Growing up, my parents took me to Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey quite regularly. It’s only about a 25 minute drive from home. However, now that I’m older, my mom has admitted that she’s not a huge fan because she is terrified of the ocean (we’d have to pay her to go into the Monterey Bay Aquarium). So these past few years, Joey and I are the ones who frequent the wharf and it’s entertaining surroundings.
When you get to the wharf, if you walk along the edge, you’ll see all the boats that people have parked (is that the right word?). It’s super fun to go and laugh at the funny names some people christen their boats with. This time, something I had never seen before, the water was saturated with jellyfish! Of course, I have seen jellyfish in person, but only at the aquarium. I had never seen them in the wild. They are so elegant and majestic. We were in awe of how many there were!
After a while, we headed in towards the colorful, lively wharf. The wharf consists of some interesting establishments that sell souvenirs, candy, and keepsakes you can only pick up in Monterey. There are also several yummy restaurants trying to convince the crowds of tasting their clam chowder as they walk by.
Our absolute favorite clam chowder and wharf restaurant has to be the Old Fisherman’s Grotto. If you decide to dine inside the restaurant, it’s almost like being inside a NYC steakhouse. The staff is friendly and supper attentive. And, of course, the food is superb. We always go here on date nights for Valentine’s Day and my birthday. You can also decide to purchase clam chowder outside the restaurant at the counter, and enjoy it while walking around or sitting on a bench with a view. We’ve done this as well and had a picnic at the nearby beach.
The café has an adorable outside set up, as well as an area out back that has a beautiful view of the water for those sunny days. The inside of the café is just as pretty and whimsical. Joey and I both ordered a grilled cheese, but he drank a hot chocolate while I went with an iced green tea sweetened with orange honey. We also bought a red velvet cupcake (we only decided to buy one after my niece said it was the best red velvet cupcake she’d ever had and didn’t want to share).
I definitely recommend stopping by this café, even if it’s just to check out the super cool fisherman mural they have towards the back of the space.
After that coffee break, we went outside to continue exploring (which included seeing a man and his exotic birds) browsing the beautiful pearl jewelry store, and taking in the cold fall breeze. We decided to explore a little outside the wharf.
We ended up stumbling upon the First Brick House, which is literally, the first brick house in California. This house was built in 1847. Up until then, houses were built out of adobe, which wasn’t the best resource to ensure stability. There was actually a wedding going on right next to it and it looked quite romantic.
We kept on moving (it was getting a lot colder) and ended up in between the Monterey State Historic Park and the Custom House Plaza. If you’re looking for more of a history lesson and background surrounding this gorgeous waterfront city, I’d recommend browsing through these places. I’ve also heard they’re haunted. So if you’re into that, you should totally go on a tour.
There was some commotion going on just across the Monterey State Historic Park at the Salvador Dali Museum. It was Día de los Muertos (I know this is supposed to be my October day trip, but it’s late anyway so let’s just ignore it), and the Dali Museum was hosting an event featuring Mexican food trucks, local vendor booths, music, drinks, as well as alters to honor loved ones who have passed away.
It was pretty cool to see this type of celebration in Monterey. Joey and I even danced a bit when they played Selena.
At the end of the day, Monterey Old Fisherman’s Wharf will always have a special place in my life. It’s exciting to see what events will be going on in the future, and what new experiences we will have.
Thanks for reading!
-The B of V
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