Monterey | Pacific Grove | Carmel


Dennis the Menace Park | Monterey
A playground like no other!

Lovers Point | Pacific Grove
It’s a perfect spot for kiddos to play in the sand. And there’s a little cafe close by.

Asilomar State Beach | Pacific Grove
There is a walking trail (no stroller) from the main beach that’s beautiful. And following the road/trail there are loads of pull-offs with tiny beaches and tide pools. It’s perfect for a picnic, and if it’s clear, the sunset is amazing.

NOTE: Generally the water is cold – think wet suit. I have yet to wear just a swimsuit on the beach, because it’s usually not warm enough. But there are exceptions!

Mission Ranch | Carmel
Grab a drink and enjoy the view!

Monterey Bay Aquarium | Monterey
If you’re bringing your kiddos, put this on your itinerary. If you’re an adult only crew, there’s still something there for adults. Especially if the weather’s not great. Guest passes can be used unaccompanied and without limit, so check with your Airbnb or local friends if they have any available.

Monterey Bay Coastal Trail | Monterey + Pacific Grove
Some of my favorite spots on this trail are between Lovers Point and the Aquarium, and then the stretch beside Del Monte Beach. It’s easy, stroller friendly walk – even double Bob capable – and the view are legit.

Old Fisherman’s Wharf | Monterey
It’s touristy, for sure, and anything you’ll eat there will be pricy. But it’s neat to take walk down the pier- which you can get to from the Monterey Bay Costal Trail.

Whale Watching | Monterey
You can take a boat from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf out to see whales and more. When I went, we saw gray whales, orcas, sea lions. I also spent more than half of the time throwing up off the back of the boat, while baby-wearing, so….. I might mention that I spent a week on a sailboat in Greece and didn’t get sick once. Take that for what it’s worth; I DO think the water here tends to be a bit more on the choppy side. I used this company.

Point Lobos | Carmel
An amazing hike – it’s not streanuous, and the view are, legit. And it’s totally fine to park on the side of the road. The walk into the park is not far, and it will save you $10.

Wine Tasting | Carmel + Carmel Highlands
I haven’t done a whole lot of wine tasting (think two little boys), so I’m not the one to ask. I have had great experiences at FolktaleCowgirl, and Vino Napoli Wine Bar. But honestly, there are SO many tasting rooms and wineries, you can’t go wrong with picking a few that look good to you.

Downtown + Beach walk | Carmel
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a great little town to just walk around. But my favorite is the walk along the coast, looking at the houses. You can drive it as well!

Date Night Restaurants |

Dametra Cafe | Carmel
The Bench | Pebble Beach
Hotel 1110 Rooftop Lounge | Monterey
Starlight 65 Rooftop Lounge | Carmel
Nepenthe | Big Sur  *best before sunset*

Local date night recommendations |

La Bicyclette | Carmel
Passionfish | Pacific Grove
Casanova | Carmel
Sticks | Pebble Beach

Brunch |

Crema | Pacific Grove
From Scratch | Carmel
Hyatt Carmel Highlands | Carmel Highlands  *legit views!*

Food + Drink |

Tricycle Pizza | Monterey
Phil’s Fish Market | Moss Landing
Dametra | Monterey
Sushi Heaven | Carmel
Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co. | Monterey + Carmel
Lafayette Bakery & Cafe | Carmel
Alvarado Street Brewery | Monterey
Poke Lab | Monterey


1 | Grab a chocolate croissant + coffee to go from Lafeyette Bakery and drive the few miles to Point Lobos. Walk in with your snacks and the perfect rock to sit on for breakfast.

2 | Make a reservation to eat at Cindy’s Waterfront in the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Go see some of the fabulous exhibits and then enjoy lunch with beautiful views. Their cafe makes a good iced latte too.

3 | Rent a bike at Lovers Point and take it all the way to Old Fisherman’s Wharf. After you stroll up the pier, walk across the parking lot to The Marketplace. They sell wine and beer (yes please!), and their steak salad is one of my favorites.

4 | Stop at the Poke Lab, grab your favorite bowl and then head out to Asilomar State Beach. Pick your new favorite spot to eat your lunch and watch the waves crash against the rocky coast.

I do update this post, especially if I’ve tried something not listed that is worth sharing!
I’ve tried to only include things that I personally CAN recommend.
Have a suggestion? Tell me!! Just know I just might not agree that the Fish House is really worth it.