Moss Landing, Monterey
About half way between Monterey and Santa Cruz, the Salinas River creates a wetland that has research facilities, a fishing village, and a couple of great fish restaurants. See my Moss Landing Pages for more details, but basically, the better seafood is to be purchased here. Monterey restaurants depend upon Moss Landing Fisherman for the local catch. There's not a lot more to do here but purchase fish, either at the restaurants or fish market, but along the way are the farms and produce shacks that sell fresh artichokes of all sizes, strawberries, asparagus, nuts, and a zillion other fresh vegies. Then, I recommend continuing on to Santa Cruz for some beach action. Or, if coming from Hwy 101, go north from the Hwy 156/Hwy 1 junction, before turning south again for Monterey. The twin stacks of the Moss Landing Power Plant are a good road marker. Moss Landing is on the center of the crescent bay that spans between Santa Cruz and Monterey. See my pages for Moss Landing, Santa Cruz, and Castroville for more details.