Dates: Nov 24 – 27, 2011
This is the final installment in the mini-series about our Thanksgiving trip to Monterey Bay area. On the last day, the plan was to explore San Juan De Bautista and also the immediate surroundings of our campground on Sunset State Beach.
Manresa State Beach
The day started with a breakfast on Manresa State Beach (we couldn’t do it on Sunset State Beach because of their dog rules). We got there early, so we were virtually the only people on the beach. We stayed on the beach for a while, enjoying a breakfast of hot coffee and croissants, watching some birds wading in the ocean surf, and building a sand castle. It was dreamy.
We had driven past Moss Landing on one of the previous days, and noted its appealing harbor. We decided to stop by this town and see it closer. Driving around the streets, we found this splendid house:
The rest of the town wasn’t thematically decorated to the same extent, but everything clearly had a connection to the ocean. Most of the businesses were either seafood restaurants, whale-watching tour establishments, or ship-repair shops. Most of them were closed – I am guessing that the tourists are too afraid to go out into the ocean this time of year. We spent a little more time watching the boats in the harbor and dreaming of one day owning a sailboat of our own.
San Juan de Bautista
Finally, we left the Pacific Coast and headed into the mountains. Our destination was San Juan de Bautista, a small town known for it’s historic center. First off, we visited Mission San Juan Bautista. There was a service going on, so we decided not to disturb anybody and enjoy the building from the outside.
Right next to the Mission church, we found several historic buildings from the era of late 1800s (part of San Juan Bautista State Historic Park). There was a governor’s house with artifacts from governor’s daily life inside, a carriage house, a prison, and a hotel with restored guestrooms and a saloon. The hotel had a nice garden with giant cactus plants, and also a two-storey outhouse with a view.
We spent a bit more time exploring the rest of the town. The main street had a cool old western feel to it; several establishments were called “Saloon” instead of “Bar”.
Well, that was the end of the trip. Where to next?