One of the greatest things about living in Marin is that it is perfectly situated so that within a few short hours you can be most anywhere worth going. This Saturday, we headed out early and about two hours later were in Monterey. Here’s what our 24 hours there looked like:
We checked into the Intercontinental, The Clement Monterey located on historic Cannery Row. After a quick lunch at the “C-Restaurant” we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium alone is worth the trip to Monterey as it is one of the best in the country. It is located at the end of Cannery Row at the site of the former Hovden Cannery, the largest cannery and the last one to close after the sardine fishery collapsed. It has so many interesting exhibits and we spent most of the day exploring them. We especially loved “The Jellies Experience” exhibit (so graceful and ethereal) and the “Open Sea” exhibit (for the hammerhead sharks, obviously). After the aquarium, we headed out onto Cannery Row to check out the shops. Cannery Row, named after John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name, is the water front district on Monterey Bay and site of several now defunct sardine canning factories which have been remodeled and are currently home to art galleries, shops and restaurants. Although Cannery Row wasn’t my thing (it had the touristy-vibe of Times Square which in my opinion is to be avoided) we still had a good time walking around and taking in the beautiful ocean views. We ducked into the Nestle Toll House Cafe to get the kids ice cream cones as big as their faces, then went back to the hotel for pre-dinner cocktails on the patio. For dinner, we skipped the busier, more crowded restaurants in Cannery Row and headed several blocks away to Vivolo’s Chowder House. It was low-key and the seafood was fantastic. After a short walk back to the hotel, we had a nightcap beside the fire pits and listened to the waves while the kids ran around on the patio and had a great time. Although we planned on taking a leisurely drive up the coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pebble Beach, Sid got sick so we hightailed it out of there first thing Sunday morning. Despite the vomit, all in all it was a fun and relaxing 24-hours in Monterey.