The Monterey Hotel in Historic Downtown Monterey

This room was provided free of charge; all opinions are my own.

The Monterey Hotel is situated right in downtown Monterey, a stone’s throw from Fisherman’s Wharf. It is a beautiful old Victorian building that is actually part of the Monterey Historic Park, and it was a great home base for two days of exploring both Monterey and the Big Sur coastline. Here is all the information on this hotel.

Details

  • Book Here
  • Continental breakfast included
  • Parking offsite or valet for an added charge
  • Location: 407 Calle PrincipalMontereyCalifornia 93940

Getting There

Take Highway 1 to towards Monterey and exit 401A for Aguajito Road. Turn left onto Aguajito and then left on Fremont St. You will continue onto Alvarado St, and the hotel will be on the left. There is no parking lot, so you must valet or park downtown.

The Hotel

When I first saw this hotel while exploring the historic park, I loved the beautiful exterior with its Victorian charm. The inside retains that historic vibe, but with many of the modern amenities you have come to expect from upscale hotels like this.

Since we were gone most of the day exploring the area we elected to valet park each night when we got to the hotel. It is a nice experience as the car was always waiting for us when we needed it.

We booked a king room in the recently redone part of the hotel, and it was a large, spacious room complete with a bed, couch, and fireplace.

The bed was comfortable and spacious while the included couch and fireplace (activated with a light switch) made it a beautiful place to relax with a glass of wine as well.

The bathroom was large and well lit with a nice shower that got hot fast. The included continental breakfast was a great addition to the hotel experience as it had lots of pastries and fresh bagels as well as large bowls of fruit and, of course, coffee.

Once you got your food, you dined in a beautiful historic room right off the hotel lobby.

The hotel proved to be an excellent spot for exploring the Monterey area as you could easily walk to Fisherman’s Wharf for restaurants like LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle and the Old Fisherman’s Grotto.

You could drive to Cannery Row in about 5 minutes as well, which has the aquarium and which is a great place to walk around and explore the city.

The Big Sur coast was only about 25 minutes south, and Carmel is about that distance as well.

All in all, this was a great home base for our two days of exploring and fun hotel to relax at. Check it out if you are in the area and let me know what you think in the comments.

LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle in Monterey

LouLou’s is a fun little cafe, right on Municipal Wharf 2 in Monterey, that is a fantastic spot for a home-cooked meal for the whole family, assuming you can find a spot at the counter. Come hungry as the pancakes are bigger than the plate and you will leave full. I got a chance to check it out a few weeks ago, here is all the information.

LouLous Griddle-7

Details

  • Cost: $8-$10
  • Location: Municipal Wharf 2, Monterey, CA 93940
  • Come as early as you can on the weekends as it is popular

LouLous Griddle-4

The restaurant itself has eight seats at the bar and four small tables. During the summer they have outdoor seating as well, but when it is colder the seating shrinks. This adds to the atmosphere and fun of this restaurant though as everyone seems to be joking with each other and just enjoying their time.

LouLous Griddle-1

The wait was about 25 minutes when I got there at 8:30 AM on a Sunday, but you can sit in your car and wait or just enjoy walking the pier. Parking is available on the pier itself for $1.50 an hour if you are able to find a spot.

LouLous Griddle-3

The menu has a lot of fun items on it such “calamari and eggs,” but I went with the pancake and seasonal fruit. The fruit when I went was strawberries, and the waiter told me to add chocolate chips as well, which I happily did.

LouLous Griddle-5

The first thing they brought out was syrup in a to-go coffee cup as you would need that to take the pancake down. The pancake arrived overflowing the plate, and it was full of strawberries and chocolate chips. You can see the photo below with my hand for comparison.

LouLous Griddle-6

 It was a good fluffy pancake with lots of toppings and more food than one person could eat. I didn’t even get half way though as it was so much food and I wished I had a second person to eat it with. It was a fun experience though and I was even encouraged on by the friendly couple that sat next to me, before throwing in the towel and admitting defeat.

LouLous Griddle-8

I enjoyed my time at LouLou’s, the staff was friendly, the food was good, and the location was hard to beat. Be sure to get there early if you go on a weekend, and let me know in the comments if you can eat the entire pancake!

Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum on Cannery Row

A few weeks back, I spent some time trying to find more unique, less commercial spots along Cannery Row, which lead me to the Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum. Before you ask, yes this is an animatronic wax museum so it can appear relatively dated with today’s modern technology. I for one like these types of things though as they provide a unique way to learn about the history of the area through a medium that is not very common anymore. While it is not for everyone, it is a unique spot, to say the least. Here is all the info.

Monterey Wax Museum-1

Details

  • Cost: $10
  • Location: 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940

The museum itself is located inside the Cannery Row building, right in the center. If you walk in from the street, you can’t miss it as the booth to pay is right next to the stairs. I grabbed my ticket and headed down.

Monterey Wax Museum-2

One of the most fun things about this museum is the piano stairs that you can “play” while you walk down into the museum. Essentially each step on the stairs create another tone, and I imagine this would be a really fun spot for kids to interact with.

Monterey Wax Museum-3

When you reach the bottom, you will start your time in the museum. There is a wax figure there to point you on and you will start a walking track that takes you through the exhibits.

Monterey Wax Museum-4

The exhibits are all activated by a button that you push when you want to hear about what the wax sculptures are depicting. Pressing the button starts an audio track and lights that direct you where to look. There are over 100 different wax sculptures here depicting over 400 years of California history.

Monterey Wax Museum-5

As I walked through the different sections, I heard about the Native Americans, pioneers, church leaders, John Steinbeck and more.

Monterey Wax Museum-6

One of the most unique spots was a part that talked about how they used to put bears and bulls in arenas to bet on the fighting. While this is pretty grotesque, it is not a part of California history I had ever heard of before, so I found it interesting.

Monterey Wax Museum-7

I appreciated the parts about John Steinbeck as well since I was spending a lot of time on Cannery Row trying to learn more about his influence on the area and it was interesting to hear more about him here.

Monterey Wax Museum-11

At the end of the exhibits, there is a room with fun props that you can use for unique Instagram photos, such as a life-size Elvis and a human-sized Cannery Row Brand sardine can that you can pretend like you are a sardine in.

Monterey Wax Museum-13

After exiting this area, you will make your way back up the piano stairs, which was again fun for a big kid like me, and leave the museum. All in all this is an interesting way to learn about the area’s history. It is not for everyone, but I enjoyed my time interacting with the wax sculptures. Check it out if you are looking for a unique stop along Cannery Row.

Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum on Cannery Row

A few weeks back, I spent some time trying to find more unique, less commercial spots along Cannery Row, which lead me to the Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum. Before you ask, yes this is an animatronic wax museum so it can appear relatively dated with today’s modern technology. I for one like these types of things though as they provide a unique way to learn about the history of the area through a medium that is not very common anymore. While it is not for everyone, it is a unique spot, to say the least. Here is all the info.

Monterey Wax Museum-1

Details

  • Cost: $10
  • Location: 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940

The museum itself is located inside the Cannery Row building, right in the center. If you walk in from the street, you can’t miss it as the booth to pay is right next to the stairs. I grabbed my ticket and headed down.

Monterey Wax Museum-2

One of the most fun things about this museum is the piano stairs that you can “play” while you walk down into the museum. Essentially each step on the stairs create another tone, and I imagine this would be a really fun spot for kids to interact with.

Monterey Wax Museum-3

When you reach the bottom, you will start your time in the museum. There is a wax figure there to point you on and you will start a walking track that takes you through the exhibits.

Monterey Wax Museum-4

The exhibits are all activated by a button that you push when you want to hear about what the wax sculptures are depicting. Pressing the button starts an audio track and lights that direct you where to look. There are over 100 different wax sculptures here depicting over 400 years of California history.

Monterey Wax Museum-5

As I walked through the different sections, I heard about the Native Americans, pioneers, church leaders, John Steinbeck and more.

Monterey Wax Museum-6

One of the most unique spots was a part that talked about how they used to put bears and bulls in arenas to bet on the fighting. While this is pretty grotesque, it is not a part of California history I had ever heard of before, so I found it interesting.

Monterey Wax Museum-7

I appreciated the parts about John Steinbeck as well since I was spending a lot of time on Cannery Row trying to learn more about his influence on the area and it was interesting to hear more about him here.

Monterey Wax Museum-11

At the end of the exhibits, there is a room with fun props that you can use for unique Instagram photos, such as a life-size Elvis and a human-sized Cannery Row Brand sardine can that you can pretend like you are a sardine in.

Monterey Wax Museum-13

After exiting this area, you will make your way back up the piano stairs, which was again fun for a big kid like me, and leave the museum. All in all this is an interesting way to learn about the area’s history. It is not for everyone, but I enjoyed my time interacting with the wax sculptures. Check it out if you are looking for a unique stop along Cannery Row.