Monterey Bay Trip- Doable?

Aug 18th, 2003, 06:34 AM
  #1  
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Monterey Bay Trip- Doable?

We are heading out Wednesday night on our trip to Monterey Bay. We have 4 days. We want to spend enought time to enjoy it what we have planned.
First night: Spend the night in Santa Barbara. Have breakfast on the Wharf on Thursday morning. Any suggestions?
Thursday (later): Drive up the coast and visit beach towns along the way. Stop at Big Sur and have lunch at Ripplewood Inn. Drive to Steinbeck Center in Salinas and also visit Salinas Old Town. Check into Asilomar and have dinner at Fishwife.
Friday: Go to Monterey Bay Aquarium. Explore Wharf and the State Historical Park. Have lunch there. I figure Friday would be the better day to be in Monterey.
Saturday: Explore Carmel and Pacific Grove.
Sunday: Head back to Orange County
I can change the dates of which places to go but I think I have enought time to see what I have listed. Is there anything I have missed seeing while up there? On our way back down 101 (we'll be going up Hwy 1 on the way up) is there anything interesting to see and a place to have lunch while driving back?
Thamks for any input.
Froggy is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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I think its a doable trip. However, I would suggest going to Salnas on the way back to Orange County since it's right off the 101. It makes for a little less backtracking between Monterey and Salinas.

Have you thought about a visit to Hearst Castle?
Margate is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 08:17 AM
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Hi, Froggy!

Wonderful trip to a wonderful region!

I don't know how much of a scenery buff you are, but since you are driving up Highway 1, appears like you want some scenery! Therefore, I would allot all Thursday for travelling from Santa Barbara to Carmel/Monterey.

There is a lot to see along the way and the road winds around a great deal, so speed is not possible on Highway 1.
There's plenty to see and do at the beach towns: Shell, Avila, Pismo etc, including Morro Bay. You could lunch at McClintock's, the ultimate beef place. It's very well known locally and right off Highway 1 (can't remember which beach town it's in, they all run into one another). Full all the time, even at 3pm.

Pfeiffer Big Sur Park would tempt you to stop. Pfeiffer Beach is worth a stop and a good picnic area.

Further up the coast, a favorite restaurant with locals and out of towners is Nepenthe, built by Orson Welles for his bride, Rita Hayworth. The view is spectacular. My recollection is that there are two dining decks offering breathtaking views of the coast.

Somewhere north or south of Nepenthe (can't remember exactly) is Bixby Bridge, a beautiful bridge.

Friday: you can do both Monterey Bay Aquarium and Salinas on Friday. There isn't very much in Salinas, it's very agricultural. You'll see a lot of lettuce, artichoke and strawberry farms. Nearby Watsonville bills itself as "The Artichoke Capital of the World". There is a BIG jam making plant, etc.

Saturday: in Carmel, there's the Hog's Breath Restaurant, which used to be owned by Clint Eastwood, a former mayor of Carmel. The restaurant is in a building still called the Eastwood Building. Moderate prices and good food. Nice Happy Hour.

There's also the Cypress Inn, owned by Doris Day. Haven't dined there yet. You can also stay there for about $150 to $400 a night. Big draw is that it allows dogs. Are you bringing your dog?

Between Carmel and Monterey (Pacific Grove) is 17 mile drive. If you are coming up this far for a vacation, drive this scenic drive and look at the exclusive mansions overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The view is, of course, great. Stop at the Pebble Beach Lodge, stay for lunch if you like (very upscale) or just take a peek at the view out the back windows/terrace of the Lodge reception area.

Just a few suggestions! Have a great trip!
jason888 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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Just a minor correction to jason888's statement: "Nearby Watsonville bills itself as "The Artichoke Capital of the World"

I believe the correct town is Castroville. Be sure to stop at the Giant Artichoke Restaurant.

C
Curious is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 03:35 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I think we'll skip San Simeon as we have been there before. Stopping at all the coastal towns on the way to Monterey sounds like it would be fun. I like Margate's suggestion on making Salinas the last stop on our trip. I have heard nice things about the Steinbeck Center and really want to see that. We want to see all the things that tourists normally don't stop at. It makes for a more interesting trip when you find something that you didn't expect.
Froggy is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 04:11 PM
  #6  
SAB
 
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I would highly recommend visiting two locations around Carmel: Point Lobos (Whaler's Cove is my particular favorite) and Carmel River Beach (less crowded than Carmel Beach). Good choice of the Fishwife, it is usually the place I have dinner the first night when I stay at Asilomar. I would also recommend Passionfish in PG for dinner, good food and great wine list at retail prices.
SAB is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 04:54 PM
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We live in PG near Asilomar. Fishwife is a great spot to eat. A few more suggestions: FANDANGO's for a great meal. More expensive than Fishwife. PEPPER's in downtown PG for Mexican food. Locals love it. BAHAMA BILLYS for just a great experience and decent price. Located in the Barnyard Shopping Center off HWY 1 in Carmel.


Bob1 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 07:27 PM
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The Steinbeck center is great. It's definitley a must see.
Ellison is offline  
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