Photo Diary | A Quick Weekend in Monterey, CA

After binging the second season of Big Little Lies (BLL), I was super excited when a few friends decided to plan a quick weekend trip down to Monterey. Since I’m from the Bay Area, we’re about ~3 hours away so I’ve never actually been for an overnight trip as I would typically only go for a day trip. The few times I’ve been there in the last 10 years or so, I’ve either gone to Monterey for the aquarium alone (and spent majority of my day there) or to Carmel for a beach day and perusing along the shops.

Monterey, CA - Big Little Lies Apartments

We were fortunate enough to stay at a friend’s place as her parents own a condo and rent it out as an AirBnB. They gave the place to us for the weekend and all we had to do was cover the cleaning fee - steal. While we were texting in our friend group, one person joked that we were staying at one of the places in BLL. I didn’t believe them and when we pulled up it really was the apartment from BLL (!!!). I was fan-girling and was snapping it to all of my friends 😂. It was the height of summer when we went so we slept with the windows open and it was actually so relaxing and soothing to listen to the waves crash. I could definitely see myself living near a beach.

We spent the second half of our full day lounging around on the beach and some of our friends played spike ball - I ended up taking a nice little nap on the beach and woke up with a lopsided swimsuit tan thanks to my weirdly cut-out one-piece. Whoops.

Bright Coffee, Monterey, CA

Bagel Kitchen, Monterey, CA


Bagel Kitchen | 1132 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

If I could, I think I would have a bagel every single day for breakfast. (I definitely prefer a savory breakfast over a sweet one.) When I spotted Bagel Kitchen while I was perusing places to visit, I quickly added it to my list and screen-shotted it to T. We both ended up getting bagel sandwiches which were good - especially with some hot sauce. Part of me does wish I just got a regular bagel with cream cheese but c’est la vie. I’ll admit to myself that my stomach/eyes get the best of me but I typically just enjoy a simple bagel with cream cheese (asiago with sort of chive cream cheese - if you were wondering).

Samplin’ Some Clam Chowder

We went to the pier for dinner for our last night and were trying to decide on a place to eat. Almost every single restaurant had someone standing outside with chowder to sample and we hit up all the places. Honestly you could just get the samples and hit the clam chowder cravings, but it was cold and I decided I wanted an actual bowl. I can’t remember which restaurant I went to but obviously went to the one where I liked their sample the most!

Bright Coffee | 281 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940

I have a soft spot for ceramics and have been looking for a studio/class near me to attend. So when I found Bright Coffee, I definitely knew I had to go. When we walked in, T looked right at me and said “THIS WAS A TRAP!!!” 😂 T got a simple espresso and I ordered a chai latte - and IT WAS AMAZING. So much so that I’ve been having dreams of the perfect chai latte (which is perfect with Fall here). It was the perfect level of spice with a hint of sweetness - I am on the hunt for some place near me that serves a great one or find a way to make the perfect one myself. Unfortunately we hit up Bright Coffee right before we went to the aquarium to meet up with some friends so we quickly rushed out. But I thought their pieces were so beautiful and reasonably priced. I would definitely stop by here again!

Captain + Stoker | 398 E Franklin St, Monterey, CA 93940

Before we headed home, we stopped by another coffee shop (surprise, surprise) - but we weren’t staying in and were just grabbing something to go. Nobody else in our car wanted anything so T ordered a drip coffee, I ordered an oat latte and an avocado toast to go! The avocado toast was served on a nice thick piece of toast with red peppers and arugula - it was so fresh and so good! I do wish that I got to try one of the cereal milk lattes - i’ve done some DIY attempts before but I just wanted to see what all the hype was about - they also had some good reviews for them on Yelp!

Monterey Bay Aquarium

It was T’s first time going to Monterey so we knew we had to hit up the aquarium. Luckily a few of our friends are members so we were all able to get in for free - it made going in for a few hours and hitting up the main exhibits worth it without having to stay for the majority of the operating hours.

We of course ran to the otters because aren’t they everyone’s favorites?? They were swimming around and eating and of course it was crowded. Tbh I always go to see them during non-feeding times because it’s a little bit less busy and usually they’re just swimming around and playing. Still cute, and definitely entertaining. We also spent a good amount of time in front of the penguin exhibit - it’s fun to see them coupled up and it’s always fun to watch the odd ones out just doing their own thing. If you’re going on a weekend, try your best to get there early in the morning because the crowds and the amount of kids you’ll encounter is a tad distracting - if you can make it out on a weekday off-season that would probably be the most ideal.

It was such a nice and relaxing trip down that we’ve already decided to go back more often! And we’ll probably take Ollie for a nice weekend getaway too ☺️. Have you been to Monterey? What are your favorite things to do there?