Freckles in April: Visiting Monterey and Salinas

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Visiting Monterey and Salinas

We rolled into Monterey just after lunch time and headed straight for Cannery Row, which is where the famous aquarium is located. We wandered a bit and debated our lunch options and ultimately ended up eating mediocre Indian food. Granted, it was mediocre Indian food with an ocean view but still.

What I wish I had known is that the Monterey Bay Aquarium actually has a pretty great cafe on-site so we could have had more time at the aquarium by just going straight there and skipping the wandering. Darn it.

I'm not gonna lie, the aquarium is pricey. Aaron and I were $40 apiece and the boys were each $25 (the baby was free) plus parking. So we spent $130+ for 3 hours looking at fish.

And it was worth every. single. penny.

We WERE able to see everything in that 3 hour window but we would have liked some more time. If you go, plan on a minimum of 3 hours. It's a big place.

The aquarium closes kind of earlyish (6pm) but there's plenty of browsing and eating to be done on Cannery Row. Or you can just sit and enjoy the ocean and the sailboats and the occasional otter passing by.

Originally we were going to stay with my uncle and his family in Scott's Valley but one of their kids got sick. Since we still had 2 weeks left in the car at that point I was in super-protective mode and we decided to get a hotel instead of risking exposing our kids.

We ended up at a chain motel in Salinas, which is about a 30 minute drive from Monterey. We rolled in late-ish, after most restaurants were closed. We drove around a bit, consulted Yelp, and finally ended up at Eva's Cafe

I don't think I have ever met nicer people. We spent the evening laughing and making friends with strangers in this tiny hole in the wall cafe and it was the best. One guy, who said he eats there most nights and gave us excellent recommendations, spent a long while listening to Baby 2 babble about our trip and then spotted us a couple extra bucks when we didn't have enough cash on hand and then he offered us two big containers of strawberries and raspberries from his job as a field laborer. He said he always comes home with extra to share with someone. I spent half an hour chatting with a lovely older Mexican couple out celebrating the husband's birthday. The food was delicious. If we ever find ourselves in the area again that will be our first stop.


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  1. Those jelly fish, tho...swoon.


  2. What about the mimic octopus!!!!???My kids want to go to Monterey bay so bad just to see that.

  3. These pictures are seriously killer.

  4. I love the Monterey Aquarium. Our trip here. I want to go back. Did you feel the need to read a John Steinbeck novel? Cannery Row and Salinas is one day.

  5. I'm just barely getting around to reading all your road trip posts. Those pictures are amazing. If there's one thing I don't mind spending a little extra on, it's aquariums. I think they're so cool.


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