Family Travel Series from Collectedmom.com: Monterey, California. Paul decided to surprise us with a weekend away to Monterey! It was a much-needed break for all of us. We stayed at the Arbor Inn, but all the Inns in the area looked cute and clean. I loved the beach-house feel of this place and I never wanted to leave!

We had so much fun and of course I’ve compiled our top 5 favorite things to do from our trip. 

 

  1. Monterey Bay Aquarium & Cannery Row—  This aquarium is AMAZING. It comes with a very pricey admission cost, but I would say it is worth every penny.  There is so much to see, and so much for the kids to experience. It took us 5 hours to see mostly everything. The aquarium is located at the end of Cannery Row, so when you’re done there you can walk through the many shops and restaurants. There is also a small beach that is perfect for wading with the kids located off the bay side.
  2. Old Fisherman’s Wharf— There are so many cute shops, restaurants, and beautiful bay views. I love that it’s not as busy as the famous wharfs in San Francisco. 
  3. 17 Mile Drive— my dad told me that we absolutely had to take the 17 mile drive. I figured it was just a road along the coast, but this is the single most beautiful drive I have ever taken in my life. You are given a map when you enter the drive that gives a history of all of the landmarks that you pass. You start in the forest and wind your way to the ocean. There are plenty of places to stop and see the sites, and most importantly, tons of beaches full of beautiful white sand! 
  4. Monterey State Historic Park & Custom House— I LOVE history. Love it. This part of Monterey was so fun to walk through. There is a museum, a complete courtyard with beautiful Spanish gardens and restored historic buildings throughout this park. It’s just a beautiful, fun place to visit.  I loved the organic, wild nature of the gardens here. 
  5. Point Pinos Lighthouse— This was my favorite stop. We toured the lighthouse for a small fee and the kids loved exploring the grounds. We even saw deer! We picked up a lighthouse passport at the giftshop, so this will not be the last lighthouse we visit. I might have a slight obsession with lighthouses now. Afterwards we headed to the nearby tidepools where we got loads of seashells and even encountered sea anemones!We’ll be back.

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