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The Undiscovered Monterey Peninsula 2

Monterey, California (Part 1)

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Happy New Year to all our readers! The blog took a few weeks off to refresh and rejuvenate, but we plan to come back strong, with some great posts lined up for 2015. The excitement begins here, with the latest installment of The Undiscovered Monterey County, so let’s get started!

SSCS and Monterey County,

SSCS and Monterey County.

Customers and regular readers know that SSCS is headquartered in Salinas, California, putting it in close proximity to the Monterey Peninsula. With cities like Carmel, Monterey, Pebble Beach, and Pacific Grove, the Peninsula is a destination for tourists from all over the globe. When it comes to recruitment, it doesn’t hurt that SSCS is in such close proximity to an American wonderland. It’s a nice alternative to working an hour-and-a-half up the road in Silicon Valley.

People like to read about the Peninsula, too. We know because the first installment in The Undiscovered Monterey County series, which highlighted “America’s Hometown” Pacific Grove, continues to be one of our most popular posts. If you missed it, you can read it here.

The point of this series is to provide an insider’s, non-commercial view of the more interesting parts of the Peninsula. This week, and for a few weeks to follow, we’re covering Monterey (in an especially up-close-and-personal way, since one of our blog editors actually lives there).

Boats on the Monterey Bay.

Let’s start by getting the basics out of the way (for more basics, click here).

Architecture in downtown Monterey can be over 200 years old.

Architecture in downtown Monterey can be over 200 years old.

Monterey, with a population of just under 30,000, is one of the oldest cities in California and was its first capital under Spanish and Mexican rule. The historic flavor of the town has been preserved, which is a big attraction, and you can get a taste of it from some of the photos we’ve scattered around this post.

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This view of the Monterey Museum of Modern Art’s corridor provides a good sense of downtown Monterey’s prevailing architecture.

Monterey is home to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and historic Fisherman’s Wharf, the latter two being immortalized in the work of author John Steinbeck—who lived in Salinas and on the Peninsula. The Presidio of Monterey, Naval Postgraduate School, and Defense Language Institute (DLI) are evidence of the city’s close ties to the military, and the latter school together with Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), infuse a rich international and educational flavor into the city’s culture. On any given day you can hear multiple foreign languages spoken on the city streets by students from these two institutions as well as international tourists.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium at the end of Cannery Row, is a primary destination for many.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium at the end of Cannery Row, is a primary destination for many.

While Monterey is a lot of things to a lot of people, it suffers from a scarcity in one key area: modern C-stores. The cities on the Peninsula do what they can to maintain what they consider to be their unique character which can play out in a number of different ways (Pacific Grove; “No QSRs!”; Carmel: “No franchises, period!”). While Monterey is a bit more forgiving to these types of businesses, you’ll usually only find brand name C-stores out toward the city’s borders (like the generic 7-11 and relatively small Circle K pictured below).

Our partner Circle K operates a small store on the Monterey border....

Our partner Circle K operates a small store on the Monterey border….

...right across the street from this 7-11.

…right across the street from this 7-11.

It’s more likely that you’ll find a small grocery store with its own uniquenesses like Troia’s Market in downtown Monterey.

Troia's Market in the shadow of the downtown Monterey Marriott.

Troia’s Market in the shadow of the downtown Monterey Marriott.

In upcoming segments, we’ll focus more intensively on some of the more well-known areas of Monterey, such as the aforementioned Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf, in addition to giving you a sense of what it is like to really live here. See you next Thursday!

 

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