The famous lyrics “Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside” are oh so relevant to this beautiful Monterey Bay city that looks across the bay at its neighboring Monterey. Seaside is a coastal escape just off the more traveled areas that surround it, while still being only minutes from what makes the area a low-key, world-class destination.
An easy two hour drive from San Francisco, you can run the fast lane down US 101 S and follow it to CA-156 W in Prunedale. It's a more inland drive and curls around to exit 336, where you can merge onto CA-156 W. Follow CA-1 S to Fremont Blvd in Seaside.
For the more scenic, if slightly slower, route, drive the rim of the coast on CA-1 S all the way to Seaside. You can pit stop for a bite to eat or to grab some waves in Santa Cruz along the way.
Sand Castle Inn shows its more old-school motel charm on the outside, while providing the modern touches and comforts you'd expect when snuggled up in your room for the night. It's a great budget option that, while being off the sea, still gives you amazing proximity to the area. Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey Bay Aquarium, 17-Mile Drive, world-class golf courses, Cannery Row ... and so much more is within a few miles of the Sand Castle Inn.
Monterey Tides is beach-side, and while it's address is in Monterey, it hugs right up against your Seaside location, and it gives you the water's edge. Watch, listen and taste the salty waves from your room. Look across the bend of the bay to see the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, less than four miles away, with the galleries, restaurants and shops of downtown and Cannery Row between.
Embassy Suites Monterey Bay - Seaside stands tall in its architecture and its amenities. The hotel offers all the comforts of home and more, with seaside views, an on-site restaurant, made-to-order breakfasts, an indoor swimming pool and only a six-minute walk to the beach.
La Tortuga is a go-to for Mexican fare. Grab tortas for a day at the beach or dine in for breakfast burritos to kick off a day of sightseeing. The prices are right and La Tortuga is known for its friendly atmosphere.
The Breakfast Club, contrary to its name, slings tasty meals and bang-for-your-buck all day long. Portions are known to be more than enough at prices you can swallow. It's classic American style eats with notably friendly service.
The Sardine Factory on Cannery Row in Monterey, as you might guess, is a fantastic spot for seafood and American tastes. The atmosphere is comfortable, the menu impeccable, and the wine list is dressed to impress. The Sardine Factory has a noteworthy wine cellar, and the owners have been known to give tours of it.
At the end of Cannery Row, you will find the Monterey Bay Aquarium which is a huge hit for marine biologists, locals and tourists alike. With more than 600 marine species held on the site of the former sardine cannery, the aquarium attracts many of visitors each year. It has been home to great white sharks and is also one of the few aquariums to exhibit both yellowfin and bluefin tuna.
Seventeen-Mile Drive is one of the most luxurious and scenic drives anywhere, with world-class golf clubs sprawling on both sides of the road. Enviable homes perched just above the sea line the driive, as well, with unobstructed views of the rocky shoreline and ocean that makes it a many-million dollar stretch of coast.
There is no higher rush in Monterey Bay than jumping from a perfectly solid airplane at 16,000 feet above the farmland and coast. Never plunged into the big blue yonder before? No worries. Take the tandem leap with a more than qualified instructor. Get a video and photos to save the memories.
Fort Ord holds a special place in military history, and though it closed that chapter many years ago, the dunes and waves that kept the fort and its soldiers fresh and happy still roll on. Hike over the dunes and you get a view and experience with the beach and water that is secluded from the life that passes nearby.
In the Monterey Bay area, you're in the heart of world-class golf links, places of legend and lore. Nearby Pebble Beach gets a lot of the love (well deserved, of course), but the Bayonet Black Horse Golf Club welcomes you with coastal breezes and views you'll never forget.