We recently went on a wonderful mini trip to Monterey, CA. As we live for the beach, we often find ourselves with our beach bag in tow, headed to enjoy life's splendor at many of our majestic Northern California Beaches.
The biggest difference between beaches in Northern California and Southern California is that our surf is incredibly dangerous. I am often holding my breath as many tourists let their small children play by the shoreline unsupervised. Albeit beautiful, our rip currents, undertow, and sheer force of the ocean are something to respect, and from afar. Our water is also cold. Contrary to popular belief California beaches are not all warm. I recommend you set up your day of enjoyment at least 60 feet further back from the shore than you think you should be. We saw a few families get quite a surprise when the tide washed up and soaked their phones, books, and swept out their plastic beach toys into the ocean, as well as a stranger rescue a child who's caregiver was observing from way too far away. To find out more about beach safety, you can read the ocean safety tips from the CDPR here. Now that you have listened to my spiel on ocean safety, on to my recommendations!
Alta Bakery & Cafe is where it's at! I am so happy we set off walking and discovered this spot. They serve wonderful meals, pastries, and drinks, and as someone who suffers from decision fatigue, I LOVE a simple menu. On day one, I enjoyed their Gluten Free Chocolate Buckwheat Cookie which rivals my local childhood favorites at Arizmendi Bakery and Phoenix Pastificio. My daughter had a chocolate chip cookie (perfect amount of salt. I also purchased some Orange Vanilla Marmalade as a gift.
On day two, we returned and I enjoyed their Avocado Toast which had some seasonal toppings, and my partner and daughter enjoyed Cinnamon Blooms, which were reminiscent of Monkey Bread, with a Yogurt Parfait. To finish the meal, we enjoyed a spearmint tea. I personally am not a huge fan of spearmint, but enjoyed this tea immensely!
For dinner, we had a vegan meal that actually made me quite sick so I won't be posting it here.
For evening treats, check out Revival Ice Cream. I enjoyed the vegan Cold Brew Coconut, my daughter, the coffee fudge, and my partner had the Bee's Knees, their award winning flavor which is rich in all the right ways.
To enjoy a long walk, you can park near Pacific Grove on Ocean View Blvd by Andy Jacobsen Park and walk in to town.
We love to stop by Book Works and left with some wonderful beach reads, including Lead from the Outside (originally titled Minority Leader) by Stacey Abrams, which I have been unable to put down since and highly recommend.
To make an ever perfect trip a creme de la creme ten, Monday was the Farmer's Market in Pacific Grove! If there is ever a place you will find me, it will be at a Farmer's Market. We enjoyed some in season Asian Pears, Satsumas, Fresh Flowers, and some local salsitas and apple jam from Chayitos. I wanted to buy everything from her, but self control is real, so I abstained. if you want to learn more about Mexican food, salsa, etc, it is my cooking specialty and I would be happy to answer any questions you have on recipes, etc.
I will keep this one a secret as I do love my secret spots. I will share however an excellent beach for level photography of garments as a riddle: I Dance aMong the Bay. Not much for birdwatching aside from Gulls and some Plovers, but I have seen seals and dolphins before.
A beautiful and comforting thing was that everyone in the county was wearing masks. I only saw a few violations with those on rental bikes on the trail, but seeing like minded folks who care for public safety really put my overactive mind at ease. Even though there is a pandemic surging, we need to find ways to keep our souls ignited. For me, I recharge at the beach.
Do you like to travel? What are your favorite places to visit?
p.s. Originally, I planned to share this as a Guide on Instagram, but they requested location access and I politely declined...
Also, if you bring plastic bottles to the beach I will pretend I don't know you and then give you a scornful look.
Song of the Day: Tift Merritt-Broken