January is one of the best months of the year to visit Monterey, if you are lucky enough to be here between rain storms. Statistically the least days of fog occur in the months of January and February with about 6 days based on records from 1951 to 2006. On the other hand, the Monterey Peninsula averages 10 days of rain in January making the month the rainiest of the year.
Summer visitors will learn that nearly 2 out of 3 days in July and August have fog on the Monterey Peninsula. A clear day in January, like yesterday when the temperature was 75, the same temperature as a typically warm summer day when the fog lifts, can be the ideal time to see the Monterey Peninsula and drive the Big Sur coast.
Here are photos from my walks around town this week.
The Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo or Royal Presidio Chapel is a sandstone building completed in 1794 in Monterey and the oldest continuously functioning church in California.
Custom House Plaza is the center of Monterey for social activities and festivals. Monterey State Historic Park encompasses many of the older adobes and houses from the 19th century. Unfortunately the California budget financial difficulties and voters’ rejection of additional taxes in the last ballot has severely reduced the opportunity for tours of these historic sites. Only a couple of museums like the Pacific House at Custom House Plaza are open this year and only on weekends and holidays.
Custom House Plaza is adjacent to Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf for tourists with many restaurants, tourist kitsch shops and the departure point for whale watching tours.
The real Fisherman’s Wharf for purchasing fresh caught fish from fish markets is located a few hundred yards to the east of the tourist wharf. Barking California sea lions congregate on large moorings in the harbor and underneath the two wharves and along the Coast Guard jetty. Most days sea lion barking is heard when walking in this area.
The Monterey Recreational Trail is a ten-mile paved bicycle and walking path from Marina to Pacific Grove. The half-mile between the tourist Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row is one of the best locations on the Monterey Peninsula for watching seals. Seals bask on the rocks above the water line when the tide is low.
Last July the beach was taken over by sea lions for a month.