• The Kensington Diary

10 Baby Friendly Things to do on the Northern California Coastline


Having a baby does not mean that you need to stay indoors and revolve around your babies routine on holiday, unless you want to of course!

We loved Monterey and the surrounding areas because it allowed us the flexibility to really enjoy the area, expose Alex to the sea and nature, and gave him time to rest.

Here are the top 10 sights to see/things to do to see in the area.

DO THE 17 MILE DRIVE

We absolutely loved this! This deserves a whole post on its own running through the many stops on the drive, which will come soon. I would allocate a day for this as you will want to stop to spend time taking in the atmosphere at each beach. There's a small $10.25 charge to do this. It's worth it as it's incredibly scenic and picturesque. Bring a great camera and also perhaps a small picnic basket to enjoy the beach. We went in Winter so it was too cold to sit on the beach for too long but I bet its amazing in Summer. We will certainly return!


GO TO THE MONTEREY AQUARIUM

This is a really cool thing to do with babies as they are all into colours. Alex found this incredibly fascinating! A very popular attraction so book tickets in advance and allow for 3 hours here. They had good baby friendly changing facilities and a cafe to where we could feed baby.


VISIT FISHERMAN'S WHARF

Highlight here is the cafe from The Big Little Lies set. You can also do a boat trip to see the seals from here if you have a toddler or child but I didn't feel comfortable to do this with Alex due to his age. Try the famous salt water taffy here. Lots of places to eat the famous North Californian clam chowder and crab cakes.


CHECK OUT CANNERY ROW

We didn't spend too much time here as we found it too touristy for our taste but it's worth visiting if you want to explore the stores and restaurants. If you want to explore much of Monterey Bay, many hotels are based around here.


EXPLORE CARMEL TOWN

This was our absolute favourite town in Monterey! Beautiful fairy tale houses, modern villas and quaint little homes. The beach is also not far from here, wide, with soft white sands. Definitely another place for you to spend at least 1 -2 days. Accommodation is rare and pricey here, but please stay in this area, if you can. It embodies Monterey. There are also loads of cute boutiques and branded stores in the town center. Overall, completely charming and definitely not something to miss. Don't leave without a visit to Carmel Bakery either!


VISIT CARMEL HIGHLANDS

We drove through here and stopped to take in the views. A few Big Little Lies scenes were taken from here. Beautiful houses and magnificent views. Unfortunately, as we were in a rush, we didn't get to fully appreciate it. Please do check it out for the views from the Hyatt. They are great here!


GO WINE TASTING IN CARMEL VALLEY

Unfortunately, due to time restraints we didn't do this and also because we went wine tasting in Napa Valley. It's its meant to be the second biggest wine area in California, after Napa Valley. During our entire California trip, we saw many wines from here on the menu. The vineyards that we passed through had a small, boutique-like and quaint appearance, different to Napa Valley, which is more opulent, so I would recommend it for a different feel.


STAY IN & EXPLORE THE BIG SUR

We explored the Big Sur for one full day but didn't get to stay overnight. We need to spend 4 weeks in California on our next trip to see everything we want :) The area is absolutely fabulous and huge! Amazing forests, parks and beaches to explore, including the famous Pfeiffer Beach. This will have a stand alone post as there is so much to say about this.


GO ON A MINI-SPA OR YOGA RETREAT

Where do I start, you literally are spoilt for choice. Many of the hotels here specialise in this including the Monterey Spa and Plaza in Monterey Bay or Carmel Valley Ranch, two that we stayed that and would absolutely recommend. Both are baby-friendly and have baby-sitting options too. Great for a 2-3 day relaxation break.


PLAY A GAME OF GOLF

We didn't do this as the weather wasn't the best for golf when we were there but the courses looked AMAZING! I have never seen anything like it, putting areas right by the sea. Some of the most amazing picturesque golf courses I have ever seen! The Pebble Beach Golf Course particularly stood out for us when we drove through.

#NorthernCalifornia #Monterey

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