Monterey County on the central coast of California is a spectacular destination that offers adventures all year long.
It’s rare to find a place that pairs such magnificent views and beautiful beaches with exquisite restaurants, surprising sea life and fun attractions.
Fun for All in Monterey Bay Aquarium
I wake up totally rested in my comfortable bed at the Intercontinental The Clement Hotel and enjoy the wonderful view of Monterey Bay while I feast on a delicious breakfast before starting my day in one of the world’s most famous aquariums, Monterey Bay Aquarium. After a short walk I arrive at the aquarium where I find hundreds of aquatic species that transport me to an unimaginable world. The otters grab my attention immediately and I can’t stop smiling at their playful pirouettes; although, the penguins’ somersaults and jumps are no less impressive. The enormous open sea tank exhibition is to be admired, with its sharks, rays, sardines, tunas and turtles. However, for me, the jellyfish exhibition is the one that impresses me most. These magical creatures looked so magnificent that I felt like I was standing in front of a high-definition movie screen.
After the indoor exhibits, I spend some time on the outer deck to see the turtles’ tank and take in views of the coast, where I can see a pair of sea lions that were happily playing before the visitors.
I leave the aquarium with a smile on my face. It’s a fantastic place for children and adults alike.
The enchanting Jellyfish exhibit at Monterey Bay Aquarium
Taking a Break in Carmel-by-the-Sea
15 minutes from the aquarium is Carmel Beach, where locals enjoy long walks, surfing, barbecues and picnics, plus spectacular sunsets. The sand here is perfect for building sandcastles, which is why one of their most popular events is a sandcastle-building contest that takes place every October. I couldn’t help but dreaming of buying my own house here one day to walk on this beautiful beach every morning.
Minutes away from Carmel Beach, I stroll Ocean Avenue, full of art galleries, restaurants and charming little plazas. Carmel Bakery grabs my attention. Its window is a feast for the eyes. Little Napoli Bistro is another trademark eatery of the city. Its great ambiance, delicious food and excellent service would leave a good taste in any guest’s mouth.
It’s hard to walk on Ocean Avenue without stopping by each of the stores. Local products, art and even stores specializing in Jane Austen and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland memorabilia, are just a sample of what I found walking around these lovely streets.
Delicious pastries on display to tempt passersby at Carmel Bakery
A Piece of History in Scenic Fisherman’s Wharf
Monterey’s historic downtown is home to the Custom House, the oldest government building in California, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Here, you’ll find the docks for whale watching tours. One of Monterey Bay’s wonders is that you can see different species of these extraordinary animals all year long.
The many restaurants located in the wharf tempt my appetite, but I opt for a delicious clam chowder at the famous Old Fisherman’s Grotto. I enjoy my chowder while I delight in the spectacular glow of twilight. It’s been an incredible day full of unforgettable moments, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures Monterey County will offer me.
View of Monterey Bay from Fisherman’s Wharf