1 photo: Monterey CA protea
Even here in coastal Northern CA, we do get frost days and tropicals have to be sited carefully. Monterey/Carmel are 75 miles south of us and much more temperate.
Not everyone discovers the bike trail which runs parallel to, and is just above, Cannery Row, for a mile. The south end dead-ends where the magnificent Coastal Trail begins. You can then walk all the way around the rocks and beaches looking out over the Pacific, from Monterey to Pacific Grove and all the way into Carmel. Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove is wonderful, and few tourists go to it.
While walking along the bike trail in Monterey, this shrub of proteas was in full bloom and in the sunshine, an absolute show-stopper. It's amazing to see a tropical living so happily outside; even in Oakland/East Bay we can't grow these easily, if at all.