Monterey MRY Monterey Peninsula

Touring and dining around Monterey and Big Sur

The first week of October my family came to visit me in Monterey. I spent four days living like a tourist in and around my home town with hotel stays, sightseeing and several restaurant meals. Here are some photos from my drives to Big Sur along California Highway 1.

Locals tip: Drive to Big Sur on a weekday to avoid the far heavier Highway 1 road traffic on weekends.

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur



When it comes to dining in and around the Monterey Peninsula, look no further than the local’s recommendations in the annual Monterey County Weekly 2019 Best of Monterey County winners for best restaurants to eat. Some of the places listed below are my personal favorites for dining in the area.


Old Monterey Cafe, Alvarado Street Monterey

From Scratch, Carmel Barnyard


The Red House, Pacific Grove

Nepenthe, Big Sur

Early Dinner 

Rocky Point Restaurant, 10 miles south Carmel

The Fish House, Monterey


Old Fisherman’s Grotto, Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf

Rosine’s, Monterey

Whaling Station (upscale)


Post Ranch Inn Bar, Big Sur

Chart House Happy Hour, Monterey Cannery Row

California Market, Carmel Highlands Inn

Vesuvio’s, Carmel

Carmel wine tasting

Carmel Valley wine tasting


  • OxyTrojan October 21, 2019

    Looks good. I’d swap local legend Sardine Factory for national chain Chart House.

  • Rob October 21, 2019

    Good list. I’d throw First Awakenings (Pacific Grove, breakfast), Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill (Monterey, Lunch/Dinner/Drinks), and Flying Fish Grill (Carmel, Dinner) on there as well.

  • Bluecat October 21, 2019

    Please ask your Boarding Area host to turn off that annoying new pop-up. It forces me to select “Accept all” or it will not go away. (if it offers you a choice to modify settings but then forces you to choose to accept all, then it’s not really a choice.)

  • Ric Garrido October 22, 2019

    @OxyTrojan – Sardine Factory is a good too. Chart House is primarily for ocean view.

    @Rob – First Awakenings makes a lot of favorite lists. I have not been there yet.

    @Bluecat – I think that is an EU compliance pop-up. I have to click it to read other BoardingArea blogs.

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