One of the more popular 1-day trips in the Bay Area is the drive that starts off with the Mystery Spot, covers the Monterey Bay Aquarium, takes us on the 17-mile drive and culminates at Carmel Beach for a gorgeous sunset. The trip covers some must-see spots, perfectly fills up 1 day and doesn't leave us too tired at the end of it. We made half of that trip today as we took some relatives to the aquarium and the 17-mile drive.
The aquarium's a fun place and has a great collection of sea life. Its been a while since I've been there and there were quite a few new additions, both in the displays and in the building itself. Kavya as always had the most fun, stopping at every display, touching and feeling starfish and playing in the play areas.
To me, the 17-mile drive is more an example of how anything, through successful marketing, can be transformed into a tourist attraction. Cars are usually packed bumper-to-bumper on the drive and the 21 vista points are all packed during weekends and holidays. But few of the stops are actually worth the trouble. The rest are more marketing triumphs than anything else. A single tree growing on a rock is called the Lone Cypress, a place with a lot of waves is called the Restless Sea and worse of all, an old, dried tree by the roadside is called the Ghost Tree!
But the hype's obviously worked and the 17-mile drive is usually on the itinerary of every visitor to the Bay Area (which is one reason why I've been on it more than a dozen times!). Thankfully, unlike the last couple of days, today was a gorgeous day that was perfect for the coastal drive. So we got some great views of the sparkling blue sea.
Some photos from the trip can be seen here...