Best Beaches in Monterey

It’s that time of the year again and summer is upon us, so why not take the opportunity to enjoy Monterey’s wonderful beaches and relax without having to worry about finding that perfect sandy spot.

Monterey has plenty of beach areas up and down the entire coastline littered with historical sites as well as bountiful and lush foliage.

Carmel Beach

Have a dog that enjoys playing in the water? Then Carmel Beach may just be the place for you! Meet some of the Carmel locals and their lovely pets.

Carmel Beach

Casa Verde Beach

If bonfires and social settings are more of your thing, Casa Verde beach between Monterey and Seaside is perfect for those BBQ outings.

Casa Verde Beach

Point Lobos

If exploring and hiking tickles your fancy, then Point Lobos State Park off of Highway 1 heading South is spectacular as you can explore the old Whaling Cove, peer down on baby harbor seals, or hike along the trails and discover all the little sea critters curled within the cracks of remote tide pools.

Asilomar Beach

If a nice stroll or run feels more comfortable, then Asilomar beach near 17 mile drive is a beauty. A mile of soft white sand and parking galore, this is a wonderful spot to walk the beach hand in hand with your significant other as the sun sets on the horizon.

Asilomar Beach

Lover’s Point

However if you’d rather enjoy a sunrise over the bay, Lover’s Point near Pacific Grove not only offers a scenic route of flowers and lush landscape, but it’s also the only point on the peninsula where visitors can watch the sunrise or sunset over the bay.

Lover's Point

No matter which beach you choose, Monterey never ceases to amaze those that visit it and neither will a stay at Old Monterey Inn. Only a couple miles from the beach and chalk full of surprises. Let us dazzle you with a goodnights rest complimented by a gourmet breakfast and a departing gift as you begin your beach day adventure!

 

Now is the Best Time for Whale Watching in Monterey

You can’t do much better than whale watching in Monterey – it’s one of the finest places in the world to go on a whale watching trip—we are one of the only places in the world where you can see whales year-round, and where whales swim so close to the shore.  The Monterey Submarine Canyon is as immense as the Grand Canyon and is located not even a mile off shore.  This allows whales to feed in deep water close to shore, much to the delight of eager whale watchers!

From April through December, whale watchers will see killer whales, fin whales, minke whales, humpbacks, and the mighty blue whales—these are known as the summer whales.  If you go whale watching in the winter months (December through April), you’ll see California Gray Whales and dolphins as they travel from the Bering and Chuckchi seas to Baja California, Mexico.   

Fisherman’s Wharf is a 15 minute walk from our Monterey Inn, and you can choose from any number of whale watching companies—we’re happy to make reservations for you, as well!

Many of the whale watching trips leave around 9:00, so you’ll have to be down on the wharf at about 8:30.  You might be thinking, “Oh, no! I’ll miss the delicious breakfast at the Inn!” Rest assured, though, we would NEVER let you leave empty-handed and hungry.  Let us know the night before that you’re out on the town early the following morning, and we’ll prepare a muffin basket for you—muffins, fruit, trail mix, and biscotti to keep you going strong until lunch!

After a few hours on a whale watching boat, you’ll be windswept and perhaps a little tired—though delighted, we’re sure.  Come back to our Monterey bed and breakfast for a soak in your own two-person Jacuzzi tub or book a massage at our on-site spa.  Relax and rejuvenate before wine and hors d’oeuvres from 4-6, and then take a quick catnap before dinner out on the town. 

Stay with us at the Old Monterey Inn, and you’ll combine adventure and luxury, whale watching and tub-soaking! 

Whale Watching in Monterey CA

Experience the magic of whale watching.

Monterey CA romantic getaway

Relax after your whale watching adventure in a beautiful room.

 

Monterey Tide Pools

Recently, as I was running on the scenic recreation trail along the Monterey Bay over near Pacific Grove, I noticed how many people are meandering along the coast discovering our fabulous Monterey tide pools! Much of the rocky coastline along Monterey Bay is ideal for viewing all kinds of the oceans spectacular spineless creatures! Some of the tide pools near Pacific Grove and Asilomar State Beach are world renowned for tide pooling! As a matter of fact, just a few miles from our Monterey Bed and Breakfast is Point Pinos, known as “The Great Tide Pool”, which happens to be one of the richest tide pool habitats in the world!

tide pools in monterey ca

For those unfamiliar with this fascinating and educational past time, it is the activity of climbing around the rocky shore in the intertidal zone (the parts that are underwater during high tide) and discovering the sea life left behind in the small rock pools and crevices when high tide recedes. You will be amazed how many fish, crustaceans and mollusks thrive in this environment. It is a great (and free!) way to enjoy the ocean and the beautiful coastline! Photographers love the opportunity to capture the images of the vibrantly colored sea life in such a naturally beautiful setting.

A few rules of thumb for your tide pooling adventure:

  • Wear sturdy shoes with good traction for climbing around the wet and slippery rocks. Bare feet are certainly not recommended!
  • Clothing will, of course, depend on the weather, but dressing in layers is suggested. Shorts are a good idea so your cuffs won’t get wet. Try to wear clothing that will dry quickly (you might get a splash or two!)
  • Sun protection is important, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect from the glare off of the water (not many shade trees in the tide pooling area!)
  • No other equipment is really necessary, though cameras are a great idea, and some dry towels at the car might be nice!

Our Monterey Bay and its coastlines are part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary which provides protection for the delicate (and not so delicate) creatures in the sea. While tide pooling is a fantastic way to enjoy these coastlines, please remember to walk carefully (we don’t know who’s under our feet!), touch gently with wet hands if you are so inclined, and please don’t pick up the animals. Also, taking the animals is not permitted, and never turn your back on the waves or ocean!

With the fantastic weather we get on the Monterey Peninsula this time of year, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful Pacific Ocean’s wildlife. Give us a call, our staff will get you all set up for a great day of tide pooling, picnic basket and all!

 

Monterey Peninsula :: California’s Unique Coastline

The Monterey Peninsula is one of the most uniquely beautiful coastlines in the world.  As characteristic as Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, Monterey’s coastline boasts plants like the Bermuda buttercup, mariposa lily, California aster, climbing morning glory, coast paintbrush, California poppy, and a variety of grass species.  These plants are framed by the stunning backdrop of Monterey’s blue, teal, navy, and clear waves that crash along the rocky shore in ever-changing patterns.  The water draws many people to Monterey and it never disappoints.

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This area is perfect for adventure: enjoy an hour drive along the world famous 17-mile drive and prepare to have your breath taken away—it is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.  Pack a lunch, put the top down on a rented Mustang, and buzz up and down the stunning 17-mile drive.  You’ll be done just in time to swing by our inn in Monterey for our daily wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Perhaps just watching the waves crash against the characteristically rocky shoreline just isn’t close enough for you. If that’s the case, you have chosen the right California vacation spot! Adventure awaits and requires only a little bit of planning (and we can help you with the planning!). Within one mile of the Inn, you can embark on a whale watching expedition. Recent sightings include Gray Whales, Risso Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, and Humpback Whales. Get up close and persona l to some of nature’s most spectacular mammals and then return to the Inn to soak in your very own Jacuzzi tub!

The Monterey Peninsula also offers sailing, surfing, kayaking (check out our kayak package at picturesque Elkhorn Slough!), and scuba diving.  If you scuba dive, you’re in for a real treat. The Monterey Canyon is an underwater canyon that lies a mile below the surface of the water and is close in size to the Grand Canyon.  Discover it for yourself, and you’ll be among a select few who have shared that adventure.  We are happy to help get the details all planned out for you.

Also characteristic of the Monterey coastline are the immense kelp beds.  Whether you’re scuba diving, sailing, walking along the beach or boogie boarding, you’re sure to encounter kelp that is native to California’s Central Coast.  Did you know that kelp contains high concentrations of iodine, iron, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other vitamins and amino acids?!  Soon, kelp will be touted as a super-food alongside kale and Swiss chard!  If wild kelp is too much for you, though, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s kelp forest.  It is 28 feet deep and is full of crabs, octopus, urchins, rockfish, sardines, sharks, and (of course) kelp!  One way or another, kelp will be a part of your adventure into the coastline of the Monterey Peninsula.  Don’t worry, though, it’s not part of our gourmet breakfasts!

Once you’ve enjoyed all that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer, you might be hoping for a romantic spot to watch the sun set over the turquoise blue waves.  The coastline touts many benches for just such an evening, and at the Old Monterey Inn, we’ve taken it a step further.  We can set up a private beach bonfire for you on Carmel beach!  You’ll walk up to a crackling fire, a bouquet of a dozen red roses, an assortment of artisan meats and cheeses, freshly baked cookies, a bottle of sparkling water on ice, and a fleece blanket.  As the sun sets over Carmel beach, the lull of the waves will at once relax and invigorate you.  A bonfire on Carmel beach promises to be a spectacularly romantic evening.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Monterey bed and breakfast, our unique coastline, and our hearts as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Special Events

Monterey Bay Aquarium Shark EventFor the first three months of this year, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will be having a series of special events that will benefit its member card holders and fascinating exhibits for all. Last month, the Aquarium held members’ night (Gray Whale edition). It is a special extension of the Aquarium’s hours held exclusively for dedicated members of the world famousMonterey attraction. They are having another this month on the last Saturday and Sunday of February, but this one is for sharks! In addition they have a new behind-the-scenes tour of the Jellies. They show you the life cycle of these mysterious floating wisps and they even show you where they get the ones that are behind the glass! Some of our guests have stayed with us solely to attend these events and we are happy to accommodate them!

If you have already visited the aquarium and want a closer look at theMontereyBaywe also offer kayaking packages to our guests that allow a more natural visit to the kelp beds or theElkhornslough’s sea otter reserve. Just let us know when you want to paddle away and we will take of the rest! For a more relaxing experience, try our Sunset beach bonfire package and you can observe the ocean from a safer distance as the twilight sun vanishes into its own oceanic reflection.

It always seems like there is not enough time when you are here in Monterey. So why not go all out and visit our Monterey bed and breakfast and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The sheer number of adventure options can be overwhelming. Here at our award-winning bed and breakfast we can help you narrow it down. Our knowledgeable innkeepers are adept at planning day trips, local excursions, and meals that will fit your style of holiday. If you are coming to Monterey Peninsula and need help with an itinerary, call us at the Old Monterey Inn, we will be glad to help!

Top 3 Things To Do in Monterey CA

top 3 things to do in monterey caPerhaps you’ve come to Monterey, California to visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and drive along the scenic17-Mile Drive. You decide to visit the area for three days and you’re wondering: “What else is there to do in Monterey?”

 

Here are our Top 3 Things to Do in Monterey CA:

Day 1: A Scenic Drive along Highway One through Big Sur Country

Day 2: Whale Watching

Day 3: Kayaking

Day 1: Forbes, Falcon Guides, and Lonely Planet have all named Highway One as one the best scenic drives in the country. Trip Advisor boasts that the 17-Mile Drive is one of the top five attractions in Monterey, CA. Along the drive just north of Monterey, you’ll encounter the Elkhorn Slough wetlands, the Moss Landing fishing port, artichoke fields galore, and giant sand dunes reaching to the beautiful beaches. Continue a few miles south, and see gigantic Cypress Forests and the ruggedly spectacular Carmel coast line. Soon you’ll approach the giant stands of Redwoods and the bridges of the famed Big Sur country. Big Sur calls to every adventurous traveler with its grand beauty. Located in the heart of the Monterey Peninsula, our Monterey Bed and Breakfast is a perfect departure point for your drive along California’s beautiful Highway One.

Day 2: Many of us know that the big Blue Whale is the largest mammal, but, even so,top 3 things to do in monterey ca it’s nearly impossible to fathom the size until you’ve seen one up close and personal! Whales can be seen year round here on the Monterey Bay. Right now is a great time for Humpback and Blue Whales, and coming through soon will be the Gray Whales. Some guests at breakfast recently mentioned they had seen a pod of Orcas out there too (yikes!). Start your expedition with any number of companies located on Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf. While we can’t guarantee the exact position of the whales, we can guarantee that at our Old Monterey Inn you’ll have a warm, cozy, welcoming place to return to after braving the sea all day, so see all your Monterey Lodging options at our award winning accommodations! 

Day 3: Our final suggestion for adventure during your visit to Monterey is Kayaking for two in the wildlife sanctuary at Elkhorn Slough. The water is calm, perfect for kayakers of any level! We’ll make sure you have what you need: kayaks, paddling orientations, wetsuits, paddle jackets, life vests, back rests, and a picnic basket with towels, fresh fruit, snacks, and drinks. Elkhorn Slough has such a wonderful day in store for you: sea otters playing in the water just around your kayaks and a whole ecosystem of birds—white-tailed kite, red-shouldered hawk, barn owl, chestnut-backed chickadee, and oak titmouse. Birders unite! Our Old Monterey Inn Specials include a kayak package, call us for more details.

We look forward to welcoming you to our warm, cozy Old Monterey Inn, setting you off on the road of adventure, and hearing all about it when you get back!

 

September at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is Stellar!

Monterey bay aquariumThis week, The Old Monterey Inn would like to give special recognition to our beloved and world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an attraction that is iconic of Monterey’s symbiotic relationship with the ocean. Everyone—from the expert oceanographer to the curious child— takes away something special from the Aquarium experience. 

This past year has seen quite a few additions to the Aquarium’s marine life exhibits.  Namely the two newest exhibits, the romantic seahorse exhibit and the 70’s style jammin’ jellyfish exhibit as both are great fun for visitors of all ages. Also, be sure to check out the aquarium’s new Weedy Sea Dragon babies on YouTube. Hopefully, the larger they get, the easier it will be to spot them!  

Each month the aquarium hosts a medley of events that include dinner at the aquarium, daytime shows, scheduled sea otter feedings, ocean-themed arts and crafts work space for kids, and much more! Just last week two of our guests had a picnic breakfast on the way to an early morning feeding at the Aquarium during which they had the opportunity to feed the fishes! 

One of this month’s events is to show your support for California’s Ocean at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park on Saturday September 22, 2012. Join the Monterey Bay Aquarium for an extraordinary evening of food and wine featuring some of California’s most admired female celebrity chefs and winemakers. 

As a favorite Monterey getaway, we strongly encourage guests to save some of your precious vacation time for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. VIP Aquarium passes can be purchased at the Inn. Purchasing them here at the Old Monterey Inn will save you the trouble of waiting in line at the gates and are valid for two consecutive days, so let us know when you would like to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.   

New Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

Monterey bed and breakfastGreetings! We just heard some news from the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
Being one of the most popular attractions near our romantic getaway in CA, the Monterey Bay Aquarium should be considered a must see during your next visit to the Monterey Peninsula.
Our guests at our Monterey bed and breakfast continue to return from their aquarium experiences raving about the variety of sea life and the beautiful displays. The folks at the Monterey Bay aquarium continue to outdo themselves as they have just announced the addition of the “Crown Jellies” to the already fabulous Jellies Experience.
Being the first aquarium in the world to display these amazing animals, we feel very fortunate that the aquarium is just a few short miles from our Monterey luxury B & B. Also during your visit, make sure you meet Abby the sea otter and her playful friends!
The Old Monterey Inn Bed and Breakfast has two-day VIP passes for sale, no waiting in line! Monterey Bay Aquarium is open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (8 pm on weekends) during the summer. See you there!