Christmastime, and the lead-up to it, are magical times along the Monterey Peninsula. Just because we don’t get a load of snow next to the Pacific Ocean doesn’t mean that we haven’t the spirit. After all, almost every tree in town is a Christmas tree and everyone puts up decorations on their homes. The most iconic event of the holiday season is “Christmas in the Adobes.” Imagine, celebrating Christmas a hundred or two hundred years ago! In Monterey, our old Adobes are transformed into islands of light and warmth, complete with Christmas trees, crackling log fires and caroling. The Christmas in the Adobes is a walking event that requires a ticket, but most of these same Adobes are open to the public during the week and on the weekends so that you can adapt your own walking trip to your schedule. When visualizing the Monterey Peninsula during the holidays, think “cozy,” and “warm” and “bright.” Come join us for a wonderful seasonal experience and pick up a few gifts for those back at home. Whatever the reason you come to the Monterey Peninsula during the holidays, remember that our rooms offer comfort value for your dollar and booking early is always a way to get a special deal. Check out our website for great value offers: http://www.stayatmonterey.com/special-pkg/monterey-california-packages.aspx
Spooky happenings flourish for adults and children alike on Halloween on the Monterey Peninsula. Like Sleepy Hollow on the East Coast, the seaside town of Monterey has been around for over 240 years and it is said that the old adobes and Victorian-era houses are haunted with many old spirits, maybe a pirate or two. On Halloween, to get in the mood before going to my usual party, I like to get out and take the Ghost Trolley of Old Monterey, a trolley tour around some of the creepiest houses, adobes, cemeteries and the first church in California, all on the Monterey Peninsula that will make you shiver with delight. I like to do it every year because the tour changes from time to time and for the special tour held on Halloween Night they pull out all the stops. I always bring a friend to share the fun and coming in costume is encouraged. It’s a great way to start the Halloween night right before attending that blowout costume party on Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey.
I’ve had people ask me from time to time “what is the attraction of living on the Monterey Peninsula.” People think that it’s a small, exclusive, expensive area with three petite towns and a gated community (Pebble Beach) that provide limited year-round opportunities for shopping and entertainment. I counter that image by pointing out that I live where there are pristine beaches within easy walking or driving distance from any door. Beautiful scenery abounds wherever I go. Arrays of fresh vegetables are to be had direct from the Salinas Valley by shopping locally at a collection of farmers markets. To satisfy my needs for entertainment there are live performances year around by headliners at the Sunset Center in Carmel, several jazz clubs, two dance venues, and many cinemas. Most people don’t know that the Monterey Peninsula supports its own symphony that can be heard at various events throughout the year. On the Monterey Peninsula, I don’t think we are missing any of the variety and diversity of a major city. What we don’t have is congestion, bad air and gridlock traffic (except in the summertime). I don’t think any of those features of city life are missed by those lucky enough to be residents of the Peninsula. What we do have is one of the best and widest choices of shops found anywhere, from designer and artisan goods to the big-box stores in Sand City. There really isn’t any shortage of things to do on the Peninsula, just going for a walk around town can be a lesson in history or an experience in great food. No, I don’t think large cities have anything over our slower-paced lives and gorgeous surroundings, and I can’t, after nineteen years, imagine living anywhere else.
Contributed by Writer by the Sea
Looking to do something other then just sight seeing in Monterey? Go antique shopping. Counting from 1770 when Monterey was named by the Spanish, the Monterey Peninsula has a rich history spanning over 240 years. Not including the buildings, that’s a lot of antiques in one place. Sure, many of the antique furniture found in Monterey were shipped in to the Peninsula, but they were unused when they arrived at their new home and reflect the tastes and culture of the periods they lived in. Many of the finds in the Peninsula antique shops, especially the art and jewelry, were created right here on the Peninsula.
Anyone interested in the history or culture of Old Monterey can browse a multitude of antique shops in Cannery Row, historic Pacific Grove and scenic Moss Landing. As usual, these shops are located amongst scenic locales where plenty of atmosphere, activities and restaurants are found. Make a day of it, antique at the Holman Building in Pacific Grove, the Antique Mall on Wave St. near Cannery Row, Jan de Luz in Carmel, or Hamlin Antiques in Moss Landing. As always, a relaxing restaurant will be nearby for you to reflect on your purchases over lunch. In the evening explore the tastes and nightlife of Old Monterey. Our Guest Service agents can offer suggestions.
Monterey Wine Country is “home” to approximately 85 vintners and growers. Monterey County’s lifestyle and wines are defined by the cooling influence of the ocean and especially of Monterey Bay and its deep marine canyon, whose immensity and depth have earned it the nickname, “The Blue Grand Canyon.” The canyon’s vast weather effect on the viticultural districts (appellations) of Monterey is manifested through fog, wind, lack of rain through the growing season, and moderate temperatures.
There are two wine-growing regions to visit; one inland in the Salinas Valley, the other is along the Carmel Valley Road closer to the ocean. Many of the Monterey County wineries have tasting rooms open to the public. http://www.stayatmonterey.com/monterey-california-wineries.aspx. These tasting rooms provide a relaxed atmosphere where guests receive knowledgeable, personal attention while tasting wines and learning about the winery. Several wineries also offer tours of their facilities where one can learn about the winemaking process. For those interested in an afternoon road-trip, take a tour of the Carmel Valley and its many wineries and tasting rooms.
A special favorite is Chateau Julien, where there is a tasting room nestled in acres of working grape vines. Wine tours available at www.toursmonterey.com
The one great feature of our Monterey Peninsula is accessibility to our seashore. Even on Cannery Row, where the shoreline is densely populated, there is plenty of access to bayside rocks and water. It is no coincidence that the Recreation Trail follows along the shoreline, that’s where the spectacular views are.
Monterey Peninsula shoreline is great for tide pool watching and scuba diving, there are also places where broad, sandy beaches run for miles, perfect for sunbathing and sand castle building. These sandy beaches are made for picnicking and swimming. The Lover’s Point Cove in Pacific Grove has both a hamburger stand and barbeques for that perfect afternoon enjoying the Cove’s sandy beach, while the Del Monte Beach in Monterey is surrounded by several eateries where a substantial box lunch may be purchased. Del Monte Beach also sports kayak rentals, perfect for the adventurous. Travelers interested in capturing their special moments with a camera will be dazzled by ocean sunsets at Asilomar State Beach on the ocean end of the Peninsula in Pacific Grove.
No matter where you choose to go along the Monterey Peninsula shoreline, there are plenty of ways to discover fun and memorable moments. Ask one of our Guest Service Agents for more information and directions to our superb seashore.
Feeling Blue or Jazzy? Take your pick, Blues Festival in June or jazz Festival in September at Monterey Fairgrounds, Monterey CA.[ more... ]
I always know summer is approaching as Monterey attracts the best Music events starting with the Monterey Rock N’ Rod Festival in May followed by Blues Festival in May. Monterey Rock N’ Rod Festival is more than a mere collaboration of classic rock ‘n roll and cherry cars. The 6th presentation of this festival is a premiere local event benefitting hundreds of car enthusiasts’ and local rock groups by giving them a venue to show off their art and compete for awards of artistic recognition. Each auto is an artwork lovingly crafted by its owner, while the musical accompaniment underscores the 50’s and 60’s character of the exhibition. The Monterey Rock N’ Rod festival is hosted at the Monterey Fairgrounds May 18-20th, where there is plenty of room for cars to mingle with local classic rock groups, together in one place for you to enjoy. This three-day event hosts plenty of food stalls, art and clothing booths, memorabilia stands and the like. Spend a day browsing the display of cherry cars while listening to classic rock music combined to create a perfectly retro holiday experience.
Also look out for the Spirit West Music festival and Jazz festival this summer!
It’s nice to be able to get away from pressures and demands and simply go on a road-trip whenever we can make a little time. Value is the byword today in travel, how do you get the biggest bang for your buck? At the Comfort Inn Monterey by the Sea, there are real cost-saving values. There’s the substantial discount for booking early, a free hot breakfast with waffles, eggs and sausages pastries and much more. a free fitness room if you feel like a workout, free parking and wireless internet, restaurant coupons at the front desk and a free second day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium if you buy tickets at the front desk. The free second day is available only at hotels, not at the Monterey Aquarium. There is enough savings here to satisfy any need for solid value, enough so that you might even think about making another trip later in the year and book it now to lock in the discount!