The past weekend in Monterey Bay was fantastic! A mix of hiking, eating, relaxation and a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Monterey Bay is known for its gorgeous coastal views, aquarium and golf courses. The world class Pebble Beach Golf Course is located in this area.
We went hiking to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve to see sea lions, cormorants, harbour seals and sea otters. Trails are well marked and maintained. Most areas are light in hiking, with just a few rocky points and slightly higher ranges for variety. There were several volunteer docents available at major hiking intersections to answer questions. Good hiking weather but incredibly windy. Beautiful coastal and nature views.
Next, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see the sea otter feeding, observe the array of jelly fish and learn more about the Monterey aquatic ecosystem. In the 20-30s, Monterey Bay’s primary business was sardine fishing and canning. By the 60s, the area became a ghost town because of overfishing. It was later revived in the late 70s and has since become a tourist town. The aquarium is a highlight. Although it isn’t as expansive as the Vancouver Aquarium in marine life, the Monterey Bay Aquarium does a good job focusing on the local marine ecosystem. Watching the school of sardine swim was one of my favourite displays.
The drive through Pebble Beach, called the “17-Mile Drive” was enjoyable – worth the $10 USD admission (as of 2013). Beautiful beaches. Immaculate golf courses. The gorgeous mansions and villas will be distracting, so keep an eye out for the wildlife – deers, harbour seals, sea lions, etc. If you’re hungry, a number of dining options at the golf lodges are available. The Pebble Beach Market offers light snacks and to-go sandwiches.