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.

Monterey Vacation on a Budget

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!

Runners Paradise in Central Coast: Marathons, 5K Runs, Mud Runs

There is something deliciously decadent and sinful about rolling around in the mud. To this day, I still can’t resist stomping on the occasional rain puddle and getting dirty for the fun of it is no different. One can indulge in muddy urges and not be ridiculed for it at the same time by joining the Big Sur Mud Run. The Big Sur Mud Run is a chance to be adultly serious with child-like overtones of playing with abandon in wet, sticky, mud while doing it for fun (to assuage any feelings of guilt). Presented by the Big Sur International Marathon, this 5-mile course set on the CSUMB campus on Old Fort Ord is fraught with obstacles and, of course, mud pits. It’s a great event for a group of friends to spend a different kind of Saturday morning. March 24th, 2112. Registration fills up early. Sign up soon if interested http://www.bigsurmudrun.org/

Tiger Woods returns to AT&T Pebble Beach Pro – Am

Tiger Woods returns to AT&T Pebble Beach national Pro-Am which is scheduled for Feb 6-12. Tigers’s last appearance at AT&T was in 2002. Going to be a fun week at Pebble. Besides the professional golfers, the highlights are to see the turnout of the stars in the Celebrity Shootout, typically movie and industry notables, who are donators to the AT&T charities programs, paired with one of the professional golfers. My favorite is Bill Murray, a hoot on the golf course not forgetting Ray Romano, and George Lopez. So really you don’t even have to be an avid golfer to attend this fun event.

The AT&T was originally known as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Amateur, or just the Crosby Clambake. In 1937, Bing Crosby hosted the first National Pro-Am Golf Championship at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the event’s location prior to World War II. After the war, the event resumed play in 1947 on golf courses in Pebble Beach, where it has been played ever since. Book early and save up to 20% on hotel accommodations – www.stayatmonterey.com

People seem to think whales migrate South in the winter, but the truth is that whales migrate all year long, different types migrating at different times and, don’t forget, that they have to do a trip back up to the North also, which happens in late spring and summer. So, any time is a good time to go whale watching from Monterey. To celebrate whale and its impact on Old Monterey, every third Saturday in January ( this year Jan 21, 2012), is devoted to the Monterey WhaleFest, a celebration of the whale and its migration. As such, it is also a celebration of Old Monterey, with entertainment, food stalls, art and music all coming together to make for one nice afternoon and evening. For me, this is a nice break from the daily drudgery of winter. Definitely a top 10 things to do in Monterey. Whale watching packages available: http://www.stayatmonterey.com/special-pkg/monterey-whale-watching-pkg.aspx

Holiday Traditions in Monterey

Oh so many things to do during the Holidays in Monterey. Over the years, my friend and I re visit our favorite traditions with our kids. Some of them include the winter wonderland ice skating by the Bay next to the Custom House Plaza, a short walk to Fisherman’s wharf. Kids skate while adults enjoy a hot cup of cocoa. Open till Jan 1st 2012. We were upset we missed the Streets of Bethlehem last year. This year we have it on our calendar Dec 7-10, a spectacular event where the old streets of Bethlehem come to live. A must see. Other cities have regular street parades, but in Monterey we have the Lighted Boat Parade. What a feast for the eyes, the whole bay lit by the boats, Dec 4th. Christmas at the Adobes, another fine tradition for families. Stroll through Historic Monterey and visit up to 23 Adobes whilst enjoying refreshments, games and dancing and much more. These are just a few of my favorites. As kids grow up, it is nice to still share happy traditions together. We hope you and your families have a great holiday season. http://ecalendar.milestoneinternet.com/?HID=70

California Redwoods – Coast Drive

Hyperion is the name of the tallest redwood tree located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, measuring a staggering 378 feet. Ever wonder why redwoods are so special? The coast redwood, or California redwood grows only in northern California and the southwestern most part of Oregon. Groves of coast redwoods dot the landscape from Big Sur California to the Oregon border, from the coast to as far as fifty miles inland. These trees depend on the moisture in the sea air and dense coastal fogs to thrive and reproduce. A victim of heavy logging, the number and acerage of these trees has shrunk dramatically since the 1800’s. These trees are a wonder to see, their diameter can be as large as 26 feet and they live 1200 to 1800 years. They are also the tallest trees in the world reaching up to 378 feet high. A few groves of these redwoods can be seen in Big Sur, just south of Monterey and they are definitly worth a day-trip.

Big Sur Half Marathon

Although I don’t run in marathons or otherwise, I have a couple of friends who run for fitness’ sake. One of these friends has run the Big Sur Half Marathon for the past few years and swears by its interesting sights and beautiful bay and ocean vistas. Out of curiosity, I took a look at the map of the race on the Big Sur Half Marathon website and discovered that not only is it not in Big Sur (as is the full Marathon), but the course runs through many of the prettiest bay and ocean areas of Monterey and Pacific Grove. To me, the course is very familiar, as it runs through areas I like to walk when I go for my daily stroll. I suppose you could say that I’ve “walked” the Big Sur Half Marathon several times since my arrival on the Monterey Peninsula eighteen years ago. I recommend to visitors to the Peninsula take a look at the race map on their website and do a little walking tour of their own when they are in town. http://www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org/

Halloween Ghost Tours

October is upon us, it’s time to celebrate the harvest and look forward to starting off with Halloween, a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, “All Saints’ Day,” incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Halloween evolved into a community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early scary carved face. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities. Plan a quick getaway to Monterey and enjoy Halloween/Ghost tours to Point Lobos tours to Point Sur Lighthouse. Details: www.pointsur.org

October Events in Monterey, CA

Every day daily hectic routine calls for relaxation and soothing elements. Where to find these things? Certainly there are shop upon shop in Carmel, CA, in the artistic colony of Big Sur, CA, catering to the discriminating soul, but I find that it is always best to go to the artists themselves that are the experts. Twice a year, once in May and then again in October (1st-2nd 2011), a confab of psychics and healers descend on the Monterey Peninsula at the Monterey Fairgrounds, not only offering readings and advice, but many items that can help your relax in your home. The ROTA (Road Of Transformation Arts) Psychic Fair brings with them artisans who craft those very things that creates a serene setting in your homes, such as candles and fragrances. One may also shop these artisans for gifts of crystals, jewelry and cloth, perfect for giving on special occasions and in December. As the name implies, psychics and healers are available for consultation as well.

Chic Restaurant just opened- Restaurant 1833

I think I have just found my new favorite restaurant in Monterey! The former Stokes Adobe restaurant just went through a major renovation. An elegant, chic and modern makeover is the perfect setting for incredible California fresh cuisine. The multiple dining rooms and hip bars spread over two floors not only lend an elegance but are very inviting in shades of gray and white. Antique looking chandeliers and candles through out the restaurant. Not sure about the coed bathrooms. But I will get over that if the guys don’t mind women powdering their noses!

We started with cocktails out by the fire pits. I think had we not had dinner reservation, I would have been content sitting outside all evening. However the dining experience was incredible. Our starters included mac and cheese, signature corn bread, bone marrow, roasted cauliflower, and baked goat cheese with hazelnuts. Main entrees included Fresh pea raviolis with mushrooms, Gnoochi in Leek sauce, Rib eye, and pasta. Out of this world! Not one of us could fault any taste. Incidentally all in my party are avid cooks be it being amateurs, we do have a discriminating pallet.

Prices were moderate. Coctails and wine definitely added to the final bill. Wait staff were professional but very personable. Definitely added to our dining experience. Next time I do want to try the Asinthe served classic style dripping ice water over a sugar cube!

I contemplated saving Restaurant 1833 for special occasion, but the fire pits, the chic decor and incredible food will certainly be haunting me to go back sooner with my girls!

Kudos to the owners and chef for one of a kind restaurant in Monterey.

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