Summer is a great time of year for travelers visiting many places. Monterey, California is not necessarily one of those places that is best visited in summer.
Don’t get me wrong. We love our summer tourist season. The weather is the warmest of the year with low 70s much of the time.
The main problem for a tourist is the weather in Monterey can suck in summer for days on end. As California heats up and triple digit temperatures take over the valleys and deserts, the cool Pacific Ocean fog spreads across the California coastline along the central coast communities, often for days at a time.
March and April are one of my favorite times for being outside along the beaches and seashore of the California Central Coast.
First Week of Spring – Monterey Scene 1.
Here is a snapshot of Monterey, California from Thursday, March 21, 2013 – the second day of spring. Read More…
Friday, February 15 was a day around Monterey Bay to rival weather wise the best days of summer. The day tied the record high temperature at 77 degrees in Moss Landing near the center of Monterey Bay on the central coast of California. That was the official temperature and matched a record from 1977.
I drove 20 miles from Monterey to check out the wildlife in the harbor at Moss Landing. This is truly becoming my go to place for getting close to sea life. Friday morning I read in the San Jose Mercury News about surfers the day before seeing a Great White Shark attack a sea lion about 100 yards offshore in Moss Landing. Great white shark attacks sea lion near Moss Landing surfers (San Jose Mercury Feb 15, 2013). Read More…
Saturday was one of those January days around the Monterey Bay when the 74 degree air temperature and clear skies rival the best days in summer here on the Central Coast of California. An errand took me around Monterey Bay 45 miles on Highway 1 to Santa Cruz yesterday.
Highway 1 runs along the coastline, never more than a few miles from the sea. Midway around Monterey Bay the road travels through Moss Landing, my vote for the quintessential fishing village along the 400 miles of coastline between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Read More…
Long before premium class flights bought with frequent flyer miles and hotel suites redeemed on points, my passion has been weather. Specifically, extreme weather. I am a weather geek.
Monterey has had extreme weather the past two days. Other places have their tornadoes or hurricanes or floods or blizzards, and most places have high heat many days of the year.
Monterey rarely has extreme weather.
The temperature in Monterey hit 90 F degrees (32 C) the last two days. This might seem rather commonplace for most places in the U.S., but this is uncommon for the Monterey Peninsula of central coast California. I think it has been several years since two days in a row reached 90 on the coastline of the Monterey Peninsula. Read More…
People from away come to Monterey for summer respite and relaxation or simply pass through town while driving Highway 1 – the Pacific Coast Highway – on their way to Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Inland valley residents of California come to the Monterey County coast to escape the persistent 100 to 110 degree heat of cloudless July sunny days that is the normal summer climate in the Central Valley of California.
Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf sea lion dock. Fog is hovering over the Skyline Drive ridge between Monterey and Pacific Grove. This was the last clear sky day over Monterey on July 7.
Life in the fog Read More…
The Salinas River in Monterey County is the largest underground river in the United States as it travels 170 miles from its southern source in the coast range mountains of San Luis Obispo County to the Pacific Ocean at Monterey Bay. At least this is what the local area informational display claims at the California Highway 101 Camp Roberts rest area in southern Monterey County.
California Highway 101 Camp Roberts rest area 8 miles north of San Miguel.
Just keep in mind there is a vast river beneath you fueling the crops all around the freeway when traveling Highway 101 surrounded by arid-looking hillsides during the Salinas Valley summer months.
The Salinas Valley is called the salad bowl of the world. A common data point published in numerous articles is 80% of the salad greens consumed in the U.S. are grown in the Salinas Valley. That seems like a high percentage for a relatively small valley, however, visual evidence indicates there are hundreds of square miles of leafy crops growing most of the year in the Salinas Valley. Read More…
Over the weekend I saw a sea otter mom and her pup hanging out by Monterey Wharf #2.
Saturday was a late-spring day in Monterey with the weather temperature in the 60s and the fog evaporated by noon, providing refreshing marine air for thousands of visitors to the seashore on a day when the heat had risen to 90s in Silicon Valley. Weekend days like these bring thousands of cars to the Monterey Peninsula; most just stay for the day.
By 6pm tourists tend to be either at the restaurants or getting ready to go to restaurants, if they can afford to stay in Monterey and eat. I think the majority of visitors crowd the roads from Pebble Beach and Carmel and Pacific Grove onto the highways out of Monterey and then onto the freeways for the drive back to their valley homes inland from the seaside of Central Coast California.
Even in tourist season Monterey tends to quiet down quickly in the evening. Read More…
Carmel on my mind. Yesterday I finished The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Hard travelin’ times in California for those folks. The book is truly a stunning experience. Getting myself down to the sea seemed a good recovery strategy from living with the Joads this past week.
Seeing Frank Lloyd Wright’s first home design in Oak Park and the Robie House in Hyde Park at the University of Chicago campus motivated me to take a closer look at Frank Lloyd Wright house design for the Walker Residence, currently a private home in Carmel, California. The past few May days have been glorious around these parts. Big Sur for some more nature time is on my agenda today. Read More…
I like to talk up the place I live – the Monterey Peninsula of Central Coast California. This is another one of my posts that has nothing to do with hotels. This post does share some of the great attractions of coming to the Monterey area.
The Monterey Peninsula is a place with nearly 200 hotels in three fairly small towns in Carmel (pop. 4,000), Pacific Grove (15,000) and Monterey (28,000)where the total year-round population is less than 50,000 people. Seaside, Marina, Del Rey Oaks, Carmel Valley and Pebble Beach add to the surroundings to give the area a real population a bit over 100,000 people. Salinas is a city of nearly 150,000 people that you might think would encroach on the Monterey Peninsula. Despite over 200 years of development in this area of the California Central Coast, the Fort Ord National Monument, agricultural fields, and hills separate the Monterey Peninsula from the Salinas Valley and the rest of the world. Read More…
Bruce Springsteen released the album The Ghost of Tom Joad in 1995. The album was his first album (Billboard highest rank #11) not to reach the Top 10 albums on Billboard 200 after a streak of eight consecutive Top 5 albums.
The highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
Searchin’ for the ghost of Tom Joad
- Bruce Springsteen “The Ghost of Tom Joad” Read More…