We Bay Areans are lucky to live just a breath away from one of the finest aquariums in the entire world–the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Just down the road on Highway 1, visiting this aquatic wildlife wonderland is perfect for a day trip, but even better if you make a weekend out of it and stay at the Portola Hotel and Spa while you're in the area.
Monterey County may be best known for its scenic coast, famous aquarium and star-studded links, but 'wine destination' is fighting for a well-deserved spot in the ranks.
We’re all guilty of it. At some point we’ve complained about the cost of living in San Francisco. How we pay way too much in rent or pay through the nose to park a car. Turns out we’re not the only ones who can complain about the cost of land.
When you’re making the trip south in your car, you essentially have two choices: The quicker route on Highway 5, or the slower-moving Highway 1 or 101 trek down the coast. When you’re talking about hours behind the wheel, quick has the advantage, but the scenery along the 5 isn’t what I’d call inspiring. If you can find the extra couple of hours, go the long way, and there’s a good chance you’ll actually enjoy the ride.
The trek along the coast to Southern California takes some time, but there’s never much concern about growing bored. Popular destinations like Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Barbara offer places to stretch your legs and enjoy the view. Tucked in between the better known stops are quintessential coastal towns also worth checking out along the way. Some of them, like Ventura, might even have you adjusting the itinerary.
It doesn't matter whether it's summer or winter, a walk on the beach in Santa Cruz will make your cheeks rosy. Summer may be when bigger crowds appear, but seasoned veterans will tell you winter at the beach can't be beat.