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SeeMonterey PRO 6:38pm, 16 January 2009
About.com just named Point Lobos the best walk in the United States, in part because of its breathtaking views.

Do the views at Point Lobos make it the best place to take photos in Monterey County? Or is there somewhere that's even better?
mycranium1 Posted 10 years ago. Edited by mycranium1 (member) 10 years ago
I've spent more time shooting at Point Lobos than other recreation areas so I can't say for sure whether there's any place better. It's huge and has a lot of variety so if you can go to only one place to shoot, Point Lobos would definitely be high on the list.

Lovers Point in Pacific Grove is fantastic as is Julia Pfeiffer Burns Stat Park. Carmel by the Sea has all sorts of quaint structures plus Carmel Beach. Moss Landing can't be beat for otters. Old Town Salinas has some gorgeous old buildings. The problem is once you start thinking of places the camera loves the list gets long very quickly. There's something interesting to photograph pretty much anywhere you go in Monterey County.

I'm going to Point Sur today, I'll post some photos from there later on.
mycranium1 10 years ago
Point Sur was amazing. Unfortunately I didn't have a full battery, so I only took my longest lens in order to photograph distant whales. I wasn't able to frame a lot of the really great buildings and other elements there. I posted a handful of photos.

It's totally worth the trip. The walk to the top isn't bad and there are a few stops on the way up where the Docent will talk about various items of interest. If you forget your binoculars they have some at the top for public use.

If you go, get there early. Cars start lining up on the side of the road before they start letting people in, and they can accommodate only 40 cars. Carpooling would be a good idea as the limit is on the number of cars, not the number of people.
trinko PRO 9 years ago
I'd say the best place is between lovers point and carmel. the beaches have great waves, sea otters, birds,nice vistas.
I don't think there's a bad place in Big Sur fir taking photos, but Point Lobos is very nice. My last trip was a drive from Santa Cruz south to San Luis Obispo, well worth the time.
sjb4photos PRO Posted 7 years ago. Edited by sjb4photos (member) 7 years ago
Don't forget Julia Pfeiffer Burns state park and its famous waterfall. Just looked at the map and realized Monterey is a darn big county.
Darvin Atkeson 7 years ago
I'd have to agree that Point Lobos is one of the best walks in the US but I would say that for photography maybe not so much. Many of the tails don't allow for good lighting and some of the beaches just don't offer the interesting rocks (sea stacks) that work well in seascapes. The waves on the westward side are not well formed and those on the north side are at the bottom of the cliffs well below you. Whalers Cove is often flat but a favorite place for scuba divers and underwater photography.

If I had to pick some paces in Monterey I'd pick the following:
17 Mile Drive :
Lone Cypress Visitor - 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach - California

Lovers Point:
Rainbow at Lovers Point - Pacific Grove California

Carmel Highlands:
Carmel Highlands - Carmel California

and of course Big Sur though I really consider it an area of its own:
McWay Falls and Julia Pfeiffer State Beach California

Darv
tropicdiver PRO 7 years ago
I'm going to be in Monterey for one full day (Sunday afternoon and Monday morning) in less than 2 weeks. We visit the Aquarium, Monday morning, but are wondering the best spot to catch a sunset? Is Point Lobos the place to go?

I have been looking at all the great photos in this particular group and can only hope the skies will cooperate at sunset.
Faysal Akbik PRO 7 years ago
Get on highway 1, go to big sur (its really like a 15-20min drive) and you will see an amazing sunset. It is seriously the most beautiful place I've seen in the US, just stunning. Its where me and the wifey fell in love and honestly, its a place you should never miss out on going to if you are that close.
tropicdiver PRO 7 years ago
We are driving all the way up 1, until we have to detour because of the slide, and then make our way over to Monterey. We planned on heading back south as far as we could (to the road closure on the north side) and then work our way back to Monterey.

Of course, if that part is the best place to catch a sunset that Sunday evening, we do appreciate the tip!
tropicdiver PRO 7 years ago
I will say the photo above from Lover's Point looks like a rather sweet spot to set up for a sunset as well.
Darvin Atkeson 7 years ago
The Lone Cypress & Visitor - Pebble Beach, California

You may have to go where the sunset looks like it will happen. On this day I chased the clouds down to 17 Mile Drive and got a shot of the Lone Cypress. Sunsets are always about the clouds.

Darv
tropicdiver PRO 7 years ago
Thanks, Darv. Your photos (as well as others) have given me some ideas of, hopefully, what to expect. This is going to be such a hit and run for us the 9 days we are out in California. We will have to hope for the best and make the best of where we are, when the sun sets and rises.
DeeAshley PRO 7 years ago
Spindrift is, of coarse, one of the best drives along the coast, but it's more of a drive than an easily accessible area to get out for extended periods to take photos. I still love it, though!
My personal favorite is (only a few hundred yards south of the Rocky Point entrance), Palo Colorado!
About half-way up the road (turn east - away from the coast), where the redwoods begin to become less dense and the residences give way to state park land, there is a small, inconspicuous bridge with a decent-sized stream that runs year-round, providing excellent photography opportunities with relative isolation (I have yet to run into anyone else while shooting there). The rock formations, ferns, redwoods, and flora/fauna diversity in general is stunning - if you're willing to navigate some novice-moderate hiking up and around the river.
And, of coarse, the grand finale to a great day at the river, is driving the extra few miles up to Bottcher's Gap for a great panoramic vista of the mountains, occasional look above the fog banks, golden sunsets, and - I was lucky enough to have an exceptional view of the moon setting with the mountains in the background. The area is perfect for short-to-lengthy hikes for all levels of expertise. Being alone, however, I never ventured more than a couple miles down hiking trails....
PeterThoeny PRO 5 years ago
Thanks for all the suggestions. Heading now for Monterey for a day trip. Every time we go we visit Lover's Point.
PeterThoeny PRO 5 years ago
We went to Point Lobos. An amazing place, we'll definitely go there again. Here is one shot I took:

Soothing waves
traveling_kitty 4 years ago
Middle of April for the purple flowers on Pacific Grove and during the concourse anywhere in the area.
Michael T. Morales PRO 4 years ago
I would add the 1 mile stretch of the 17 Mile Drive between Pt. Joe and Fanshell Beach overlook. Waves, rocks, sea mammals, land and sea birds, wind swept cypress trees and of course the Del Monte Forest as a backdrop.
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