Monterey is an old family haunt. When I was a kid, we used to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium several times a year to see the jellyfish and eat dry cinnamon rolls from Lily’s. I was terrified that the million-gallon tank would shatter and we would drown, but by the time we got around to the saltwater taffy store, I was too busy pulling it out of my teeth to remember the terror.
No visit was ever complete without a meal at the Fish Hopper, either. Their clam chowder is the best I’ve ever had, hands down. Even after tasting many other chowders and living in Boston, the Fish Hopper is the place to be. And somehow, we always manage to find our way to Ghirardelli’s for sundaes.
Here’s our family guide to Monterey: What to see and do.
- Eat at the Fish Hopper (duh). Clam chowder and any fried seafood and pasta you can get your hands on.
- Eat a cinnamon roll at Lily’s. But only the middle.
- Hit Cannery Row and buy a bag of taffy.
- Pedal a tuk-tuk to Lovers’ Point. If you’re a maniac, rent two and race the other one there. (My brother did this.)
- Walk down the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s colorful with pastel hues, smells of funnel cakes and too much sugar, and is a little world of its own.
- Sundaes at Ghirardelli.
- The aquarium (also duh). The million-gallon tank is sturdy, which reassures my childhood self that I will neither drown no be forced to swim with sharks.
Images on my Hasselblad 500cm, Ansel, and my Nikon F100, Norman.
Francophile; lover of ice cream, ballet flats, and skirts with pockets. Photographing light, life, and JOY in San Francisco and Paris with my film cameras, Norman and Cecil.