Readers' Poll

around town BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE SUNSET BEST PLACE TO WALK THE DOG BEST BEACH Carmel Beach Along Scenic Road, Carmel (831) 620-2000, This beach contains multitudes. It faces west, for a perfect angle on the sunset. It’s roughly a mile long, inviting pooches to run free, and their humans to walk or jog alongside and spread out. It’s a place to play volleyball or catch a wave or just relax and gaze out at the deep blue sea. It’s also a place to observe the power of nature. Return throughout the year and watch the beach change as winter swells carry sand away, exposing sandstone formations, then pile up that iconic white sand again in summer. Carmel Beach can be many things to many people, and in all of those ways, it’s the best. BEST HIKING TRAIL BEST PARK Point Lobos State Natural Reserve 2 miles south of Rio Road on Highway 1, Carmel (831) 624-4909, If you’re a local who regularly finds yourself driving by Point Lobos, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether the park has become overrated. It’s packed virtually daily (but especially on weekends and holidays), with cars lining Highway 1 near the entrance. But the truth is that hairy parking situation or not, Point Lobos is magical. Gaze out at the turquoise water from China Cove, visit with gorgeous old cypress trees and climb to Whaler’s Knoll and watch for whale spouts in the distance. You’ll be glad you came. BEST PLACE TO BIKE / MOUNTAIN BIKE Fort Ord National Monument Various entrances; Regional BLM office at 940 2nd Ave., Marina (831) 582-2200, national-conservation-lands/california/ fort-ord-national-monument Who would have thought, back in the 1980s, say, that Fort Ord—an Army post and training area owned by the federal government since 1917—would later become one of the world’s preeminent destinations for riding bikes? Life is unpredictable. And Fort Ord is unlike any other place: a vast expanse of oak woodlands, draped by lichen, and rolling hills of maritime chaparral now filled with trails perfect for those on two wheels to roll through and experience the majesty of the landscape. The hills aren’t steep, the views can be epic, and when you’re riding a bike, the place just feels like a playground. It’s easy to fall into taking the places you live for granted, but Fort Ord, when you’re rolling through it, reminds you that we live in a very special place. BEST LIBRARY Monterey Public Library 625 Pacific St., Monterey (831) 646-3933, Before Al Gore invented the internet, people often had to leave their caves and go to libraries to do research and find books. The world has since changed, but the Monterey Public Library continues to stay relevant and wildly popular—at any hour in which 24 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 1-4s 4.6” x 4.94” For youthful adults 55+ SE Corner of 8th & Lincoln 831.624.1588 ’23 Thank you for voting us the “Best Hangout for Seniors” 22 years in a row!