Monday, April 14, 2014

Day Trip from the City - Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea

Monterey Cannery Row - SignSpring time in California promises sunny weather at the same time comfortably cool temperature. Mijo and I spent a day one Saturday in the beautiful Monterey, a little over 100 miles south of San Francisco. We also dropped by Carmel since it is just around the corner.

We always have a good and relaxing time whenever we go to Monterey and Carmel.

The weather report promised great weather that weekend so Mijo suggested that we drive down south and bring our overnight bags to Monterey. We both were getting off a busy week at work so we decided to take a break so off we went. We didn't have an agenda. We did make a hotel reservation but no specific plan of where to go and what to do. Both of us just wanted to get away.

Traffic was bad on the way to Monterey. We left the city a little after 9am and reached our Monterey hotel before noon. I could smell the ocean from where we were at. 

After check-in, we headed to Monterey's Cannery Row. We've been here many times before but it always feels there is something new everytime we come here. We also had biked around Monterey through the Cannery Row before. I remember it was a very scenic ride. 
Monterey Cannery Row - Cannery Row Co

We chose to have a light lunch at Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar. It was both our first time to go there.
Schooners - Coastal Kitchen and Bar 

They have a great selection of seafood dishes. Mijo and I shared this tasty Steamed Mussels. We both had a glass of their house California white wine. Not sure now if it was a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Chardonnay.

Schooners - Steamed Mussels

I wanted something light so I decided to get their Seafood Salad. Do not be deceived that this look too little because this salad is good for two because they give a generous amount of crabmeat, shrimp and seared tuna. In short, I got full. I recommend sharing next time.
Schooners - Seafood salad

Wonderful ocean views from Schooners! A good reminder that t
he California coast is simply breathtaking.
Schooners - View 

We wanted to try the Cafe La Strada which is next door to Schooners. They serve Peet's Coffee which is my favorite back in the city.
Cafe La Strada - Front

We decided to get this visually stunning fruit tart. The size is good for two people sharing. I like the chocolate oval tile with the Cafe La Strada printed on it. Cute touch!
Cafe La Strada - Fruit Tart

 Next, it was time to burn calories and walk the entire length of the Cannery Row and back. It was a nice walk because there are lots to see. Mijo and I do like our walks together especially when we are site seeing. 
Monterey Cannery Row - Beach and rocks 

Tiny patches of beach along the way.

Can you see the California fog hanging on the horizon?
Monterey Cannery Row - Beach 

There is a cute little plaza tucked on the side of the corner of Prescott Street and Cannery Row.  Lots of people were congregating here sitting and watching the ocean. Such a relaxing atmosphere.

Monterey Cannery Row - Square 

These buildings used to be in sardines canning and by 1960 almost all the canneries had closed. The buildings now house boutique stores, souvenir shops, wine stores, cafes and restaurants.

Monterey Cannery Row - Sign Monterey Cannery Row - Canning Co 

At the end of the Cannery Row is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We've been there before. This time we didn't go in because it felt like being indoors would be such a waste with this great weather.

Monterey Cannery Row - Monterey Bay Aquarium 

There Cannery Row is also dotted with art galleries. I made a mental note that my birthday gift to myself next year is a painting by a local artist.

Monterey Cannery Row - Gallery 

After our litle stroll through the Cannery Row, we decided to check out Carmel-by-the-Sea. It is another picturesque town 9 miles from The Cannery Row.

Carmel is known for the Mission Carmel, one of the many California Mission churches, planted by Father Junipero Serra during the Spanish era.
Mission Carmel - Basilica and Courtyard 
Mission Carmel - Inside the Basilica Mission Carmel - Father Serra 

From the Mission Carmel, we headed back to the main strip of Carmel called Ocean Ave. While walking on our way to the beach, we passed by this store with a good coffee aroma.  Carmel Bakery and Coffee Co was packed but we were lucky to find a table. Great timing, I guess.

Carmel Bakery and Coffee Co - Sign 

Here are more goodies. Which one to choose? I decided on a strawberry ice cream with a hat. 

Carmel Bakery and Coffee Co - Goodies

Carmel Bakery and Coffee Co - Ice cream 

 After our coffee break, it is time to pay the Carmel-by-the-sea a visit. We were blessed with great weather that day.

Carmel by the Sea - Cypress Carmel by the Sea - Beach Carmel by the Sea - Beach scene 

We also dropped by to see the Lone Cypress Tree. This one, I have seen for the first time.

The Lone Cypress - SignThe Lone Cypress - Wide view The Lone Cypress - View The Lone Cypress - Fog 

 Lastly, we had dinner at Monterey Fish House. What an end to a wonderful day.

Monterey Fish House - Restaurant Monterey Fish House - Dinner

There are so many California coastal destinations within a couple of hours drive from San Francisco. Our favorites such as Santa Cruz, Monterey, Mendocino are only a few of these stunning places.


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