Friday, June 15, 2018

Travel Guide: Monterey With A Baby

 

One of the first trips that Bryan & I took together while we were dating was a weekend getaway to Monterey. It's a short two hours from the Bay Area, so it's a great spot to adventure for the weekend and the perfect spot to visit if you want to get your coastal vibes fix.
We visit now about once or twice a year and it's still to this day one of our favorite getaway spots. 

For the past 5 years, we've only had to worry about the two of us on this trip, so we knew that adding little Eloise into the mix was going to change a few things (goodbye late night bar hopping!)

I already have a great travel guide on Monterey & Carmel that you can read here so I thought that this time around, I would share how it was a little different with a baby. 



Per usual, before we checked into our hotel, we stopped for lunch at one of our go-to spots, Cannery Row Brewing Company. This spot is great for a baby as it's huge inside, loud & noisy so you don't have to worry about a crying little one, and their beer menu is awesome. If you plan on going here, make SURE you get the pretzel to start. We get it every time because it's bigger than our face and taste delicious!

After lunch, we walked Cannery Row, people watched and walked out to the water to watch the seals & otters. If you have never been to Monterey before, Cannery Row is the most touristy spot in the area. It's definitely fun to walk and explore, but usually we don't spend much time there.


After that, we headed to our hotel to check in. We've stayed at multiple different places in Monterey but our absolute favorite place to stay is the Portola Hotel & Spa. This was our first time staying there with a baby and I can't say enough great things. It's in the perfect location, the rooms are big and comfortable and everyone who works there is so nice and helpful.
This hotel is located more downtown which is away from Cannery Row, so you are not near all the touristy spots...highly recommend!
Did I mention that when you check in they give you a warm chocolate chip cookie?!
YES please!



After we had checked in and dropped our bags in our room, we headed out to drive down by the water. It's always a gorgeous drive and unlike before, we wanted to set up a little picnic by the water and just hang out for a little bit. We bought this little pop up tent before our trip so that we would be able to keep Eloise in the shade while we had a picnic and we loved it! It was lightweight, pops right open when you take it out of the cover and is pretty easy to set up.
It was so nice to just relax by the water and play with our girl!



After about an hour, we decided to head back to our hotel as it was about Eloise's nap time. She does pretty well napping in her stroller so we dropped the car at the hotel and then walked Old Fisherman's Wharf. The wharf is right next to the hotel, a quick easy 5 minute walk, and is full of restaurants, shops and more gorgeous views of the water. It's pretty touristy on the wharf but if you walk all the way down, you will find a hidden gem of a coffee shop.




Water and Leaves is one of our favorite coffee and tea shops in Monterey. It has a back little patio where you can sit out and watch the boats while enjoying breakfast, a snack or a cup of coffee. What we didn't know was that they serve wine & beer as well. We took full advantage of Eloise napping, grabbed two glasses of prosecco and sat out by the water for a little bit.
If you are headed to Monterey, make sure you stop in at Water and Leaves....it's amazing!


One thing that was a little different about traveling with a baby was dinner plans. Usually we would have a great reservation at Cibo or 1833 (sadly closed!) but this time around, we knew we were going to have to play dinner by ear. We definitely didn't want to bring a tired or fussy baby into a nicer restaurant because honestly, that's not fun for anyone!
One of the best parts about our hotel was that there is a restaurant downstairs called Jacks. It overflows into the lobby (which is super open and airy) which is PERFECT if you have a baby in a stroller. Eloise fell asleep and we were actually able to enjoy a really nice dinner and a bottle of wine without the worry that if she woke up, we would have to leave.
The food was SO GOOD and we honestly felt like we were on a fancy date night. (I got the turkey pot pie....HEAVEN...and Bryan got the eggplant parmesan which was also so amazing).
We both decided that we would eat at Jacks again EVEN if we didn't have Eloise to worry about.
So dang good.


As far as travel gear goes for the baby, we have loved traveling with our Uppa Baby Cruz stroller and mesa car seat. The stroller is lightweight, smaller and easy to maneuver with one hand (this is key!)
We also travel with our  Dockatot so that she feels like she's sleeping at home, which is great so that we can all get a good nights rest!
I also can't say enough good things about Fawn Designs diaper bag as it fits a lot of stuff and is great to throw on your back leaving you hands free!

The next morning we headed right outside our hotel & grabbed coffee & some amazing crepes at Crepes of Brittany. So delicious and only a couple feet away from the hotel.


Overall, we had a fantastic getaway to Monterey. Though it was a little different than our previous trips, it's still so amazing to be able to travel with Eloise and take her to our favorite spots. We might have a few more bags and sometimes things take a little bit longer with a babe, but it's SO worth it.

If you are headed to Monterey, make sure you save or pin this post and then let me know what you did/saw/ate on your trip! I love learning from other people's experiences as well!

Happy Friday friends!

P.S. All outfit details can be found via this post here.


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