Along with our trip San Francisco, we wanted to include a drive on Highway 1 and Monterey was the 1st city that came to mind. With just one day reserved for the the drive, Monterey was just perfect and surely one of the beautiful places we have visited.
For ease of reading, we have split the blog in two parts – this one narrates our experiences at Monterey, while Glorious San Francisco blog post talks about our experiences in this buzzing city.
As described in the previous blog post, Day Three was dedicated for a drive to Monterey. Starting as early as 0600 hrs, we arrived in the beautiful Monterey city by 0830 hrs. As we approached the city we drove on the famous Highway 1 where we got some stunning views of the coast. After a good breakfast, we headed to Asilomar beach. What a paradise this beach was. We were just blown away on how beautiful it was, just clicking away whatever scenes we came across. This is where we saw a Pelagic Cormorant, Black Turnstone and Brandt’s Cormorant for the 1st time!
Next we headed to the Wharf in Monterey for our maiden Whale Watching excursion with Discovery Whale Watch. After the formalities, we were on board our boat – Sur Randy, a total of around 15 folks. The ride started out smoothly with some fantastic views of the Sea Lions lazing on the dock and some fantastic views of Pelagic Cormorants, Surf Scooters and Common Loons. As the board ventured further into the ocean, the ride was slowly getting worse due to huge waves. After around an hour, the expert guides spotted 3 Gray Whales followed by another 4. We came across a good number of Common Murres as well as a lone Cassin’s Auklet. It was such a treat to watch these float over the huge waves in the ocean. It lasted for around 3 hours and we were back to the dock. Surely one crazy experience!
Note: For anyone who has motion sickness, the whale watching excursion is better avoid as the waves get pretty huge once you are deeper into ocean. If one still wants to try, lookout for the ones which last 60 to 90 minutes that don’t venture too deep into the ocean.
It was past noon already, so we drove to the city for lunch. After around an hour or so, we were off to continuing our drive on Highway 1. We drove all the way to the Bixby Creek Bridge halting at different viewpoints. Even past noon in hot sun, the views were just stunning. I can only imagine how much more beautiful it would be during sunrise or sunset. Here are some of the images we captured during the drive.
We started our way back from Bixby Creek Bridge by 1500 hrs and within 30 minutes we halted at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Many had suggested us to visit here if you love nature and rightly so! Its a beautiful reserve one can spend entire day exploring. With only 90 minutes in hand, we could just explore a couple of trails and loved every bit of it.
The park closes at 1700 hrs and the sun had already started going down. Which meant it was time to head back to our hotel. After halting en-route for dinner, we were back to hotel by 2000 hrs. Anyone who loves nature, we would highly suggest a drive to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve as well as the Asilomar beach. Driving along the coast is an experience in itself and so was the super exciting Whale watching excursion – thanks to Discovery Whale Watch team for the amazing experience.
If you haven’t checked yet, do read the other blog post of this trip in the link below:
Signing off until next time, ciao 🙂
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– Rudraksha & Shraddha
Asilomar Beach – https://ebird.org/india/view/checklist/S42447797
Off Monterey coast – https://ebird.org/india/view/checklist/S42447755
Point Lobos – https://ebird.org/india/view/checklist/S42717877