Biking 17 Mile Drive- with kids!
Now that the kids are a little bigger (7, 10, & 11) we are trying to add in a little more adventure to our trips. One of the big things to do in Monterey is to bike the 17 mile drive (or at least part of it). The boys are strong bike riders and the rental places offered plenty of kid-friendly options such as tag-a-long trailers so we decided to give it a try. We rented from Adventures by the Sea which has several locations and plenty of good reviews. To make things easy, we went to the Cannery Row location which has a back entrance right onto the bike trail. They also had a huge selection and were so helpful. For some reason their website no longer shows the family bike options but I called them and they assured me that they still have everything available- pricing for our whole family for half a day was under $100.
Adventures By The Sea
Address: 685 Cannery Row #210, Monterey, CA 93940
After getting everyone set up, we set off on the trail. The first section is a dedicated bike lane, super easy for everyone.
Before you know it, you are riding right along the ocean- the views are incredible (still on a dedicated bike/walking path) We rode over to a green space and then parked the bikes and hiked the super easy walk up to Lover's Point, that little outcropping of rocks). You could pack a lunch or snack and have a quick little picnic here if you want!
We continued on- eventually the path gives way and you are riding alongside the road but there is still a bike lane and the traffic is not too fast or heavy. It might be a little scary if you have wobbly riders but our boys did great and the little one was secure behind me on the trail-a-bike. We made several stops to regroup and take pictures- the scenery is amazing! They also wanted to stop at every little beach point.
Eventually it was beginning to be lunch time and we decided to cut our losses while everyone was still happy and turn around. We had gone about 5 or 6 miles at this point. We found a good spot to cross safely and began the ride back, still in a safe bike lane. After returning our bikes, we went to check out El Torito for lunch, right on Cannery Row- it was nice and big with plenty of ocean view seating. We will never turn down fajitas!
Please consider your own family's abilities and safety when deciding if this ride is for you, but for our family it was a winner!
Monterey with kids
Every October the kids get a 4-day weekend and so we try to take advantage of the time off for a quick, local trip. Most places still have great weather this time of year. This trip we decided to head out to Monterey, a part of California we'd never quite made it to. It's very easy to fly right into San Jose- we found great priced flights on Frontier this time. Josh happened to be working in San Francisco that week anyway, so he just swung by to pick us up after work on Friday. We decided to stay in Monterey at the Hyatt Regency- it was moderately priced and very convenient to downtown and the freeway since we did have a rental car. After checking into the hotel, we unloaded our things and headed to town (just 5 minutes away) to check it out. We stopped to let the kids play at the "Dennis the Menace" Park- it's a huge complex with an impressive playground, paddle boats, skate park and more. The weather was amazing and it was the perfect way to run off some energy before dinner.
After plenty of playtime, we headed over to Fisherman's Wharf- a small pier with great views and plenty of seafood options. There's even a nice little beach right next to it. We explored the beach, let the kids put their toes in the water. We walked around the pier, stopping to watch the sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks.
We stopped for dinner at the Crab House- really all of the restaurants here are pretty touristy and a little overpriced but the food is fresh and there are good views. They all are outside sampling their clam chowder. After dinner there a few dessert options around including an old-fashioned candy shop.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel- the Hyatt is very cozy with a nice lobby. There's a big fireplace in the center with seating. There's also a little coffee shop with fresh donuts and some quick and easy breakfast options. My little one and I enjoyed some early coffee and cider the next morning by the fireplace (mornings are very cool- bring your jacket!) The resort is a popular golf destination but we found it to be very family friendly as well.