Having a sister that graduated from CSUMB has its advantages. Mostly, that every time I went to see her, I saw more and more beautiful beaches. Monterey is also placed just close enough to San Jose that it makes for a perfect escape from the city. Here are some of our highlights!
The Point Lobos Nature Reserve is one of the most gorgeous stretches of beach in all of California. From tidepools to sandy coves, to rocky shores, this place has it covered. If you don’t want to pay for parking, you can park on the freeway and take the trail in. It is a bit of a hike through a wooded glen, but the woods eventually part and you will find yourself at a crossroad. Do I head down to Gibson Beach or do I trek onwards towards China Cove? I say both! Gibson Beach is more public, with plenty of room for all beach goers. The large rocks here are extremely fun to climb over and sit on. If that is too much “noise” for you, then head up the trail to the secluded China Cove.
You truly can’t miss the stairs that lead down to China Cove. Armed with only an hand rail (for only a quarter of the way) you must be very careful to not slip on the steep stairs, as some planks are worn out and missing. The beach is very small and more than two couples will make it feel crowded. As we landed on the beach something caught my eye, a small cove to the left of the beach. A cove within a cove! As the tide came in I scaled the walls of the cliffside, attempting to get into the cove without wading waist deep in water. Lynn did the sensible thing and waited at a distance, just observing my madness. When the water line receded at low tide, she simply walked between the waves into the cove. *sigh* The worst part is that I still got wet. Fail.
We finished exploring the nature reserve and headed back north into town. We decided to be tourists and split a warm sundae at Ghirardelli. I do not care if that is a tourist trap, the fudge sauce is absolutely amazing. After sitting on the balcony, overlooking the sea and enjoying our sundae we drove to another beach across town. Lover’s Point is famous for the giant rock formation that definitely stands apart from the rest of the land. The beach here is not sand, but small pebbles so you might want to keep your sandals around. The water is usually warm and quite shallow, making it the perfect place to dip your toes in on a warm day. A short walk across the parking lot will set you down a coastal cliff path. This path is paved with purple wildflowers that bend and curve and hug the cliffside. The houses here are extravagant and so is the view.
We love Monterey because it is a huge change of pace compared to the city. If you can stand a few crowds and some longer walks, you will find that the land is ripe with nature viewing opportunities. Hope you enjoyed the post, and until next time, happy adventuring!
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