Monterey County is finally starting to open up again! Woo hoo!
With the restrictions being lifted, there are more opportunities to connect with your partner since the start of COVID.
Here are some of our favorite places in Monterey County for first responder couples to enjoy some quality time together!
- Refuge Spa in Carmel
- Go on an Ocean Adventure
- River Road Wine Trail
- Camping or a Picnic in Arroyo Seco
- Dinner and bagpipes at STICKS
- 17 Mile Drive with a Mixtape
- Play Eighteen With a View
- Come Sail Away
- The Rooftop Bar at Vesuvio's
1. Refuge Spa in Carmel
If you have been in Monterey County before COVID, you probably heard all about Refuge Spa.
It is this incredible outdoor spa where they focus on a thermal cycle to help you relax and rejuvenate. With hot pools, cold pools, and relaxing places to sit, your body will thank you.
You can also book a massage to make the experience even more incredible!
They do require reservations, so make sure you book one through the website before you go.
Refuge in Carmel is open every day of the week, from 10am to 7pm. So no matter what your shift schedule looks like, you can make this a relaxing and enjoyable date for you and your partner.
2. Go on an Ocean Adventure
Seriously, you have to think about doing an ocean adventure with your partner for a fun and exciting date!
Just picture it: no crowds, no people invading your personal bubble, not having to sit at the back of the restaurant. Just you, your partner, and some fresh ocean air while you watch the otters play together on the water.
If you don’t have a kayak or paddle board of your own, you can rent one from Adventures by the Sea. They have multiple locations along the Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Pebble Beach coastlines.
If you want to be all touristy, you can book a tour through their website. Or just rent the equipment and go on your own.
You can’t go wrong on this adventure!
3. River Road Wine Trail
Who doesn’t love a fancy wine tasting date?
I am originally from the Central Valley, so a day trip to Lodi and tasting at wineries was one of our favorite things to do before moving out to the coast.
But out here, we can do that, too!
If you are from south Monterey County, start in Salinas and work your way to Soledad to end the day. Or visa versa if you are from the Peninsula/North Monterey County.
4. Camping or a Picnic in Arroyo Seco
Out in Greenfield, Arroyo Seco is a great place to go camping for a date.
You can plan for ust the two of you or you can make it a group date. The campgrounds are inexpensive and you are surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the south county.
Don’t have the time or ability to make it a camping weekend? No problem!
Arroyo Seco has a great day use area where you can park and enjoy a picnic together. Grab a backpack or fill up a basket with some sandwiches, fresh fruit, a cheese plate, and your favorite sparkling drinks.
5. Dinner and Bagpipes at STICKS
This was one of my favorite date spots with my husband before quarantine.
At STICKS, they have a lovely space outside where you can sit around the firepits, enjoy some wine and food, and listen to the bagpipes played out on the Links at Spanish Bay right about sunset.
Great food, great drinks, and a great view.
Just remember to bring a jacket, it is Pebble Beach and you never know when the fog will be joining you on your date here.
6. 17 Mile Drive with a Mixtape
Remember back before the iPod? When you had to burn songs onto a disc? Or record them on a mixtape?
Do you remember the butterflies when you put together a CD or a tape with songs that reminded you of your crush? Oh my gosh, some of my favorite silly memories to reminisce about!
Well, let’s live those butterflies again!
Grab you iPhone or get on your Spotify and create a “mixtape” (aka playlist) for your spouse (think 10-12 songs). Have your partner make one, too!
Then go for an excursion down 17 Mile Drive, taking in the beautiful coastline! Roll down your windows and blast your tunes with the wind in your hair.
You can take turns one song at a time or play your full playlist in one drive, and your spouses on another drive.
Laugh together! Smile about the hidden meanings behind the songs you share together. Pretend you are teenagers again just infatuated with your partner!
You can even add in a little picnic somewhere along the coast or stop for dinner in Pebble Beach to enjoy more time together on your date.
7. Play Eighteen with a View
The Monterey Peninsula is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. Pebble Beach, Spyglass, Spanish Bay, Cypress, and Poppy Hills, just to name a few.
But there is one course that my husband enjoys playing, because of the view and the price.
The Pacific Grove Golf Links are affordable and enjoyable. The back nine have some of the best views of the Peninsula, and your 18 holes are less than $60 (yes, even on the weekends)!
Want to splurge a little more for a different course? Check out Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside. You can get sweeping views of the bay and it is a bit of an easier course.
Bring your clubs, grab a beer, and just enjoy some time in the sunshine together!
8. Come Sail Away
Sail Monterey offers Catamaran cruises leaving from Old Fisherman’s Wharf and sailing throughout the Monterey Bay and around the Peninsula.
They offer 75 minute cruises during the day, and 90 minute sunset cruises.
Due to COVID, they are not providing food or drinks, so you do have to bring your own. You can snag some yummy dishes to go from your favorite restaurant on the Wharf (I personally love Abalonetti’s).
9. The Rooftop Bar at Vesuvio's
Just a block away from the Carmel-By-The-Sea Fire Station is a delicious little Italian place called Vesuvio’s.
Not only do they have good wine and food, but they also have seating on the roof!
Sit together by the fire pit, order a few drinks, and enjoy the view or the stars.
Also, they have a pretty good happy hour menu, so you definitely have to check it out!
Now grab you partner and enjoy a date in Monterey County!
If you find that this exercise or these conversations brought up some stuff you are struggling with, either individually or in your relationship, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help. We are here to support you, and we understand that this can be a challenging issue to face.
Remember, it may be your battle, but you don't have to fight it alone.