San Francisco to Monterey

Since we will be spending most of today at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it is best to start early! But we actually only set off at 10am cos we just couldn’t get our lazy bums off the comfy bed.

We did have a few awesome breakfast options ready below but there wasn’t time so we hurriedly ate some plain buns with butter, had hot coffee and tea and left for the two-hour drive from San Francisco to Monterey.

Breakfast: Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours: 08:00 – 20:00
Best Reviewed: Breakfast Bun, Croissants, Pain Au Chocolat, Coffee
Notes: Super famous bakery in SF. Always crowded so the best recommendation is to takeaway and eat on the go.

Brenda’s French Soul Food – Beignets in San Francisco means Brenda’s. Also try the iconic SF Hangtown Fry.
652 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-3328
Hours: MON–TUES: 8AM–3PM / WED–SAT: 8AM–10PM / SUN: 8AM–8PM


At Monterey, we walked from our hotel down to the aquarium which turned out to be further than expected. On the plus side, we got to look around town a little and even went to do a little shopping in CVS. 

The Town of Monterey

Monterey Bay Hours: 10am – 5pm / Entrance fee: Adult $39.95

Lobby and Gift shop area


For lunch we had reserved a table at the Aquarium – Cindy’s Waterfront which was quite an indulgence. Food is not exactly cheap or affordable in the USA and dining here in this restaurant is on the higher side. Needless to say, we rarely dine in restaurants at all in the whole of our trip so this was a rare treat. 

Binoculars provided at each table so you can look out at the sea birds and otters as you dine!


Slow cooked pork chop

Sustainable fish taco

After lunch and a full belly, we spent the rest of the day in the aquarium, and it was really nice. I love how they are passionate about real conservation instead of just being a tourist attraction. Nearly all of the exhibits are different and very local, California-based. Much better than certain singaporean Aquariums IMHO.


Unique Kelp forest exhibit; mesmerizing!


A not-so-camera shy seagull posing for a shot


One of the more unique fishes in Monterey Aquarium: California Sheephead are born female and some turn into male at a certain part of their life! This one is transitioning.


Mermaid’s Pen 


Wild Sea Birds seek refuge and warmth at the Bird Sanctuary inside the aquarium itself!

I do love my aquariums.

After spending the entire day at the aquarium until closing time, we walked around Cannery row and looked for somewhere to have dinner. We ended up at the Fish Hopper and had some great seafood dishes!


Raw oysters x 6


Everywhere would claim that their clam chowder is award-winning… this was no exception!


Californian Dungeness Crab – Yummy!

For the night, we are staying at:

Cannery Row Inn
200 Foam St, Monterey, CA 93940, United States

It was a comfortable room with a romantic fireplace. We even got a partial view of the ocean and we are just steps away from the beach. A really nice little hotel, but not as close to Cannery row as the name suggests. After a long day, the walk back to the hotel at night was Long and cold. It was great that the fireplace did its job and warned us up in an instant.   


We love Monterey and didn’t want to leave. But tomorrow we have to get to LA, which means 8-10 hours of driving down the pacific coast highway… Stay tuned for Day 3 because it was our best and worst day of the entire trip!