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Published: March 9th 2018
The Lone Cypress
This is supposedly one of the most photographed trees in the world...I don't know about that, but it an iconic scene along 17-Mile Drive.
Monterey sits on one of the most beautiful stretches along the California coast and started as the capital under Spanish, Mexican, and US Military rule. It was named Monterey Bay by the Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602 and fortified by Spain in 1768, beginning the military's major role in the city's history. The US first mistakenly raised its flag over Monterey in 1842, when a US warship under Admiral Jones thought war had been declared with Mexico and took control of the Presidio for a day. Once the accident was realized, the US apologized and the ship sailed away. We officially raised the US Flag over Monterey in 1846 after U.S. Congress declared war following a Mexican skirmish with U.S. troops in Texas. To establish our permanent presence, in 1847 the US started construction of the Fort of several names (named after various Admirals/Generals) Forts Mervine, Stockton, Halleck, Savannah, before eventually settling on Fort Ord, which became the largest military installation on the West Coast. The fort occupied an area roughly the size of San Francisco and contained some prime beach-front real estate. The 1990s real estate market drove the cost of living and property values too high for the
military and led to Congress' recommending the base for closure in 1991. Today many of Fort Ord's buildings still lie abandoned and covered in graffiti, but the massive sand dunes along CA 1 were transferred to the California State Parks for everyone to enjoy.
Monterey is now the most popular tourist destination on CA's central coast, in part due to John Steinbeck's Cannery Row novel about a cast of characters on Ocean View Ave; later renamed Cannery Row to take advantage of the best selling book and movie. The street of long-closed sardine canneries hosts a tourist oriented row of upscale restaurants, shops, and a world class aquarium (with world-class cost of entry $50). We passed on the $100.
In addition to incredible vistas, the area hosts 20 golf courses (to include Pebble Beach) and the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. For $10.25 you can enter an exclusive neighborhood's private 17 Mile Drive to enjoy Big Sur's rocky coast, watch seals/otters, or take photographs of world-famous points of interest of like Lone Cypress and Pebble Beach.
It's easy to see why the Spanish chose Monterey to establish their first Presidio in California. Tomorrow we travel from this iconic
Dunes in Fort Ord State Park
Just a few miles away from the Big Sur rocky scenery lies these massive sand dunes.
coastal town to one of the nation's most iconic National Parks, Yosemite.
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