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Events Celebrating Christmas in Pacific Grove


We have been talking about Christmas recently. You can view our previous posts on Christmas in Carmel CA here & Christmas in Monterey here.

Do you have Christmas in your sightlines yet? Wondering what to do? This is the last of three articles on the many events and attractions available this year, organized by area. This post covers events celebrating Christmas in Pacific Grove.

Christmas in Pacific Grove

  • The annual Christmas Tree Lighting is on November 30th this year, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Grab the family and head to Jewell Park for the lighting, live entertainment, and yes, Santa! Please visit the event’s website for details.
  • Just picture Victorian-era splendor, and you’ll soon be enjoying Christmas at the Inns. Travel back in time on December 1st and 2nd, and visit 10 Inns, all decked out for you. Limited tickets are available, so you may want to visit their special website
  • Do you love a good parade? If you do, join many others that do as well at this year’s Parade of Lights. You and your family can start enjoying the activities at 6 p.m. on December 3rd. Featured this year will be marching bands, holiday floats, dance teams, equestrian groups, and yes, a visit by Santa Claus! Stores will remain open afterward, and there will be many other activities. Please check your Community website for more details.
  • There’s still much more to do in your neighborhood! On December 5th, it’s the 22nd Annual Stillwell’s Fun in the Park Activities begin at 10 a.m. and run all day. In store this year at Caledonia Park will be tons of wintry fun! Santa will arrive on fire truck, Frosty and the Snow Queen will be in attendance, plus there will be all sorts of other fun activities for the whole family. For further information, please have a look at this website.
  • On December 8th, you can attend the 55th Annual Anniversary Holiday Party and Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce Mixer. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. at Lovers Point Inn (the Mermaid Beach House). Everyone gets a goody bag, plus there will be complimentary appetizers, beverages, an ocean-themed sheet cake, and more. You can get the all details right here.
  • Can’t quite get Jingle Bells out of your head? Why don’t you run it off! This year’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk takes place on Saturday, December 12th, at Lovers Point Park. It’s billed as “the largest holiday 5K race series aimed to fight arthritis!” Your dogs are welcome too! For more information, visit the event page.
  • One of the Christmas holiday highlights in Pacific Grove is Candy Cane Lane. The neighborhood becomes an annual favorite best seen at night, and one that’s certainly less busy weeknights. Everything lights up and sparkles as the big day arrives. We don’t have an exact start date for you, but suggest you keep checking their Facebook page, or the Chamber of Commerce.

What you see above is only party of the options for the Christmas season! Please look for our previous posts on Christmas in Carmel CA & Christmas in Monterey for a full calendar of Christmas cheer. Whatever you and your family choose to do for fun this holiday season, have a wonderful time and please enjoy yourself safely.

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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Events Celebrating Christmas in Monterey


Do you have Christmas in your sightlines yet? Wondering what to do? This is the second of three articles on the many events and attractions available this year, organized by area. This post covers events celebrating Christmas in Monterey. You can read about the events celebrating Christmas in Carmel CA here.

Christmas in Monterey

  • The spectacular annual Cannery Row Holiday Tree Lighting takes place on November 27th this year. It’s the 21st annual such event, it’s free, and of course it’s family-friendly. Here’s a link to the event page.
  • Feeling bright, like a bright light? Then you and your family may want to head to the harbor on December 6th at Custom House Plaza for the Brighten the Harbor Boat Parade 2015! This lighted boat parade takes place from 5:30-8 p.m. For all the details, please check out See Monterey’s web page.
  • Do you miss Christmas’ past? You don’t need to! On December 11th or 12th, enjoy Christmas in the Adobes. From 5-9 p.m., stroll through the streets of Historic Downtown Monterey. Tickets and information here.
  • Did you know there were Elves in Training? It’s true, and MyMuseum has you and your kids covered. All little elves, ages 3-5, can come out and play. There will be stories, costumes, a visit by Sprinkles and Twinkles, and much more. The date is December 13, and the location, Washington Street. Here are more details.
  • Have you decided you’ll treat yourself and your family to Christmas dinner this year? There are lots of great choices in Monterey. Here are just two: Jacks, at the Portola Hotel & Spa, usually serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner on December 25th. Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar, with great views of the Bay, often has a special holiday menu on Christmas.
  • Looking for something holiday-oriented the last day of the year; something that stretches all the way into the next year? Then you’ll want to head to First Night Monterey on December 31st. Events run from 3 p.m. right through to and beyond midnight. It’s happening in Historic Downtown Monterey. Details here.

What you see above is only party of the options for the Christmas season! Please watch for Part III of our event list over the next few days, where you can pick up many other happenings in our area in December.

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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Events Celebrating Christmas in Carmel CA

Christmas in carmel

Do you have Christmas in your sightlines yet? Wondering what to do? This is the first of three articles on the many events and attractions available this year, organized by area. First we’re covering the events celebrating Christmas in Carmel CA.

Christmas in Carmel CA

  • On December 4th, take in the annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Carmel Plaza Holiday Party. Activities begin at 4:30 p.m., and one of the highlights of those will be when Mayor Jason Burnett lights the tree at 5:45 p.m. Head to Devendorf Park with the family in tow, and then later, to Carmel Plaza. More information can be found here.
  • December 4th and 5th, enjoy Smuin Ballet: The Christmas Ballet. A special treat for everyone, it plays out at the Sunset Center. Visit the event’s website for information or tickets.
  • Closer to the big day, enjoy an annual favorite at the Sunset Center: The Nutcracker. Opening night is December 11th, but the show runs for three days. Click here for information or tickets.
  • Imagine… a Sugar Plum Fairy Party with The Nutcracker Performance! This one’s really special. The Fairy Party is on December 13, 2015 at 11 a.m., in Studio 105. At 11:45 a.m. there’s a luncheon party. Following that, the Dance Kids of Monterey County will perform the story of the Nutcracker, along with guest artists. More information is available here.
  • Would you like to have breakfast with Santa Claus? No problem! We’re not 100% sure of this year’s date, but the 8th Annual Breakfast with Santa is likely to be on Saturday, December 19. Last year’s ran from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Carmel Youth Center. Please visit the Carmel Mission Trail Lion’s Club website for new updates.
  • Throughout December, with December 20th being the last date, you can catch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats at the Golden Bough Theatre. What a wonderful, colorful way to take in the holiday season. For more information or for tickets, please check out this website.

What you see above only kicks-off the Christmas season! Please watch for Part II & III of our event list over the next few days, where you can pick up many other happenings in our area in December.

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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Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree


The air is fresh, and your kids – even you – are getting ready to welcome Christmas. You want to add to your beautiful home the smells and sight of a fresh pine, spruce, or evergreen, and everyone’s ready to help decorate. As you might expect, your neighborhood has various Christmas Tree farms where you can cut your own Christmas tree. We’ll start you out with three farms we know about in the area, plus give you some suggestions for places you can buy fresh-cut trees (but don’t need to cut).

Thompson’s Choosen Cut Christmas Tree Ranch – Aromas

This ranch opens the day after Thanksgiving, like most, and runs through to December 24. In addition to the many varieties of trees they carry (see below), they have a picnic area, gift shop, free coffee waiting for you, and other refreshments and amenities.

  • Address – 207 Aromas Rd, Aromas
  • Phone – 831-726- 9126
  • Website – N/A
  • Hours – 3 pm – sundown weekdays, 10 am – sundown weekends
  • Tree Varieties – Scotch Pines, Monterey Pines, Douglas Firs, Colorado Blue Spruce, Grand Whites, some Nobles

Wiley’s Christmas Tree Farm – Greenfield

This is a family-run choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm. In addition to trees and stands, they offer wreaths, swags, and even mistletoe. They have a boutique, and they’ll be waiting for you with cider or hot chocolate. When you’re there with the kids, you can enjoy a fun hayride too. Their motto: “We provide the saw, you provide the muscle.” They are open from the day after Thanksgiving, right to December 23.

  • Address – 36770 Elm Avenue, Greenfield
  • Phone – 831-674-5371
  • Website –
  • Hours – 10 am – dark weekdays, 9 am – dark weekends
  • Tree Varieties – Monterey Pine, Leyland, Redwood, and Arizona Cypress

Church Christmas Tree Farms – Monterey

Located in North Monterey County, east of Elkhorn Slough Reserve, Church is “one of the oldest continuously operating Christmas tree farms in California”. Their Christmas trees are nursery grown, and on their farm there’s a mix of young and old. They open the day after Thanksgiving, and run through to at least mid-December. You can BYOS (bring your own saw!), but they do provide them if needed. They also carry wreaths and other holiday accessories.

  • Address – 470 Hidden Valley Road, Royal Oaks
  • Phone – 831-724-8032
  • Website –
  • Hours – 12 noon – 4:30 pm weekdays, 8:30 am -4:30 pm weekends
  • Tree Varieties – Douglas Fir, White Fir, Monterey Pine, Cedar, Spruce, and others

If you don’t want to cut your own tree, but still want to have a real one for Christmas, there are many choices open to you. Try Carmel Valley Kiwanis Tree Lot, for example, which is located at the Mid-Valley Shopping Center. In Monterey, visit Cardinale & Wright Christmas Trees, located at the Fairgrounds. In Pacific Grove, there’s the SaveMart at 200 Country Club Center. In the Seaside/Marina area, there are two SaveMarts, plus the Home Depot on Canyon Del Rey Blvd.

Interested in finding out a lot more about Christmas tree lots, the trees themselves, or the industry? Head over to California Christmas Tree Association. There is quite a lot of information on their 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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Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Monterey, Carmel, & Pacific Grove


The holiday season is just around the corner. What better way to kick it off than with tree lighting ceremonies in Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove? With caroling, holiday treats, and Santa appearances, these beautiful holiday traditions are far more than lighting up a tree in a public square or park: they are a rich experience for the whole family.

Our local tree lighting ceremonies offer wonderful choices to begin a new tradition, or to keep up or renew an old family tradition. Choose one, or overindulge in holiday cheer and attend them all! Note that weather and other factors can cause scheduling changes. Please visit the websites you see here, or contact the appropriate chamber of commerce before making your plans to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

Enjoy the spirit of the season, and consider starting it with a tree lighting ceremony or three! Happy Holidays!

Local Tree Lighting Ceremonies 

Monterey’s Cannery Row

  • Date/Time: Friday, November 27, 5-9 p.m.
  • Location: Steinbeck Plaza, in front of Bubba Gump’s
  • Details: This is the 21st Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. It’s f-r-e-e, and is open to everyone. Your family and friends are invited to join in the holiday spirit, good cheer, and festivities.


  • Date/Time: Friday, December 4, 3:30-7 p.m.
  • Location: Devendorf Park, Ocean and Junipero Avenues
  • Details: More than just a holiday Tree Lighting, this event includes Carmel’s Holiday Party as well. The Monterey Fire Department is chipping in for Santa’s transportation this year! There will be a performance and recital of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by the Carmel Middle School Chorus, Junipero Serra School kids, and many others. Refreshments are being provided by the Monterey Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. And for Candy Canes, the Sunset Center is doing their part. At 5:45 p.m., Mayor Burnett will light the tree. Immediately following, you and your family can enjoy Carmel Plaza’s annual open house, right up to 7 p.m. For up to date information, please visit the event’s website.

Pacific Grove

  • Date/Time: Monday, November 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Jewell Park, Forest Ave and Grand Ave
  • Details: This year, the event will begin with live entertainment by school bands and choruses. That will be followed up by caroling and refreshments at Chautauqua Hall. And yes, Santa is planning on making an appearance! Tree lighting begins at 5:30 p.m. Please visit their website for more information.


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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TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational


In 1972, the Hyatt Invitational debuted. Rafe Botts won the tournament that year. Through many different name changes – most recently the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational – this popular, non-professional golf tournament has attracted some of the best players, with a purse that hit $300,000 in 2014 (and will stay there this year). It includes a team competition, where professional players from the PGA, LPGA, Champions, and Tours compete against one another. This year’s Invitational is shaping up to be a stellar, exciting event.

The 2015 TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational takes place from November 17-22. The purse, as mentioned, will be $300,000, with a top prize of $60,000. While the field hasn’t been set at the time of writing, past golfers have included Bubba Watson, Jason Gore, Sandra Gal, and past champions like Mark Brooks. This year’s Honorary Host will be U.S. and British Open Champion, and current NBC Golf Analyst, Johnny Miller.

After the first 3 rounds of tournament play, the format this year includes a 54 hole cut to 10 amateur teams, plus all ties, and then the low 40 professionals and ties. Simultaneous rounds will be held at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and the Links at Spanish Bay from Thursday to Saturday, November 19-21. The final round will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday, November 22, 2015. There will be practice rounds on all three courses November 17-18.

This invitational is good news all the way around: the public may attend free of charge on all days. Spectators can “walk down directly behind the players.” Parking is usually ample, and available. And both the Kiwanas Club of Monterey and the AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association will benefit from this tournament.

Need more information? Please visit the website, or phone (877) 853-5864.

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

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Thanksgiving in Monterey County


Fall is a beautiful time of year. A time of abundance, great weather, and a signal that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Thanksgiving in Monterey County is particularly lovely; it’s a time for family, friends and, of course; for giving thanks. There are many ways to celebrate and enjoy this magical time of year, both before and on Thanksgiving Day. Here are some ideas to get you started…

Thanksgiving in Your Home

Hoop It Up! Learn the Art of Hand-Embroidery

Whether a pumpkin, something else seasonal, or a head start on your Christmas decorations, Bella’s Studio in Monterey is ready to help. They have classes weekly most Saturdays, from 1 – 3 p.m., but this one is so close to Thanksgiving that it may just the right one for you. To “Hoop it Up?” on November 21, 2015, visit Bella’s event page here, or give them a call at (831) 920-2272.

Pumpkin Patch

Looking for that perfect pumpkin to decorate for your home? Why not visit a real pumpkin patch, take in the sights, have fun with the kids, and bring home that perfect jack-‘o-lantern! One place that’s running strong all of October, right through to the 31st, is the Cardinale & Wright Pumpkin Patch, at the Monterey County Fair & Events Center. Open from 11 a.m. to dusk (10 a.m. to dusk on weekends), this may be where you find your perfect pumpkin. Give them a call at (831) 373-2871 if you like, before your visit.

Thanksgiving Décor Ideas

Need to freshen up your Thanksgiving décor? No problem. Head over to The Pottery Barn online, or drop in for a visit: they’re located in the Del Monte Center. Where else can you find home decorating inspiration? There’s the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Store in Monterey, also at the Del Monte Center. Thinking more along the lines of flowers, our neighborhood has you covered. Check out Swenson and Silacci Flowers. They’re located on Alvarado Street.

Giving to Charity on Thanksgiving

Local charities always need your help; year round. But when you stop to think of the wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and amenities you might enjoy this year, why not stop to think about giving to your favorite charity? The Food Bank for Monterey County needs your help. In addition to their website, they keep their Facebook page fairly up to date. You can donate, volunteer, host a food drive, or simply advocate for those in need.

Fun and Outdoor Events for the Whole Family

Turkey Trot

Give back, give thanks, pay it forward, and… walk or run a few calories off for a good cause. Consider this year’s Carmel Valley Athletic Club’s 2015 Turkey Trot. It’s an all ages family event. Walk or run the 3.1 mile South Bank Trail. All proceeds go to the Monterey Food Bank. This 5K event begins on Thanksgiving Day at 8:30 a.m.

Ice Skating by the Bay

Custom House Plaza has something fun and something cardio for you. Their season normally kicks off Thanksgiving week, so please check their website regularly (currently showing last season’s information).

Take a Walk!

The outdoors have much to offer; there are almost countless beautiful places for you to visit in our area. Carmel’s Garland Ranch Regional Park is people and dog-friendly! Hike through more than 4,500 acres of scenery await, with trails from “easy” to “strenuous”. Visit them on See Monterey now.

The Monarch Butterflies

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History has a page on their website dedicated to the fragile and beautiful Monarch Butterflies, who make the long trip from Canada every year to our Central Coast. The beauty arrives in November!

Bridging the Holidays

Tree Lighting

Would you like to bridge Thanksgiving and the Christmas season? On Friday, November 27th, why not take in Cannery Row’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting, from 5 – 9 p.m.? It’s f-r-e-e, open to all, and has all the holiday spirit you’ll need.

Farm to Table

When was the last time you and your family indulged in what The Farmstand at Earthbound Farm has to offer? Lots of kids activities. Possible pumpkins on the horizon. Great gardens. Read all about their story here.

Thanksgiving Dinners

If you don’t have time to prepare a Thanksgiving feast this year, and perhaps want to take it easy and let some else cook and serve up an excellent meal, there are numerous dining establishments that have just what you need! Here are just a few:

  • Jacks Restaurant & Lounge at the Portola Hotel & Spa serves up an amazing family style Thanksgiving Feast every year. Table-side carving! This year’s is on Thursday, November 26, from 1 – 7 p.m. Want to tempt yourself? Here’s a look at their Thanksgiving menu.
  • Aubergine is an award-winning Carmel spot you all know about. They offer up their Thanksgiving dinner on the day of, plus you can even order yours to go! Visit their website here, or phone (831) 624-8578.
  • Carmel also has The Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant, which usually has great Thanksgiving fare. Check their website as the date gets closer, or give them at call at (831) 625-9040.
  • If you’re in Pacific Grove, you’ll want to investigate Fandango. They have a wonderful selection of wines, and will be offering a delightful Thanksgiving event this year. Want a peek at the menu: here you go! The price is great. You can also phone them at (831) 372-3456.
  • Then there’s Estéban, at Casa Munras in Monterey, who usually serve up something very special for Thanksgiving. Visit their website, or give them a call at (831) 375-0176.

Enjoy all that Thanksgiving in Monterey County has to offer this year, in safety, and with your loved ones.

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.


Halloween in Carmel & Monterey


In our last article on Halloween happenings this year, we talked about the haunted tours at Point Sur Lighthouse. In this article, we’ll ‘flesh’ out Halloween in Carmel & Monterey.

  • 99 years young! Carmel will celebrate its 99th birthday with a party and parade, on Saturday, October 24. In tandem with Halloween-themed events, the party gets underway at 11 a.m. in downtown Carmel. The annual Halloween Parade starts the ball rolling. Then there’s a $5 hotdog lunch. Here is the site with the details!
  • Need to pick up that pumpkin to decorate? Don’t forget your local farmers’ markets. Marina’s runs from 10-2 on Sundays, Del Monte Certified Farmers Market, in Monterey, runs from 8-12 the same day, while the one in Pacific Grove runs on Mondays from 3-7 p.m.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium has an annual Halloween event for members. To find out more, check their main website, or call them toll-free (from 8-5 p.m.) at (866) 963-9645.
  • Ready for a different kind of ghost tour? Saturday nights, at 8 p.m., at The WharfMarket Place, meet up to tour “some of Monterey’s most notoriously haunted buildings”. While no one 5 years or under can take this scary sojourn, the price for children 12 and under is $18, and for adults, $33. To find out more, or to book your tour now, visit the tour company’s website.
  • It’s the Night of the Living Dead; again! The late George Romero seared the screen in 1968 with his iconic and visceral black-and-white film. Carmel’s Golden Bough is screening an encore presentation of this film on Monday, October 26, at 7 p.m. More information, and tickets, can be found here.

However you and your family spend your Halloween or pre-Halloween activities, do so safely. If your kids bring home goodie bags, make sure to go through them first. Bright or reflective clothing is recommended for any Halloween trick or treating.

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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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 many interesting haunts coming to your neighborhood this month. You may even find a trick, a treat, or a surprise as you read on, and plan out your activities. We’ll have more for you next week, but for now let’s talk about Halloween in Big Sur.

People have written and talked quite a bit about Point Sur Lightstation. It has appeared in various lists as one of the top five most haunted lighthouses in America. Who lost their lives, and whose spirits still live there? It’s been said that the ghost of a former stationkeepers’ wife does. It’s been said the spirits of many sailors, from ships crashing nearby, live there. Here’s an interesting read on such things. But you can more than just read: you can pay a visit to this Lightstation on one of two dates to attend their 10th Annual Ghost Tour! All good researches will want to investigate personally; right? Here are the relevant details:

Tour Dates/Times: Saturday October 17 and 24 / 5:15 p.m.

Cost: An $85 tax-deductible donation

Conditions: Besides being for the brave of heart, no children under 6 will be allowed. If you have special needs, please contact the Lightstation in advance. Limited to 40 persons per tour

To learn more about this evocatively well-known tour, to register, or to find out what our resident paranormal investigator will be doing there, please visit the event page.

Please see our next article, as we ‘flesh out’ even more terrors for you to enjoy, in safety, this Halloween season.

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’s Cannery Row


Have you read Steinbeck’s Cannery Row? Don’t need to because it’s right outside your door? We get it. And we would love to share some of the history of this New Monterey landmark, named in 1958 to honor Steinbeck.

History of Monterey’s Cannery Row 

Often mentioned in words, music, and film – Steinbeck, Dylan, and others – this area is as famous and popular for its history as for what you will discover there today. In fact, parts of its history are preserved. You can still find Edward Ricketts’ Pacific Biological Laboratories; now 800 Cannery Row. It was operated by Ricketts’ between 1928 and 1948. His fishery was one of the largest in the world at the time, with ‘supplies’ bubbling up due to the Monterey Canyon’s funneling of nutrient-rich waters into the area. Right across the street from the Laboratories, you’ll still see the Chinese-American owned store that as referred to in Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday, as well, of course, in Cannery Row.

Before the canneries existed, this famous and most popular vacation spot on California’s Central Coast saw Native American, Asian, and Europeans settle. There was a boom – and subsequent bust – for the whaling and sardine industries. There was “structural and economic despair followed by restoration and re-development.” The past architecture and history influence the present. There’s a confluence of design and lifestyle and spirit here.

Frank Booth built the first cannery at the turn of the century. His salmon cannery, located near Fisherman’s Wharf, would spawn others further out, right along Ocean View Avenue. Its first major canner was the Pacific Fish Company, founded in 1908. Fishing and canning processes improved in time for the demands brought about by World War I. The industry expanded. This was truly a boomtown. By 1918, production had increased from a pre-wartime 75,000 cases to 1,400,000 cases. Things slowed during the Great Depression, but picked up again when World War II came about.

Workers in the industry knew the unique sound of the cannery they worked for, by way each of the whistles was used. The night catch started out the day, and their day wore on until that day’s catch was canned. At first there were no regulations for hours or shifts. Work life was unpleasant for workers in cold, smelly, and in some cases unsafe environments. The industry collapsed due to over-fishing. Yet, as we all can attest to, Cannery Row lives on.

Today, Cannery Row bustles with activity. In part, Steinbeck is responsible for this. There are still a few privately owned and operated fishing companies on the Row. Inland, there are all of the restaurants and tourist spots you know so well. Offshore you’ll find the Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area, which is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. A large population of California sea lions make this their home.

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Monterey Peninsula’s Best Golf Courses


You likely already know: our Peninsula is a world renowned golf destination! Beautiful and dramatic settings, a great climate, and world-class courses all contribute to our golfing reputation. There are so many courses literally right in our backyard that we’ve only gathered up a few of the best for you, making it easy to see them at a glance, click or tap, and review.

Monterey Peninsula’s Best Golf Courses 


  1. Del Monte Golf Course

This public, 18-hole course was designed by Charles Maud. It is a par 72, with a slope of 127. The fee is $135, whether on weekdays or weekends.

Del Monte is the oldest course in operation west of the Mississippi. It’s described as having “a classic feel with a fairly tight layout.” This course is owned by the Pebble Beach Company, so you know you can expect a well-maintained facility, and top shelf customer service.

  1. Laguna Seca Golf Ranch

This is also a public course, with a par 71 and the same slope as Del Monte. It was designed by the Robert Trent Jones’, both Sr. and Jr. Fees range from $35-$40 for twilight golfing, to $60-$70 for weekdays or weekends.

The signature hole is #15; a 548-yard par 5. You don’t have to imagine oak-studded hills: they’re here. The course will challenge any golfer. “The hilly typography of this layout will force you to use creativity on your approaches.”

  1. Monterey Pines Golf Course

This is a course for the public, and the military. It’s an 18-hole, par 69 course with a slope of 114. Originally designed by Robert Muir Graves, it underwent a re-design by Marc Messier in in 2009. Fees run from $18-$24 on weekdays, and $20-$37 on weekends.

Many of you know this as the Navy Course. The layout’s short, so it’s great for the beginning golfer. The back-nine was added in 1972. The course is right beside Monterey County Fairgrounds, with the airport close by as well, so be prepared for unanticipated disruptions.

  1. Nicklaus Club – Monterey

Many of you will know this by its former name: the Pasadera Country Club. This is an 18-hole private non-equity course, with a par 71, a rating of 73, and a slope of 139. You already know the designer…

The club’s rebranding took place in the fall of 2013. It’s the only Nicklaus signature course on the Peninsula. You’ll recognize the front-9 as having that signature Jack Nicklaus feel, while the back-9 offers extreme elevation changes. It’s a demanding layout “even for the most proficient golfers.”



  1. Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course

This public, 18-hole course features a rating of 70.5, with a par 70, and a slope of 134. Designed by Pete Dye, fees are $120 for twilight, $200 on weekdays, and $215 on the weekend.

This course is called “a wonderful golf adventure”! It is also the only one in the Peninsula designed by Dye. It’s challenging due to varied raised and sunken greens through the hills. The front-9 is alongside the Carmel River, while the back-9 is 350 feet above the valley floor. Golf here, and you’re going to see some wildlife.

  1. Quail Lodge Golf Club

This resort course has 18 holes, par 71, and a slope of 128. It’s another course designed by Robert Muir Graves. Greens, tees, and fairways are Poa Annua. Twilight fees are $75-$100, winter fees $100-$150, and in the summer, fees run from $160-$185.

This Lodge is host to the Women’s State Amateur Championship. It’s adjacent to the Carmel River and has 830 acres of amazing valley vistas. There’s a range of holes, and here, accuracy is more important than length. During most rounds, you’ll catch a glimpse of quail (of course), hawks, turkeys, and many other wildlife species.

  1. Rancho Canada Golf Club, West Course

This public 18-hole, par 71 course has a slope of 125. It was designed by Nick Lombardo and Robert Dean Putnam in 1970. Fees run $35-$40 for twilight golfing, and $65-$70 for weekdays or weekends.

There are actually two 18-hole courses here, weaving their way across the Carmel River. Sitting on 270 acres, it has hosted more tournaments than any other course in the Peninsula.


Pebble Beach

  1. Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Dunes Course

This 18-hole course is private equity, with a 72 par, slope of 126, and a rating of 71.9. Originally designed in the 1920s by Seth Raynor and Robert Hunter, it was reconstructed in 1997 by Rees Jones.

The rolling typography of the course goes through the Del Monte forest, way down into the Pacific coastline. There are remarkable holes to be played by the ocean, while inland, you weave through the pine forest.

  1. Pebble Beach Golf Links

This is an 18-hole public course. It’s a par 72, with a slope of 144. It was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant. The fees are the same for weekends and weekdays: $495.

The course opened in 1919. In 1992, just prior to the U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus made some alternations. He made more changes in 1998 by designing a replacement for the par 3, 5th. You may already know the following: this #1 ranked course is possibly the best golf course in the world.

  1. The Links at Spanish Bay

This is a public course as well. It’s an 18-hole course, par 72, with a rating of 74.1, and a slope of 146. It was originally designed in 1987 by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom Watson, and Sandy Tatum. Fees of $260 are the same whether for weekdays or weekends.

This course was modeled after an authentic Scottish one. You get that Scottish feel of the game when you golf here. Most of the front-9 is played among sloping dunes. Some of the links include endangered vegetation, and are protected. When winds are high, you’ll have a challenging round.


Pacific Grove

  1. Pacific Grove Golf Links

This course was originally designed as 9-hole in 1932, by former U.S. Amateur champion Chandler Egan. Now an 18-hole public municipal course, it’s a par 70 with a slope of 119. Re-designed by Jack Neville in 1960, the fees are $46 on weekdays and $52 on the weekend.

This course is well-maintained. It has old world charm. The front-9 weaves through a tree-lined residential area of Pacific Grove. Natural terrain seems untouched in the back-9. The 16th hole is particularly amazing, as it offers views of the rugged coastline.

We couldn’t cover all of the courses in this article in Carmel or Pebble Beach, as there are just too many good ones. For further reading, we suggest you have a look at this link.


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Big Sur Food & Wine Festival


From Thursday through Saturday, November 5-7, 2015, one of Big Sur’s most popular culinary events takes place. This festival has been rated by Travel and Leisure as one of their Top Ten.

This festival raises a lot of money for local charities: over $100,000 in its first four years. Founded by Toby-Rowland Jones in 2009 (at that point, Toby had already worked his considerable magic at the Big Sur Jazz Fest, the Masters of Food & Wine, and other festivals), his vision was to hold an outstanding event that “blended fine food and wine with Big Sur character.” This epicurean festival is a one of a kind event every year. Toby and the organization behind this are paying it forward to support the health, character, and vitality of our community. Proceeds support local non-profits involved in health, safety, education, and the arts.

Planning for this year’s Big Sur Food & Wine Festival has been underway for some time but is still unfolding for this year’s offering, so please visit soon for up to the minute information.

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

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First Tee Open at Pebble Beach


Nature Valley, anyone? From September 22-27, 2015 the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach comes to our beautiful neighborhood once again. If you love golf, want to get out on the links again, even as a spectator, love to watch your favorite players, and feel satisfaction when you know proceeds go to your local non-profit… this tournament is for you.

Eighty-one tour professionals will partner with and mentor eighty-one juniors this year. The pros include:

  • Woody Austin
  • Bart and Brad Bryant
  • Ben Crenshaw
  • Lee Janzen
  • Jim Thorpe

The list is impressive as it is large. If you’d like to peruse all of the pros, please start here. There’s also a tab on the page for the Juniors, so you can review that list too. Did you know how Juniors qualify for the The First Tee? It starts with their golf skills, then a written essay, and finally, their overall character is taken into consideration.

Practice rounds get underway on September 22 and continue through the morning of September 24. At 2 p.m. on the 24th, the Coca-Cola Champions Challenge – 1st Tee takes place. And the next day; the First Round. If you can’t make it in person, but really want to see the action on TV, the Golf Channel has what you need, beginning the 25th at 3:30 pm. While there is parking in Pebble Beach, none is available at Poppy Hills Golf Club. Admission to the First Tee Open is free. Still and video capture are allowed only Monday to Thursday of the event. And the charity? Organized by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the main beneficiary of the event is The First Tee. More information about them is available here.

For the latest news on The First Tee Open 2015, please visit their main website:

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

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California International Air Show Salinas


This year’s edition of the California International Air Show Salinas is its 35th! Since the beginning in 1981, it has always been and done two things:
1. It has been exciting.
2. It has helped charities, to the tune of almost $8 million dollars.
If you like the roar and beauty of planes, and you’re happy when you help charities on our Central Coast, then you should buy a ticket!

Mark your calendars for September 26 & 27, 2015. The doors and the show open at 9 a.m. each day. Either day, regular ticket prices are free for children under 6 years, $10 for children from 6-12, and $15 for General adult admission. For something really special, you may want to try to obtain a special Box Seat for $30. The show is usually a sell-out, so consider purchasing tickets in advance here.

As a special show stopper, you’ll see the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. The plane is amazing! It’s a twin-engine, all weather, tactical fighter. It provides air superiority, but can additionally handle ground attacks, electronic warfare, and intelligence. It’s worth the price of admission, but of course many other planes and teams will be at the show, including:

• A USAF Heritage Flight
• The Canadian Forces CF-18 Jet Demonstration
• The Patriots Jet Team
• Jacquie B Warda Extra 300 Aerobatic
• A flying tribute to the Doolittle raiders with a B-25 Mitchell formation
And more!

If you’d like to do a little advance reading on the show, please visit their main website:

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

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Big Blue Live – Television Event Reminder

Big Blue Live Monterey

The story of Monterey Bay is a story of the ocean, its mysteries, its rich life forms, and the efforts you have put forward to preserve it. It’s our story.

Previously, we posted a detailed article on Big Blue Live: you can find that post here. What we’d like to do now is remind you that PBS and BBC will soon air an amazing, live, unfolding tale. In conjunction with Monterey Bay Aquarium, PBS’ Big Blue Live will air August 31 – September 2, from 8 – 9 p.m. ET, and as well, for us on the West Coast, from 8 – 9 p.m. PT.

The PBS/BBC presentation will feature live feeds from ocean view decks, and from out on the bay. You’ll see blue and humpback whales, sea otters, dolphins, sea lions, seabirds, and underwater kelp forests. To find out more about this broadcast, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Web page, or PBS’ original press release on the same.

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Porsche Festival at Laguna Seca

Porsche Festival at Laguna Seca

Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca has just about all the thundering race cars and motorcycles you can handle; each and every year. Porsche lovers, your time is coming soon: very soon. In fact, you’ll want to mark down September 25-27 right now, as that will be the next time the “the world’s greatest gathering of Porsche race cars and the drivers who drove them to victory” will appear in person, right around our corner. 2011 was the last time the Porche Festival at Leguna Seca was held.

The hosts of the event, Porsche Cars North America, is promising something special not only for Porsche enthusiasts, but for “everyone interested in motorsports and automobile history.” They will be hosting a wide variety of historic Porsche racing cars, from the 550 Spyder, to the 917, 956/962, right through to the RS Spyder. Gates open at 7 a.m. each of the three days, and parking is free. Seven distinct groups of Porsche will be represented, including:

  • Group 1 – PCA Sholar-Friedman Cup: Porsche Club of America race cars
  • Group 3 – Eifel Trophy: 911 (911 up to 2.5 liter), 911TR, 911ST, 914, 914/6
  • Group 5 – Carrera Trophy: 911 (over 2.5 liter), RSR, 3.0 RSR, 2.1 Turbo, 934, 935, 936, 924 GTS, 924 GTR
  • Group 7 – Rennsport Reunion Cup – Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge

Whether a long-time Porsche lover, or someone who simply appreciates the elegance, power, and flourish of a great sports car, you’ll want to attend this show. You can find a lot more information about this event on the site’s official Web page, or by phoning 831-242-8200. If you know you want to go, and are anxious to purchase your tickets online, you can do so on this Web page.

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

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Songs about California: Monterey Peninsula Edition

“My indiscreet heart, how it longs for that sweetheart, that I left in old Monterey.” These are the lyrics Frank Sinatra sang in It Happened in Monterey, back in 1956! There have been many songs about our area – Carmel, Pebble Beach, Big Sur, Monterey, and of course California itself – since then. The Beach Boys had at least three songs about California in the title alone, including California Feelin’ and California Girls. Native Californians love, and rightly so, to write and sing about our state, and, yes, even about the beloved cities and towns you and I live in. Whether or not you grew up in the 1960s era of peace and love (and protests), who can forget Eric Burdon & the Animals Monterey, about the famous Monterey Pop Festivals that included the likes of Jimi Hendrix? Are there more titles, or songs that include our neighborhoods in their lyrics? Many more.

Here’s a shortlist of a few other songs we know that have our neighborhoods in the song title:

There are more songs than this with our towns and cities named in them. And there are far too many songs to list that have Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, or Pebble Beach in their lyrics. Here are just a few, covering several musical genres:

    • Road Trippin’ (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – mentions Big Sur in the lyrics

    • Cloudy (Simon & Garfunkel) – mentions Carmel in the lyrics

    • Generic Crunk Rap – The Graduate (MC Lars) – mentions Carmel Valley in the lyrics

    • Mobile Home (The Presidents of the USA) – mentions Pebble Beach in the lyrics

    • Carmichael (Neil Young) – mentions Pebble Beach in the lyrics

Did we miss one of your favorites? Please drop us a line, and tell us the title of the song that mentions your town.


Five Great Reasons to Buy a Home In Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach is where you’ll find the dream home you’re seeking. With a wealth of architectural styles all set into one of the most breathtakingly beautiful coastal settings, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home right here in this sought-after community. Location is so important when choosing your next home, and here’s five great reasons to buy a home in Pebble Beach!

  1. Golf: This may be the most obvious reason to golf aficionados, as the area favorite, Pebble Beach Golf Links has hosted the US Open five times. Pebble Beach boasts eight 18-hole courses, and is only a short drive from the oldest continuously operating golf course west of the Mississippi.
  2. Views: The rocky coastline, Monterey Pine forest, and the Pacific Ocean combine to make a spectacular natural landscape available from every vantage point.
  3. Community: Pebble Beach is an exceptional gated community rich in history, natural beauty, and beautiful architectural styles. You’ll love living here!
  4. Conservation: The community here is dedicated to protecting the wild, beautiful open spaces that make this such a wonderful place to live. The Del Monte Forest Conservancy preserves the open spaces on land and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration protects the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in the Bay.
  5. California Dreams: The California Dream of the perfect home in a beautiful natural setting is alive and well here. Pebble Beach is the perfect place to relax, refresh, renew, and reward yourself for all your hard work!

Contact The Heinrich Team today to find out more, or to start looking for your dream home in Pebble Beach!

Runners Unite! Monterey County Triathlon

Monterey County Triathlon

Runners Unite!

Triathletes and distance runners must mark their calendars and plan to participate in the Monterey County Triathlon at Pacific Grove this September 11-13. For the beginner to elite triathlete, there is both an Olympic distance triathlon and a sprint distance triathlon. There are also Fun Runs that cover 5K and 10K distances. The fun begins on Friday the 11th, where participants can register, check out the course layout, attend clinics, and shop for triathlon-related merchandise.

Regarded as one of the most scenic in the world, the mornings are cool and misty, average high temperatures in the mid-70s, flat spaces for biking and gently rolling hills for running. The course begins with the well-known “Kelp Crawl” at Lover’s Point. Cycling runs along the coast, and running also offers coastal views from Lover’s Point to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Triathlete teams must have at least 2 participants. The Olympic course is Saturday with the Sprint course on Sunday. Awards ceremonies will be held after each event. Elite triathletes in the Olympic course will be competing for a $20,000.00 cash purse. Registration fees range from $75.00 for Youth to $200.00 for adults to compete in both triathlons.

Both Fun Runs happen on Sunday the 13th and start at Lover’s Point Park. This is a run/walk geared for family participation. Children 12 and under run/walk for free!

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

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Monterey Pre-Reunion and Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

monterey motorsports

What is as great as Monterey Car Week & Concours d’Elegance (which begins on August 10), and happens at the same time? Two things, actually: The Monterey Pre-Reunion and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. If you love vintage, collectible, or racing automobiles, look no further than your own neighborhood this August!

The Monterey Pre-Reunion takes place on August 8 and 9, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, off the Monterey-Salinas highway. Gates open at 7 a.m. Setting the scene, you’ll see 300+ race cars in competition, prior to the Motorsports Reunion. Some of the vehicles are fully restored, while some are still in their original, vintage condition. Each will race in its appropriate group. Here are just a few of the race groups you’ll see:

  • Pre-1951 Sports Racing and Touring
  • 1955-1962 GT
  • 1966-1972 Trans Am
  • 1968-1978 Formula 500
  • FIA Manufacturers Championship

And there are many more. Tickets are reasonably priced at $25 per day and can be purchased race day. Parking is free. For more information about this event, please visit their website at or phone ahead to (831) 242-8200. If you do visit their website, there’s a Buy Tickets button handily available.

During Monterey Car Week, from August 13-16, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion takes place. This iconic event, also at Laguna Seca, draws a huge crowd every year. The organizers of this event have described it as “a museum springing to life”; no wonder. It’s the largest event held during Car Week. It is also the only event where you can see an amazing collection of thundering, powerful, classic cars actually racing. Over 500 are invited, and those accepted must meet authenticity, provenance, and period correctness. The circuit is as iconic as the cars on it. Some of the race groups you’ll see include:

  • Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring
  • 1973-1981 FIA Manufacturing Championship and IMSA GTO/GTP
  • 1965-1970 Shelby Mustang

The Marque car will be the Shelby GT350 Mustang, on its 50th anniversary! In addition to the main attractions, the automobiles, there will be autograph sessions, Q&A sessions, wine and cheese tastings, and much more. To learn more about this event, please visit their website at For ticket information specifically, please phone (831) 242-8200.

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

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How Much Rain does the Monterey Peninsula Get?

Rain in Monterey

The weather in the Monterey Peninsula is usually gorgeous. But periodically, clients who are thinking of moving here will ask us How Much Rain does the Monterey Peninsula get? The short answer to is not much. The longer answer now follows.

Ask a meteorologist what a normal amount of precipitation is, and she or he would want to look at the statistics for over a 30-year period! Why? In this case “normal” needs a long time to be established. Speaking then of our area, most of the rain we get falls between November and April, and our annual yearly average is about 18 inches of rainfall. As you know if you live in the area, our temperatures are moderate, and the spring and fall offer perhaps the best weather conditions. offers a good deal of insight and facts about our local climate, but the bottom line on precipitation can be summed up in these ways:

  • The rain we get here is usually light rain.
  • February would be the most likely month to see precipitation, while August would be the least likely.
  • Our warm season, from July to mid-October, has a less than 10% chance of precipitation most days.
  • The potential for snow in our area is “exceptionally” low.

If you’re wondering how much fog the Monterey Peninsula gets, you can find that answer here.

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Monterey Car Week and the Concours d’Elegance

Monterey car week

One of the world’s most recognizable automobile appreciation events takes place from August 10-16, 2015: Monterey Car Week. Racing in right on its heels, on August 16, is the Pebble Beach classic Concours d’Elegance. Car enthusiasts from the area, and far and wide, flock to the Monterey area every year for these prestigious, exciting events. The major components of the week include showing off amazing and classic automobiles on some of the world’s most beautiful golf courses, the auctions, racing at Laguna Seca, and the Concours d’Elegance.

Multiple things happen every day over the life of Monterey Car week. Here’s a brief look at the daily schedule:

  • Tuesday, August 11 – Whether you’re taking in Concours on the Avenue, or Automobile Monterey (at the Embassy Suites on Del Rey), activities begin at 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 12 – Wednesday is a fuller day, with no less than five separate events. Starting at 10 a.m., you can go back to the Embassy Suites, as Automobile Monterey continues, take in The Little Car Show on Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove, or perhaps head over to the Carmel Mission Classic. Lots to do!
  • Thursday, August 13 – The show’s in full swing this and the next several days. Among the offerings on Thursday are the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Presented, which begins at 7 a.m., Russo and Steele’s 15th Annual Sports and Muscle Auction in downtown Monterey, and the Automotive Film and Arts Festival.
  • Friday, August 14 – Jam-packed as Thursday, some of Friday’s popular events include the Classic Americana, on Ford Drive in Carmel Valley, and Legends of the Autobahn, which takes place at the Nicklaus Club in Monterey, beginning at 7 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 15 – Lots of choices this day, such as the Concours d’LeMons Monterey, at Laguna Grande Park, Gooding and Company’s Pebble Beach Auction, and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
  • Sunday, August 16 – On Sunday, a couple of auctions are taking place, and a reunion, but arguably the most popular event of Monterey Car Week – the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – takes place. The prestigious line-up features 200 of the world’s most prized collector cars and motorcycles. This year, special classes such as Ferrari, Pope, and Postwar Cunninghams will be highlighted. Please click this link to see all the details about the Concours d’Elegance, including ways to purchase tickets.

For a full schedule of the various daily events of Monterey Car Week, please see this Web page. Each day’s events has links for individual websites where you can get all the information you need, or purchase tickets.

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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Happy Independence Day!


Wishing you a safe and happy Independence Day!

NRT Top 100 Teams for the first quarter of 2015

The Heinrich Team received the following letter last week informing us that our performance has made us a top 100 Team for the first quarter of 2015. This is especially prestigious because the honor of Top 100 Team is across the entire group of NRT companies.

“NRT LLC is the subsidiary of Realogy that operates all company-owned real estate offices under Realogy’s world-renowned brands of Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, Sotheby’s International Realty®, as well as the powerful regional brand, The Corcoran Group® and the technology-based brokerage, ZipRealty.”

Ben, we’re proud to be a part of your team, thank you for the exceptional leadership that produces these results for our clients.

2015-top100-agent-NRT-letter Dear Ben:

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to elite company – the NRT Top 100 Teams for the first quarter of 2015. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

While tight inventory levels and various other real estate market obstacles continue to provide formidable market challenges, your team has demonstrated the kind of professionalism that produces results and earns new business regardless of the real estate climate. By placing your clients’ needs first and dedicating yourselves to outstanding service, you’ve risen to a position of unquestioned leadership. On behalf of myself and everyone at NRT, thank you for all of your hard work.

With such an impressive first quarter behind you, I look forward to seeing what you have planned for an encore and I’d like to wish you the very best throughout the remainder of 2015 . Thank you again for helping make NRT “The Place to Be.”

Bruce Zipf
President & CEO