We visited Monterey in January during the King Tides. King Tides are the highest and lowest tides of the year. This happens only a few times a year when the gravitational forces of the sun and moon are pulling in the same direction. Because of that, you can see really large waves during high tide, while also getting in some good tide-pooling during low tides.
We stayed at Marina Dunes RV Park, only a short walk to the beach. It is a small park, but we had a nice stay there.
The waves on the first day were enormous. Note the size of the women in the foreground compared to waves in the background. They were at least 12 feet high. Yikes!
You could feel the surf pound on the beach, which created some interesting wave patterns. The one below in the video looks like something alive is just below the surface!
Our first day-trip was to the world-famous 17-mile drive just south of Pacific Grove. The waves were still really large that day, which made the drive even more spectacular.
We stopped at bird island, which is actually covered by seals. In the early 1900’s the island was covered in 3-4 feet of bird excrement. Someone looked at that and saw dollar signs, instead. He got permission to harvest it for fertilizer. Well, when the rocks were cleaned, the seals moved onto the island and they have been there since then…hardly a bird to be seen. 🙂
Here’s a close-up of the island using our binoculars and my iPhone.
Next stop was the iconic Lone Cypress.
After 17-Mile Drive, we visited a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Carmel, the Clinton Walker House. It’s one of his smallest projects at about 1,200 square feet.
The owner said she wanted a home “as durable as the rocks, and as invisible as the waves”. I think he succeeded.
The photo below is in high definition and worth clicking on to explore in more detail.
The next day we took a bike ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to Pacific Grove. We love that stretch of coast and riding a bike is a perfect pace to see the sites.
It was sad to see so few people on the pier, which in normal times is usually packed, but hopefully the tide will begin to turn on the virus soon!
The yellow house in the distance is the House of Seven Gables Inn, one of our favorite places to stay in the area when not RVing.
The waves were high and continually splashed onto the platform. The boy’s mom let him get close, but not too close, to the edge so he could get splashed by the waves. What a good mom. 🙂
We ended our bike ride at Point Pinos Lighthouse. It was closed due to COVID, but we’ll be back again.
On the way home we stopped by Revival Ice Cream for a scoop of Bee’s Knees. It’s a unique flavor with honeycomb and beeswax. I was skeptical, but it was delicious!
The next day we timed our visit to Pacific Grove at low-tide so we could explore the tide-pools made available by the King Tides.
We explored the beaches at Asilomar.
After the tide-pools, we visited one of the oldest buildings in Monterey, the San Carlos Cathedral, built in 1791. It is the oldest stone building in California, and the oldest continuously operating Catholic Parrish in the US. We loved the intricate facade and the sense of history when we toured the grounds.
By that time we were hungry, so we finished the day at Pezzini Farms, famous for their artichokes. They have been growing and serving artichokes since 1929.
We ate fried artichoke hearts at the “Choke Coach” on the side of the building.
They were actually quite good! Of course, anything fried like this is pretty good…
I think we packed a lot into this RV trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed our activities. But I’m sure we’ll be back again soon, finding something new to see and explore.
Al & Deb
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