Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf (David Royal, The Herald)
The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is an 18-mile stretch that follows the old Southern Pacific Railway route between Castroville and Pacific Grove. A popular paved hiking and biking trail with unparalleled views, the trail gets especially interesting through Monterey.

Use the parking lot in the old eucalyptus grove on Del Monte Avenue, across from the Naval Postgraduate School. Find a spot in the lot early, lace the walking shoes and spend a day along the coolest four-mile stroll in California.

Our favorite stops along the way:

Trailside Café
The best refreshment stop along the way, with easy access from the trail and outdoor seating.
550 Wave St.

Scuba diver, San Carlos Beach
Scuba diver, San Carlos Beach (Vern Fisher, The Herald)

Municipal Wharf 2
Walk the boards past pier fishermen, stop for a bite at the Sandbar & Grill, visit the Royal Seafood fish shop and enjoy the most expansive view of Monterey Bay.

Memory Garden
Away from the madding crowd, a quiet respite not a few hundred steps from the trail, behind the Pacific House Museum at Custom House Plaza.

Lovers Point
The best picnic spot in California.

San Carlos Beach
Cool your heels in the grass and watch the scuba divers cavort in the kelp beds.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
The cornerstone of Cannery Row presents the full splendor of Monterey Bay's sea life.

Monterey History & Maritime Museum
A quick immersion into Monterey's colorful seafaring past.


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Jose's Mexican Bar & Grill
Cool off with a shrimp cocktail and a cold cerveza in this no-fuss restaurant operating out of a converted old home overlooking the trail.
638 Wave St.

Fisherman's Wharf
Funky, fun and good eats.

Cannery Row
Visitors can while away an entire day in a three-block area at the C Restaurant, Steinbeck Plaza, the Bear Flag Building, a zillion shops and — if you're alert — Ed Ricketts' original laboratory.

Lover’s Point
Lover's Point (Vern Fisher, The Herald)

Stops along the way

The Steinbeck House.

Birthplace and boyhood home to author John Steinbeck, the Queen Anne style Victorian house is now a luncheon restaurant. The house was purchased by The Valley Guild, a group of Salinas women with a common interest in gourmet cooking who wanted to showcase Salinas Valley produce. It opened on Feb. 27, 1974, the 72nd anniversary of Steinbeck's birth. The food is great, the atmosphere is Steinbeckian ... and don't forget to visit The Best Cellar gift shop downstairs.
132 Central Avenue, Salinas. Reservations for lunch are recommended. 424-2735.

Bixby Creek Bridge.

Eighteen miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, Bixby Bridge is among the most photographed spans on the West Coast.

A visitor enjoys the Annual Wildflower Show at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History; the show’s 50th anniversary will be April 15-17, 10 a.m.
A visitor enjoys the Annual Wildflower Show at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History; the show's 50th anniversary will be April 15-17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. (Vern Fisher, The Herald)
When completed in 1932, it linked Big Sur to the rest of the world. It is one of the world's highest single-span concrete arch bridges. With ocean waves crashing on the rocks below and the tranquil Big Sur hillsides serving as a backdrop, Bixby Creek Bridge has been featured in countless automobile commercials.
Late note: Check road conditions on Highway 1 before embarking on this venture.

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.

Birds, geology, butterflies, native plants, mammals and culture dominate. Special exhibits and lectures abound. Permanent exhibits include the Native Plant Garden, a section on Native Americans and one of the most extensive bird collections on the West Coast.
165 Forest Ave.