After leaving the majestic redwood trees, we made a trip to Monterey, California. Asilomar Beach was our first stop. We planned our day around the tides because Jackson loves exploring tide pools. Along the rocky shore, we waded and climbed and peered under rocks.

We spotted seafoam green anemones, purple sea urchins, spidery-looking crabs, and all sorts of aquatic plants and grasses. Near the shoreline, we found different plants and wildflowers. A wooden boardwalk meanders along the hill above the sand making for awesome views of the surf.

The water here is very cold and the cool breezes add to the chill in the air. This isn’t the kind of beach to go swimming or sunbathe. But, it’s a great place for a romantic picnic or a quiet spot to read a book and listen to the waves. It isn’t crowded. But, there is limited parking.

Nearby, is a popular scenic drive simply called “17-mile drive.” This is a drive through the Pebble Beach area and Pacific Grove on the Monterey peninsula. It actually starts in a private neighborhood. There’s a toll booth and a charge of $11.25 per car. We were given a brochure with points of interest and told that if we eat at one of the restaurants along the tour or stay at one of the listed resorts, we would be reimbursed the admission price. The drive winds through exclusive neighborhoods filled with mansions and iconic golf courses. There are also historic markers, scenic overlooks of the ocean, and cypress trees.

The drive is popular with photographers and tourists. If you are interested in architecture, this would also be a nice afternoon.

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