I love traveling. It is true what they say, it makes you richer. You gain perspective, experiences, and expand your knowledge of life outside of your own bubble and in terms of self growth, nothing is better! Not to mention, it’s freaking FUN! That feeling I get when peaking out of the airplane window and see a whole new place I’ve never touched foot on…ahh, so wonderful and exciting!
As we get older though and our responsibilities increase, it gets harder to just take off, which is sort of a bummer since that’s when we actually start making more money. (The irony of life). This is one of the absolute best things about living in California though. We are a short road trip from amazing destinations of all kinds. Whatever your little heart desires, it’s in range. Mountains and snow and views in Tahoe or Big Bear, wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma, desert life in Palm Springs, city life in San Francisco, tech culture in Silicon Valley, camping in Yosemite, Disneyland, Hollywood life in LA, beach life in Orange county or San Diego, more vineyards/farms/beaches in the Central Coast and more camping in Northern California. Literally, there is every terrain, type of activity, views, place offered in this gorgeous state and one of my absolute favorites, is Monterey, where you can go for amazing cuisines, golf, lodging, beaches, and outdoor activities! (I mean yes, it has everything!)
Monterey has a posh, classy, beach vibe and is impossibly stunning with its blue waters and in my opinion, one of the very best places to visit in California. It’s relaxing, quaint, but also active as it hosts many events and weddings. Having grown up in the Bay Area, I have ventured there quite a bit in my life and always leave feeling like I need to go back soon. It is a great place for excursions with friends, dates, but also, families! There are so many adventures and places/regions to see, here are some of my favorite personal pastimes in the area…
Pebble Beach is gorgeous, tranquil and a spot that simply makes you want to take a stroll with a chardonnay in hand. It is home to some breathtakingly stunning golf courses and hosts many tournaments and events due to this. Celebrities are often spotted! For families though, it is nice to take a tour and discover nature, the water, and phenomenal views. It’s a must see when visiting Monterey County.
Old Monterey is the quaint and charming downtown area that boasts of fantastic shops, boutiques and restaurants. I would absolutely recommend the seafood as the fish is phenomenal and fresh in this area. (There is really nothing like being outside in the cool air, smelling the salty sea while eating calamari or a hot bowl of clam chowder with some wine!) Go shopping, find some souvenirs, look around, explore, grab ice cream and just enjoy the activity amongst the scenery. Be sure to plan ahead, there are quite a few of events and festivals hosted there!
Cannery Row also boasts some of the best restaurants, wine, and shops in the area so this is an absolute must to check out. There is also some fabulous lodging so be sure to check that out too if you are interested in staying in the center of the action! FUN FACT: One of my absolute favorite writers of all time, John Steinbeck, lived near Cannery Row and those were the views he was surrounded by when coming up with some of his famous works. (Bookworm nerdy girl inside swoons at this!)
Monterey Bay Aquarium
I may be biased as I am an avid lover of the ocean and marine biology, (I think sea life is absolutely FASCINATING!) but I absolutely LOVE the Monterey Bay Aquarium! It really is as wonderful as they say and a treasure to the area. There are exhibits that are welcoming, informative, and interesting. There are tide pools where kids can actually pet starfish and plenty of amazing things to look at. Not to mention, quite the gift shop. I’m fairly certain I still have a small stuffed sea otter from a visit there when I was a kiddo! This is an absolute must-visit!
Kayaking (and more!)
My boyfriend’s Granny is pushing 91 and quite honestly, a badass. She participates in every game, function, or activity and her outlook and attitude on life is what keeps her strong. Seriously, everyone should emulate Granny’s way of life- she keeps going and doesn’t let her age keep her from trying new things! She really nails it! So for her birthday one year, we all went kayaking as a family. She hopped in the kayak with the agility of a 35 year old and about 16 of us kayaked around and enjoyed being together and doing a different activity. There are so many more things to try as well; hikes, biking, horseback riding, and, it should come as no surprise given the famous aquarium, even scuba diving!
Roadtrip/17 Mile Drive
Roadtripping along this area offers stunning sights gorgeous so if you can, rent a convertible, put on some good jams, and cut loose with the family. Stop when you see a good view and take pictures and simple just sight see! It is ridiculously beautiful! Make sure to travel through 17 Mile Drive. The mansions are gorgeous and there is so much to look at. The scenery will ensure that you are never bored!
Explore Monterey and create more memories and enjoy more moments with the people you love! Really! It is THAT fun and THAT gorgeous!