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3 days in Monterey

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3 days in Monterey

We are going to be arriving in Monterey in the evening, and have three full days to enjoy the area. Before Monterey, we will have already spent time in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, so I'm just looking at what to do while we're in Monterey.

There are four of us, two kids are 9 and 14. We are a pretty active family, but having a 9yo prevents us from doing any really strenuous activities.

We plan to spend one morning on a whale watching tour. I'm sure they all figure out where the whales are and head to the same location, but is there one tour company who is better with kids than others? Or has bigger/more stable boats (one child can get a little queasy)? Do we have to reserve this ahead of time or just show up the day of? We'll be there on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

We'd like to take the Big Sur drive I've read about here, Point Lobos early (to get a parking spot), then down through Big Sur. Where are the good places to stop in Big Sur? Sorry, I didn't take notes and now cannot find the threads. I remember reading McWay Falls is highly recommended. Then was it Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park? And is there another Pfeiffer beach? Which is more highly recommended? We would like to enjoy the views, and also maybe take off our shoes and walk in the sand a bit, look for shells(?)... Easy to moderate hikes are great.

Aquarium for the 3rd day. And maybe rent bikes and bike the coastal trail if we end up with extra time somewhere in there.

Thank you for any advice!

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: 3 days in Monterey

I've never done a whale watch tour out of Monterey, so can't comment on stability of the boats used. The one time I did a whale watch tour, I took ginger root capsules before going out and they worked very well. And no side effects.

Big Sur sights:

Bixby Bridge

Point Sur Lighthouse (As seen from the highway. Only accessible by scheduled tour, which isn't available every day)

Pfeiffer Beach

Nepenthe/Phoenix Shop (Lunch with a great view, plus fun gift store with stuff for all age groups)

McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (8 miles south of Nepenthe)

Edited: 17 June 2012, 02:05
San Jose, California
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2. Re: 3 days in Monterey

I highly recommend the bike ride, the coastal trail is gorgeous.

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3. Re: 3 days in Monterey

Renting kayaks is fun! We did this with Adventures By The Sea and had a great time! :)

San Francisco...
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4. Re: 3 days in Monterey

Elkhorn Slough would be great for the kids. we were ok wrt the boat for whale watching with our boys who were about the age as yours. But It is hard to guess how your child will do. We did not reserve a boat in advance.

Biking along the Pacific Grove bay front trail with the 4 wheels whatchamacallit is also fun. Every time we go there, We spentdmore than half a day at Point Lobos with tide pools, hikes, and we've always had a great time there as well as at the different beaches South of Carmel

Edited: 17 June 2012, 19:53
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5. Re: 3 days in Monterey

Hi! I'm interested in the kayaking or paddleboarding for my teens in mid-August, but how cold is the water? Would they need those suits like the surfers wear? If so, can you rent them? thanks!

6. Re: 3 days in Monterey

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