Top Things to Do Near Our Monterey Bay Hotel

Discover unique travel ideas at the endless number of interesting attractions, scenic drives, restaurants and outdoor adventures not far from our Monterey Peninsula hotel.

Wine Tasting in Monterey, CA

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

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Monterey Shoreline

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.

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Spectacular Pacific Coastline

Did you wonder why there is an overwhelming interest on the Bay in Monterey? Well, it’s because our spectacular coastline is highly accessible.

People who have been to Monterey seem to naturally gravitate to the Recreation Trail, a walking and cycling path that takes one from Fisherman’s Wharf all the way to Asilomar State Beach, where the bay meets the Pacific Ocean. If you walk, or prefer to rent a bike, you can start on the Recreation Trail by visiting the many shops and restaurants at Fisherman’s Wharf, then stroll or bike for a few blocks along the trail to Cannery Row and more shops and outdoor restaurants.

After Cannery Row, it is about a mile along the untamed coastline to get to Lovers Point Cove and take in the view of the entire bay. A small hamburger stand at the Cove makes for a picnic lunch by the sand. Photo-ops abound along the trail plus many tide pools. From the Wharf to the Cove, sea otters frolic and sometimes whales can be seen, but if going to the Cove is far enough for one day, the free Monterey Trolley stops every 45-minutes at the Cove for the trip back to Cannery Row. At Cannery Row you can take the Trolley and travel back to Old Downtown Monterey. If you don’t want to walk the trail, there are several places along the Recreation Trail that rent bicycles or pedal-surreys for up to four people. Also, there are many places to stop and eat a picnic lunch purchased from one of the fine vendors along the trail. Enjoy our coastline, it’s one of the best features of the Monterey Peninsula and it’s free!

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What’s New at Monterey Aquarium

It has been awhile since I’ve checked into the Monterey Bay Aquarium and they have new exhibits galore, and a new shark in the million-gallon tank. The aquarium is known for changing exhibits every few months but it has been a year since I’ve visited the Aquarium and it was refreshing to see what they had done with the exhibits. The Jellies exhibit has been updated and now includes the “Jellies Experience” where you can draw a jellyfish on a computer screen and put it into the virtual ocean, even email a copy to yourself. There is a new shark in the Open Sea aquarium that has been on exhibit since April. The Sandbar shark is over four feet long and weighs in at 43 pounds. There are new otters at the Otter Exhibit and of course they are all cuddly. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is always a trip to visit and if you haven’t been there for a year or more, now is the time to take another visit. The aquarium staff freshens up the exhibits regularly and takes every opportunity to put new critters on display. Make a day start with your complimentary breakfast at the Comfort Inn, visit the Aquarium, have dinner in Cannery Row or on Fisherman’s Wharf, and then end the day at poolside.

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Free Things in Monterey

There is nothing like getting a free ride, no parking hassles and stress free sightseeing. So, make a day of it, start in Old Downtown Monterey, lunch in Cannery Row and catch the Pacific Grove trolley for a view of the ocean and the bay, taking the FREE Monterey trolley back from the aquarium into Downtown Old Monterey. Spend an innovative day visiting the places the locals visit.

Catch the free trolley-buses between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM daily. Visitors can enjoy Monterey Peninsula and have a chance to see things that they might miss when driving or don’t know the area. This year, there are two trolley lines running that will take you all over the Peninsula. Park at the downtown parking lot and catch the main trolley line that runs from Downtown Old Monterey to Old Fisherman’s wharf, through Cannery Row and stops at the Monterey Bay Aquarium before returning to Monterey. Second, for those that want to see more of the Pacific Ocean and visit Old Pacific Grove and take a drive along the bay, there is the trolley-bus for Pacific Grove. Both trolley-busses intersect at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, making it convenient to transfer from one bus to the other. Remember, these trolleys are FREE and you can get on and get off the stops at your leisure.

http://www.monterey.org/Portals/1/parking/pdfs/trolley_map_color.pdf

http://www.monterey.org/en-us/departments/parking/thewavefreeshuttle.aspx

Summer Activities and Getaway Ideas!

Feeling Blue or Jazzy? Take your pick, Blues Festival in June or jazz Festival in September at Monterey Fairgrounds, Monterey CA.

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Music Festivals in Monterey

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!

President Obama designates a second National Monument – Fort Ord Soldiers National Monument Monterey, CA

Today, President Obama designated Fort Ord Military Base (along Monterey Bay) as a national monument. This is the second national monument designation created under his presidency. Now known as Fort Ord Soldiers National Monument, sits on 15,000 acres. It is a rare coastal California Wilderness that will protect Central Coast Maritime chaparral ecosystem, a habitat unique to California. Mountain lions, deer, eagles and the protected California black legless lizard all make their homes at Fort Ord. The first national monument is the site of Fort Monroe in Virginia where Dutch traders first brought enslaved Africans in 1619.

Events and Festivals in Monterey

When travelling to the Monterey Peninsula, think about the “theme” of your getaway. Are you a foodie, into music, athletic or interested in family fun? Foodies will enjoy the elegance, wine parings and foods of the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival taking place in Pebble Beach from the 12th to the 15th of April. There’s still time to get tickets to one of the Peninsula’s premiere local events. Looking for family fun? Take a step back in time and visit the Good Old Days in Pacific Grove on April 14th and 15th. Two days of fun for the entire family includes food stalls, art booths and face painting. There’s even a hayride for the whole family. If you are into athletic competitions, the Sea Otter Classic is the premiere bicycling event of the season happening April 19th to the 22nd at Laguna Seca Raceway (www.mazdaraceway.com). Rather be involved in your sport? Register or attend the Big Sur International Marathon (www.bsim.org) on April 29th. Craving a retro musical experience? Taj Mahal is giving a concert at Carmel’s Sunset Center (www.sunsetcenter.org/) on April 12th. No matter what your “theme,” there’s always something going on at the Monterey Peninsula.
JScott

Happy Easter

Celebrate Easter Sunday by attending the Harlem Gospel Choir performing at Sunset theater this Saturday April 7th at 8pm. Celebration, singing, dancing. Pure entertainment. www.sunsetcenter.org

The world famous Harlem Gospel Choir is America’s premier gospel ensemble, and has traveled the globe for 25 years sharing its joy of faith while raising funds for children’s charities. Today the Choir presents the finest singers and musicians from black churches in Harlem and the New York area. The authentic Harlem Gospel Choir, unlike its imitators, embodies the true New York spirit of gospel – every concert infectiously enthusiastic; a roller coaster ride of singing and dancing! The Choir’s rich harmonies and dynamic sound are always unfettered, joyous, and inspirational. A wonderful way to celebrate the Easter Season.

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