Welcome to my tour of the Monterey Bay Area.... I think you'll find
a lot of useful and/or entertaining links. Most of the links leave the
PajaroValley.com and/or rocknrod.com sites, but should open in a new
browser window so you can always return to continue your tour. Hope
you enjoy it...
Dennis... aka 'Shutterbug' also known as the webmaster of 'Rock 'N Rod Nites'
'PajaroValley.Com' and the '911 Fire Police Medical Web'
You have arrived in Watsonville, California...
We are located on the Central California Coast on the beautiful Monterey
Bay (now a National Marine Sanctuary) in Watsonville,
Calif. which is located in the southern portion of Santa
Cruz County. For our wine tasting tour friends,
Cruz County Wineries Map, yes, SCC is becoming quite a winery
area as you will see.. Monterey County is also known for it's
wineries as well, and a good place to start is on Cannery Row at A
Taste of Monterey For area visitor information? The SCC
Conference & Visitors Council offers a wealth of
information for the visitor regarding all of Santa Cruz County. If you still need more area
information, try Cruzio and if you would like even more,
stop in at Infopoint your Santa Cruz County Info. source, and if
that's not enough, try SantaCruz2000.com.
Our tour actually starts in Santa Cruz to
You could use alternate transportation to arrive in Santa Cruz.
The Santa Cruz Metropolitan
Transit District offers an extensive system of bus routes
through out Santa Cruz County. The Monterey-Salinas
Transit system, does the same thing in Monterey County. The
nice thing is, the 2 Transit systems connect at the Watsonville
Metro Center, so a trip around the bay really is possible. But we
will whisk you to Santa Cruz by cyber express there by saving you
A quick note before we
board for the tour...
Our tour today will be following Highway #1 around the Bay, we
will briefly leave it for a few quick side trips, but will return
to it to travel on....
Highway #1 (the Coast Route) (CalTrans
Current Road conditions (enter a 1 in the search box on the site)),
is a major highway all along the California Coast and offers some
beautiful site seeing, but it is not for those who like to drive
fast. It passes through Santa Cruz, past Capitola and Watsonville,
around the bay through Moss Landing, past Marina, Sand City,
Seaside into Monterey, Carmel, and on down to Big Sur and onward
to Southern California.
Your tour is now boarding in Santa Cruz, California...
Please sit back, get comfortable and enjoy
NMow Departing for a tour of the Monterey bay Area... leaving
The North Coast.......
California, 74 miles south of San
Francisco on Hwy #1, is to the north around the bay. Grab a copy
of the Santa Cruz County Sentinel
for the latest news around area, They also have a site online
called Your Town Monterey Bay, a
community directory and calendar of events. You wonder about the
educational opportunities that the Santa Cruz area has to offer,
well for one it is home to the University of California, Santa Cruz
Campus (Unfortunately the UCSC Slug Video treat that many
have visited is no longer operational. Hopefully they will once
again make the cameras operational. If they do we will add them
back here.) So you want to go the beach? Well, use the
Shoreline Surf Shop
Santa Cruz Beach Finder Guide to locate one that fits your needs, but
right now we are headed to the Santa Cruz City Beach. Here you
will find a special treat, for it is home to the admission-free Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
amusement park. There are 2 important rides at the Boardwalk that
you need to learn about. First of all the historic Giant
Dipper Wooden Roller Coaster built back in 1924. The other is
the historic 1911
Looff Carousel, both of the rides were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987 by the
U.S. Park Service, please take a few moments look at both of them
still operating to this day. The next stop will give you a little
of the How, What and Why that it takes to make the Boardwalk work,
it's called: Under the
Boardwalk. While were at the beach, that Wharf jutting out
into the Bay is the Santa
Cruz Municipal Wharf, home of many fine seafood restaurants like Stagnaro Bros. Seafood Inc
Restaurant which also has a Seafood market. This is also the
place to start your Deep Sea fishing excursions. The SC Municipal
Wharf is home to the
Cam which will give you a shot of Steamers Lane. The coast along the bay has a number of very popular surfing
locations. Surfing goes back 100 years in Santa Cruz, and the
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
traces this history in a historic lighthouse. Add 1000 words to the
tally, maybe a few extra words, as we visit the
Santa Cruz Live Video feed of Steamers Lane, the best Santa
Cruz surfing spot, but its for advanced Surfers and they come from
around the world to try it. Stop by Surfn' Santa Cruz
for even more Surfing News and Info.. Note the Lighthouse in the pictures
on Lighthouse Point, it is the Surfing Museum's home, the area is
Lighthouse Field State Beach.
We now get another 1000 words... Cruzio offers the
Cam, a shot of the Santa Cruz Metro Station across the street
from their office. Visiting Santa Cruz would not be complete
without a stop deep in the Redwood Forests where you will find
things like The Mystery Spot where very strange things happen.
Traveling further into the redwoods, we enter the Henry
Cowell Redwoods State Park and not far away we stumble on the Roaring
Camp & Big Tress Narrow Gauge Railroad, America's last steam-powered
passenger railroad with year-round passenger train service. Traveling
even deeper into the Redwood forests we find Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California's oldest State Park,
established in 1902. It is Home to the largest continuous stand of Ancient Coast Redwoods
south of San Francisco.
Returning now back along Hwy #1 southbound, a must stop is quaint Capitola
Village (City), which is a small beach resort area. Yes, that
is the Capitola
Municipal Wharf you see, along with the beautiful Capitola
City Beach. As we
leave Capitola, on your left, nestled in the foothills, you are
looking at Cabrillo
Community College, offering quite a list of academic programs.
Quick, look out the right side, that's New Brighton State
Beach and we are now approaching Seacliff
State Beach which is home of the Cement
Ship 'Palo Alto' that lies beached at the end of the pier,
broken in 2, and as Paul Harvey likes to say "And now you
know the rest of the story" if you visit the link.. We
are also passing at the same time, by theCommunity of Aptos
on the left side and Rio Del Mar on the right. The Aptos
Chamber of Commerce represents Aptos since it is not yet an
official city, but maybe coming in the near future. Aptos Village
park is home of the Santa
Cruz Blues Festival over Memorial Day weekend and the Fat Fry event
sponsored by KPIG radio which you will learn about further on
during the tour. Up ahead, that off ramp takes you to Manresa
State Beach which is on the right.
The Pajaro Valley...
As we travel further south, we move slightly inland from the
beaches, and ahead of us lays the beautiful jewel on the Central
California Coast called the Pajaro Valley, an agricultural rich
area and home of Watsonville.
The Pajaro Valley is well represented by the Pajaro
Valley Chamber of Commerce. You can keep up to date buy
reading or better still subscribing to the Register-Pajaronian,
the news leader of the Pajaro Valley. If you enjoy
Antique Aircraft, then fly into Watsonville Municipal Airport
which is also home
of the Watsonville Antique
Airplane Fly-in held Memorial Day Weekend annually for the past 35 years. Watsonville has a Speedway as well for
race car fans, Watsonville Speedway at the Santa Cruz
County Fairgrounds just outside of town on Hwy
#152 (enter 152 in the search box on the site)). Car fans
will also enjoy the monthly Graffiti Nite car show here called Rock 'N Rod Nites which I am also a
webmaster and a
committee member of, held at Watsonville Square Shopping Center in Watsonville. The
city has an excellent Public
Library which is considering building a new facility since it
has outgrown the existing structure. A relatively new
organization, Action Pajaro Valley
who's purpose is to facilitate an on-going collaborative process for planning and creating a positive future for
all residents of the Pajaro Valley. The performing
arts in the Watsonville area is not forgotten, the state of the art Henry
J. Mello Center
The Performing Arts facility is home to many productions these
days. The Pajaro river is the Southern City
Limits and also is the County line, where Monterey
County begins. For additional Watsonville information, make Watsonville.Com
your guide to Watsonville. Check the current
weather on the Watsonville City server. Several miles from town on
Beach road sits Sunset
and Palm State Beaches. To the left over there, that is the
community called Pajaro Dunes. Condo Rentals are available for
those inclined to stay at the beach, some of them are as follows: Best of Pajaro at Pajaro Dunes,
Beach front vacation rentals on beautiful Monterey Bay.
Another is Pajaro Dunes on Monterey Bay,
offerng vacation rentals, conference and seminar facilities and planning, and real estate sales in a unique setting on the shores of Monterey Bay.
To the north of Watsonville a few miles, is a community where the
redwood forests begin.
Corralitos Online is
information source for and about Corralitos.
Leaving Watsonville, we travel continue south through Moss
Landing, the harbors on each end of bridge to the right belong to
landing Harbor District. As you cross the bridge,
looking to your left, you see the start of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
one of 24 National Estuarine Research Reserves established nationwide.
The first huge plant on the left after getting across the bridge,
is what use to be the Pacific Gas
& Electric Company Moss Landing Power Plant. (Visit Peter L. Belew's
web site for photos of the power plant and many of the beaches
and forests around the Monterey bay Area.) The California
Public Utilies Commission made PG&E divest of a
number of plants, this was one, Duke
Energy Corporation is now the new owner. The Moss Landing Chamber of Commerce
does an excellent job of promoting the local area. Moss Landing is
also home of the non-profit Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
(MBARI), which was established in 1987 by David Packard (1912-1996).
The harbor is home to the MBARI and the Point Sur research
vessels. Moss Landing is also home of the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
(MLML) which are a marine research and teaching facilities which serve a consortium of seven California State Universities in Northern California.
Moss Landing has a beach front community also called Monterey
Dunes, 120 privately owned rentals.
On the inland side of the Elkhorn Slough is another community
called Prunedale. The Prunedale
Chamber of commerce provides info. Prunedale offers a rural lifestyle envied by many. Country, friendly, and convenient.
Oak and eucalyptus forests abound..
Returning to and now leaving Moss Landing, we skirt a small
community on the left side, it maybe small, but chances are good
if you eat Artichokes they were grown around Castroville
'Artichoke Capital of the World' Marilyn Monroe was the very
first Artichoke Queen way back when the Artichoke
festival first began, and is now honored in a restaurant in
The Salinas Valley...
We have neglected to tell you about Salinas... Its a few miles
inland off of Hwy #1. Salinas are information can be found at the Salinas
Chamber of Commerce Salinas is well known for one of it's most
important events of the year. The
California Rodeo Salinas and it's Big Week lineup of festivities.
Salinas is also hometown to the National Steinbeck Center
as was John Steinbeck in his day. Whether you are a visitor or a resident,
Salinas has so much to offer! Oldtown helps the
Salinas Street Rodders put on the Annual Car Show called Nostalgia Run to Oldtown
in Sept. Visit our Rock 'N Rod
Nites site, and use the West Coast Shows button on the menu to
learn more about the Street Rodders Car Show.
The Monterey peninsula...
Now back to Hwy #1 we pass the City
of Marina which is the Gateway to the Monterey Peninsula. The
Marina Chamber states, "Marina.... is a great place to
start". The huge 'closed' Fort Ord Army Base (see
Fort Ord Remembered) also (see
United States Environmental Clean-up, Fort Ord) is on
your left as you hit the Marina city limits. Now closed as a
military base, (see the Fort Ord Reuse Authority
(FORA), its fast becoming an education facility. The California State University, Monterey Bay
is one of the resident educational facilities in place now.
Continuing on, we pass the cities of Sand
City and Seaside,
then into Monterey.
GoMonterey has the information needed, from dining to relaxing
on the beach. Additional information can be found at the Monterey
Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Monterey.com is home of the Monterey Peninsula Visitors & Convention Bureau
and offers their online guide. Monterey is home of the National
Weather Service Office serving (San Francisco and Monterey Bay
Areas). We must make a stop at world famous Monterey
Bay Aquarium located on Cannery Row in
Monterey which was made famous by John
Steinbeck. Monterey is full of places to go, things to do, and
has a multitude of shops for shopping. One really different way to
do all of this is to stop by Monterey
Rent a Roadster. A totally unique opportunity to take a giant, nostalgic step back in time and tour the beautiful Monterey/Carmel coastline while driving a classic of the past - an open-air Model A roadster!
If you are an avid auto racing Fan, Monterey you the
opportunity to enjoy the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna
Seca Raceway. This Indy car event is quite spectacular, but
other major events also take place at the facility during the year
like the relatively new fast growing Cherry's
Jubilee Car Show.
Guide Carmel describes Carmel to a Tee. Carmel-by-the-Sea
offers shopping, golfing, dining, sightseeing, and a chance to see
celebrities. Carmel site seeing means a stop at Point Lobos State Reserve
"the greatest meeting of land and water in the world" and I for
one have to agree with that.
The Emergency Services
around the Bay...
When it comes to the Emergency services, we have some of best of the
best here. Watsonville is protected by the City of Watsonville Fire Department
(Shameless plug I am webmaster). The City of Watsonville Police
Department has a program called: Watsonville Community Volunteer Posse is to encourage and preserve peace and prosperity in Watsonville through volunteer service, assisting the Watsonville Police Department when and where needed. Since we are discussing the
Emergency services, I guess some of you would be interested to know
that the 9-1-1 service here in Santa Cruz County is provided by the Santa Cruz Consolidated Emergency
Communications Center. When you head across the bridge into the
community of Pajaro you also moved into Monterey County, and 9-1-1
there is provided by 2 Monterey
County Communications Centers, one in Salinas and the other in
Monterey. All vehicle accidents in the Monterey Bay Area, as well as
cellular 9-1-1 calls are routed to the California Highway Patrol
Dispatch Center in Salinas To find out the current FIRE danger here in the
Monterey Bay area, or anywhere in the US for that matter, visit the USDA Forest Service, Wildland Fire Assessment System
Daily Fire Danger Map. Of course most of you know we live in
Earthquake country here, and the Pajaro Valley was home of the 1989
Loma Prieta Earthquake, so stop in at the USGS Computer Generated
Earthquake Reports to see the latest Central
The media of the Bay
As for Radio and Television stations in the area,
we have a number of them, and yes, they are web literate already. If
your a Metallica, Pearl Jamb etc. fan, then head to Solid Rock 92.3
KSJO from San Jose. When in an Oldies mood, it can only be
105.1 KOCN for the best in 50's 60's and early 70's.
CD93 or KCDU is one of the top five most-listened-to radio stations - via the web
- in the ENTIRE WORLD!!! So be sure to stop by and listen to Sini Man
for instance and find out for your self. Soft Rock for the Monterey
Bay, is provided by KWAV 97FM where
you can listen to the Delilah
Show at 7:00pm. If your among the younger set the
station in the bay area to listen to is KDON 102.5 from
Salinas, CA. Now, here's a treat for everyone, you want a station with a
difference? Then a must on any radio tour is Freedom's only Radio Station at this time,
jump into the KPIG Cybersty at 107 OINK 5
where you can even listen over the Inet. Remember, a format-defying blend of adult rock, acoustic music, blues, progressive country,
Hawaiian, Cajun, bluegrass, and folk. It ain't like no other
station, it just don't get much different then this.
For those who wanted to know, KPIG radiates a mighty 2,850 watts from a little knoll (bare, not grassy) 2
miles directly east of the Moss Landing power plant in scenic
Prunetucky-by-the-Slough. (I love that, I had to share
that piece of info).
I know, I said there was a number of television stations as well, it's their turn now.
First off, the oldie in the Bay must be Channel
8 KSBW (NBC affiliate) out of Salinas. The next station in the Bay
Area is News Channel 46 KION (CBS
affiliate) also out of Salinas. The 3rd station in the Bay Area
is KCBA 35 (FOX Affiliate).
Well, I hope you enjoyed this brief hop around the Monterey Bay Area, which I
Click any of the following
graphics for current forecast.
SF / Monterey Bay Areas NexRad Radar
Click the graphic to see the current image
Radar for the Bay Area,
by the Weather Channel.
graphic for current image.