My parents and I recently took advantage of the unusually warm January weather and explored a new hike. Our search led us to Point Lobos State Reserve, located in Monterey County, three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1.
There are a number of trails to conquer and regardless of which one(s) you take, you're almost always guaranteed a spectacular view of the ocean. But the view isn't the only part of the hike worth mentioning. Sea lions are everywhere, whales can be seen in the distance, and many hermit crabs and other marine life lurk in the tide pools.
The trails include small wooden benches that face the ocean, perfect for a quick break, or even a picnic. China Beach was our favorite spot, located on the southernmost part of the hike, a small, somewhat hidden beach enclosed by thriving mountainsides.
Point Lobos is the perfect getaway on a sunny day and it's relatively close to Santa Clara University. Be sure to bring binoculars for whale watching and wear long pants to avoid the poison oak.
Downtown Monterey is only about five minutes away from Point Lobos, an ideal spot to watch the sunset and enjoy a nice dinner. If you're lucky enough to not have to drive, take a nap in the car on the way home and your day will be complete.