Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Northern California Dreaming - Monterey & Santa Cruz Trip Recap

I love how big and diverse the state of California is -- so many amazing sites to explore right in my home state. As a Southern California girl, I love having the chance to vacation in Northern California -- it's so different from Southern California, yet it's so close!

This past weekend the Mr. and I vacationed in Monterey and Santa Cruz on the Northern California coast for three days.


We started off Friday with a drive on the 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach. Such a beautiful drive! It's definitely a "must do" if you're in Monterey.

We saw beautiful coastlines...

Spectacular surf...

And a bunch of wildlife!

(not a bad place to be a deer, huh?)

There were SO many beautiful scenic lookouts...

Look closely at this rock. It's covered in harbor seals and sea lions!

We saw the famous "Lone Cypress", which is the logo of Pebble Beach.

After the 17-Mile Drive we went down the old Monterey wharf and cannery.
We found a great crepe placed called Vive La Crepe where you can enjoy crepes right on the water. The owner was super nice and gave us a great dinner recommendation (more on that later).

There were all kinds of fun sights on the Monterey wharf.

Looks like some people forgot to dry-dock their boats for winter. Oooops!

At the end of the wharf there are some great harbor and ocean views.

Then we went back to our hotel to change and go out dinner at a fabulous restaurant called Passion Fish.

Our dinner was amazing! We had crab cakes, squid, crab salad, scallops, Margerum Sauvignon Blanc, and chocolate torte. YUM. Seriously, if you're ever in Monterey go to Passion Fish.


Saturday morning went on a walk by our hotel and visited Dennis The Menace Park. Such a cool and cute park! If you have kids they will absolutely love this park.

The we headed up to Santa Cruz.

We went to the point/lighthouse and watched the surfers. The lighthouse has a small "Museum of Surfing" but we didn't go in.

There were TONS of surfers in the water despite how cold it is. Santa Cruz has epic surfing so I guess the die-hard surfers don't care that it's freezing this time of year!

The we went to Verve Coffee House for some delish lattes. They roast their own beans onsite. Fresh!

The we checked into our hotel and go ready to go to my friend's wedding celebration at a yatch club.

My friend had a destination wedding in New Zealand in December, so she decided to have a fun, low-key wedding "celebration" back home in California. We ate fresh crab, salmon, and halibut and drank wine that her and husband her made!


On Sunday we checked out of our hotel and drove up to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park about 1/2 hour away from Santa Cruz.

This beautiful park has redwoods that are 2000 years old! This redwood was growing in California before Jesus was born.

The redwoods are so giant and majestic that they are pretty much impossible to capture with a camera.

Can you spot the Mr. by this giant redwood?

Soon it started to rain... hard. We got SOAKED.

Some of the redwoods are so big that they almost have these little "caves" under them. The Mr. and I were joking that maybe trolls live in there. So I decided to do an impression of what those trolls might look like.

Uncanny, right? I'm pretty sure this pic is going on the Christmas card next year. :)


Dee Stephens said...

Great recap! I love the 17-mile drive my Mom and I did that about 10 years ago.
Hubby and I did Muir Woods on our honeymoon and saw big trees like that.

Brown Girl said...

Haha, that last pic is too funny. It looked like a wonderful trip, my hubs would have been so jealous that you got to do the 17 mile drive!

NHgal said...

It looks amazing! Sitting here in snowy NH, I am dreaming of CA!

Lindsay said...

looks like yall had a good time :) i need to venture up north sometime soon

Rachel said...

What a fun trip! I remember going to the Dennis the Menace park when I was a little girl. :) I'm jealous of your yummy crepes!

Rachel said...

What a fun trip! I remember going to the Dennis the Menace park when I was a little girl. :) I'm jealous of your yummy crepes!

Sonya said...

Looks like a fun trip! And yes, the troll picture would be great for a Christmas card;)

J and A said...

Love the last pic! What a great trip. Beautiful pics.

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

What gorgeous views! Love a weekend getaway that gives you those sites.

Sara said...

Looks like a great weekend! I would love to go back to Northern CA to spend some more time.

Sarah @Newlywed and Decorating said...

Beautiful pictures! And sounds like you had amazing food! I love the troll picture - too funny :)

California Wife said...

I love all of the pictures, it looks like you guys had a great time!
My parents used to live about a mile from that surfer's museum in Santa Cruz... such a fun place to watch all of the crazy surfers in that freezing water!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

What cool pictures!!

So I've got it planned, we're coming to see y'all and do this drive. Because I need to see that coastline!!!

Rachel said...

I never comment but I couldn't help myself this time :) Where in NZ did your friend get married? I live there and it is an awesome place. If we still lived in the USA I would come here to get married :)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

It looks like you had a great time! I love that print top you have on!!

Newlywed Next Door said...

They got married in New Zealand at the chapel on Stoneridge Estate

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