A Magical Monterey Getaway (With a Stop in Carmel)

Published in: Daily Photo, Just For Fun

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

I hadn’t been to Monterey or the Monterey Bay Aquarium in…well, suffice it to say, it was a long time, so the trip I took with El Hub last weekend was a big treat. We saw it as what will probably be our last vacation-y hurrah before Baby Girl arrives in March, so we made the drive south on Friday.

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The drive took about three hours. Last time we went, we didn’t have Yelp to help us find places to eat, and we didn’t have GPS on our phones, which really helps when it comes to finding restaurants (and your hotel), so this time I think we discovered a whole bunch of neat places, nooks and crannies that we didn’t even know existed! There’s so much more to see and do in and around Monterey and nearby Carmel (including a seemingly endless number of cute shops) than I thought. If you live in California, or if you’ll be visiting, I really hope you check it out. It was one of the funnest, most interesting and tasty trips I’ve taken in years.

The food? The seafood!? HOLY MACKEREL! (Haha, bad pun intended.) Talk about good eats, and it generally seemed to be more affordable than the fresh seafood I find up here near San Francisco.

And then there’s the incredible aquarium! In another life, I think I was a marine biologist/veterinarian. Those dang sea otters are some of the cutest critters in the world, the way they play with each other and roll around? I CAN’T EVEN TAKE HOW CUTE THEY ARE! I mean, they have SERIOUS four-legged modeling potential. Tabs should be advised.

Here are some pics from the trip, which was just a couple days from Friday to Sunday. On our last day, we also stopped by Carmel (Clint Eastwood used to be the mayor), which is another small town right next to Monterey.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

They just thought they'd get a little dressed up for their walk

They just thought they’d get a little dressed up for their walk



The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

So many restaurants there on Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf, and this place serves a delicious lunch

So many restaurants there on Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf, and this place serves a delicious lunch

Beautiful view!

What a view!

Best darned grilled artichoke I've ever had in my life!

Best darned grilled artichoke I’ve ever had in my life

Oh, hello there!

Oh, hello there!

Hi!

Hi!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Incoming!

Incoming!

My dining partner for a few minutes...

My dining partner for a few minutes…

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

I used to have a sand castle just like this when I was a kid (except it was purple)

I used to have a sand castle just like this one when I was a kid (except it was purple)

I don't even know where to start...

I don’t even know where to start…

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Off to the aquarium!

Off to the aquarium!

SO CUTE!!! An otter's beauty routine...

SO CUTE!!! An otter’s beauty routine…

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Baby Girl's first visit to the sea

Baby Girl’s first visit to the sea

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Oh! Great prices and outrageously delicious super fresh fish

Oh! Great prices and outrageously delicious super fresh fish

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

NOM NOM NOM!

NOM NOM NOM!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Shark!

Shark!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Monterey at night...

Monterey at night…

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

Carmel is such a cute town

Carmel is another cute town, and it’s only 15 minutes from Monterey

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

A feline bard...

A feline bard…

For when your kitty crosses the Rainbow Bridge

For when your kitty crosses the Rainbow Bridge

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

COFFEE! (Decaf, bluh)

COFFEE! (Decaf, bluh)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

I just love steno

I just love steno

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel, California

It's like a scene from The Hobbit...

It’s like a scene from The Hobbit…

This cute store is called Jane Austen at Home

This cute store is called Jane Austen at Home

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

20 Comments

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  1. The seafood looks incredible! Carmel has been on my list for so long, so much lust right now.

  2. Chelsea says:

    You are so cute! Almost as cute as the otters! πŸ˜‰

    I’m definitely not a seafood fan, but the ocean is beautiful and it looks like you had a great time! No tabby magnets though?

  3. Rachel says:

    Seeing those pictures made me miss California so much! And Monterey Bay will always have a special place in my heart because it’s where I got SCUBA certified. I think Monterey is a pretty family friendly place so when baby girl is old enough you guys can take a family trip there, screw Disney!

  4. Rachel R. says:

    I’m so glad that you had a nice trip.

  5. Melissa L says:

    Thank you for sharing. It looks beautiful up there! It’s been so so long since I’ve been up to Monterey and Carmel. When we head up north for a short vacation, we usually drive to Morro Bay and the San Luis Obispo area. Maybe next time we should keep driving a few more hours instead πŸ˜‰

  6. Tatiana says:

    I haven’t been down to Monterey since they got rid of the Pebble Beach horse shows a few years back. So many good restaurants to eat in down that way. I love the otters! Those fish tacos look absolutely yummy! I shouldn’t have read this so late at night, now I’m hungry all over again.
    Glad you and your husband had a good trip!

  7. Megan Joy says:

    Looks like you had a blast! I went to the aquarium last year when I was still living in SF, such a cool place to spend the day πŸ™‚ Loving that little baby bump btw!

  8. You look so happy and radiant! πŸ™‚

  9. Fieran says:

    Yay! I’ve actually been to the Monterey Aquarium. It’s such a wonderful place. Did you see the seahorse section? The way the seahorse moves is so cute. Also the way the little shrimp “walk”. πŸ™‚

    Happy to read you had fun.

  10. anusha says:

    Those food pics got me drooling. . U r one heck of a chic n glowing pregnant lady.. i loooove aquariums especially the dolphins n jelly fish. .enjoy!

  11. Looks like you guys had FUN! πŸ™‚
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  12. Carmel looks like such a cute place to explore!
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  13. Ruchita says:

    So glad you were able to get away! Looks like a fun place to visit. I always love pics of food. Everything looks so yummy! Can’t beat fresh seafood. We will be in California sometime this year. My sister-in-law moved to Oceanside so we will be visiting her.

  14. jessica says:

    oh my gosh I want to go there!!!
    We have Coney Island but the food looks better at Monterey Bay.
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  15. Natalye says:

    I love your photos! Monterey and Carmel are great places to visit πŸ™‚

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  16. Erin says:

    Stop making me miss California!

    Yes, otters are one of the cutest things ever. I used to hand feed them in the summer when I’d go to Oregon with my at the time bestie! We’d feed them and they would come in the house from the sea and romp around. They would also go in the yard and laze about the rocks or jump off the dock into the lake and hang out. Her grandparents had a nice house right on the coast that backed up to a lake! Best of both of both worlds!
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  17. Jennifer says:

    Great shots! The grilled artichoke looks amazeballs as do the fish tacos! Cute towns πŸ™‚

  18. Kellie says:

    Looks so fun!!! That food looks AMAZING!!!

  19. Liz G. says:

    We were in that area this past September. Sea Harvest Restaurant was amazing and the prices really reasonable. Our waitress was great. She brought us out a free appetizer because she lost our order and couldn’t remember what we had ordered. And the Monterey Aquarium is amazing! We ended up buying a membership so that we could visit everyday. It was more cost effective than paying the admission for each day. One of the best vacations of my life! BTW, about a week ago a wild otter gave birth in the aquarium’s tidal pool. The pictures and periscope were awesome!

  20. Trude says:

    Looks like so much fun! Glad you guys were able to get away. I just love that town, I ate my weight in crab the last time I was there. πŸ™‚ We’re going to a wedding in Big Sur in June and I can’t wait!

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