area offers ample shopping for day-to-day needs, including truly gourmet small grocers and seafood shops, has a big, wonderful weekly Farmer's Market right in the center of town, and features a small, charming outdoor mall with a Macy's, Gap, etc. There are even a bunch of big-box stores just outside Seaside. I never felt the need to drive long distances to shop.

Really, the only drawback to living in Monterey is the cost of living, which is high, but, IMO, worth every penny. I suppose another drawback to some would be the weather, which never gets hot, and can be very chilly on a foggy summer day. But I never minded that, as one can always drive inland, to the Salinas Valley, say, for a blast of dry, sunny heat.

If I were to return, and I'd love to, I would live in Monterey proper again, or in Pacific Grove. Monterey was in large part settled by immigrants, mostly Italians, who worked in the seafood canneries and as fishermen, so it features lots of small bungalow homes, many of which have been refurbished and enlarged. Pacific Grove was, I believe, a Methodist Church camp originally, and features lots of tiny, quaint Victoains homes. It has also retained its charm by aggressively blocking chain restaurants and stores from its environs. Unless Seaside has been seriously rejuvenated, it's hard to find a nice place there, but not impossible, and Seaside does tend to be a bit less expensive to live in. All 3 towns are less than 10 minutes away from each other, and all 3 have apartment and condo complexes to choose from. Some will be within an easy stroll of amenities (coffee shops, grocers, etc.), while others will offer ocean views, and the cheapest will offer neither but will still be perfectly fine to live in, and hey, you can drive 3 mins to the ocean, and it's always free!

There's always Pebble Beach, of course, for the very, very well-heeled, and Asilomar Beach, being on the open ocean rather than the bay, has a wild and untamed air about it, with lovely homes spread relatively far apart. I'm an ocean-lover, but one can also live in the deep, dark, shaded redwood forests or up in the hills, which tend to be much warmer and sunnier.

You might also consider renting a detached house--the market in rental houses is surprisingly robust, and houses are not much much more $$ than apts/condos.

Kevin, I envy you! Please post any specific questions you may have and I'll try to answer those, too.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:47 AM
  #3  
E.
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My husband and I lived in Monterey for one year and absolutely loved it. Our favorite time of year was actually winter, when all the tourists are gone, because staff in restaurants and stores became markedly friendly to "locals," and we felt we were part of a real community. Then, when the tourists returned, we could be sure of being seated promptly by our new waiter pals!

I guess this indicates that we ate out a lot, which we certainly did! We also loved going for walks along the bay, the open ocean at Asilomar, and the woods, too. Wildlife watching there is amazing, from birds to whales to otters to the tiny lives in shallow tide pools on the beach. The beach in Carmel was a favorite spot, as was Point Lobos. And there are any number of day trips to be enjoyed...SF is only about 2 hours away, assuming no traffic (a big assumption). Monterey has its own airport, but San Jose's is only 1 1/2 hours away.

The Monterey Bay area offers ample shopping for day-to-day needs, including truly gourmet small grocers and seafood shops, has a big, wonderful weekly Farmer's Market right in the center of town, and features a small, charming outdoor mall with a Macy's, Gap, etc. There are even a bunch of big-box stores just outside Seaside. I never felt the need to drive long distances to shop.

Really, the only drawback to living in Monterey is the cost of living, which is high, but, IMO, worth every penny. I suppose another drawback to some would be the weather, which never gets hot, and can be very chilly on a foggy summer day. But I never minded that, as one can always drive inland, to the Salinas Valley, say, for a blast of dry, sunny heat.

If I were to return, and I'd love to, I would live in Monterey proper again, or in Pacific Grove. Monterey was in large part settled by immigrants, mostly Italians, who worked in the seafood canneries and as fishermen, so it features lots of small bungalow homes, many of which have been refurbished and enlarged. Pacific Grove was, I believe, a Methodist Church camp originally, and features lots of tiny, quaint Victorian homes. It has also retained its charm by aggressively blocking chain restaurants and stores from its environs. Unless Seaside has been seriously rejuvenated, it's hard to find a nice place there, but not impossible, and Seaside does tend to be a bit less expensive to live in. All 3 towns are less than 10 minutes away from each other, and all 3 have apartment and condo complexes to choose from. Some will be within an easy stroll of amenities (coffee shops, grocers, etc.), while others will offer ocean views, and the cheapest will offer neither but will still be perfectly fine to live in, and hey, you can drive 3 mins to the ocean, and it's always free!

There's always Pebble Beach, of course, for the very, very well-heeled, and Asilomar Beach, being on the open ocean rather than the bay, has a wild and untamed air about it, with lovely homes spread relatively far apart. I'm an ocean-lover, but one can also live in the deep, dark, shaded redwood forests or up in the hills, which tend to be much warmer and sunnier.

You might also consider renting a detached house--the market in rental houses is surprisingly robust, and houses are not much much more $$ than apts/condos.

Kevin, I envy you! Please post any specific questions you may have and I'll try to answer those, too.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #4  
E.
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Posts: n/a
My husband and I lived in Monterey for one year and absolutely loved it. Our favorite time of year was actually winter, when all the tourists are gone, because staff in restaurants and stores became markedly friendly to "locals," and we felt we were part of a real community. Then, when the tourists returned, we could be sure of being seated promptly by our new waiter pals!

I guess this indicates that we ate out a lot, which we certainly did! We also loved going for walks along the bay, the open ocean at Asilomar, and the woods, too. Wildlife watching there is amazing, from birds to whales to otters to the tiny lives in shallow tide pools on the beach. The beach in Carmel was a favorite spot, as was Point Lobos. And there are any number of day trips to be enjoyed...SF is only about 2 hours away, assuming no traffic (a big assumption). Monterey has its own airport, but San Jose's is only 1 1/2 hours away.

The Monterey Bay area offers ample shopping for day-to-day needs, including truly gourmet small grocers and seafood shops, has a big, wonderful weekly Farmer's Market right in the center of town, and features a small, charming outdoor mall with a Macy's, Gap, etc. There are even a bunch of big-box stores just outside Seaside. I never felt the need to drive long distances to shop. (continued!)
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #5  
E.
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Posts: n/a

Really, the only drawback to living in Monterey is the cost of living, which is high, but, IMO, worth every penny. I suppose another drawback to some would be the weather, which never gets hot, and can be very chilly on a foggy summer day. But I never minded that, as one can always drive inland, to the Salinas Valley, say, for a blast of dry, sunny heat.

If I were to return, and I'd love to, I would live in Monterey proper again, or in Pacific Grove. Monterey was in large part settled by immigrants, mostly Italians, who worked in the seafood canneries and as fishermen, so it features lots of small bungalow homes, many of which have been refurbished and enlarged. Pacific Grove was, I believe, a Methodist Church camp originally, and features lots of tiny, quaint Victorian homes. It has also retained its charm by aggressively blocking chain restaurants and stores from its environs. Unless Seaside has been seriously rejuvenated, it's hard to find a nice place there, but not impossible, and Seaside does tend to be a bit less expensive to live in. All 3 towns are less than 10 minutes away from each other, and all 3 have apartment and condo complexes to choose from. Some will be within an easy stroll of amenities (coffee shops, grocers, etc.), while others will offer ocean views, and the cheapest will offer neither but will still be perfectly fine to live in, and hey, you can drive 3 mins to the ocean, and it's always free!

There's always Pebble Beach, of course, for the very, very well-heeled, and Asilomar Beach, being on the open ocean rather than the bay, has a wild and untamed air about it, with lovely homes spread relatively far apart. I'm an ocean-lover, but one can also live in the deep, dark, shaded redwood forests or up in the hills, which tend to be much warmer and sunnier.

You might also consider renting a detached house--the market in rental houses is surprisingly robust, and houses are not much much more $$ than apts/condos.

Kevin, I envy you! Please post any specific questions you may have and I'll try to answer those, too.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 03:14 PM
  #6  
E.
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Yikes, sorrry!!! I post here all the time and have never had that happen! I did NOT mean to post it 4 times! sheesh.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 03:45 PM
  #7  
Kevin
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Thanks E. Your information is awesome. You should be a travel writer!!!
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 08:19 AM
  #8  
E.
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Well thanks, Kevin! It's very nice to be acknowledged! I really hope you enjoy your time out there...
 
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