Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Monterey Trip



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...

11 Comments:

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous deepa said...

beautiful pics balaji :)

not only giving intriguing names for marketing purposes, they also have a whole store full of merchandise with the lone cypress emblem! gotto agree that it makes for nice pictures though...

 
At 11:47 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

deepa, thanx! i don't think i've ever stopped at a gift store on the 17-mile drive. but not at all surprised by the lone cypress merchandise!

 
At 3:20 AM, Blogger sakhi said...

hey nice pics...as i can see from ur posts ...u r crazy of films n so just note down n maintain a reocrd of these places...u may need those when u r doing
a film or something like that...:)

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger mitr_bayarea said...

Balaji-

Great pictures. We've always made a Mystery Spot cum Santa Cruz beach/boardwalk as an afternoon outing and haven't combined Monterey and 17 mile drive.

As for me, my first and only time doing the 17 mile drive was on a rainy day in December 2003 when we had cousins who had visited us and they definitely wanted to go to Monteray in the crazy weather.

 
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At 3:44 PM, Blogger Loga said...

Nice photos...Looks very professional

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Shankari said...

cool pics. Looks like you went on a very good day to Monterey. The houses in Los Gatos, Saratoga & los Altos look a lot better then the ones on 17 miles drive with the exception of a few...my thots

 
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At 2:02 PM, Blogger BDash said...

Balaji, that link for the fotos is no more wrking....
I couldn't see the fotos that are getting so many kudos from so many admirers..

 
At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pics. I wish my picture of the Lone Cypress was as nice as yours. (Yes, I have a picture. I was 2 when I took that picture.)

 
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