I’m feeling very, very fortunate these days. After nearly ten years of working as a part of PR and marketing agency teams, I just accepted an in-house position for an awesome home remodeling and design platform.
In the past, I’ve started a new position immediately after the last position ended. This time, I decided to take a week in between to recharge and reflect, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Beyond binge-watching House of Cards and color-coordinating my closet, I also escaped for a 24-hour solo getaway to Monterey, a charming seaside town ninety minutes south of my apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Check out my video diary of the trip, as well as a list of the activities/places/products featured, below!
InterContinental The Clement Monterey. Definitely recommend staying at this hotel -- located right in the heart of Cannery Row, with comfortable rooms (some featuring great views!), a friendly staff, and a pretty awesome restaurant (see more in the “Dine” section).
Sly McFly’s Lunch and Dinner House. I had an extremely specific craving for clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl when I arrived in Monterey. This was the second restaurant I walked by after parking, and when I spotted the dish on the menu, I was sold. It got the job done, but I wouldn’t seek the restaurant out specifically next time -- the chowder was just okay, not quite as hearty as I’d like, but it’s a conveniently located spot for pub-style fare.
The C Restaurant and Bar. I typically don’t make a point of dining at the hotel restaurant, but when they’re as great as the C Restaurant and Bar, I’ll make an exception. The restaurant features terrific views of Monterey Bay, and a delicious menu. Don’t plan to skip on the carbs -- you’ll want to enjoy the goat cheese and olive oil-whipped butter served with warm bread. While they specialize in seafood, I opted for the applewood-smoked duck breast, and it was heavenly.
Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is an absolute must -- truly magical no matter your age. The video barely does it justice, but gives you a glimpse at how incredible this place is. Worth the $40 price of adult admission.
The Spa at InterContinental The Clement Monterey. I had a lovely river stone massage during my stay in Monterey at the spa at the InterContinental. The spa is smaller and more intimate than many resort spas. This provided a nice, quiet, relaxing environment, and I didn’t see a single other guest during my stay. The one drawback is that there isn’t a traditional changing area as in larger spas -- there are small lockers where you can stow your belongings, as well as change into your robe and slippers, but there are no showers or primping stations. This is actually fine if you’re staying in the hotel, as I was … they let you wear your robe and slippers back to your room to shower and change, and you can leave them there.
Garrapata State Park. There are lots of awesome hiking options near Monterey/Big Sur of various durations and difficulty levels. I decided to try Garrapata State Park this time around, just a 20 minute drive from the hotel. I took the Soberanes Canyon trail, which is about 1.7 out to the turnaround point, at which point you can either opt to continue on a much more strenuous path, or head on back. I opted to do the latter. I found this site to provide the most helpful details about this particular hike.
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask With Red Clay, $30 at Sephora. I really enjoyed this mask -- it definitely feels as though it gives your skin a deep clean, but doesn’t feel overly harsh or drying. This is a 20-minute mask, so you do need to give it a bit of extra time to do its thing, which actually makes it perfect for a longer pampering session.
Lush Bubble Bar in A French Kiss, $9 at Lush.com. The British YouTubers and bloggers I follow are major fans of Lush -- likely because they also all seem to have large, luxurious bath tubs at home. Taking a relaxing bubble bath is one of my favorite things to do when I’m staying in a hotel, and from now on, I’m going to make sure I have a Lush bath bomb or bubble bar to make it extra special. The French Kiss bubble bar provided the loveliest, subtle lavender scent, and essential oils that made my skin feel super silky.