We left San Francisco early morning, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and headed south, along the most beautiful coastal road through Big Sur and towards Monterey. The 129 miles took about 21/2 hours with perfect photo stops along the way. The scenery was simply stunning.
The city of Monterey in Monterey County is on the southern edge of Monterey Bay in California. Monterey Peninsula and its beautiful bay surrounding is a great place to visit year-round. There is lots to do and see, and great reasonably-priced restaurants. Monterey Bay itself is a beautiful location with lots of craggy rock formations, nice sandy beach at the Coast Guard jetty, and beautiful deep blue water. This really is a wonderful intersection of land, sea and sky.
We arrived in time to explore some of the shops on Fisherman’s Wharf before stopping for lunch. Fisherman’s Wharf is an historic wharf lined with many restaurants ranging from casual, open-air clam bars, to formal indoor dining with views of the bay.
There is a good choice of restaurants however we chose the Fish Hopper Restaurant which is within walking distance to the Aquarium and main part of the town. Part of the restaurant juts out in to the bay but there are great views of Monterey Bay from almost every table. When I first saw the Fish Hopper, I did not have high hopes as it looked very touristy and maybe it is, but oh man! Fantastic with friendly staff and excellent customer service, so don’t let the appearances fool you…this place is super and I highly recommend it for anybody visiting Monterey.
We chose the Sanddabs – Fresh Filets of fish, which are breaded and grilled and topped with Diced Tomatoes and Light Basil Sauce. The meals were excellent and so was the glass of Pinot Grigio which went down very nicely.
We decided not to have dessert here and left for a wander around the wharf in search of the “dessert” place.
It did not take long for us to find and decide where to enjoy dessert. Ice cream on the Bay, at Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli chocolate and ice cream in the states is super famous. The shop in San Francisco was always very busy with ridiculously long lines of people waiting to be served. We were delighted to find this store in Monterey and get almost instant service.
They have many different kinds of ice cream fixed different ways. There is seating inside and out with once again those amazing views of the bay.
Not long after our ice cream it was time to head off.
Visiting Monterey was a wish for me since my days of living in Hawaii – I was not disappointed.