August 3, 2014 was our one year anniversary being married but since my husband was out of town that weekend, he planned a surprise trip to Monterey over Labor Day weekend to celebrate. For non-Americans, Labor Day is a celebration of the American labor movement. It’s always celebrated on the first Monday of September. Up to the day we left, I didn’t know where we were going yet, which made it hard for me to pack for the weekend. I just packed a little of everything so it all worked out in the end.
As we were driving south on I-280, I guessed we were going to Monterey, Big Sur, or Caramel. Guess I was right! Monterey is about 2 hours (124 miles) south of San Francisco. I didn’t know what to expect in Monterey since I didn’t think there was much to do. Little did I know how much fun I was going to have there.
My husband rented a convertible for the weekend 🙂We stayed at Spindrift Inn, which is a super cute inn in downtown Monterey. This is the street the inn is located on.This is the view from outside our room. Isn’t it so pretty? It was so nice to leave the windows open and hear the ocean.This seagull is hanging out on the window right below us.The first activity my husband had planned was horseback riding along the beach. The first time I’ve been on a horse was in girl scout and I didn’t have a good time since I was so scared. Because of this, I was actually dreading this activity but I actually had a GREAT time. My horse’s name is Angel and she was super sweet. I highly recommend this activity if you never done this before.The next activity we did was the 17 mile drive. The 17 mile drive is a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsular. It’s gorgeous driving along this route especially with a convertible ^_^.Cypress tress are common along the 17 mile drive. Doesn’t it look like the wind is blowing their branches?
We stopped by a restaurant on Pebble Beach for lunch. This was one of our favorite restaurant this weekend. The food was really good and we got to sit outside along the patio with the view of the golf course and ocean.Apparently Pebble Beach is suppose to be one of the most beautiful golf course in the world and I can see why!After the 17 mile drive, we dropped by downtown Caramel. This is a super cute town with a lot of cute shops. You should definitely check this town out!From there we went sailing along the Monterey Bay.Look at all those sea lions just chilling on those rocks!The next day we went kayaking on the Monterey Bay. This is a great way to see the marine life in the Monterey Bay.Do you see those sea otters in the middle? They were just hanging out there amongst the kelp. You have to stay at least 500 yards away from them so you don’t disturb them in their natural habitat.
Overall this was one of the best weekend I had. I highly recommend you checking out Monterey if you haven’t been there!
List of places we went in Monterey:Spindrift Inn 652 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940 831.646.8900 Small, intimate inn in downtown Monterey. Our room overlooked the Monterey Bay and had a fireplace. Great place! Monterey Bay Equestrian Center 119 Monterey Dunes Way Castroville, CA 95012 831.663.5712 Definitely book a horseback ride along the beach. Super romantic. 17 Mile Drive You can take the CA Hwy 1 entrance or the Pacific Grove entrance. There’s a $10 USD per car fee to enter. If you spend more than $30 USD at any restaurant in Pebble Beach, they’ll deduct the $10 USD entrance fee. Bella on the Bay Captain Christian is awesome! Super romantic sailing on the bay. There were 2 other couples on the sailboat so it was quite intimate. Adventures by the Sea We rented a double kayak with a tour at Lovers Point. Our guide was great and super informative on marine life in the bay. Stillwater Bar & Grill 1700 17 Mile Dr
Pebble Beach, CA 93953 831.625.8524 Our favorite restaurant this weekend. The food was delicious and the view was great. Bistro Moulin 867 Wave Street Monterey, CA 93940 831.333.1200 Solid French food. Everything was cooked perfectly. Sardine Factory 701 Wave Street Monterey, CA 93940 831.204.9266 The appetizer was delicious. Highly recommend the wild California sardines and the abalone bisque (served at “Taste of America” for President Reagan’s Inauguration). Don’t get the beef since they are corn-fed (read this to find out why that’s bad for cows and you!). Crystal Fish 514 Lighthouse Ave Monterey, CA 93940 831.649.3474 Solid Japanese food. Can’t go wrong with this place. Paprika Cafe 309 Lighthouse Ave Monterey, CA 93940 831.375.7452 Delicious Mediterranean food. Make sure to get the garlic chicken. OMG so good! I asked the owner if the lemonade their lemonade was from a can and he was like no, that’s gross. They make their own lemonade and he said this will be the best lemonade I have. Wow. So true! It is one of the best lemonade I’ve had. never tasted anything like it. You definitely have to get the lemonade! Also there’s one table outside by the garden, sit there if it’s open. It’s hidden and so romantic. The owner is really nice too! He’s owned this restaurant for 20 years! Bright Coffee 281 Lighthouse Ave Monterey, CA 93940 Skip Starbucks located in downtown Monterey and walk a couple of blocks to this coffee shop. It’s worth it. Super cute coffee shop that makes delicious coffee. The Fish Hopper 700 Cannery Row Monterey CA, 93940 .831.372.8543 Food was average. I think this place is popular because of the location (overlooks the ocean).
What’s your favorite weekend getaway spot?