Having spent more than 40 of my 50 years in California, I consider myself a true Cali- fornia girl. I never tire of its
beauty. We have raised all of our children
in The Golden State and have taken them
to visit many famous and historic sites.
But one of our favorite family destinations is a small stretch of California coast
between Carmel and Monterey.
There is much a family can see and do
here while enjoying the beautiful, breath-taking coastline.
On our recent trip (so refreshing to
have a flexible school schedule so we can
visit during off-season), we found something to please everyone in the family. For
the shoppers among us, there is the famous Cannery Row in Monterey, as well
as quaint shops in Carmel, and even more
along Fisherman’s Wharf. A free trolly is
available between shopping spots, or you
can rent bicycles, kayaks, and other land
and sea vehicles for a family adventure.
(See the sidebars for things to do, places
to visit, and even our family travel games.)
For those who wanted to get close to
and touch God’s creation, there are tide
pools all along this little stretch. There is
also the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium full of incredible creatures. For the
artists among us, we took in beautiful
artwork by local artisans.
For the foodies, we sampled lots of
clam chowders and held taste tests, we
indulged in the best seafood and sushi
around, sampled Ghirardelli chocolate,
and sampled several garlic-infused foods,
olives, oils, and vinegars.
For those of us looking for rest and
beauty, Pacific Grove lies between Carmel and Monterey and houses the Monarch Butterfly Reserve as well as family-style lodging in forested surroundings
just minutes from the Reserve, the beach,
and the Point Pinos Lighthouse.
The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural
History is a must-see for homeschool
families. Especially exciting is their special Science Saturdays with many hands-on exhibits, scavenger hunts, and projects for kids. Our kids made their own
paper from scratch and came home with
seed packets for growing plants that
attract butterflies. They have displays
of local wildlife, minerals, shells, and
marine life information. We especially
loved the butterfly displays as well as the
display showing sand samples from all
over the world.
ABOVE: Caleb, Hannah, and Mercy enjoying tide pool finds!
BELOW: Hope, Jacob, and Hannah observe hands-on science at the
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.
OPPOSITE: Colorful seashells abound on the shores of Monterey.