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#mycaliforniaroadtrip: Monterey to San Francisco

Day 4 - 5

Monterey is such a great city. It was in Monterey that Commodore John Drake Sloat of the U.S. Navy raised an American flag in 1846 claiming California for the United States. It also served as the original capital of California when the state constitution was signed here in 1849.

We stayed off Cannery Row which is home to the best ocean-view hotels including The Intercontinental. This hotel is probably one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at. Great service, amenities and gorgeous ocean views.

After checking into our hotel and having a drink at The C Restaurant + Bar, we headed for dinner at Hula’s Island Grill. Hulu’s offers a truly unique dining experience built around the aloha island vibe. They also participate in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch Program” which provides a full list of seafood recommendations to help support ocean-friendly seafood. Check out their guide here.

I had the most amazing Luau pork sandwich. Probably the best of my entire life. There was a chewy/crunchy bun with sweet, tender pork and topped with crunchy slaw. Seriously – go there and try it.

Tim LOVED his fish tacos.

Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey was built in 1846 in Monterey was built in 1846 for the many trading vessels bringing goods from around Cape Horn. While the focus was changed, the Wharf is still a working Wharf and has a myriad of restaurants, shops, bay cruises and live theatre.

We headed to Lilly Mae’s Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast. Melt in your mouth goodness! A great place to stop by for a quick breakfast. “Breakfast of Champs”

The Monterey Peninsula area features 28 golf courses including the world-famous greens of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill, Spanish Bay, and the mythical Cypress Point Golf Club. After breakfast, we started the 17-mile drive along Pebble Beach. This was a unique coastal route of Del Monte Forest. Even though we had quite a bit of overcast, the views were still spectacular.

Before the automobile had become a way of life, horse-drawn carriages explored 17-mile drive starting from the famous Hotel Del Monte, now the site of the Navel Postgraduate School in Monterey. It was in 1881 and early excursions through Del Monte Forest marked the beginning of visitors to this legendary location.

Pebble Beach Company has always focused on dedicated stewardship of this harmonic nature exosphere. Here is a picture of the Lone Cypress. Perched over the Pacific for hundreds of years. Even though Monterey cypress trees prefer this area’s rugged, bare, granite headlands, the Lone Cypress is a testament to the hardiness of these trees.

It has withstood Pacific storms and winds for roughly 250 years. Forces and cables now offer added protection in the hopes it will live to be 300.

We ended the drive at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Built in 1919, The Lodge is the heart of Pebble Beach and home to world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. Open to the public, it offers a variety of dining and shopping options. Enjoy views of the sweeping 18th fairway and green.

On the way to San Francisco, we stopped at Betty’s Burgers in Santa Cruz for lunch. This is a great choice. The ingredients are fresh and there are a TON of burger options.

I kept it simple with a cheeseburger and Tim got double bacon cheeseburger.

If you’ve got time, check out the Santa Cruz boardwalk and beachfront. Since it was the 4th of July, traffic was CRAZY, so we decided to keep going. On the way to San Fran we drove through Silicon Valley and checked out Google, Apple and Facebook. I thought Google had the best campus – full of color and fun outdoor space.

We also stopped for a nap and reading in the park.

San Francisco was a GREAT place to spend the 4th of July. We headed to Pier 39 for the festivities. It’s a great place to watch the fireworks. A lot of people say your visit to San Fran should start at Pier 39 – with amazing views and a sea of sea lions to two levels of dining, entertainment, shopping and attractions – all surrounded by unbeatable views of the city and the bay.

San Fran had the most amazing 80’s cover band playing at Pier 39. It was SO much fun and they covered some of our favorite songs. A great way to start the evening. We grabbed dinner at the local hot dog stand and enjoyed hotdogs and chili. Perfect 4th of July dinner!

Fireworks of the pier were incredible!

Our fun continues in Wine Country. More to come…

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