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.

Moss Landing – Close to Monterey

Just a little ways up the coast is a favorite place for Monterey Peninsula locals to go on a daytime getaway.  Moss Landing is a tiny, picturesque fishing and antiquing village about 20-minutes North from central Monterey where a wide selection of activities and eateries can be found.  Moss Landing was originally called Moss.  The Moss post office opened in 1895, and changed its name to Moss Landing in 1917.  The name honors Charles Moss, who with a partner built a wharf there.  Moss Landing was an active, vibrant fishing port during the times of whaling and the sardine canneries.  Presently, Moss Landing is the province of artists, antique shops and a wide selection of fish and Mexican restaurants.  The “Landing” is the perfect place to spend a casual day probing the antique shops, visiting art galleries or going for an excursion on the bay.  Lunch can be had at any of the stylish restaurants to be found there.  Ask one of our Front Desk Associates for directions and literature.

Reference to Moss Landing:  http://www.mosslandingchamber.com

Hidden Treasures in Monterey Peninsula

A little known jewel of the Monterey Peninsula is the area known as “Sand City.”  Sand City is a green conscious, artistic community of about 200 people who live, work and play by the sea.  There is something for everyone in Sand City.  Residents and tourists alike enjoy biking through town or spending the day shopping and visiting one of the local eateries, artists’ studios or magnificent coastal views.  Sand City used to be the “industrial” cul-de-sac of the Monterey Peninsula, but as industry struggled to survive the economic changes of the Peninsula, the large, vacant warehouse and production spaces of bygone industry became attractive to artists and independent designers who were being priced out of Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove.  The old industrial spaces were perfect for sculptors of large pieces, clothing designers, mural painters and many other creative types, and they were affordable to rent.  Take an afternoon and visit the studios and creative production spaces of Sand City, maybe taking in a lunch or dinner at one of Sand City’s excellent restaurants.  There is so much art to look at and ponder that you won’t forget your visit.  Ask one of our Front Desk Associates for directions.

Reference to Sand City:  http://www.sandcity.org/

Popular Coastal Recreation Trail

Everyone agrees, the Recreation Trail that girds the Monterey Bay from Santa Cruz to the tip of the Monterey Bay at Asilomar Beach, is a great way to see Monterey Bay.  On the Monterey Peninsula itself (the Southern extreme of the trail) the Recreation Trail offers quick access to everything from Del Monte beaches to Cannery Row to Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove.  If you are planning an excursion along the Trail, one of the best places to start is at Fisherman’s Wharf at the foot of Historic Old Monterey.  After eating a hearty, complimentary hot breakfast at our hotel the morning after you arrive, plan to start out at the Wharf for a trek to Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Pacific Grove’s Lover’s Point.  The Wharf is a great place to discover things you might want to do tomorrow, such as sailing tours, whale-watching tours, fishing trips and restaurants for lunch or dinner.  You can easily spend an hour or more investigating all the fun and savory things that you might want to do later.  Have fun at the Wharf, it’s a great starting point for an exciting day of Recreation Trail exploration.

Antiques – Monterey, Monterey California

Looking for a reason to stage an impromptu getaway to the Monterey Peninsula?  Have a penchant for old things that may be valuable?  Then come to the Monterey Peninsula for the antiques.  After all, Monterey is over 200-years old, and Pacific Grove and Carmel are at least a hundred years old.  That a lot of stuff in the antique malls and little out-of-the-way shops that clutter the Peninsula and Moss Landing.  From jewelry to buttons to clothing to furniture, the Peninsula has it all.  Spend a day visiting the antique malls and shops, then treat yourself to a splendid dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf or Cannery Row before retiring to admire your antiquing discoveries in one of our deluxe rooms in our centrally located hotel.  From our hotel you have easy access to the Cannery Row Antique Mall, the Holman Antique Plaza in Pacific Grove, Trotters Antiques on Lighthouse Boulevard and Orientations by Lake El Estero.  Come spend a day and night with us on the Monterey Peninsula antiquing.  The things you find may surprise you.

Cannery Row Antique Mall:  http://www.canneryrowantiquemall.com/

Trotters Antiques:  http://www.trottersantiques.com/

Orientations (Asian antiques):  http://www.orientations.us/

 

Monterey on a Budget

A weekend getaway on the Monterey Peninsula often involves kids and keeping them occupied.  A great getaway doesn’t always mean big or expensive events, a getaway can be as simple as getting out of the city for awhile and visiting Monterey.  Obvious choices are a day on the beach at Del Monte Beach or Lover’s Point Cove in Pacific Grove.  However, there are alternatives a-plenty.  Ask our Front Desk Associates about places to purchase a sumptuous picnic lunch and make a day of it at Lake El Estero right by Old Monterey.  There, you can rent paddle boats or kayaks and spend the day on the lake.  Another use for that picnic lunch would be to visit the playground at Dennis-the-Menace Park—also by Lake El Estero—where there are picnic benches, grills and a large play area for the younger set complete with swings, jungle gym and other play-inspiring toys.  Afterward, finish off the day with dinner at the kid-friendly Bubba-Gump seafood restaurant in Cannery Row.  Return that night to a comfortable room at our hotel with accommodations for the whole family. Maybe just relax and watch a movie on our new Flat Screen TVs, or relax at the Poolside or if you want to get some exercise use our fitness room.  In the morning, enjoy our complimentary  hot served daily 7am to 10am.

 

Heaven on Earth, Steinbeck style

Ever wonder where great novels come from?  Think community.  Monterey and its surrounding environs, especially Big Sur, are well known as a highly literary, audacious community of productive writers.  Not just novelists reside here, but poets and columnists too.  The Monterey Peninsula’s history is well populated with writers as well.  Ever wonder where Robert Lewis Stevenson got his idea for Treasure Island?  It was the time he spent sitting and writing at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove.  Of course, there is John Steinbeck (“Cannery Row”), probably the most well-known writer this area has produced.  Visit the John Steinbeck Center in Salinas to learn about his history and have dinner at the house he was born in, now a museum and restaurant.  Touring through Carmel and its wealth of restaurants, there are many writers’ hangouts to be found, such as the Hogs Breath Inn, a classic example of a place where writers used to congregate.  Next time you plan a getaway, make a little time to pursue the environs of writers and don’t forget to book a room at our hotel early, the weather is warming up and walking tours are a must, or take a driving tour of Hunter Thompson’s (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”) Big Sur.

The Steinbeck House:  http://www.steinbeckhouse.com/

National Steinbeck Center:  http://www.steinbeck.org/

More about Historic Monterey:  http://www.historicmonterey.org/literature.html

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

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

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/

Monterey, California Calendar of Events

Check the calendar of exciting Monterey events. Get in on every moment of fun in Monterey with sporting events, equestrian shows, motorcycle racing, concerts, music festivals and classic car auctions.

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