Let’s start by saying I didn’t do a great job packing from Monterey. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I’m used to February beach weather being cold, windy, and damp. Visiting Monterey, I was expecting sunshine, but I was also expecting those same marine winds that keep the temperatures right below where you want them. Little did I know, while February is considered the off-season in Monterey, the weather was definitely on!
Our first day exploring was sunny and seventy-five degrees—winter weather I can get behind. Starting the morning with waffles (Michele) and French toast (me) at the very popular First Awakenings, we knew we were in for a good day. The café is on a quiet block just a few steps from the water, and was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday morning. It felt like we were out and about with only locals. First Awakenings is just a mile up from Fisherman’s Wharf, and without an agenda for the rest of the day, I decided that was the first place I wanted to check out after fueling up.
Even at home in Seattle, I love walking around marinas and looking at the different boats, but Fisherman’s Wharf had much more than just boats to look at. There were restaurants, souvenirs, viewpoints, coffee shops…you name it. One of our favorite spots we encountered in Monterey was Water and Leaves, a little café right on the end of the wharf. I couldn't believe it was warm enough for cold drinks, but this peach iced tea hit the spot.
Every night at dinner, it became a tradition that Michele and I would review our highs and lows of the day. Both of us are pretty enchanted by California, but Michele's high for the day was the moment when "Mia & Sebastian's Theme" from La La Land kicked on in the café. We basically floated out to the patio, a cool breeze through our hair, and sweeping piano notes wafting out over the water.
Although we were overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of the wharf, we were not overwhelmed by crowds. It was late morning on a weekend, and there was just a handful of groups roaming the docks. We didn’t have to wait in lines anywhere—even for the telescopes on the observation deck. You can hear the seals barking from the nearby jetty, and inhale the fresh bayside air, which was thankfully not too fishy.
One of Michele’s must-stops was saltwater taffy, so we made sure to pick up a couple handfuls at Candy World before exploring the rest of the area. Although we couldn’t walk the private docks, we did find a couple of great viewpoints to snap photos. One of our favorites was the Custom House Plaza, full of cacti and succulents that I just wanted to pick up and pot at home.
Photography by Michele Equitz
As it turned out, I did an okay job packing—for this day, anyway! I felt very nautical chic in my loafers and white denim, and had the perfect breezy jacket along that I only needed in the shade. Throw in a carry-all tote bag, and you've got a no-fail travel look.
Speaking of travel, when do I get to start packing for Monterey again?
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Thank you to See Monterey for sponsoring this post.