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My2Cinderellas
01-08-2007, 03:01 PM
I would love some local info on Monterey area! DH and I are flying into SFO for a 4--5 day trip in June. We've been to SF and Sonoma county several times and I'd like to do something a bit different for a couple of days. Monterey came to mind.

What are your favorite restaurants? We like to try unique local places and avoid chains. Cool breakfast spots, fun seafood joints, fine dining - recommendations?

How about a hotel or B&B? I'd like to stay under $150/night but the pickings look slim so far...if I'm going to splurge I need reassurance that the place is truly worth it.

Thanks!!!

Vanvmom
01-08-2007, 03:46 PM
There are some nice B&Bs down by Lover's Point. I'll ask DH (he lived there for about 3 years before we got married). I'll see if he has any recommendations.

honeymom
01-08-2007, 08:09 PM
My husband and I love the b&b's by Lover's Point. It is technically a different town than Monterey called Pacific Grove. We actually got engaged at the Seven Gables Inn. It is a beautiful inn that was later featured in a Visa ad. The same family now owns the inn next door to the Seven Gables Inn, but I do not know the name. There are two other inns overlooking the water that we have never stayed in, but that both have good reputations - the Green Gables Inn and the Martine Inn.

There are several other inns that are not on the water that might be a little less expensive. We have stayed at the Centrella. It is nice, although a little larger and less cozy than the Seven Gables. But, I think it is also a lot less expensive.

My2Cinderellas
01-10-2007, 02:02 PM
thanks Honeymom! DH and I did a little searching on Trip Advisor, looked at all the places you mentioned, and finally decided on The Old St. Angela Inn in Pacific Grove.

if you think of any great little restaurants, or cool things to do in the area, please let me know!

honeymom
01-10-2007, 06:24 PM
I'll ask my husband if he can remember names of restaurants in the area - there are so many good restaurants, but I cannot remember names. I remember hearing good things about the Old St. Angela Inn btw (I had just forgotten that one). My sister-in-law lives in Pebble Beach so we go up that way every once in a while, but it has been a bit over a year now so my memory is not as fresh.

Things to do:
Drive on the 17-mile drive
Walk around the path by Lover's Point
Go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Walk around Carmel (lots of little shops on Ocean Avenue, plenty of galleries on the side streets and a beach at the end of Ocean Avenue)
Drive down to Point Lobos Reserve (just south of Monterey). It is a beautiful area with lots of wind blown California Cypress trees overlooking the ocean.
Drive down to Big Sur and eat at Nepenthe. The food is just okay (I'd advise the less expensive lunch), but the views are incredible.

madhttr
01-10-2007, 11:47 PM
Hi My2Cinderellas,

I live in the Monterey Area (approx 15 minutes away) and would be happy to help you with any information you would like to know.

A really nice, upper-class place to eat is called the Charthouse. Its on Cannery Row (around the corner from the aquarium) and they have a great menu. You can always go to the wharf and have some of the best clam-chowder in the nation at the old Chowder House. Its also a nice place to just take a stroll too. It is a bit windy on the wharf so you might want to take a jacket to keep from getting a little chilly.

Another place to stop by on your way to Monterey is San Juan Bautista. It is a charming mission town with some really nice shops and the best Mexican food around can be found at a resturant called Dona Ester.

Its late and I cant really think of a whole lot of quaint places but Im sure I can come up with some tomorrow.

P.S. I know you said that you did not want to visit any chains, but if you do visit the aquarium and do not want to pay the prices at the chart house, you might want to visit Bubba Gumps Shrimp Factory. They have really good food at reasonable prices. Not to mention the scenery is great in the resturant and outside of (It sits directly on the water).

Let me know if I can be of any other help!

honeymom
01-11-2007, 09:47 AM
The Charthouse is great food, but it is a chain so you might have been to one before.

I've never been to Stokes Adobe (I was at the restaurant years ago but it was a different restaurant then), but if it is in the building I'm thinking it would be a nice place to go and it has a good reputation. Also, I think that Fresh Cream is still considered one of the best restaurants in the area. Both are in Monterey and would be considered fine dining.


Madhttr - years ago I went to a breakfast place a little beyond the aquarium (headed away from Fisherman's Wharf) that was great - big selection of omelets. Do you know the name of that place?

Also, if you want another fine dining experience that is another upscale "chain" that we like - try Roy's in Pebble Beach. It is at the Inn at Spanish Bay. I also agree with previous poster about Bubba Gumps. Yes, it is a chain and more casual dining - but, we always get a good meal at decent prices there and it is a good place to know about when you don't want to pay inflated Monterey prices.

madhttr
01-11-2007, 10:11 AM
Honeymom, I believe the place you are talking about it the resturant next to the old Carosel. They used to call it the Spagetti Warehouse. I am not sure what it is called now. But yes, they had a large selection of omlettes. They make them for you right there.

Stokes Adobe is a great place to eat that has alot of history. You can view some information about it here:

http://www.stokesrestaurant.com/home.htm
http://www.stokesrestaurant.com/About/History.pdf

Monterey has so much history it is hard to see it all in a few days. There are so many places to visit and see.

Also, if you get here and you find that you need something from say Target or Walmart. Dont drive all the way to Salinas. It would be better to go to Target in Seaside, or they just opened a new Walmart in Marina. You can find directions easily by going on either one of their websites. Monterey has a nice outside mall too with several shops like Macys, Mervyns, and smaller department stores.

honeymom
01-11-2007, 10:22 AM
Honeymom, I believe the place you are talking about it the resturant next to the old Carosel. They used to call it the Spagetti Warehouse. I am not sure what it is called now. But yes, they had a large selection of omlettes. They make them for you right there.

Stokes Adobe is a great place to eat that has alot of history. You can view some information about it here:

http://www.stokesrestaurant.com/home.htm
http://www.stokesrestaurant.com/About/History.pdf

Monterey has so much history it is hard to see it all in a few days. There are so many places to visit and see.

Also, if you get here and you find that you need something from say Target or Walmart. Dont drive all the way to Salinas. It would be better to go to Target in Seaside, or they just opened a new Walmart in Marina. You can find directions easily by going on either one of their websites. Monterey has a nice outside mall too with several shops like Macys, Mervyns, and smaller department stores.

The omelet restaurant is in the opposite direction (away from the wharf and the carousel). It is several blocks down from the aquarium in a non-descript building. It may or may not be around anymore - I went there in 2002 following a cousin's wedding in Monterey.

My2Cinderellas
01-11-2007, 10:37 AM
thank you madhttr and honeymom! I appreciate all the info. Living in land-locked Iowa, anything involving ocean views is a treat. I could do nothing but walk along the beach and be perfectly happy. That's one of the reasons we love northern California so much, it's nothing like home and makes a great break from everyday life.

I'm glad to hear two thumbs up for Bubba Gump's. :thumbsup2 I was afraid it would be trading on it's name and not delivering great food. And Mexican food suggestions too! Yum. I appreciate knowing where a good Target is, it doesn't matter how much I overpack, I always end up needing something.

17 Mile drive is a must do for DH. We probably won't do the Aquarium, I took the girls to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago last summer, and DH said he'd rather go whale watching. So I'll load up on the dramamine and see how I do. I went on a whale watching trip 25 years ago in San Diego, and spend most of the time hanging over the edge.

It's been fun to start planning this trip. It's bleak and boring here, we're supposed to get freezing rain and then 4-6 inches of snow over the next few days, so thinking about sunny California is much nicer.

thanks again for all the great info!

honeymom
01-11-2007, 01:05 PM
I grew up on the East Coast and just moved to Arizona from Connecticut last year so I know what you mean about the weather. The Monterey peninsula often gets a lot of fog, but it is a California fog and I love it. Have a great time.

mrypg
02-06-2007, 08:58 PM
I would love some local info on Monterey area! DH and I are flying into SFO for a 4--5 day trip in June. We've been to SF and Sonoma county several times and I'd like to do something a bit different for a couple of days. Monterey came to mind.

What are your favorite restaurants? We like to try unique local places and avoid chains. Cool breakfast spots, fun seafood joints, fine dining - recommendations?

How about a hotel or B&B? I'd like to stay under $150/night but the pickings look slim so far...if I'm going to splurge I need reassurance that the place is truly worth it.

Thanks!!!


What exact food are you looking for? We are locals lived here all our lives!!!

Do you want real local foods!!!! no tourists!!!

Lissete
02-07-2007, 06:41 AM
DH said he'd rather go whale watching. So I'll load up on the dramamine and see how I do. I went on a whale watching trip 25 years ago in San Diego, and spend most of the time hanging over the edge.


We vacationed in California in June 2006. We did the whale watch tour with Sanctuary (http://www.sanctuarycruises.com/). Awesome knowledgeable people and great tour! They rent Relief Bands for about $7 and they are fantastic. I get sea sick while floating in our pool:lmao: and I didn't feel it at all during the 4 hour trip! My DD said that she felt a bit queasy but not bad. I would have been happy with just 2 hours, probably because it was very cold & windy.

Sanctuary Cruises is out of Moss Harbor which is about 20-30 mins from where we were stayin in Pacific Grove. Also, they have 2 boats. But, as of last June they were selling the big one so I don't know if they are aking her out or not.

It's fun. In June we only saw Humpbacks. I would love to go again & hopefully see Orcas.

Planning is half the fun!

My2Cinderellas
02-07-2007, 09:53 AM
What exact food are you looking for? We are locals lived here all our lives!!!

Do you want real local foods!!!! no tourists!!!

Yes!!!! Local favorites are exactly what I am looking for. Breakfast is covered at the Inn, so we need dinner suggestions for Saturday and Sunday evening. If we stick to our plan of whale watching on Sunday, then we'll just pick up lunch at the wharf. I'd be happy with chowder or a steamed crab and a couple of beers. :thumbsup2

we like both casual and upscale places, have pretty open tastes, and would like to concentrate on seafood. although DH says no sushi. We live in the land of beef and pork, and often buy meat directly from the farmers. When I get near an ocean, I want local seafood. Places that use locally grown produce are a plus too.

Reasonably priced wine lists are also a bonus. I was shocked :scared1: when we tried a new restaurant last month to see their markup on wine was 150-200% instead of around 100%. Hope it's not a growing trend, or we will be bringing our own in and paying the corkage fee more often.

Thank you!

mrypg
02-07-2007, 11:48 AM
Try the fish house on Del mote ave monterey!!! LOcal place!! Get reservations small place ALways packed.

If you want excellet food there are about 7-10 places in carmel also (all different foods)

Book reservation at least 2-3 weeks out depending on the weekend and if there is any events going on in town!!!

My2Cinderellas
02-07-2007, 11:55 AM
aha! advance reservations - thanks for the reminder!

The Fish House on Del Monte ave, thank you!

mrypg
02-07-2007, 12:00 PM
aha! advance reservations - thanks for the reminder!

The Fish House on Del Monte ave, thank you!

check at monterey conventiion and turist site if there are any events!!!

Where are you staying?

Look at bidding for travel they help give you0 the prices that priceline is getting..

cannary row is always a nice place to stay rent bikes,walk of course carmel!!!

when are you coming in June?

My2Cinderellas
02-07-2007, 12:09 PM
We will be arriving Saturday, June 16, flying into SFO and renting a car. Staying at The Old St. Angela Inn in Pacific Grove on Saturday and Sunday, then heading north Monday morning. DH and I have been wanting to try a B&B, and this seemed like a good time to book one.

We will have Saturday late afternoon/evening and Sunday to explore and do things. When I looked briefly at a calendar of events, the Jazz festival is the following weekend. Nothing jumped out at me for the 16th/17th but you might have a better idea of what is going on.

thanks!

mhm
03-11-2007, 12:08 PM
Monterey is one of my favorites! We go several times a year, although before kids we were going once a month or more to go scuba diving. Some of my favorite restaurants:

Vivolo's Chowder House (on Lighthouse--second best chowder in town, IMO; best is at the market by the Breakwater)
Hula's Island Grill (on Lighthouse next to Long's -- I highly recommend the macadamia nut encrusted ono! Get there before 6 to minimize wait)
Trailside Cafe (breakfast and lunch only, on Wave)
First Awakenings (breakfast, on Oceanview -- this may be the place someone was talking about with good omelets)
Bahama Billy's (in the Barnyard, Carmel)

Enjoy your trip!

My2Cinderellas
06-23-2007, 03:52 PM
We're back! it was a wonderful trip. thanks to everyone who posted, between you all and trip advisor, my DH thinks I'm a genius.

Huge thumbs up :thumbsup2 for Dona Esther's in San Juan Bautista. When we arrived at SFO we were already so off schedule that we weren't hungry, so decided to head on down south before eating. San Juan Bautista is on the inland route, and since I forgot to mapquest (didn't really think we'd go there) it we followed the signs off the 101 and had ourselves an adventure. Finally found it after a few wrong turns and had a late lunch. It was very different in seasonings/flavors than what we have here but totally delicious.

Back on the road to Monterey, saw the Fish House on Del Monte as we drove by. Sadly didn't get to eat there, we ran out of time and appetite. Checked into our B&B, the Old St. Angela Inn and got settled. I highly recommend this place, it was very comfortable and charming. It is located 1 block away from the beach and is centrally located between Pacific Grove and Monterey attractions. We walked down the hill and along the bay every day.

My2Cinderellas
06-23-2007, 05:16 PM
Sunday morning we got up early for our whale watching trip. The B&B didn't start serving breakfast until 8:30, which is when we were supposed to check in for the trip. No problem, we went down early and missed the hot entree but had plenty to choose from with fresh fruit salad, various toast/jams, and yummy muffins hot from the oven. I didn't really want to eat anything greasy anyway as I knew I would be seasick later on.

We booked a trip with the Monterey Bay Whale Watching crew, and had a great trip. It lasted about 4 hours and we saw 5 different humpback whales. One in particular really put on a show, breaching and laying on his back slapping his tail over and over. DH got lots of photos and had a great time. Two tips for this adventure - dress warmly, in layers. others around us had hats/mittens and we wished we had 'em too. It was pretty darn cold until about noon when the fog finally burned off. 2nd, if you are even the slightest bit prone to motion sickness, know you will probably get seasick. I took 2 dramamine pills, wore seabands and still threw up. and it was a pretty calm day.

we stopped for a bowl of chowder along the wharf before heading back to the B&B. I took a hot bath and then a nap and felt much better! We had dinner at a restaurant in Pacific Grove called Passionfish. DH had spent a week in San Francisco early in June for training, and kept trying to find good seafood. He finally found it at Passionfish! It was interestly prepared, perfectly cooked and delicious. Portions weren't huge, nicely sized so you could have multiple courses. Best part was the wine list - instead of the traditional 100-150% markup, every bottle is $11 over retail. Yum!

We called that afternoon for reservations, and I chose an early time so we would be done before sunset. After dinner we went on the 17 mile drive. so beautiful, and DH had awesome lighting for pictures.

I can't wait to return. we enjoyed the Monterey peninsula so much, and there was a lot we didn't get to see and do.

madhttr
06-23-2007, 06:31 PM
YAY! So glad you decided to eat at Dona Esther's! It SO good! Sounds like you had a blast! We were just at the wharf last weekend for Father's day and had lunch at Benehana's. I hope you come again. Monterey is such a beautiful place and there is so much to see. Feel free to email me at any time for more suggestions! :thumbsup2