Monterey Recreational Trail
REI Marina to Old Fisherman's Wharf
The itinerary is not set in stone! It's just a rough idea of the timeframe involved. We can always change things on the fly if we're tired or want to play more :)
|Meet at REI parking lot in Marina
Unload bikes, pack up stuff
|Latest time to start biking, hopefully earlier
|12:00 - 12:15pm
|Arrive in Monterey
|12:15 - 1:45pm
|Eat lunch at Palucca Trattoria
|Bike to the beach at nearby Monterey Bay Park
Kids play sand, we relax
Whatever else you guys want to do (bring entertainment, etc)
|1:45pm - ?
|Play, hang out at park
|Latest time to start biking back to car
We will be meeting and parking in a parking lot at the REI in Marina. We will be biking from the parking lot on the streets a bit and then getting onto Beach Range Rd (it's a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian trail) while inside Fort Ord Dunes State park, and it eventually dead ends and connects to the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail.
Use the following address and link to navigate via Google Maps:145 General Stilwell Dr, Marina, CA 93933
Picture showing where in the parking lot to meet:
The biking route is @ 17 miles round trip, with some substantial hills. Kids will need to know how to shift gears, and how to handle braking and turning when going down the slopes. The trail runs along the coast and is a beautiful scenic ride.
Note the following route changes from previous rides (please check the biking route at the link below for the changes):
- Previously we biked from REI parking lot, on 2nd Avenue down a few blocks to make a right on Divarty before getting on the trail. Recent construction now means we can bike down 2nd Avenue to make a right on 9th street to get on the trail earlier. This is a nicer route with less biking on the streets.
- Previously we biked onto California Ave / Playa streets, but we can actually stay on the trail longer so we don't have to go down California / Playa. Instead of biking onto the street, make a sharp right at the corner back onto the trail.
- Previously we hung out after lunch at Monterey State Beach. However, this meant that one person had to stay up at the top near the trail to watch the bikes, while everyone us played down below at the beach. Instead, we are now hanging out at either Municipal Beach or Monterey Bay Park beach. We have to roll our bikes out onto the sand for a little way to get close to the beach, but everyone can hang out together in close vicinity of the beach.
Link to biking route on MapMyFitness, ending at Palucca Trattoria on Old Fisherman's Wharf:MapMyFitness Route: Monterey Recreational Trail from REI Marina to Old Fisherman's Wharf
Lunch in Monterey
There are a few options that we've tried for eating in Monterey. The important thing to note is that bike theft is a serious problem in this area. Locks are merely deterrents or delays, not prevention to bike theft. So, we tend to eat at places with outdoor seating where we can keep an eye on our bikes, or we have one person take turns as a lookout, or we just pack a picnic lunch.
This Italian restaurant has outdoor seating next to the pier walkway. Technically speaking, the restaurant staff told us we're not supposed to park our bikes on the walkway and that we'd have to move them if told to. So, we've been able to just park our bikes there, and no one has told us to move them yet.Paluca Trattoria Website
Use the following address and link to navigate via Google Maps:6 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940
Dust Bowl Brewing Tap Depot
This place used to be The Wharf Marketplace which had spacious outdoor seating and a tractor that the boys loved to play on, but that placed closed down :(
It is now Dust Bowl Brewing Tap Depot with locally crafted beers, an onsite food truck, and spacious outdoor seating area.
Use the following address and link to navigate via Google Maps:290 Figueroa St, Monterey, CA 93940
Hang Out Locations on the Beach
We've tried multiple locations for hanging out on the beach and finally settled on a couple places where we can enjoy the water and still easily watch our bikes.
This location is closest to the wharf, right off the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, next to public restrooms, and has trees for shade. However, it's usually very crowded and packed on the weekends. On a weekday, though, it's perfect.
Use the following coordinates and link to navigate via Google Maps:36°36'04.4"N 121°53'21.4"W
Picture showing where on the beach we'll be hanging out:
Monterey Bay Park
This location is usually not as crowded as the beach areas closer to the wharf, even on the weekends, but there's no shade. We take the last sand trail when biking from the wharf. It's a farther walk from the wharf if you're driving instead of biking. However, you can park at the wharf parking lot or other parking lots off side streets, and then you can walk a bit on the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail until you get to where we are.
Use the following coordinates and link to navigate via Google Maps:36°36'03.5"N 121°52'58.5"W
Picture showing where on the beach we'll be hanging out:
Dinner at Smash Burger (Optional)
Usually, by the time we bike back to the REI parking lot and finish loading up our gear and bikes, it's around 6:00-6:30pm. So, we drive across the street to Smash Burger to eat dinner before heading back, and traffic is less by that time. The kids love Smash Burger, and we love the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger and Haystack Onions. We've tried that same burger at other branches in San Jose and Saratoga, but they're not that good. It's utterly delicious at this particular location! Or, maybe after biking 17 miles our palates are less discriminating :pSmash Burger Website
130 General Stillwell Dr, Suite 108, Marina, CA 93933