Background info: Monterey is a town by the Pacific Ocean, near the famous Pebble Beach. It’s actually a city (City of Monterey, in Monterey County), but it sure as hell feels like a town (it has a population of around 27,000). It’s right by the sea (Monterey Bay), which always remains to your side when you drive down any open street in Monterey – huge and blue (or grey, depending on the weather) and amazing. It’s a typical seatown, the kind which has seafood restaurants in converted sardine-canning factories, street artists performing at every corner and piers and docks with private boats and sailboats. Downtown Monterey is quaint and fast-moving, with filled with roadside stores, pretty architecture, cafés and warehouses.
And of course, there’s the gigantic Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is definitely one of the more famous landmarks here. The place is huge, and we spent a whole hour inside. The back of the aquarium opens up onto the vast terrace-like area, from where you get a gorgeous view of the sea, and the rocky shore leading up to it.
It was a sunny day when we visited in early March. We were walking back from the aquarium eating frozen yoghurt, the wind from the sea blowing against us and every passerby, and suddenly I heard some street artist playing a fingerstyle guitar version ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk, from two blocks down. The music was so loud it echoed through the whole square. And something about the frozen yoghurt, the sunshine, the music and the sea made me never want to leave.
Monterey is a magical place. Anyone visiting California in the near future should definitely consider it a pit stop option.
- Swarada (Editor)