California · Road Trip · USA

California Coastal Road Trip: Part 1 San Jose to Monterey

Jan 21 was a long weekend, so me and one of my friend decided to do a Road Trip from San Jose to Ventura. There are a lot of places to visit in between and we were really confused where to stay and which places to visit. Finally, we ended up going to 3-4 beaches, a National Recreation area, a Vineyard and a Castle.

We reached Monterey Friday night, so that we can start early morning on Saturday and spend the rest of the day in Monterey bay. Saturday night we drove all the way to Ventura spent Sunday morning visiting Ventura beach, went to Lake Casitas Recreation Area in afternoon, Santa Barbara pier in evening for sunset and spent the night at Paso Robles which is a small town near Morro Bay. For Monday we had planned for Hearst Castle in San Simeo, on our way to we found a vineyard and decided to take a pitstop for wine tasting.

Day 1: Monterey Bay

I had been to Monterey a couple of times before but it was mostly for a pitstop on the way to big sur or 17 mile drive. I had never thought there would so much to do in Monterey. There are a lot of beaches near by, New Monterey is filled with places to eat and Perkins park is just amazing. Monterey is also famous for surfing and we could see a lot of people surfing around wherever we went.

We started our day with Moss Landing State Beach which was around 20 mins drive from our stay. The beach is quite long and offers a great place to just sit down and relax. We had a great time just walking around the beach and taking photos. A lot of people say it’s full of sea otters but unfortunatelly we couldn’t spot any.

Moss Landing State Beach
Moss Landing State Beach

Moss Landing State Beach is on north side of the Moss and on south side is Salinas River State Beach. It was just a 5 mins drive and we ended up going there as well. Both the beach are quite similar, both of them offers amazing views of pacific and a lot of place to just walk, sit and relax. After spending some time we were headed back to Monterey for lunch.

Salinas River State Beach

Apparently there is an amazing drive along Ocean View Blvd and Sunset Drive which many people say is a better alternative to 17 mile drive. We decided to drive along and stop at Lovers Point Park, Pacific Grove Marine Gardens Park and Heart Shaped Rock-Love Rock. Lovers Point Park overlooks the Monterey Bay with sea, there are a lot of picnic tables around. Its amazing to just walk along the sea, watch surfers and this amazing view of the ocean.

Lover Point Park
View of Monterey from Lover Point Park

We did not spend much time Pacific Grove Marine Gardens Park as it was time for sunset and we wanted to see sunset at Heart Shaped Rock-Love Rock, so clicked few photos and spent around 10-15 mins.

Pacific Grove Marine Gardens Park

Heart Shaped Rock-Love Rock is a great place to watch sunset. Whole place is filled with broken shells and there are a lot of small water bodies and we could even spot starfish in them. We walked for 5 mins and found a perfect place to sit and watch sunset. Its feels amazing and so close to nature to sit at such place watch sunset, birds fly and listen to the sea.

Heart Shaped Rock-Love Rock

I never though spending a day in Monterey can be so fun. Its an amazing place to spend a lazy weekend close to nature.

Read about my others trips in California:

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