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4 Days in Monterey

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My husband will be attending a work conference at the Embassy Suites in Monterey on 9/29 and 9/30, so we’re driving up on Saturday and spending the weekend in Monterey. We live in the Bay Area and have visited Monterey numerous times. Would love to hear your critique of our tentative itinerary below.

Day 1, Saturday: Leave East Bay around 9 or 10am and stop at Pezzini Farms for artichoke snack on way to Monterrey. (Is this place worth a stop? We’ve never been, but husband loves both grilled and fried artichokes.) Depending on the time, continue to our hotel for early check-in before continuing on to Pebble Beach for a late bar lunch at Pebble Beach Lodge.

We’ve been to the Lodge before and loved their bloody mary’s, fried calamari and other bar snacks while enjoying the gorgeous view from a comfy sofa. On our way back to the hotel, we’ll probably pick-up take out from Whole Foods for a light dinner in our hotel room later that evening.

Day 2, Sunday: We have a membership to the Aquarium, so we’re planning to spend most of the day at the Aquarium. Attend 8:30am morning rounds at Monterey Bay Aquarium, brunch at First Awakenings, dinner at Passion Fish in Pacific Grove. (I was bummed to see that my favorite grilled Thai shrimp appetizer isn’t on the current menu! We ate there in July and enjoyed the shrimp, another appetizer I can’t recall, diver scallop entrée and the duck. Can anyone recommend any particularly good dishes on their current menu?)

Day 3, Monday: Plans are totally up in the air for Monday, since I don’t know if I’ll be on my own or spending the day with other wives. My guess is that I’ll need a casual lunch spot either near the hotel or near downtown Monterey.

Monday is also our second wedding anniversary, but we don’t want to go anywhere super fancy/pricey, since we just did the chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings at Manresa in Los Gatos last weekend. We’re thinking about the Whaling Station, since husband likes prime rib, but we’re open to suggestions.

Ideal cost for dinner inclusive of wine, tip and taxes wouldn’t exceed $100/pp. I’ve read about tons of great places in Carmel, but we spent over $500 at Manresa and over $200 at Ad Hoc in the same week, so we’re not looking for another blow-out meal. And if we can do dinner for less than $100/pp, all the better!

Day 4, Tuesday – Need both lunch and early dinner recs before we drive back to Bay Area (East Bay). We're checking out of the hotel Tuesday morning and could either spend the rest of the day in Monterey or Carmel. We definitely want an early dinner on Tuesday, since we both have to return to work on Wednesday.

Any and all tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for your help.

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