Monterey: The perfect weekend getaway


The economy may stink, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up on your vacation – I promise!

Looking for a budget-friendly vacation that doesn’t include security lines, outrageously-priced awful sandwiches and lost luggage?  Look no further than coastal Monterey. 

You forgot about Monterey – didn’t you? I rediscovered it while looking for a kid-friendly, quick-hop weekend getaway with my 12 year old niece and 10 year old nephew.  Requirements – safe, clean places for them to act like kids, plenty of outdoor activities and new adventures, something to ogle, good food and – for Aunt Judy – a martini at day’s end.  All without putting a big dent in the credit card.

Monterey is the place – paddle boats in Dennis the Menace park, tide pooling and swimming (wet suits recommended!) along the gorgeous marine sanctuary; bike rides through Cannery Row to Lover’s Point and Fisherman’s Wharf; all afternoon at the Aquarium in the astonishing ‘Secret Life of Sea Horses’ exhibit.

Like you, the kids and I love to eat.  Fortunately Monterey is full of delicious food – from super sophisticated to grab-and-go.

Here are a couple of our local Buzzworthy favorites:

Tacos, burritos or quesadillas at Papa Chevo’s are perfect after a morning of kayaking or a bike This very inexpensive, counter style ‘restaurant’ serves fantastic, cooked-in-front-of-you Mexican food.  It’s located right next to Adventures by the Sea – great for renting kayaks, bike, surreys and more –  at the north end of Cannery Row. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – for more delicious information, call (831) 372-7298.

Bistro Moulin on Wave Street is another simple, but delicious place for true Euro bistro-style food. Just one block from Cannery Row, this intimate restaurant includes a gift shop with lots of great gift ideas. Chef/owner Didier Dutertre is either in the kitchen or in the casual dining room talking with regulars. Onion soup, escargot (the kids wouldn’t touch the snails, but couldn’t get enough of the garlic butter they were cooked in), osso buco, steamed mussels with perfectly crisp French Fries and duck confit are some of our favorites. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday; for more tasty information, call (831) 333 1200.

Our favorite place to stay is the Victorian Inn, just two blocks from Cannery Row.  The Family Suite comes with a fully equipped kitchen, fireplaces, and a huge complimentary continental breakfast.  The staff is friendly, the rooms are comfy and kid-proof.

We’re already planning our next trip – see you there!

2 thoughts on “Monterey: The perfect weekend getaway

  1. Judy – what a great idea! Why do I think of Carmel and Big Sur but forget about Monterey? I love the sea lions on the piers there, the Monterey Peninsula and of course the aquarium. Who knew Monterey also had good food? I can’t wait to go back. . .maybe for my ucpoming 20th anniversary? And these days, perhaps Monterey is more budget-friendly, too. Thanks for the tips. Cheers, David

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