About Catherine R
Lives in San Francisco, California
Since Jan. 2012
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Sacred & Religious Sites, History Museums
Wine Tours & Tastings
Monuments & Statues
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas, Historic Sites
Piers & Boardwalks, Neighbourhoods
Although an aquarium may not seem the most romantic of outings, there is something meditative and instantly uplifting about watching jellyfish drift through the water, or contemplating adorable seahorses (and their practice of mating for life). The Monterey Bay Aquarium is probably the most famous aquarium in the country, and it deserves its reputation. It has done much to help conserve the wildlife in the Bay, and its incredible tanks and displays are well worth a stroll 'under the sea' with your sweetie.
The scenery on this famous drive is what you picture when you think about coastal California. Take a hand-in-hand stroll at one of the many stop-off points, and bring your selfie stick for some amazing couple photos.
Garrapata offers a spectacular two miles of quintessential California beach, replete with moody sea and craggy cliffs. Plus, its remote location will make it feel like you have the beach all (or mostly) to yourselves. And since this is one of the Monterey beaches that faces west (believe it or not, not all of the beaches in the area do), it is an ideal place to cozy up for the sunset. What could be more romantic?
Did you know that when sea otters sleep, they hold hands so they don't float away from each other? Romantic, right? Another feel-good factor is that these adorable creatures were recently on the verge of extinction, but are now making a dramatic recovery, in part thanks to the California Sea Otter Game Refuge, a protected area that extends from the Carmel River to the Santa Rosa Creek in San Luis Obispo County. The beautiful Big Sur area is a great place to spot them (and features some romantic scenery itself).
Get off the beaten path and take a walk on the wild side in this gorgeous state park. One of Big Sur's many incredible areas, Andrew Molera offers everything from peaceful meadows to dramatic beaches, to redwood-studded hiking trails.
Founded in 1770, the Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, also known as the Carmel Mission, was the second of California's 21 missions. Today it's considered to be the most authentically restored, and is also, arguably, one of the most beautiful. Not only is the mission a popular place for weddings, but its tranquil courtyards and colorful gardens make it a wonderful place for contemplation and exploration.
What pairs well with beautiful valley landscapes? Wine, of course! Although it is not as well known as Napa or Sonoma, the Monterey/Carmel wine region makes some wonderful wines in a beautiful setting. Touring a few makes a great afternoon date.
Set in a scenic plaza with beautiful landscaping, the Cannery Row Monument honors all the the people who worked in Cannery Row at the height of its production. Lose yourself in history and watch the sunset over Monterey Bay.
Immortalized in John Steinbeck's novel Cannery Row, this historic area was a bustling hub of canning throughout the early 20th century. It's still bustling — though today it's with tourists visiting the shops and restaurants here — and it's a great place to get a sense of history and while away an afternoon together.
The location of the first canneries in the area, Old Fisherman's Wharf now houses some fun restaurants, lively bars, and funky shops. Take a walk along the wharf, looking out for pelicans and other animals, and then pick a place for a tasty seafood meal.