Reasons I love the Monterey Peninsula
1. Because we have history.
Monterey County, once the capital of California, is the epicenter of California history. Explore the Path of History, a two-mile, self-guided tour of Old Monterey. Marked by bright yellow tiles, the path leads through Monterey’s quaint downtown, adobes, gardens, museums and other historic sites. Explore the heritage of the California mission era at our three historic missions. The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History offers information on everything you could want to know about the natural history of Monterey County, including native tribes who once lived on the Monterey Bay. Be sure to include both Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row on your historic trail to get a feel for the region’s turn-of-the-century fishing history.
2. Because there no place as beautiful.
Just plain visually stunning. There is not a day that I do not recognize how lucky I am to live here. Not only because of the beauty and but for the lack of freeways, smog and people too busy to say hello. Few places can boast such diverse and continually changing views. Big Sur forests to Carmel Valley vineyards, Carmel beach sunsets to 17 Mile drive seascapes, Monterey wharf to Tehama Golf course…..just plain eye candy.
3. Because there is always something to do.
Due to great weather outside activities last year round. The bike and walking trails stretch along the coastline from 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach, through Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove, Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey and on to Seaside. Both Carmel Valley and Big Sur offer incredible parks with breathtaking trails for all types of hiking.
For those that prefer to be in the water there are opportunities for world class sailing, kayaking, scuba and surfing.
Golf your bag? There is definitely something for everyone here. The peninsula offers great public courses along with some of the priciest courses to play in the world. The opportunities are somewhat the same for tennis. Carmel Valley and Pebble Beach offer state of the art Equestrian Centers with beginner to dressage facilities. Bocce, swimming, spandex cycling?…we got you covered there too.
Hiking? If you’re looking for a dog friendly hike in the Monterey area, Garland Ranch Regional Park is the spot for you! Garland Ranch has some of the steepest trails in the area, as well as glorious views and great wildlife. Point Lobos State Reserve: This beautiful promontory has been called “the crown jewel of the State Park system.” It’s also an inviting hiking spot, with convenient trails that allow hikers to go for short scenic walks or long traipses.
4. Because there are places to go and people to see…without the drive.
Various museums including MYmuseum, (Monterey County Youth Museum) and Monterey Museum of Art dubbed the “best small town museum in the United States,” is home to works by famed artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and fêted photographer Ansel Adams.
Catch a performance at the Golden Bough, Sunset Center, Forest theatre, Magic Circle theater Bruce Ariss Wharf theater, or one of the many others around the Peninsula.
Visit the River Inn in Big Sur and relax with your feet in the water as you sip cocktails while reclining in an Ariondack chair. Stroll along Scenic on Carmel Beach where you can observe otters and dolphins playing in the surf as well as dogs gleefully playing on a leash free beach. Bask in the sun or cozy up to the fireplace while enjoying a bite at Bernardus Inn in Carmel Valley
Or a little shopping…In addition to personal attention and unique, local goods, shoppers in Monterey County enjoy variety. The region’s stores, studios and retail centers are as diverse as its beach, mountain and vineyard landscapes. That means the perfect purchase is never hard to find.
5. Because I know more dogs names than people’s names.
Carmel is a dog lover’s haven. Most people know your dog’s name before yours. Many restaurants and hotels have dog friendly accommodations. Stores offer water bowls and have doggie treats on hand. Best of all, dogs get to run off leash on Carmel beach as long as they will respond to the voice command of their human. Don’t miss Yappy Hour at the Cypress Inn for a fun view of dog and humans enjoying ‘cocktail time’ together.
6. Because our weather is near room temperature year round.
The Peninsula makes a great second home retreat for those living in areas with hot summers or harsh winter conditions. Our great weather also provides opportunity for year round outdoor sports and activities. The weather also provides great local fruits and vegetables you will find at the three weekly Farmers markets on the peninsula.
7. Because you can choose between a cabin in the forest and vineyard estate
The diversity of housing opportunities is amazing. Choose from tiny cabins to private water front estates, Carmel cottages, Pebble Beach mansions, vineyards, river-front homes, golf course views, Victorian, Spanish, French Country. Pebble Beach formal to P.G. funky….the Peninsula has it all.
8. Because you can see Lions and Tigers and Elephants
Really. Visit Vision Quest Ranch for a local safari experience.
For those looking for the best place to view the natural wildlife that surrounds us:
SeaLions, Seals and otters. The Wharf, 17 mile drive Pebble
Birds-Jacks Peak (spotting 400 species on the Monterey County bird list)
Whales– Point Sur Lighthouse. Different times of year humpbacks, blue, and gray whales. Year round orcas and minkes.
Monarches– Pacific Grove isn’t called “Butterfly Town, USA” for nothing! From October to February, thousands of butterflies make the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove their home.
Deer– P.G. public golf course and throughout Pebble. Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons, ducks and shorebirds can be found at Elkhorn Slough, Carmel Beach and Carmel River.
Foxes, Raccoon, Skunks and red squirrels throughout the communities.
9. There is always an upcoming event.
Aside from each town having their own seasonal celebrations (Birthday, Christmas, New Years, etc) there is always a fun event around the corner. To name a few….
The Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival, AT&T Pro-Am, First Tee, Callaway Invitational, Big Sur Marathon, Monterey Cowboy Poetry and music festival, Rio Resolution Run, Pacific Grove Wildflower show, Monterey wine festival, Concours d’Elegance, Cherry’s Jubilee, Bach Festival, Cooking for solutions, Sand City’s Westend Celebration, Winemakers Celebration, P.G Tri-athalon, Carmel Authors and Ideas festival, Big Sur Food and Wine Festival, Amgen bike tour,
Red Bull U.S. Gran Prix Moto GP, California International Air show and Salinas Rodeo, First Night Monterey, Feast of the lanterns, Jazz festival, Blues Festival
Sunset Center events, Reggae festival to name a few.
Wine and appetizers are served in the Pacific Grove Art-walk in downtown Pacific Grove occurs one Friday each month from 6 pm to 9 pm. The Monterey Museum of Art’s Third Thursdays are celebrated between 5 pm and 7 pm.