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Monterey Peninsula: The king of the peninsulas

Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report
Sunrise on the Monterey Bay from the Sister City Park, Monterey.
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MONTEREY, Ca. – The Monterey Peninsula, located on the central California coast, is one of the most outstanding places we had the pleasure of visiting in California. Small in its size but great in its history and nature, the peninsula has everything that one needs for a perfect sojourn.

The peninsula’s abundant vegetation is evident by its cypress and pine trees and numerous beaches. The splendid beaches are separated by rocks where waves crash continuously. Rocks are also used by birds and animals such as seagulls, cormorants, heron and sea lions as a refuge until they are ready to return to the blue azure ocean to catch fish.

Such abundance and diversity of life are due to the fresh and pleasant climate prevailing all year- not too cold in winter, not too hot in summer.

Although there are numerous activities to do, such as sitting on the beach all day, four activities should not be missed:


1.) Whale watching

The Monterey Bay, located between Monterey Peninsula and Santa Cruz to the north, offers whale watching all year round. Depending on the season, grey whales, blue whales, humpback whales, orcas and Risso's dolphins can be seen playing around and feeding themselves in the Monterey Bay Canyon.

During our three hour trip with Monterey Bay Whale Watch ($45 per adult), we observed three grey whales, several California sea lion, and numerous Jellyfish.

Grey whale’s tale with Pacific Grove coast for background. (Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report)


2.) Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium has been ranked one of the best aquariums in the USA by many travel agencies. The aquarium is perfect for whale watching.  Numerous informative, fun and engaging sessions are proposed through the day. To add to the charm, the aquarium is facing the Monterey Bay that enables one to watch whales, alerted by texts sent by the aquarium’s staffs.

But one needs to be well prepared before coming to the aquarium by buying pass directly online ranging from $25 to $40 for children and adults to save time and avoid the tsunami of visitors.

Jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. (Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report)


3.) Seventeen Mile Drive

Possibly one of the best and easily accessible coastal road in California, although one will have to pay $10.25 cash to drive the famous road. Even if there are several entries the best one is to go in by the Pacific Grove gate and follow the road till Carmel-By-The-Sea. A couple dozens of locations are noted along the road. Amazing villas spread along the drive.

Four points of interest out of 20 focused our attention; the Spanish Bay where surfers are present in numbers, the Bird Rock colonized by Sea Lions, the iconic copyrighted Lone Cypress on the top of a rock facing the ocean and the Lodge at Pebble Beach to feel amazed.

Herds of California sea lions enjoying a nap on the rocks at the Rock Birds along the 17 Mile Drive. (Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report)


4.) Seafood restaurants

While there are numerous restaurants around to enjoy one of them was great and cozy for only $50 for two main dishes and one dessert. The Café Fina proposes great fresh and local seafood with a touch of Italian style. Dominic Mercurio, raised in an Italian fisher family, opened the Café Fina in 1989, located on the Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.

To conclude any places along the Monterey Peninsula coast are great for watching the sunrise and sunsets.

As the weather is good all year, the peninsula is crowded all year often creating traffic jams; alas, that is the price of success.

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About the Author

Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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