Pacific Grove, CA
We spent the week in Pacific Grove, California, to celebrate a special occasion. I found a great place to stay right along the waters edge at Green Gables Inn. During our early morning and late afternoon walks along Lovers Point we spotted sea otters in the water, including mothers with their pups! Amongst the cypress trees and calla lilies along the peninsula we also discovered a beach full of harbor seals.
We enjoyed the Monterey Bay Aquarium with of its local aquatic species exhibits, and loved the quaint, coastal shopping district at Carmel-by-the-sea as well. And Cannery Row in Monterey, made famous by novelist John Steinbeck, is full of great shops, galleries and restaurants.
We relished the relaxed, small town feel of Pacific Grove with its main street shops and cafes. Point Pinos Lighthouse was beautifully situated along the coast, and 17 Mile Drive was definitely worth the price of admission. We spotted black-tailed deer all along this route of immaculate coastal California homes and scenic vistas. We were also in awe of the tall, majestic redwood trees as we hiked through one of the southernmost redwood groves at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park just outside of Santa Cruz. Point Lobos State Natural Preserve is a scenic cliffside area blanketed by cypress trees. We visited a monarch butterfly sanctuary as well, where these butterflies spend their Winter months.
The Central Coast of California is one of the most scenic and tranquil places in the state. If you haven't experienced it, we encourage you to plan a visit!