We were 10 adults and 3 kids under 4 for this weekend vacation. Jean found two fantastic ocean-front rentals for us to stay in. Our beach house was called Seadance, and outfitted with the most gorgeous collection of mid-century modern teak furniture in every room. With a fireplace and big glass windows overlooking the water, it was ideal for reading and relaxing. My cousin's house was called Ocean View Retreat. This beach house was outfitted more practically and had a large yard in the back where we ate dinner each night and let the kids play.
- Spend a day at Lover's Point beach, diving off the pier and eating french fries from the snack shack.
- Watch the pageant and fireworks show at the annual Feast of Lanterns celebration.
- Shop for affordable estate jewelry and antiques in the cute Pacific Grove downtown.
- Enjoy a buffet dinner of cold salads and warm cheese rolls followed by a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar.
- Do a little beach-themed finger painting with the kiddos after a day at the aquarium.
- Kayak with whales and otters in Monterey Bay.
- Collect seaweed specimens at the beach and make your own pressed seaweed souvenirs.
- Go for a jog or a bike ride along the scenic 17-mile drive coastline.
- Drive down to the Monterey marinas to look at boats and buy fresh seafood off the pier.
What to pack
My original guide to packing for Monterey Bay held up. I really could have used a pair of flip flops but couldn't find them when packing. We also brought lots of art supplies, a badminton set, sand toys and puzzles. Both houses came with plenty of beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and toys for kids.