Monterey is a stunning seaside city just under two hours from Berkeley, making it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a beautiful day trip. With an endless amount of things to do and experience, most of which take place outdoors, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone to enjoy in a COVID-safe way in Monterey! Here’s the Clog’s guide to making the most out of your time in Monterey.
Monterey is a goldmine for outdoor activities. One of the most notable activities offered is the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. This bike-and-pedestrian-only path follows the gorgeous coast for 18 miles. You can walk or rent bikes by the hour and explore the whole coast on a safe and car-free path. If you’re visiting during warmer months, there are tons of places to rent kayaks or take guided kayaking tours on the water. There is also no shortage of hiking trails in this area and you will have tons of options for the type of scenery you want to hike through — right on the turquoise beaches, through the gorgeous tall trees or a mix of both. If the weather isn’t in your favor for an outdoor activity or you’re looking for something less adventurous, the famous 17-mile drive is the spot for you. You get to drive through and witness all of Monterey and Pebble Beach’s beauty from the comfort of your own vehicle. Plus, there are amazing photo ops along the way!
Places to visit
The three most popular sites to visit within the city of Monterey are Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They are all super close to each other and the Monterey coastal trail even passes by all of them, so you can make stops at each on your bike ride if you choose to do so! Cannery Row is a long street with a plethora of restaurants right on the water and tons of unique shops to stroll through. You will definitely see nods toward the famous author, John Steinbeck, who wrote about Cannery Row while he lived in the area. At the end of Cannery Row, you’ll find the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Make sure to check beforehand about the aquarium’s status, as it’s currently closed to visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions but is putting safety measures in place for when county officials allow them to reopen. A few minutes away from Cannery Row and the aquarium is the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. This colorful wharf is jam-packed with seafood restaurants and little shops perfect for a mid-day stroll.
There is no shortage of amazing places to eat in this area! With its proximity to the ocean, it’s no surprise how much amazing seafood is offered all over. If you’re looking for a huge clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl, head to the wharf. Almost every restaurant here offers that comforting bowl of chowder that hits the spot on a windy sea day. On Cannery Row, what stands out among all the restaurants is how many different dessert shops you will find! If you’re craving something sweet after a meal, Cannery Row is the place to go. If you’re venturing a little further, one restaurant that stands out is the Beach House Restaurant at Lover’s Point. It serves amazing food with even better views right on the water. Located in the town of Pacific Grove, in between Pebble Beach and Cannery Row, it’s the perfect place to stop in between for an incredible lunch or sunset dinner.
No matter what you end up doing, you will have a blast exploring Monterey Bay. It has something to offer to everyone who comes and there is no shortage of fun things to do. With amazing food and views, this magical place is the perfect location to escape the stress of life even just for a day. Make sure to follow all COVID-19 policies and restrictions if you are going to make the trip, and have fun exploring!