Anyone else got the travel blues? I can’t wait till we can get away again! Our last trip was early 2019 as we had plans to do a bucket list trip in 2020 so we were going to save our travel pennies the remainder of 2019. Then came Covid and well I think we all were in the same boat, stranded at home with no where to go. So until we can pack our bags and jet off to explore new places or re-visit places we love , I thought I would share our last trip with you in a California 5 part series. First up Monterey! My husband is a marathon runner, me … not so much, but I am more than happy to travel along side of him and cheer him on. So when he signed up for the Big Sur International Marathon it was the perfect excuse to take a trip, start in Monterey and drive the coast to San Francisco afterwards!
We stayed at the Hotel Abrego a boutique styled hotel located right in the historic area of downtown Monterey, it was a great location as we were only a few blocks away from Fisherman’s Wharf with easy access to many restaurants and shops, more importantly it was close to where the buses picked up for Marathon day.
On your walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf you were greeted multiple times with samples from neighbouring restaurants of Clam Chowder, all of which were the best in Monterey! Sorry to say I can’t tell you which one had the best as I would still be there trying them all as there were so many to choose from.
Most of our time spent in historic downtown Monterey was done eating! Some of our favourites were the restaurant and bar right in our hotel Bistro Abrego, then of course we had to hit up a Seafood restaurant, we chose Domenico’s on the Wharf everything was really great, and I loved the crab cakes! Before race night we always usually pick somewhere with a good carb selection and what better carbs to have then Italian, so Cibo Ristorante Italiano it was, so delish here, everything from the cocktails, to the appies to the main course and okay we got dessert too!
Mornings we usually grabbed coffee and a pastry from the little cafe Paris Bakery close to our hotel. Our last night in Monterey we visited Fieldwork Brewing for a beer flight, I loved the relaxed courtyard beer garden vibe. They had fireplaces lit and heat lamps on to keep you cozy while chatting and and enjoying your drinks, and best of all dogs are welcome! I miss our pooches like crazy whenever we go away so seeing some cute little furry faces made my night!
We spent an afternoon exploring Carmel by the Sea in Monterey County, this little seaside village is so quaint and lovely, I could have spent all day there. It feels like you have just stepped into a scene with Belle in her village from Beauty and the Beast, it has such a fairytale feel with its cobbled sidewalks, and whimsical buildings.
Isn’t it the cutest! You could walk around all day just admiring the buildings and the little alley ways that you want to go down to see where they lead. We had lunch at Carmel Belle a little eatery that sources its menu from local farmers, it was a great place to sneak in for a quick bite, okay I admit I picked it for its cute little Belle Chicken logo, it was a sign after me saying I felt like we were in Belle’s village, so obviously we had to eat here!
Of course we had to stop at The Cottage of Sweets, you felt like Hansel and Gretel entering here, but without the wicked witch! I loved peeking in the gallery windows, and sneaking into the little shops to browse. Some of my favourite spots that I picked up a few things from were Ami Carmel I got the best tea towels and market bag from here. We bought quirky socks from The Sockshop, and of course we had to pick up a few things from Diggidy Dog to take home to the pups. I also loved the cute little antique stores, Jane Austin at Home with is perfect name for its location was definitely a favourite.
I would for sure visit Carmel by the Sea again given the chance, I would spend more time making sure I didn’t miss anything! Next up was our adventure along the coast, the drive was so lovely I just wish we had got a clearer day as even when we drove into Carmel it was very overcast, but at least we didn’t have rain so I’ll take it! We stopped many times along the way to snap some pictures.
One stop you need to make if you are driving through Big Sur is at the Bixby Creek Bridge, it one of the highest single span arch bridges in the world, and is pretty amazing to see.
This is definitely a drive I wouldn’t say no to, and would do it again hands down.
Thanks for coming along on my California coast adventure, Next stop San Francisco!