I was first introduced to Monterey through the words of John Steinbeck’s the Grapes of Wrath. Until I had read the book in my sophomore year of college, Monterey never figured on my must see places. Why would I visit a Monterey when I could spend my weekend visiting the San Francisco? I am a city gal who loves the city more than any beach and enjoys hiking to laying in the sun. As I read the book, I decided to drag my parents along to explore Monterey. That was my first time in Monterey. We walked through cannery row in downtown Monterey. Cannery row used to be the sardine packing industry which formed the backdrop for Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. It was cool to walk through the old world charm of cannery row imagining what had been.
Monterey in the central coast of California is lush with beaches and water everywhere. The most famous inhabitant of Monterey includes the Monterey Aquarium. The Aquarium is big with fishes of every kind, gelly fish of every color flocking around you. They also have a backdoor pass wherein they take you through the backdoors of the Aquarium. I have visited so many aquariums that they no longer tickle my fancy but the Monterey Aquarium was my first in America, and I had never seen anything like it before. It is an absolute must see in Monterey and one can spend a whole day just marveling at the varieties of fish there.
While most people go to Monterey for the Aquarium, my absolute favorite is the serene seventeen mile drive. The seventeen mile drive provides breathtaking landscape of the Pacific coastline. One encounters the Pebble beach, golf courses and beautiful mansions while driving on the seventeen miles of beauty. There are different vantage points to enjoy the view and take pictures.
My last visit to Monterey was in February 2016. We took our puppy to the beach and stayed over in Monterey for the weekend. While the beach continues to haunt Zed, my german shepherd, he had fun frolicking on the sand, getting acquainted with dogs at the beach and just getting his paws wet. We chose Monterey State Beach for our day out. Zed had his fix of puppy friends while we walked the beach. After an exhausting beach day, we ate at Rosine’s Restaurant. I am not an Italian fan but this restaurant made me a believer. I cannot wait to go back to Rosine’s again!
Monterey offers everything California is known for, sun, beach and scenic beauty. The next time you are in the bay area, gorge on some clam chowder at Monterey. Even if you are not a beach bum, that one spoonful of clam chowder will make you return back to the town that inspired John Steinbeck.