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Halloween in Pebble Beach

Halloween in Pebble Beach

It’s fun to take your little zombies and witches out trick-or-treating on Halloween. So much so they usually want the festivities to last longer than one night.  To help extend your Halloween festivities, we’re sharing ideas for Monterey County Halloween events on our blog and this post pertains to Halloween in Pebble Beach in 2016.

Pebble Beach Zombie or Survivor?

It may depend on how well you run!

Would you like to be part of something that’s educational, offers useful information, and is gory fun? Then the 1st Annual Pebble Beach Zombie Race and Emergency Preparedness Fair is for you. This particular ‘zombie run’, presented by the Pebble Beach Community Services District, has serious purpose behind it. Bound to get attention, this event will get your kids outside and active, and could develop their interest in safety preparedness! Whether zombie or survivor, the 5K Crawl or 2K Stroll both result in a tasty snack at the end, and offers an opportunity to check out Preparedness booths set up for your interest.  Zombies are entered into a best dressed contest and winners will receive emergency preparedness backpacks…. very important in the event of a zombie apocalypse or other emergency.

Further Information concerning this year’s October 18th event can be found online here.

As much fun as Halloween can be, there are safety concerns you and your family should be aware of.

As you look forward to October 31st, Pebble Beach Community Services District has some important safety tips for you:

  • Look for flame-resistant material in all Halloween costumes.
  • Apply reflective tape to costumes to make it easier for motorists to see your kids.
  • If you’re driving, watch for little treat-or-treaters who may be unaware of you.
  • Consider giving your children flashlights or glow sticks to increase their visibility.
  • Try to avoid costumes that have billowing or trailing fabric. Also, keep hemlines short so the little ones don’t trip.
  • Some masks obscure vision; when you can, use make-up instead.
  • Candy and goodies collected Halloween night are wonderful and enticing, but remember to inspect everything that’s brought home. Throw it out if you have any doubt!
  • And, of course, it’s always best that a responsible adult accompanies children as they go trick-or-treating.

Safety around the home is important too.

  • Always use battery powered lights for your jack-o-lanterns.
  • Some decorations, such as dried flowers, crepe paper, and so forth, are highly flammable and need to be kept away from flames or other heat sources.
  • Make sure to clear exits of anything that could block them.

Have a safe, fun, and spooky Halloween this year!

This list was accurate at the time of publication. Please check directly with the venue to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Halloween in Pacific Grove

It’s fun to take your little ghouls and goblins out trick-or-treating on Halloween. So much so, they usually want the festivities to last longer than one night! We’ve collected a variety of Halloween events on Monterey Peninsula for our blog; this page pertains to Halloween in Pacific Grove in 2016.

The Library is not just for Book Worms

The Pacific Grove Public Library is offering up a Haunted House for all ages! This annual event runs October 26th between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. For more information about this and other events at the Pacific Grove Library, you can check theirevents calendar, or give their Reference Librarian a call at (831) 648-5762. If you’re on Facebook, you can like their page to stay in the loop.

halloween-in-pacigfic-grove-butterfly-costume image by duet letterpress

Dressed up as a Butterfly

Enjoy this one time of year when all can get dressed up, have some fun, and appreciate the fall in a very special way. We’ve collected some butterfly costume ideas on Pinterest for inspiration.  Scan the sky on Halloween to see if any of the beautiful Monarch butterflies have made their way to our sunny winter home yet; they make the 2,000 mile journey every year, beginning right around Halloween.

This list was accurate at the time of publication. Please check directly with the venue to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Halloween in Carmel & Monterey

halloween-in-carmel-monterey-caEvery year, Carmel and Monterey celebrate the spookiest season in style. In Carmel’s case, the celebrations usually coincide with its birthday. This year will be the most spectacular birthday yet as the city celebrates its Centennial. Everyone’s gearing up for the parade, as well as all sorts of other 100th year celebrations that will occur in the month of October. A special Centennial website has been set up for the occasion.

This post is about Halloween in Carmel and Monterey, California, so here are some local Halloween happenings to send chills of fun up your spine! We’ve organized the events by date to make it easier for you to plan your haunts…

Saturdays, September & October 2016

  • Ghost Tour of Old Monterey. Starting in September and ending October 29th, every Saturday night at 8 p.m. you can get your ghost on. The tour starts at 290 Figueroa Street. Imagine… in days long past Old Monterey was host to dashing Spanish horsemen, intrigue, and yes, murder. For as little as $20 (13 years or under), or $35 for adults, you can take an amazing 90-minute tour led by historians and long-time residents. They also have packages which include the tour, a t-shirt, and a book. Please check this Web page for more information or to purchase tickets.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea Centennial parade. The parade starts at the Staging Area on Junipero, rounds Ocean Avenue, then follows down San Carlos to its end. Please see the Centennial website for updated information. The party usually gets stated at 11 a.m., and offers lots of goodies and deals and fun. Expect costumes on two and four legged participants and spectators. Longtime resident and past Mayor, Clint Eastwood, is the Grand Marshall this year.
  • Playdate: Spooktacular Art. This offering from the Monterey Museum of Art is billed as a “mini art campus”. Drop your children off at 11:15 a.m. and for $20 or $30 (depending on whether you’re a member or not), they will learn art techniques while creating their own terrifying creatures and monsters. Visit this event site for information and/or to buy tickets.
  • Halloween Dinner and Dance Party. This is a Monterey Bay Aquarium member’s only event. Fortify yourself with a meal at Cindy’s Waterfront, before kicking off a spooky Halloween bash. Live music, dancing, fun. To find out more about this event, please visit this website.

 

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.
Photo Credit

Halloween in Big Sur

Halloween in Big Sur

2016 Halloween in Big Sur

Calling all ‘ghouls’: if you and your family love all that fall has to offer, including the spooky bits, we want to share with you the interesting haunts coming to your neighborhood in October. You may even find a trick, a treat, or a surprise as you read on, and plan out your activities. We cover more areas on the Monterey Peninsula, but for now let’s talk about the Halloween in Big Sur.

Point Sur Lighthouse

The ghost of a former Point Sur Lightstation’s spouse is said to still wander around the building. This beacon is said to be one of the top five most haunted lighthouses in our land. Spirits of sailors are rumored to wander the premises as well. Many have spoken about ghostly encounters while taking the tour. Can you brave it? It’s a frighteningly good time to visit. Here are some details for you:

Dates:                   Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, October 29, 2016
Time:                     5:15 – 9 p.m.
Location:              Point Sur Lighthouse, Hwy 1 Big Sur
Cost:                      $85 per person (tax-deductible, no children under the age of 6)
Registration:      October 22, 2016 / October 29, 2016

You’ll arrive at the Point Sur State Historic Park & Lighthouse just in time to begin your tour and see the sunset. At the Barn, you will be served a light buffet. Later, Kevin Hanstick, a professional actor and storyteller, will tell you spooky stories of the Lighthouse’s past. A paranormal investigator will also speak of her experiences. And in the organizer’s words: “If you dare, explore inside one of Pt. Sur’s real haunted houses, the un-restored Triplex.”

For all sorts of information about Point Sur, please visit PointSur.org.

Halloween Bal Masque

Perhaps a spooktacular night at the Lighthouse isn’t in the offing for you; or for some, perhaps it’s not enough! Every Halloween, on the night of, you can dress as your best alter ego and head over to the Big Sur Costume Ball. Activities begin at 6 p.m., and the haunting doesn’t end until midnight. Here are the important details:

Date:                     Monday, October 31, 2016
Time:                     6 p.m. – Midnight
Location:              Nepenthe, 4851 Highway 1 in Big Sur
Cost:                      Not available at time of writing*
Registration:      Call (831) 667-2345

Tripadvisor gives “The Halloween Ball” a 4/5 to 5/5 rating. Nepenthe has been serving visitors to the Big Sur Coast since 1949. They know what they’re doing, and you’ll be in for an excellent meal and night if you choose to attend. Please visit their main website for more information about Nepenthe, or visit their events page. The Bal Masque is a benefit for the Big Sur Volunteer Fire brigade.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Photo Credit

Monterey History Fest

Monterey-History-Fest-2

This year’s edition of Monterey History Fest takes place on October 15-16, 2016.

Let’s start out with this: most events are free unless otherwise specified. The Fest’s mission is to “bring Monterey’s past to life” in a community setting that offers something unique for residents and visitors. Every year the event includes opportunities for you to celebrate Monterey’s heritage through games, cultural gatherings, and guided tours. Here are a few of the specifics that usually occur:

Saturday Events

  • Tour of the Upper Presidio. This tour usually takes place on Saturday, at around 9 a.m. You’ll see our historic Calvary-era buildings, the Fort, and Sloat monument.
  • Pacific Biological Laboratory. AKA “Ed Ricketts’ Lab”, this facility is usually open on the first day for tours at various times. You’ll learn about Cannery Row, and the relationship that Steinbeck had with Ricketts.
  • Lower Presidio / Vizcaino’s Landing. You’ll be guided along by a historian who will show you important sites like where the first non-Native American was buried, the fortifications of El Castillo and Fort Mervine, and more.

Sunday Events

  • Reenactment of the California Constitutional Convention. Traditionally performed at the House of the Four Winds, watch this critical, historical event unfold before your eyes.
  • Civil War Encampments. Several encampments will be set up at Lower Presidio Historic Park (on Saturday as well). Plug your ears, as you’ll get to witness the thunder of cannon and musket firing.

NOTE: At the time of writing our sources had not yet posted current information, visit this page (courtesy of See Monterey) so you can check periodically in the coming days for up to date material. We’ve recapped what you can likely expect and will check for updates as well.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Photo Credit

Taste of Carmel

taste-of-carmel-alexa-clark-flickr2016 is Carmel’s centennial year. The celebrations continue with this year’s edition of the Taste of Carmel. It takes place October 6-9, and in honor of its 100th year, the clock will be turned back with an opening night that is bohemian-flavored indeed. Following are more details to help you celebrate. Things you already know: world-class dining, top-rated wines, and rich culture are already here. They’ll be in abundance during this several-day favored annual event. Here’s a run-down of this year’s offerings, on a day-by-day basis, covering all of the ‘big-ticket’ items:

Taste of Carmel Daily

  •  Wine Walk-by-the-Sea Passport.  Imagine: a Wine Tasting Passport for only $65! Tasters are presented with a Wine Walk flight – your choice – at any 9 of the 15 participating tasting rooms. The stroll and tastings are self-paced. The passport doesn’t expire; even after the event. You can pick it up at the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, in person or online.

Taste of Carmel on Thursday, October 6, 2016

  • Monterey Movie Tour – 1-4 p.m.  See the Peninsula “through the eyes of Hollywood”. This tour will drive you by landscapes and scenery seen in over 200 movies. Of course, it also includes 17-Mile Drive. It’s a three-hour “Theater-On-Wheels” spectacular. Tickets are $45 each. The Taste main website has links to all tickets and of course general festival information. For more details on this event, please visit this website.
  • The Bohemian Ball – 6-9 p.m.  Enjoy The Money Band, sip on great Monterey County wines while enjoying dinner at your favorite restaurant, drink in Carmel Mission Courtyard, and enjoy this bohemian night. There will be a silent auction too. Don’t forget to dress for the event. Tickets for the Ball are $85 per person in advance, more the night of, and can be purchased through a link on the organizer’s main website.

Taste of Carmel on Friday, October 7, 2016

  • Gimme-a-Breakfast Tour – 8:45-11 a.m.  For just $69, you can trek around and dine on Friday morning by way of a walking tour that offers food tastings from “six unique eateries and specialty shops”. All the while, you’ll be presented with information on Carmel’s cultural, historical, and architectural significance. Please note if you have special dietary needs – e.g., Vegan or Gluten-Free – you need to contact the organizers in advance.
  • Monterey Movie Tour – 1-4 p.m.  Same tour as is offered on the Thursday.
  • Wine Walk-by-the-Sea Dinner at Sunset Center. At time of writing there were no details for this event. Please check the main Web page periodically for further information.

Taste of Carmel on Saturday, October 8, 2016

  • Carmel Food Tour – Classic Food Tour – 11 a.m.-2 p.m.  Starting out a Sunset Center courtyard, this delectable tour finishes up at Lula’s Chocolates. Like the Breakfast Tour, it’s a guided walking adventure, taking in “seven unique eateries and specialty shops”. As with the Breakfast Tour, if you have special dietary requirements, please contact organizers in advance. The cost of this tour is $70 per person.

Taste of Carmel on Sunday, October 9, 2016

At time of writing, there was no information for Sunday-specific activities so keep an eye on their website updates.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Photo Credit

First Tee Open at Pebble Beach

FirstTeeOpenJayInslee

Golf and nature lovers: The Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach has almost arrived. This year the event runs from September 13-18, 2016. This annual tournament offers up great golf, of course. You’ll see your favorite players. You’ll be out on the links again. But more than that, you can feel good knowing proceeds go to The First Tee. With names behind the event like Clint Eastwood and Arnold Palmer you know you’re in for a treat. Here are a few more details about this year’s outing.

Let’s start with a list of just five of the professionals, including the defending champion, who will be playing this year:

  • Mark Brooks
  • Scott Dunlap
  • Jeff Hart
  • Esteban Toledo
  • Grant Waite

The playing field is vast: it consists of 81 PGA Tour champions, 81 Junior golfers, and 162 Amateurs.

The purpose of this event is to model values such as perseverance, judgment and responsibility to the newest generation of golfers while giving them an awe inspiring tournament experience.  These young players, aged 14 to 18, are evaluated and chosen by a panel of judges who review not only their playing ability but also their life skills and core values learned via their association with First Tee.

The purse for this year’s tournament is $2,000,000. It’s a 54-hole golf event; the first of its kind. It’s played on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course. Professionals play all rounds. The Junior/Pro teams will play ‘gross best ball’, and the Amateurs ‘net best ball’ of foursome. For a complete listing of professional players, please click this link.

Here is a list of important dates, places, and times (note that most tee times begin at 7:30 a.m.):

  • Tuesday, September 13 & Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – Practice Rounds.
  • Thursday, September 15, 2016 – Practice Rounds. From 2 p.m., the Coca-Cola Champions Challenge (1st Tee)
  • Friday, September 16, 2016 – First Round.
  • Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Second Round.
  • Sunday, September 18, 2016 – Final round, then the awards ceremony.

To learn more about this year’s tournament, please visit the organizer’s main website.

Before closing, here are a few more things you’ll want to know. Admission is free for the whole week! In addition, parking is free and the Pebble Beach gate fee will be waived for tournament spectators. A handy link to learn everything else about your attendance at the event can be found here. It covers the schedule of events, policies and etiquette, FAQs, and more.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Photo Credit

10 Must See Carmel Valley Landmarks

Must-See-Carmel-Valley-Landmarks

The Carmel River, a dominant feature of the Valley, intersects Carmel Valley Village and the community of Robles Del Rio. The natural features of the valley include woodlands, grasslands, and savanna suited for the area’s “warm-summer Mediterranean climate”. The natural beauty of the valley, and its landmarks, are many. Here we’ve chosen our ‘top-ten’  Carmel Valley landmarks; a list of places to go, and things to do when you are in the area.

Top 10 Must See Carmel Valley Landmarks

  1. One of the nicer stopping points for many in Carmel Valley is Earthbound Farm. Located at 7250 Carmel Valley Road, the Farm of course offers up fresh veggies, ready-to-eat meals, other groceries, flowers, and gifts. One of the more distinct facts about Earthbound Farm is that it’s the world’s largest grower of organics. They have special events on Saturdays between April and December, and many find their chamomile aromatherapy labyrinth wonderful.
  1. In the mood for hiking or camping; for being out in the abundant and beautiful nature of the area? Then you may want to visit Garland Ranch Regional Park. This 4,500-acre site has meadows, hillsides, and creeks to explore. Called the “granddaddy” of all Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks, it was originally purchased in 1975 from William Garland II, and its landscapes elevations go from 200 to 2,000 feet. There is the Carmel River, steeply ascending trails, maple-filled canyons, and more. You may see many of the countless varieties of insects, birds, plants or animals. In addition, you will be up front and personal with the past, as you can see the remains of the Rumsen Indian habitations.
  1. Perhaps you need more Zen in your life? In fact, the oldest Zen Monastery in the United States, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, is located at 39171 Tassajara Road in Carmel Valley. It’s in the fabulous Ventana Wilderness area of the Forest. The Center is known for, among other things, its spectacular natural surroundings, including many Forest hiking trails. It’s a place of healing, first used by the native Esselen people.
  1. Spend a day wandering around Carmel Valley Village where you’ll find shops and galleries unique to the area and opportunities to taste the local harvest. The time-worn oak trees are truly majestic and offer a little magic and a lot of shade.
  1. If you want a bit of everything, visit Stonepine Estate. Hiking nearby, horseback riding, beautiful vistas (of course), their Chateau Noel Gardens, and much more.
  1. While not the only Links by far, you may want to get your game on at the famous Quail Lodge & Golf Course. Besides offering excellent lodging and superb amenities, the golfing is second-to-none. You can book your Tee Time online before you get there if you want. Did you know the Lodge also offers an array of fascinating and fun non-golfing activities as well? Besides a Land Rover driving school, they have tennis, bocce ball, and even a 9-hole putting course.

For foodies, or wine lovers, and to ease your travel journey, we could easily begin and end our top-ten list here!

  1. Still hungry or thirsty as you travel from place to place in the Valley? A well-known spot, one that’s been in the area for over 3 decades, is the Rio Grill, located on Crossroads Boulevard. Winner of numerous awards over the years, you’ll enjoy “creative regional California cuisine” from their wood-burning grill.
  2. Café Rustica offers upscale country cooking in a rustic stone house setting. Reservations are recommended for this restaurant that features wood fired gourmet pizza, marinated lamb filets and their fish dishes are always a favorite.
  3. In the morning, the locals all head to the Wild Goose Café for coffee and breakfast. You can enjoy lunch there as well!
  1. A visit to Carmel Valley Village would not be complete without a tour of the local wine-tasting rooms! There are several ways to do this, on your own, as part of a trolley tour or via the Carmel Valley Wine Experience.  No matter how you get to the 20+ tasting rooms, you will enjoy the various flights and packages offered.

Ben & Carole love Carmel Valley and have chosen to call it home.  They appreciate the warm Mediterranean climate and enjoy growing their own potted vegetables.

Top 10 Must See Carmel Valley Landmarks

Top 10 Exceptional Big Sur Landmarks

Big-Sur-Landmarks

Big Sur is spectacularly beautiful. If you live in the region, you already know that. Known internationally, it has a number of ‘must see’ landmarks. Numerous articles have been written by residents and travelers alike, from all walks of life, about what to do or see while in the Big Sur area. Following is our list of 10 places to go or see, drawing on many of what we feel are some of Big Sur’s most exceptional places.

Highway 1 leads to most locations in the Big Sur area. This drive is actually about 85 miles, but you need to be on the alert as you drive, for places to stop and admire the scenery.

Top 10 Exceptional Big Sur Landmarks

  1. One of the most frequent and delicious stops in Big Sur, for locals and tourists alike, is the Big Sur Bakery.  Much more than breads and treats Big Sur Bakery offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a respite for the weary traveler. Along with their flourless brownie with walnut ice cream, they recommend slowing down to appreciate all that Big Sur has to offer your senses.
    Big-Sur-Bakery
  2. Consistently rated as one of the most popular attractions in the area is McWay Falls. It’s just over 35 miles south of Carmel off Highway 1, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The 80-foot waterfall from McWay Falls flows year ‘round. It’s unusual in that it, along with the Almere Falls, flows directly into the ocean. There’s actually a hiking trail, less than a mile, that leads directly to it. Click here for that information. The park itself is named after a respected pioneer woman from Big Sur country. You’ll see redwoods, tan oaks, the waterfall as mentioned, and a fabulous view of the ocean and many miles of rugged coastline.
  3. Bookstore, art center, and more; the Henry Miller Memorial Library is well worth visiting. But perhaps not for the reasons you think. Besides the fame of its name, and the books and objet d’art, it is a well-known and loved concert spot. How so? Outdoors in the towering redwoods, with the ocean a few steps away.
  4. As you head out from Monterey, it would be hard to miss Bixby Street Bridge. In fact, it’s one of the most photographed and popular attractions in this area, and has been featured many times in movies and on television. It was completed in 1932. It’s not that it’s long: it’s the architecture – height and arch – and the amazingly dramatic view of the coastline.Why include accommodations and a restaurant? You won’t want to ‘do’ Big Sur in just one day, unless you’re in the area and make a day trip or two. Each of these unique places have a history, and offer something special.
  5. Post Ranch Inn is a luxury resort with an unbelievable view of the coastline. Their restaurant Sierra Mar is an exceptional and creative fine dining experience.
  6.  Big Sur Lodge has cabins in Pfeiffer Big Sur State park. They’re cottage-style, with great decks and amazing views of the surrounding redwoods. Near hiking paths, it offers free access to the state park facilities, and more.
  7. Trip Advisor’s rating of the New Camaldoli Hermitage is 4.5/5. This branch of the Benedictine family was founded in the 10th century. It’s located in the Santa Lucia Mountains. While not for everyone, this is the spot you’ll want to go to if you love solitude and an opportunity to quietly experience some of the beauty of the Big Sur area.
  8. Treebones Resort is considered a ‘glamping’ site: glamorous camping! You’ll find wood floors, redwood decks, and Adirondack’s that have ocean views. Campsites are also available.  Ask about their “nest”!
  9. Nepenthe Restaurant, besides offering great California fare, is about the view. With a terrace perched on a cliff over the Big Sur coastline, the vistas are extraordinary.
  10. The Esalen Institute is a retreat, spa, and self-help experience rolled into one unique location. You must make reservations as their workshops are the main attraction for a stay at Esalen. Rooms are shared unless there are two of you attending together. You are able to take advantage of their workshops while staying elsewhere in the area.

Top 10 big-sur-landmarks

McWay Falls Photo Credit

The History of Pacific Grove

History_pacific_grove

If you live in or near Pacific Grove, you know why it’s been referred to as:

  • The Most Romantic City in America
  • Butterfly Town U.S.A.
  • A Dreamy California destination
  • The Best Seaside Sanctuary

People all over the world, particularly those of you who live here, understand the beauty, breathtaking views and vistas, poetry, romance, and ambience of our Pacific Grove. So how did we get here? What are some of the most influential happenings throughout history that brought us to today? That’s what this post is about.

Through the Years: The History of Pacific Grove

Pre-1800s

One of the Ohlone groups originally inhabited the area we now know as Pacific Grove. They hunted, fished, and gathered. The Peninsula was rich, and this was how they prospered.

Early 1800s

Over 2,500 acres were claimed by Jose Maria Armenta in a land grant. It included Monterey and Pacific Grove. Approximately 20 years later, in 1855, Point Pinos Lighthouse was built. It’s still operational and is known as the “oldest continuously operated lighthouse on the west coast”.

1864 – 1881: The David Jacks Era

Darrell Stokes Gregory sold Punta de los Pinos Rancho to David Jacks. In 1868, Jacks further acquired more Rancho lands. As the late-1800s approached, the following additional developments took place:

  • Meeting in San Francisco in 1873, the Methodist Annual Conference talked about how they wanted to create a seaside resort on the West Coast. They would soon begin negotiations with David Jacks. The Conference planned to fashion a town after Ocean Grove (New Jersey).
  • A couple of years later, after forming The Pacific Grove Retreat Association (PGRA), the group signed a deal with Mr. Jacks for 100 acres of land. In August of 1875, the first Methodist camp met in Pacific Grove. Part of the deal involved Jacks’ donating some of the land.
  • A little later, unsold portions of Pacific Grove Retreat lots reverted back to Jacks, and in 1880 he sold remaining land to the Pacific Improvement Company (PIC). By 1881, eight families were living in Pacific Grove.

1883 – 1896: Pacific Improvement Company and Pacific Grove Retreat Association

PGRA and PIC signed a contract in 1883. The former would control “the moral and prudential management” of the Grove, while PIC would manage the financials. Springing forth from this arrangement were many things. In 1884, a summer school. In 1886, the first library, as businesses began to appear on Lighthouse Road. The El Carmelo Hotel opened in 1887 (at Fountain and Forest), and St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea was consecrated. Pacific Grove incorporated in June of 1889, the same year the railroad came to town. Many other developments happened before 1900:

  • The Pine Street School opened in 1891
  • Hopkins Seaside Lab was built (part of Stanford)
  • The Bath House was built
  • In 1879, on wandering into the Methodist campgrounds, Robert Louis Stevenson said “I have never been in any place so dreamlike.”
  • Electric lights came to Pacific Grove in 1895, and the first phone exchange in 1896

It should also be noted that, even before Steinbeck moved into town, from the 1890s forward, Pacific Grove was becoming a haven for artists, many of whom, from the En plein air schools, were looking for natural beauty.

Turn of the Century

First President McKinley, and then in 1903 President Roosevelt visited Pacific Grove. In 1906, a Carnagie land grant was obtained so a public library could be built; it opened at its current location in 1908. Asilomar ‘Refuge by the Sea’ was created when PIC donated land to the YMCA. Around this time, artist William Adam moved from Monterey to Pacific Grove. The German painter Eugen Neuhaus also located here. On the site of the former Chinese fishing village, in 1916, the Monterey Boatworks was formed.

1923 – 1950: Explosive Development

What we know now as Robert H. Down Elementary School was opened in 1923; the same year the Pacific Biological Laboratory was opened. As Lighthouse Avenue was being paved in 1924, Holman’s Department store opened. And there were a number of other advances:

  • What we now know as Forest Hill Manor Retirement Center was built as a hotel. That was in 1926.
  • In 1930, an event happened, by way of the arrival of one person, that would begin to change Pacific Grove dramatically: John Steinbeck moved to Pacific Grove.
  • Pacific Grove’s first female Mayor, Julia Platt, was elected in 1931
  • A couple of years later the Museum opened, as did Pacific Grove golf course
  • In 1938 the Post Office was constructed, and the First National Bank opened
  • In 1939 history was made, as the town passed an ordinance making it illegal to molest butterflies
  • Post-WWII development saw the expansion of the city into subdivisions in the western and southern ends

1950 – Today: Modern Times

In 1950, the Pacific Grove Youth Center was dedicated to Bing Crosby. In January of 1963, the old Methodist-Episcopal Church was demolished. Did you know the city has the distinction of being known as “the last dry town in California”? In fact, not until the grand opening of the Pacific Grove Art Center in 1969 was alcohol served in public. Earlier in the year, residents had voted to allow it to be sold in town. In 1975, the Heritage Society of Pacific Grove was founded, and it became incorporated the following year.

In the 1980s, one of the most well-known computer software companies, Digital Research, was headquartered here. In 1994, City Council passed the first historic preservation ordinance. This was in keeping with our continued desire to preserve our historical heritage.

Our Pacific Grove has a rich and interesting heritage, that continues today.

Photo Credit

 

Feast of Lanterns

feast-of-lanterns

For over 110 years, Pacific Grove has celebrated its birthday by holding its multicultural and annual Feast of Lanterns. With elegant costumes, a Royal Court consisting of active middle school and high school girls, who will be awarded scholarships, costumes, teas, fashion shows, and of course the lighted lanterns that grace the bay at night, it’s a popular and wonderful local tradition. This year’s Feast of Lanterns will be held in late July (dates and main activities below), with the kick-off event in late June.

Among the many events currently scheduled at the time this post was created, are the following:

  • July 23, 2016 – The Fashion of the Feast. This event takes place at noon, in the Asilomar Conference Centre at Merrill Hall.
  • July 27, 2016 – Opening Ceremonies. At noon, at Chautauqua Hall downtown.
  • July 29, 2016 – Feast of Flavors, and Feast of Lanterns Pet Parade. The first event starts at 11:30 a.m. at Chautauqua Hall. Gather for the pet parade at Caledonia Park at 2, as the parade begins at 2:30 p.m.
  • July 30, 2016 – Kids Activities, Yoga with the Royal Court, and more. So this is the day not to miss. Activities begin at 11 a.m.
  • July 21, 2016 – Closing Ceremonies. At Chautauqua Hall, beginning at 2 p.m.

The above is a partial list only, and according to the organizers, they’ll add more as time goes on. Please check the Feast of Lanterns website for updates. The event’s main website has all sorts of additional information about the history of the Feast of Lanterns, how it was revived in 1957, what’s been added along the way, and much more.

Below is an old video from the 1930’s that interprets part the story behind the Feast of the Lanterns:

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Photo Credit

Monterey Car Week and the Concours d’Elegance

Monterey car week

Cars, Motorsports, Automotive Elegance!

2016 Monterey Car Week

To automobile enthusiasts of all kinds: three major, connected, annual events are just down the road. All of them are in the Monterey area. All of them attract a great deal of attention every year. Coming up in this summer’s Monterey Car Week are the Motorsports Reunion and the Concours d’Elegance. Three different sets of events, book-cased by many others, showcasing spectacular automobiles. Whatever ways you like your cars – classic, powerful, or elegant – you will be able to satisfy your curiosity very shortly. Below are some essential details for Car Week, along with dates, times, and appropriate website addresses.

A one-word description of this internationally known event might be, as the organizers say on their official Web page: “fantastic”. Every year they have a featured marquee. This year it will be BMW. Amazing and rare cars, displayed across “the most beautiful golf courses in the world.”  Exclusive and rare automobiles being sold at astronomical prices. Thunderous noises as vintage race cars weave through Laguna Seca Raceway.

Following are a few of the many things that will take place during Monterey Car Week this year. Please be advised that every day features several events, so we will be unable to cover everything here. For a detailed listing of events, including links to additional websites, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Monterey Car Week event page.

  • Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – From 10 am – 6 pm Automobile Monterey takes place at The Embassy Suites. Concours on the Avenue, on Ocean Avenue in Carmel, is a free event. And another complimentary event, the Classic Motorsports Magazine Monterey Kick Off Cruise-In takes place from 4-8 p.m. at Folktale Winery.
  • Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Four separate activities happen this day, beginning at 10 a.m. at The Embassy Suites with Automobile Monterey. The one free event is the very popular Little Car Show. The place is Lighthouse Avenue in downtown Pacific Grove. The timing is from noon to 5 p.m. Please check the events link for more information on all events for this day.
  • Thursday, August 18, 2016 – The second busiest single day of Car Week, with over 10 separate things happening! Of note, and taking advantage of our beautiful 17-Mile Drive, Is the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, presented by Rolex. Cars line up from 7-8 a.m. near Collins Field in Pebble Beach. At 8:30 a.m., they’re off, taking advantage of portions of 17-Mile Drive. The Tour arrives in Carmel between 11:30 a.m. and noon. From noon to 2 p.m., the automobiles are displayed on Ocean Avenue, and after that, the Tour returns to Pebble Beach. As mentioned, there are quite a few automotive affairs happening this day. Others include Russo and Steele’s 16th Annual Sports and Muscle Auction in downtown Monterey, the Italian Stampede, driving from L.A. to Monterey, and the Third Annual ‘AIM for the Cures’ Dinner at Pebble Beach. An amazing line up on Thursday.
  • Friday, August 19, 2016 – The busiest, most action-packed day! A dozen unique events occur on the Friday. Several car auctions take place, including the RM Auction at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center. The Exotics on Cannery Row runs from 4-8 p.m. In a week lined up with rare and unique events, one of the more prestigious happenings on Friday is Legends of the Autobahn. It takes place at the Nicklaus Club Pasadena Drive in Monterey, from 7 a.m. through to 3 p.m. This is the new location for the Club. Among the many things happening Friday will be a gathering of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi club members and admirers to celebrate German automotive technology. Exact timing is unknown for the next event: the 22nd Annual Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally, but it will take place at Lighthouse and Forest Avenues. For those of you who want to feel more connected “to the automotive world”, there’s the Automotive Film and Arts Festival at Golden State Theatre in Monterey, taking place from 4-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Saturday showcases another 10 top-shelf events! More auctions are happeneing. The Barnyard Ferrari Event takes place at 4 p.m. in Carmel, at the Shopping Village with the same name. Perhaps the one ‘big ticket’ event is day one of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. This is where to go to experience the thunder and power of some great classic cars.
  • Sunday, August 21, 2016 – Sunday, the last day, seems to hold all the cards for big, bad, bold, and important, as two of the more important events happen this day. We’re including links for these, as they’re sometimes treated as separate events. The Motorsports Reunion continues on the Sunday. The highly-anticipated Pebble Beach Auction also takes place this last day of Car Week. Rick Cole Auctions happen from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Monterey Marriott. And the biggest draw…

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

We thought we would close out our post by covering the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance separately. While ‘only’ a part of Sunday’s activities, it is one of the most well-known automobile events on the planet. The Financial Times calls it “The number one event of its type in the world.” Fitting that it takes place on the last day of Car Week. Lots of details about this, and you can certainly read all about it by clicking the above website link. How about we end up by saying this: for a starting price of $375 you can join in the rarefied atmosphere at The Lodge at Pebble Beach on Sunday morning. What’s your return on investment? Incalculable. You will see “200 of the most prized collector cars in the world”. This year, among the marques and special classes:

  • Chapron Coachwork
  • Bizzarrini
  • Two-Man Indianapolis Race Cars 1930-1937

In addition to all of this, you’ll take in new car debuts and concept cars. What an amazing way to cap off Car Week!

Enjoy, safely, a summer of very special automobiles. Happy motoring!

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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History of Pebble Beach

History-of-pebble-beach

“Combine a dramatic coastline and mystical forest with a rich history of world-class accommodations, warm hospitality, expert service and grand recreation. … It’s no wonder Pebble Beach Resorts has attracted extraordinary visitors throughout its history. From Samuel F. B. Morse to Clint Eastwood. Teddy Roosevelt to Sir Winston Churchill.”

Pebble Beach Resorts

You live here, or nearby, or perhaps have visited. You know about the Links, the vivid coastline, the forests and parkland, the hospitality, the Concours d’ELEGANCE, and something of its heritage. Speaking now of the history of Pebble Beach, we hope you enjoy this post, meant to touch on some of the major stopping points in its rich and important past.

History of Pebble Beach

Fabián Barreto acquired the land, that is now Pebble Beach, through a Mexican land grant. Once he died, the land (a rocky cover and some beach) passed through several owners. For a time, in the mid-1800s, a number of Chinese fishing settlements were formed along Carmel Bay, including one next to Pebble Beach. Things began to take a more orderly path in 1860, following David Jack’s purchase of the original Mexican land grant. Here are a few highlights, beginning at around 1860:

  • Jack sold the land to the “big four” railroad barons behind the Pacific Improvement Company (PIC) in 1880. What’s perhaps most significant about this is that it was this company that created and laid down 17-Mile Drive. Go-California has an interesting and useful article entitled 17-Mile Drive Visitor Guide. An interesting piece of trivia: The “big four” included Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University. The company owned the Hotel Del Monte, so it was in their interest to bring guests right to it.
  • Chinese fisherman, villagers, and workers made a huge contribution to the area, including labor they put into the Central Pacific Railroad, but growing anti-Chinese sentiment in the early 1900s was to change the landscape.
  • Pebble Beach Lodge (the original of which burned down in 1917) was built and completed in 1909 by architect Lewis P. Hobart, commission by the Pacific Improvement Company. It overlooked Pebble Beach, and was approximately at the halfway point of 17-Mile Drive. It was operated by the people behind the Hotel Del Monte. In 1916, manager Samuel Morse (a distant cousin to the inventor of the Morse Code), then perhaps only in his early 30s, convinced the group to build a golf course at the edge of Pebble Beach. While the Lodge burned down as the golf course was being completed, it was replaced by the Del Monte Lodge, a multi-story hotel. Both Lodge and Links opened in 1919.
  • Morse was to be instrumental in shaping the area. In 1919 he acquired extensive holdings of the PIC group, including Del Monte Forest, the Lodge, and the hotel. The lengthy story of Morse’s time included his bringing his son in as president in the late 1940s, then his son-in-law, who in 1954 was named president of Del Monte Properties Company. Fast forward to 1969/70 when the elder Morse died, and Alfred Gawthrop Jr. was serving as chairman of the group. In 1977, it was reincorporated as the Pebble Beach Corporation.
  • The Corporation changed hands a number of times from 1977: 20th Century Fox purchased it in 1979, and even after the studio was sold to Rupert Murdoch in 1985, company assets – and the Aspen Skiing Company – were retained by Marvin Davis. He sold the Pebble Beach Company to Minoru Isutani, who worked under a holding company called Lone Cypress. Mr. Isutani was investigated by the FBI for money laundering in the 1990s, after taking a loss of over $340 million on the sale of Pebble Beach. In more recent history…
  • Lone Cypress was acquired in 1999 by a group headed up by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood and partners (including Arnold Palmer and Peter Ueberroth) created and tried, twice, to have passed into law “Measure A”. This controversial development proposal failed as originally conceived in 2006, and again in 2007. It’s interesting to note that in 2009, the group formed by Eastwood (which had grown by a couple of new members) began to offer limited partnership interests, but with the explicit understanding that Pebble Beach Company could never be sold to another ownership group.

A lot happened between and after some of the main events you see above, and certainly, Pebble Beach is known for a much more than real estate transactions and development projects! Witch Tree, a famous landmark that stood until a storm felled it in 1964, was often used in Hollywood movies. Lana Turner’s Mr. Imperium featured it as part of Italy’s coast in 1951. In 1956, Doris Day’s Julie had showed it in a scene where she was fleeing from her husband. The LA Times did an interesting piece on this tree and other 17-Mile Road landmarks in 2013. In 2009, the area near this famous landmark was deemed off-limits by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Today Pebble Beach is an affluent gated community, in which visitors flock to tour 17 mile drive for the $10 per car fee, or play the world famous golf courses for significantly more. The Lone Cypress, an attraction on the drive, is one of the most photographed trees in North America.

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History of Carmel Valley

history-of-carmel-valley

How much do you know about the history of Carmel Valley? Carmel Valley’s founding is closely tied to that of nearby Carmel and Monterey, and yet, it has developed its own historical significance in the area.

Just after the turn of the 17th Century, while on an expedition, Carmelite Friars named a stream El Rio de Carmelo in honor of their Patroness. At the time, populating the area were several districts of the Esselen Tribe, extending from Carmel Valley into the Santa Lucia Mountains. They hunted, fished, and gathered nuts and berries for sustenance. When the Spaniards arrived, they introduced this indigenous people to crop farming and cattle. Fortunately, cattle were to save the missions that were built, the presidio, and the area’s population as crop farming initially failed. A key turning point in the area occurred when Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan educator from Spain, arrived in Monterey. Father Serra had spent time in Mexico in the 1750s and 1760s before relocating to the Carmel Valley area in 1769.

  • In 1771, Father Serra moved his Mission from Monterey to the banks of the Carmel River. Over the next few years, in addition to ensuring land cultivation and crop growing could be re-established, he was interested in having a reliable vegetable garden to supply ships, should any stop there. He was aware that proper irrigation would be needed and that work began in 1777.
  • In the early 1780s, irrigation was successful, crops were stored, and a lagoon was added. Near the end of the 18th Century, Presidio commanders began to make land grants for their retired soldiers, even though such grants were not approved by the U.S. Land Commission. At the turn of the century, many more land grants were made by the Mission and others. This continued right up until the mid-1800s, when Rancho Los Laureles was granted to Jose Agricio, a member of the Mission. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was just around the corner.
  • The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War. It was signed in 1848 by both the U.S. government and a representative of the collapsed Mexican government. This was a key event for the area, as Upper California, New Mexico, and Arizona were ceded to America. Also, the U.S. claim over Texas was recognized. Around this time the Esselen had all relocated to Carmel Valley.
  • Another key development that would affect Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pebble Beach and surrounding areas was the purchase of parts of the Peninsula and adjoining lands by the Pacific Improvement Company (PIC) in 1880. 1883 was also a pivotal year, as it marked the creation of a dam that is currently below the San Clemente Dam. In addition, infrastructure was built so water could be piped into PICs Del Monte Hotel and into Monterey.

At the turn of the 20th Century, population was growing spurring major improvements and changes. PIC drilled wells near Laureles Ranch, installed pumps, and began pumping up to 2 million gallons of water per day.

Much happened in the area between 1917 and 1929. Del Monte Properties was founded by S.F.B. Morse. Once he acquired Carmel Valley property, he also acquired valuable water rights. In the early 1920s several mining companies were founded in the lower river / Carmel River areas. Morse built another dam upstream from the first one. In 1927, Robles Del Rio Lodge, with a 9-hole course, opened in Carmel Valley.

There was all sorts of growth and activity in the 1930s and 1940s. Brown Trout were introduced into the river at several separate times by the Department of Fish and Game. The five golf courses now in the area received irrigation. Floods occurred, and in 1943, the Sam Clemente Dam received over 5 inches of rain in two days. A filter plant opened near the dam later. In 1948, the Los Padres Dam was built; with mules and a single bulldozer!

In 1946 Byington and Tirey Ford developed Carmel Valley Village which included a general store, soda fountain, drug store and barber shop in the architectural style of a Mexican village.  The brothers’ initial plans included an airpark where they planned to sell hangars for airplanes.  The business didn’t “take off,” likely due to the aftereffects of WWII so they adjusted and sold ranch-style houses instead.

Between 1960 and 1980, much more growth and many more services appeared, including:

  • The opening of Quail Resort in 1963.
  • The sale of CW&T (California Water & Telephone) to American Water Works Company in 1965.
  • Major flood events, including one in 1969 that destroyed the bridge at Don Juan Ranch, and caused extensive erosion along Carmel Valley.
  • The opening in 1970 of Rancho de La Canada golf course, the airstrip built on Ponciano Ridge in 1972, a severe drought in 1976, and the creation of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District in 1977.
  • In 1979 one of the founders of the Carmel River Steelhead Association met with representatives of the local Assemblyman’s office to talk about the declining population of steelhead in the Carmel River. This meeting was to have large-scale implications, as it led to the formation of the Carmel River Watch (CREW). Members came from California Department of Fish and Game, the Sierra Club, the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, and several other agencies.

In the 1980s, the region saw the enactment of the Carmel Valley Flood Plan Ordinance, the green light being given to the building of a new Sam Clemente Dam project, and restoration of areas of the Carmel River. In the 1990s, as the new millennium approached, several more key and newsworthy events took place. Among those, a protest by the Esselen over the location of the planned Los Padres dam, the formation in 1993 of a steelhead spawning habitat restoration project, and an environmental move that saw Pebble Beach golf courses begin to use reclaimed water. Many writs were executed and agreements arrived at to protect waters of the stream and animals in the area. The only endangered river in California, the Carmel River, was named so in 1999 (the Herald had a piece on this in April of that year).

In fairly recent history, the Carmel Valley Historic Airpark Society was able to save the airpark, shutdown in 2002. It is now used as a park for local residents to fly remote-controlled planes.

Carmel Valley… shaped by the Esselens, fostered and nurtured by the Spaniards, and continually invested in and protected through several centuries. It’s a wonder to behold.

Our thanks to the Carmel Valley Historical Society and several other sources for inspiration and facts related to this brief recounting of the history of Carmel Valley. Learn more about the Carmel Valley Historical Society from their Facebook page.

Photo Credit

Carmel Bach Festival

carmel-bach-festival

It’s time to get back to Bach! Every year, Carmel has one of the most delightful classical music celebrations: the Carmel Bach Festival (CBF). This year the music begins on July 16, at the fabulous Sunset Center Theater. Carmel’s Centennial will be celebrated to the orchestrations of Bach and Handel by the Sea. This opening night gala has tickets on sale for between $66-$89, but by no means is it the only event in this multiday musical journey.

Though this long-running festival – over 80 years at this point –was shortened to two weeks in 2009, the organization’s mission has remained steadfast and inspirational:

“To celebrate the works, inspiration, and ongoing influence of J.S. Bach worldwide by immersing audiences in a festival experience integrating music, education and ideas, and by meaningful community engagement throughout the year.”

So year ‘round, but especially for two inspiring weeks in July, CBF delivers. They provide a musical environment and ‘context’, under the leadership and direction of Music Director and Conductor Paul Goodwin, and Executive Director Debbie Chinn. Their “innovative artistic programming” bridges all concerts, off-season and on, and it expands access outside Carmel and the Peninsula. The folks at CBF seek to transcend “traditional boundaries” and enrich our lives.

This year’s festival is chock full of events. To get the full picture, we suggest you review their calendar. Here are just a few entries to get you thinking about how you can spend quality time with your senses this July:

  • Potentially, one of the more ‘fun’ pre-festival events is Happy Hour Bach! This year it takes place at the Monterey Museum of Art, on July 16, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are only $45. You’ll experience Piazzola, Purcell, Bertali, Lully, and Kreisler; and enjoy a wine and cheese reception later on.
  • July 16 features the official Opening Gala, as already mentioned.
  • You can ‘walk’­ the Streets of Madrid on Friday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m. For $30-35, at the All Saints Church, enjoy Mozart and Boccherini.
  • On July 27 you will find Immortal Bach. For $70-$85, at the Carmel Mission Basilica, indulge your senses as Conductor Andrew Megill, along with orchestra, chorale, and chorus take you on a journey.
  • Would you like to have Coffee with Bach? Can do, the morning of July 30. Later on, in the early evening, get in on the closing night’s Best of the Fest, once again at the Sunset Center Theatre. Tickets for that start at $98.

So a jam-packed full list of events, much more than we could fit into one post, await you at this year’s Carmel Bach Festival. Click on any of the links you see in this article, or for their main website, please click this link.  (Note: at the time of this writing the Bach Festival website had not updated their security certificate which results in warnings when visitors try to access the site.)

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Photo Credit

Bacon or Artichokes? June’s Festival of Food

Bacon-or-Artichokes

Bacon or Artichokes? June’s Festival of Food includes both! The month starts with the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, and closes with the Monterey BaconFest.  Healthy and delicious!

Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival

Do you love the sometimes maligned – but hugely nutritional and delicious – artichoke? Are you loyal to it? Did you know you can join The Artichoke Club, and have a chance at winning a whole case this field-fresh veggie? All true. The California artichoke should perhaps be in a food group of its own. It’s celebrated all of the time. In fact, the annual Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival has just about arrived again. Yes; wine too! Here are a few details so you can plan your visit…

  • The dates are June 4-5, 2016.
  • The event takes place at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center.
  • On Saturday, the Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Children under 3 are free. Children 4-12, Seniors (62 or older), or Active Military pay $7. Adult admission is $12.

There are all sorts of fun and interesting events at the Festival. Argo Art is “3-dimensional fruit and vegetable artwork”. The Festival features a one-day Argo Art competition on June 4, 2016 at 10 a.m.  Competing artists must enter the arena, supplies in hand, at 10 a.m. and may begin building their sculptures at that point. Judges will examine the artwork at 1 p.m., with winners being announced at 2 p.m.  In addition to the Ocean Mist Argo Art competition, there are many more events or activities featured this year, including:

  • Wine and beer tasting at the California Wine & Beer Tasting Pavilion. If you get a chance to purchase tickets online before June 1, you’ll get a commemorative glass and five tasting tokens for only $10. The wineries include Hahn Family Wines, Social Impact Winery, and others, while breweries featured include Beer Republic Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, and several more. You can of course purchase tickets the day of.
  • Each of the two days will feature several chef demonstrations with some well-known celebrities included. You’ll see Chefs Todd Fisher and Tony Baker (mentioned below in the BaconFest article), as well as Chef Rene Herrera of Alfonso’s Authentic Mexican Food, Pat Hopper, Chef Dyon Foster of Monterey County Club & Chef’s Palette Spice Rubs, and several others.
  • In addition to artichoke field tours and a farmers’ market, there will be live entertainment on the Main Stage each day. If you like classics from the 60s and 70s, you can catch Kindred Soul on Saturday morning. Into Latin Rock or Latin Jazz. You’re in for a treat on the Sunday as the fantastic 11-piece band known as Everyday People will perform for you. There are many other artists appearing as well.

You can buy your tickets now, or if you want more general information about the Festival, performers, featured chefs, and so forth, you can visit the host’s main website here.

Monterey BaconFest

We live in the United States of Bacon. Did you know that? According to Chef Todd Fisher, the host of this popular TV show, and Purveyor of Baker’s Bacon, Chef Tony Baker, it is true. One could come up with all sorts of catchy catchphrases – bacon is the new black, etc. – but if you’re a bacon lover, however you serve it up, you know you’re indulging in the unprecedented popularity of this specialty. So it’s fitting we introduce you to Monterey BaconFest!

The venue is Monterey Fairgrounds, and the dates, June 25-26, 2016. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Music kicks in at 11:30 a.m. The festival has lots to eat, of course, and lots more. Here are some of the highlights:

  • For starters, all kinds of food featuring or made with bacon!
  • Craft and product vendors
  • Up and coming, and well-known performers on the Garden Stage
  • Chef Todd Fisher and Chef Tony Baker
  • A BaconBar!

Perhaps best of all, this two-day event is family friendly. Bring everyone along. Bring your own chairs or blankets. Ticket prices are reasonable, with special prices in place for children, and for military personnel. Children under 7 are free. Tickets may be purchased online or the day of. For more information on BaconFest, please visit their main website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Triathlon @ Pacific Grove

Triathlon-at-Pacific-Grove

Swim, bike, run: this is the stuff of triathletes. Endurance, excellence, and love of fitness all play their parts too. On the weekend of June 10-12, as part of Tri-California Events, the Triathlon @ Pacific Grove takes place. Athletes have a choice: they can swim, bike, and run the official respective Olympic distances, or choose to do the Sprint. There is also a separate 5K and 10K Run for Our Service Men and Women events. Whether you’re thinking of participating or supporting and cheering, following are a few more details to get you in the game.

Olympic Distance – Saturday, June 11, 2016

  • Swim – The location of the swim is at Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, Lovers Point. The distance: 1.5K.
  • Bike – An amazing “ocean backdrop looped course” on the Monterey Peninsula. The distance is 40K.
  • Run – Same wonderful course on the Peninsula, but with a running distance of 10K.

Sprinting Distance – Sunday, June 12, 2016

  • Swim – The location is the same as for the Olympic version, but the distance is .25 miles.
  • Bike – Same course as above, with an “on road” cycling distance here of 20K.
  • Run – The distance for the on road sprint is 2 miles.

For those who want to support our service men and women, the 10K run “out and back” course along the Peninsula takes place on the Saturday, while the 5K run will be done on the Sunday.

Registration fees depend on age, event, and athletic level. The prices range from as little as $32 for any single leg of the Youth Relay Sprint, to $150 for the Adult Olympic Distance Triathlon. All registration details can be found here. For general information, please visit the race’s main website.

If you can’t participate in the event, but want to do a little more than cheer on the athletes, you can volunteer! To find out more about these opportunities, please visit this Web page.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Quaff, Sip, Enjoy June’s Local Wine & Beer Festivals

Monterey-wine-and-beer

We love sipping our wines, appreciate art, and at times enjoy quaffing back a pint or two of good craft beer. Good news for us: right in our neighborhood, this June, there are three distinct, fun, and tasty local wine and beer festivals we can attend. They’re outlined below, along with dates, times, appropriate links, and how to get tickets.

Monterey Wine Festival

For 40 years, in the wonderful location that is Custom House Plaza, Monterey has held their annual Wine Festival. This year the dates are from June 3 through June 5. Each date and time holds many great things to do and excellent wines to taste. Here’s a rundown for you.

Friday, June 3, 6 – 9 p.m. – This event is limited to 100 people. Billed as their VIP Gourmet Extravaganza Party, the $250 you’ll spend offers incredible value for the gourmand and wine aficionado. Among the many fine offerings:

  • For the gourmand, lobster, duck, salmon, wygu style beef and much, much more.
  • For the wine aficionado, outstanding Pinots, Chardonnays, Cabernets, and other fine varietals.
  • For everyone, as the evening winds down, fine whiskey and tequila.

Tickets for this very special night, or for any of the events, can be purchased here.

Saturday, June 4, noon – 4 p.m. – Everyone who purchases a ticket for the Saturday is invited to a ‘Chowdah’ Celebration! That’s included in both the General Admission price, which is $45, or the VIP Admission (it gives you an extra hour of tasting) which is $55.

Accomplished, professional West Coast chefs will be whipping up fabulous chowders this day. Whether clam, seafood, or something more creative, you’ll taste chowders “simmered to perfection”. All the best wines that pair with the chowders will be available too.

Sunday, June 5, noon – 3 p.m. – Sunday ticket holders get to enjoy the “Kings of Calamari and Masters of Mussels”! This is included in the $45 General Admission price as well as the $55 VIP Admission. What’s in store for you on Sunday?

  • Select white and red wines, beer, and spirits
  • Calamari, mussels, and other delicacies
  • International cheeses
  • A special Cultured Cheese & Charcuterie Experience
  • Live music

Links to both the event’s main website, and the tickets page, are available above.

Monterey Beer Festival

Neatly nestled between two festivals focusing primarily on wine, there’s this! The 15th Annual Monterey Beer Festival is happening on Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 12:30 p.m. at Monterey County Fairgrounds. While a VIP pass will get you in an hour earlier, all attendees will have something to smile at during this popular annual festival.

Beer lovers know their beer, and the breweries that painstakingly craft them. A dozen excellent craft breweries will have their best at this year’s festival. Included in the list:

  • Monterey’s own Peter Bs Brewpub
  • Trumer Pils, from Berkeley
  • Alaskan Brewing Co.
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Stone Brewing

Whatever your style – from lagers to ales, to hoppy IPAs – you’ll have an opportunity to quaff to your heart’s content at this popular annual event. It’s great to know as well you’ll be entertained throughout the festival. The Main Stage will feature DJ Fredo, Journey Revisited, and Daze on the Green. General admission costs $45 in advance or $50 at the gate, while VIP admission is worth $70 in advance or $80 at the gate. Parking is only $10, but to be safe, you may want to hire a Designated Driver: that only costs $20.

You may still be able to get in early and purchase online. Here’s the festival’s ticket sales website.

Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration

In case the weekends of June 3 or 11 didn’t work out for you, or even they did and you want more, the 12th edition of Carmel’s popular event – combining local art and wine – takes place on June 18, 2016 from 11 – 5 p.m. in Carmel Valley Village. Don’t worry about transportation, or admission prices: both are free. Transportation will be courtesy of MT Grapevine Express. This Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event offers art exhibits from many local artists. Among the art represented will be offerings from:

  • Plein artists
  • Photographers
  • Jewelry Designers

As you stroll the lovely streets of Carmel Valley Village, you can sip to your heart’s content. If you’re early enough to buy online, your wine tasting ticket costs only $30. If not, you can purchase the day of at various ticket stations for $40. You can visit’s the Chamber’s event website here. If you already know you want to purchase tickets – there are all sorts of options, deals, and price ranges – visit this Web page. In addition to the art and wine, there will be live jazz and acoustic music. Plus, the second annual live auction to raise money for the Tulracitos Art Program will be hosted by Lisa T Auctions.

This area, just outside your door, has everything wonderful: abundant nature, the ocean, arts… and great wine, beer, and food. Enjoy your summer safely, and perhaps one of these three upcoming festivals.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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History of Monterey CA

History-of-monterey-CA

The history of Monterey, California, stretches back almost 250 years. It is a rich and interesting narrative.

In 1849 in Monterey the construction of America’s first public building, Colton Hall, was completed. On September 1 of that year, the California Constitution Convention began. Historic Monterey has done the legwork on this and is a great resource for the “dozens of restored and preserved buildings and sites” along what it calls “The Path of History”. Some of our richest treasures and resources, each telling a story, include:

  • Custom House and Custom House Plaza
  • Pacific House
  • Museum of Monterey-Stanton Center
  • Colton Hall
  • The Thomas Larkin House

If you haven’t explored Old Monterey recently, it’s easy to do on foot. You can navigate your own route, or take one of guided tours. There’s even a Cemetery Historic Tour, for those you interested in learning more about our some of our notable forefathers. Each historic site offers up a map that can guide you from downtown right to the Presidio of Monterey Museum. You’ll see exhibitions of Spanish and Mexican California as you follow the path marked by gold and brown ceramic dots in the sidewalks.

During the last census (2010) Monterey’s population was pegged at approximately 29,000. But we all know how much those numbers swell due to a very healthy tourism industry. And why not: with outstandingly beautiful nature just outside our door, with warm and inviting shopping and dining at locations such as Fisherman’s Wharf, and given our history – the U.S. flag was first raised here at Customs House in 1846 – we have reason to be more than content.

As early as 1602, Spanish explorers were looking at our shores. But even earlier than that, the Rumsen Ohlone Tribe (or Rumsien Tribe, per the City of Monterey Museums) inhabited what’s now known as Monterey. In the mid-1700s, a Spanish expedition carried out a land exploration of Alta, California. In 1777, Monterey became the capital of the Province of Both Californias. The raising of the flag over Customs House, already mentioned, came on the eve of the Battle of Monterey. California was then claimed by the United States.

Monterey has had plenty more firsts in terms of California’s history. Among those:

  • First theatre
  • First publicly funded school
  • First printing press

Monterey’s first ‘Mayor and Judge’ (a position in the mid-1800s called American Alcalde) was U.S. Navy Chaplain Walter Colton of the aforementioned Colton Hall. The hall/museum named after him is operated by the City of Monterey and is open every day with free admission. Besides its history and historic value, the Museum offers an evening music series. Check their website, above, for more information about what’s coming up. Or phone (831) 646-5640.

Modern history has seen a lot of changes in our area, while leaving intact historic sites of interest. We have Cannery row, which started out as a series of canning factories for fisheries. Monterey Old Town Historic District is part of the Monterey Walking Path of History we mentioned earlier. The ‘path’ is actually over two miles long, and includes over 50 historic sites and buildings. Among the many special places you’ll see, and this one’s right next to the Old Whaling Station – another part of our unique history – is the First Brick House, which is on Decatur. Built in 1847 by Gallant Duncan, one of the Donner Party of overland emigrants, it was the first in Monterey to be constructed of fire bricks.

The Monterey of today, with all of the arts, sites, events, sports, and more is a result of the Monterey of yesteryear: built and gaining its character from so many diverse influences, from Native American, to Spanish, to Mexican. Rich in history, it thrives today because of its locale, and because of so many unique settlers fashioning its matchless character.

Did you know that early every June we celebrate our anniversary? If you would like to join the revelers, you can “Step Back in Time” with Monterey History and Art La Merienda which is are celebrating its own anniversary as well.

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California Roots Music and Arts Festival

california-roots-music-festival

If you are a roots reggae fan, and if names like Marley give you the pleasant kind of music vibe you want, you’ll love that on May 27-29, 2016, this year’s edition of the California Roots Music and Arts Festival takes place. The venue is the venerable Monterey County Fair and Event Center, or Monterey Fairgrounds as it used to be called. Among the opening acts on the first day will be Slightly Stoopid, J Boog, and Fortunate Youth. Following is more information so you can plan your attendance, or keep on top of the latest developments.

Let’s start with the venue. The festival organizers, in conjunction with the Fairgrounds, has every possible amenity and service in place for you. Among them:

  • Accessibility
  • First Aid
  • Parking
  • Stage schedules
  • Water refill stations

Everything is being put in a state of readiness, with safety, convenience, and enjoyment at the top of the list.

If great music from dedicated musicians isn’t enough, there are many other things happening at the festival. After parties are available, in the event you didn’t hear or do enough during the day, as well as there being an After Dark Lounge. There’s an Art Retreat, plus live paintings. There are great ways to help or contribute to various non-profit programs. There’s custom beer to quench your thirst, as well as the already-mentioned water refill stations.

The festival is serious about its greening efforts as well. In 2015, over 5,500 pounds of food waste was diverted from back-of-house areas. Almost 5,000 reusable containers were used. Over 29,000 single-use cups were kept from the landfill. You can read more about the greening process and successes here.

We mentioned earlier just three of the bands who will be at the festival. In fact, over the three days, there will be 45 bands or single musicians! Here are a few musician’s names for you:

  • Amp Live
  • Barrington Levy
  • Damian and Stephen Marley
  • Dub Architect
  • Bowman

To learn more about the event, please visit the main website. If you already know you want to jump in and buy tickets, please visit the event’s ticket page.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Quail Motorcycle Gathering

quail-motorcycle-gathering

Motorcycles have been around for well over a hundred years. But, how did today’s bike become what is it now? What did the 1916 motorcycle look like? How are competition bikes different from street bikes? If you are a motorcycle lover – if you love the feel of the open road, wind in your face, and engine’s vibration under you – then you’ll want to check out the upcoming Quail Motorcycle Gathering. This is the 8th annual running of the event, taking place on May 16, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., right here in your Carmel.

This special annual congregation honors bikes of all ages and all kinds, from sports to racing bikes. It also reaches back in time to pre- and post-war era bikes. What’s being featured this year? Categories include:

  • BMW Classics
  • Competition on- and off-road
  • Custom/Modified
  • Japanese bikes
  • Pre-1916 Motorcycles

You love the intrigue, freedom, and power of motorcycles. If you love good food and drink as well, it’s here. There will be a gourmet BBQ lunch, and offerings from local breweries and wineries. In addition, you’ll be treated to live music, and get to chat it up with leading bike vendors.

For more information about this gathering, please visit this Monterey.com’s Web page. To speak with someone at the Quail Lodge, please call (831) 620-8879.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Carmel Art Festival

Carmel-Arts-Festival

The weekend after Mother’s Day, the 23rd edition of the Carmel Art Festival will take place. This free public event, happening this year May 13-14, features a Plein Air Juried Painting Competition, Silent Auction, an Art Sale, music, and more. Everything takes place on Mission Street, between Ocean and 6th. In addition to enjoying the art, perhaps making a purchase, and talking to the artists, you can feel good in knowing that proceeds from this event benefit local youth art programs. Following is more information to help you plan your visit.

The first viewing this year, courtesy of the artists’ “freshly painted entries”, takes place on Friday, May 13. The next morning the Plein Air competition begins. Plein Air is a style of painting outdoors and was a central feature of French Impressionism.  Judges will be reviewing and judging 120 entries. At 6 p.m. on Saturday night, the silent auction begins. All day Saturday you will be able to view art, purchase past and present festival posters, and listen to live music.

Sunday has several activities:

  • 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Over 100 more paintings will be up for sale. These will be from artists who painted during festival week, but who were not part of the competition. These are all being sold at a set price.
  • 9 a.m. All around Carmel and Carmel Beach you’ll see winning artists painting in a special 2-hour “Quick Draw” competition.
  • 11 a.m. – Noon. A silent auction will be held. (Note that the Festival allows for Absentee Bidding, as all paintings entered into the festival are posted online.)

During this two-day festival, all sorts of local galleries and shops will have their own receptions, shows, painting and sculpture demonstrations. Grab a free festival booklet when you visit, as it will have detailed information about which gallery is doing what, and when.

Here are a few other facts about the event you may find helpful or interesting:

  • Artists who wanted to enter the current year’s contest would have had to apply between September 1 and December 1 of the previous year.
  • Plein air artists had to commit to painting two paintings in two days.
  • The event is juried, and only 60 artists are chosen each year.
  • Juried artists’ names are published on the website by March 1.
  • Anyone can sign up for the free mailing list (website below).

To view this year’s paintings, the schedule, past winners, or sign up for e-mail notifications, please visit the Carmel Art Festival’s main website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Winemakers’ Celebration

Wine-Makers-Celebration

On May 7, 2016 the Winemakers’ Celebration will be raising a glass or two in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  You’ll be able to celebrate “the wines and winemakers of Monterey County’s world class growing region” from 1-5 p.m during the 24th annual edition of this popular event. It sold out last year, so here are a few more details to help you quickly decide whether you’re going.

On the day of, Dolores Street between Ocean and 7th will be transformed into a village reminiscent of a European “street festival”. Over 100 different and delicious wines will be available for the tasting, including wines from:

  • Blair Estate. “Just the right conditions” need to be in place for a fine Pinot Noir, and Blair, located in the Arroyo Seco district, meets those conditions.
  • Manzoni Vineyards. Found in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, this hands-on operation grows the grapes for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Syrah wines.
  • Windy Oaks Estate. Premium wines, grown in “unique terroirs in Monterey and the Santa Cruz Mountains.” Offering Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.

In addition to the three wineries mentioned above, another 20 will be in attendance. Quite a few vendors will be there as well. Last year’s list included Basil Seasonal Dining, La Playa Carmel, and Marich Premium Chocolates. Visit this Monterey Wines Web page for information and/or to purchase tickets for this year’s event. Prices are $75 for regular admission, or $125 for VIP admission. Check out the add-ons, such as a sommelier led tour or a designated driver for $35.  You can also phone (831) 375-9400 for information.

One of the great perks in attending this special annual Carmel festival is that you can ask questions of the winemakers themselves while sipping your favorite varietal.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Sea Otter Classic – A Celebration of Cycling!

Sea Otter Classic

The place: right here in Monterey. The dates: April 14-17, 2016. And most importantly, the event: the 2016 Subaru Sea Otter Classic. This is the world’s premiere cycling event, “a celebration of cycling” featuring over 10,000 athletes and nearly 70,000 spectators. Born modestly in 1971 from co-creators Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolf as the then Laguna Seca Challenge (for the first event there were only 350 athletes and less than half that number of spectators), this ‘celebration of cycling’ kicks off the North American cycling competitive season.

Monterey County is one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, so it attracts events—especially outdoor events—like the Sea Otter Classic. What kind of cycling and cyclists are represented at this annual event? Here’s a short list:

  • Professional and amateur
  • National, world, and Olympic champions
  • Mountain, cross country, downhill, dual slalom, and short track

Competition takes place in circuit, criterium, and road racing. Non-competitive events include cyclocross and others. Those events are offered for all ages. In addition to the exciting and intense competition, you’ll see “the largest bike exposition in North America”. It’s an amazing expo with hundreds of vendors. In addition to everything cycling, including new products, there will be free samples, good bargains, an international food court, entertainment, stunt shows, and even activities for children. This Classic has a lot of everything, catering to enthusiasts of all ages. The list of exhibitors this year is absolutely huge. For now, here are but a handful. As you can see, they’re from around the world:

  • 10 Speed Coffee (California)
  • 4iiii Innovations Inc (Alberta, Canada)
  • Bont Cycling Pty Ltd (New South Wales, Australia)
  • Brooks England
  • Da Bomb Bike (Taiwan)

The international flavor of the event, the competition, the vendors, and of course, you, help make this event so successful every year. A couple more things you might like to know: The Classic recommends you “Ditch the Car” and bike it; all or part of the way. If you intend to bike all or part of the way to Laguna Seca, you’ll want to visit this Web page for more information. Your pooch is only allowed at the campsite. You can read more about that here.

Finally, if you want the whole story, please consider visiting the Classic’s main website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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