The City in Paradise

The Pacific coastline around Monterrey has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Deep blue shades into cobalt then aquamarine along the shore with huge white waves smashing themselves on boulders and cliff faces. Sunsets glow golden and reflect in the water. This is a photographer’s dream.

Monterrey is situated on the coast of Monterrey Bay, a little over 100 miles south of San Francisco and about 320 miles north of Los Angeles. The climate in the area tends to be cool. A small town with a population of only 27,000, it has a long and rich history. The Spanish claimed it in 1770. An Argentine corsair landed in secrecy one night in November of 1818 and attacked and conquered the fort. The invaders stayed six days, stole all the cattle, burned the fort and then left. In 1821, Mexico achieved independence from Spain and Monterrey became Mexican. Finally, after the battle of Monterrey on July 7, 1846 during the Mexican-American War, Monterrey became American.

Because it was an important port, several industries grew up in the town. The fishing industry was established by Chinese who crossed the Pacific in junks. They settled at China Point in 1851. The canning of fish didn’t start until 1902. The industry grew exponentially during the wars. John Steinbeck immortalized the people and the place in his novel, Cannery Row. Since then the area around Cannery Row has become a tourist haven.

Things to do in Monterrey:

  • Wander up and down the coast, taking photos.
  • Visit Cannery Row. The area puts on numerous events through the year. There are shops, restaurants, museums. Food tours and wine tasting tours are available.
  • Old Fisherman’s Wharf is another fascinating area with shops and good food and drink. You can go whale watching or sailing or fishing. There are a wide variety of water tours.
  • 17 Mile Drive is a self-guided tour through Pebble Beach and the Monterrey Peninsula, offering scenic views of the ocean, golf courses and mansions, and, of course, the Lone Cypress.
  • Monterrey Bay Aquarium is a world class aquatic museum which extends outdoors into Monterrey Bay. Great for families.
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve has miles of trails past spectacular scenery.

There are hiking, biking and equestrian trails throughout the peninsula. Nowhere else will you find a setting as beautiful as Monterrey. Come visit and you’ll want to stay.

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