It’s the trip, not the destination

Neil Wiley

The Monterey Peninsula is a great place to visit for a day, a weekend, or longer. The scenery is spectacular, the weather usually perfect, and the golden light special. You can eat like a king and shop till you drop. But after taking the kids to the aquarium, eating way too much, and spending next year’s discretionary budget on stuff, you might like to slow down. Why not take a break by walking or riding along a beautiful rocky coastline on a civilized path.

Walk or bike from the aquarium down the coast on a trail that runs parallel to Ocean View Boulevard. You’ll find the trail at the intersection of Ocean View Boulevard and David, just to the right as you leave the aquarium. You’ll be on the trail in a few minutes.

On your right, you’ll see beautiful coastal views, dramatic rock formations, harbor seals, shore birds, small beach coves, and tide pools. On your left, view fine, well-maintained Victorians, and imagine what it would be like to live in one. Or perhaps you’ll consider staying in one of the bed and breakfasts for a weekend.

The walking is easy on a level dirt path next to the paved bicycle trail. Benches encourage frequent stops for pictures, snacks, and contemplation. A one-mile walk takes you to Lovers Point, a rocky headland with a lovely grassy park and sandy beaches.

Want more? You can continue north along the coast (I know, it seems south) through Perkins Park, past Lucas Point, and on to Point Pinos, the northern tip of Pacific Grove. The round trip is 4.6 miles. Or from the aquarium you can walk or ride south to San Carlos Beach Park (0.7 mile), Fisherman’s Wharf (1.2 miles), Monterey Bay Park (1.7 miles), or all the way to the Seaside city limits (3.3 miles)

You can rent a bike or quadracycle online from several outfits located on Cannery Row and Lovers Point. It’s easy riding, but don’t forget your helmet.