TRAVEL GUIDE: MONTEREY AND CARMEL
We get stuck in ruts. The same coffee order, the same route to the gym, the same pair of jeans. Sometimes to get out of those ruts all you need is the open road and your toes in the ocean. Or maybe that's just me.
I am one of those people that loves to drive. It's probably because I dont do it too often and its usually to somewhere fun. I am a big fan of getting out of the city on the weekends and it's the number one reason I miss having a car. Thank god there is Zipcar and friends who have cars.
This past weekend I wasn't necessarily needing to get out of a rut, but I did want to do something different. So my sister and I headed down highway 1 on the California coast stopping in Pescadero, Monterey and Carmel. We picked dahlias, stuck our feet in the freezing ocean, ate some delicious poke and went window shopping. Even though it was just a few hours outside of the city, it truly felt like a world away.
Here is your guide to Monterey and Carmel...
WHERE WE STAYED
Trick question, we didn't actually stay in the region. It was close enough for us to drive home at the end of the day and sleep tucked into our own beds. I did enjoy the recommendations from Sunset Magazine (one of my personal favorites) Maybe next time we stay in a yurt?
WHAT WE DID AND WHAT WE ATE (SOMETIMES EATING IS AN ACTIVITY)
We picked up pastries at Arizmendi Bakery in the city and drove Hwy 1 from there. If you want to spare yourself some time getting out of the city, you can drive down to San Mateo and cut over to Half Moon Bay . You won't be missing much by skipping the beginning part of the drive and you will get to your destination just a little bit quicker.
I will say that getting there slow is part of the fun. Pull over when you see a pie stand you like, a vantage point of the sea or maybe just the perfect photo of surfers. We stopped in Pescadero for some amazing jam and artichoke bread from the historic (started in 1929) Arangeli Grocery Co. After wandering around for the porta potties (yes, it's a glamorous life we lead) Amanda found a little dahlia farm where you could pick your own flowers. It was so much fun to wander the rows of flowers and select just the perfect five for our little arrangement.
Next stop was down the coast to Monterey to grab a late lunch. I had researched places to go and the Poke Lab seemed like the perfect fit for a coastal town. At Poke Lab you select the fish, rice and toppings to make a custom bowl. It was so delicious and I can't stop wishing that it was up here in San Francisco.
We were totally full after our delicious lunch so we headed down to Carmel for a little stroll on the beach and some browsing around the shops in town. The sun was low in the sky so the beach was absolutely gorgeous. I was so surprised at how soft the sand was and the almost-tropical color of the water.
After wanting to stay at the beach forever, home was calling our name and we knew that we needed to head back north. We pointed the car around and drove up HWY 1 to San Francisco. Before we could really hit the road though, we stopped and saw the sun set into the ocean.
It was an amazing day spent on the coast in Pescadero, Monterey and Carmel. Maybe next time we will stay the night and enjoy even more of what this gorgeous region of California has to offer. It was the perfect thing to do to get out of the city and do something out of the day-to-day.
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