Archive for June, 2012

4th of July in Monterey

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
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Nothing says American like the Fourth of July. Whether you are joining a hundred thousand people at Boston Pops with cannons and a gigantic fireworks display over the Charles River or a family BBQ with a few sparklers, celebrating America’s independence is quintessentially… American!

The Monterey Peninsula is no different with a myriad of great events. Pacific Grove, known as America’s Last Hometown is presenting an old fashioned community BBQ at kid-friendly, Caledonia Park. The celebration, Wednesday, July 4th from 11am to 3pm will feature renowned San Francisco jam band Moonalice, a delicious BBQ, games, bounce houses and free goodies for the kids. In the tradition of the National Archives there will also be a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Carmel-by-the-Sea is also ringing in Independence Day in style with a Fourth of July celebration on Wednesday July 4th from 12pm to 4pm. Held in Devendorf Park, the event features a concert, food and games.

Of course, the Fourth would not be complete without a patriotic parade bringing spirit and patriotism to the streets of downtown Monterey. The parade steps off at 10am and winds down Alvarado Street and turns up Del Monte Avenue past the Portola Hotel & Spa before turning onto Calle Principal. This year, a parachute team made up of former Navy SEALS begins the festivities with a jump onto the route and after the parade; attendees are invited to come by the City’s annual lawn party at Colton Hall from 11am to 4pm. The fun continues on into the evening with a special light and laser show at Jack’s Ballpark at 8pm with a special concert by the Monterey Bay Symphony.

As the Fourth of July’s go, this year is jam packed with something for everyone; just like our country!

Wine Trolley Package for Two

Monday, June 25th, 2012
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Wine is the most ancient of libations and one that through the ages has been enjoyed by princes and paupers alike. There are many ways to experience wine. It could be over a fine dinner or at home with friends, but nothing beats experiencing wine at the source; the tasting room. And nothing complements the tasting room like an expertly guided tour of several of the region’s best aboard an open air Wine Trolley. According to the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association, more grapes are grown in the Monterey County region than in any other area in California and Monterey County wines are quickly becoming some of the most sought after varietals in the country.

Experience a five hour guided wine tour with the Portola’s Wine Trolley Package for Two. Each Wine Trolley tour stops at five of the area’s finest boutique wineries while taking in the sites along the way. The package also includes a stay in one of the Portola Hotel & Spa’s newly renovated, elegantly appointed guest rooms, a warm chocolate chip cookie upon arrival and breakfast buffet for two at Jacks Restaurant. In addition you’ll also receive complimentary corkage fees at Jacks Restaurant & Lounge and access to the outdoor heated pool, relaxing cabanas, Jacuzzi and state of the art fitness center.

Fine wine, a journey of discovery that awakens the pallet, comfortable lodging and more. Salud!

Monterey Blues Festival

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
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One of the few original forms of music invented in the United States, the blues, is quintessentially American. The music, born in out of the New Orleans Jazz scene and the Mississippi Delta tells the tale of hardship and triumph over simple chords. That sound of our country is on display at the annual Monterey Bay Blues Festival June 22-24, 2012.  The Blues Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, features a fantastic line-up of performers including: Rose Royce, Evelyn ‘Champagne” King, Kenny Neal and Jackie Greene. The festival also includes the “Blues in the Schools” Honor Band. Now over 20 years old, this iconic festival is considered one of the premier Blues Festivals in the country, boasting attendance of over 20,000 per year. As a non-profit, the festival generously donates to youth music and also administers the Monterey Bay Blues Festival Youth Scholarship program with supports deserving local youth. With food and fun in addition to great music, how can you go wrong?

Golfer’s Paradise Package

Monday, June 18th, 2012
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Poppy Hills 2012 ©

The game of golf is synonymous with the Monterey Peninsula. Ask anyone around the world about their favorite courses and there are sure to be a couple courses from this area on the list. Whether it’s the Pebble Beach Resort courses (host to five U.S. Opens and the PGA’s annual celebrity fun-fest the, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), the ultra-exclusive Cypress Point or some of the area’s award winning public tracks, visitors to the Peninsula have more choices than clubs in their bag!

That’s why the Portola Hotel & Spa’s Golfer’s Paradise Package is the perfect way to experience the course or courses of your choice. Centrally located between Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and the rest of the Monterey Peninsula the hotel has been a favorite of golfers for years.

Simply show your receipt for playing nine or 18 holes at ANY local course and instantly receive $50 off your stay. Even better are all the additional perks you get with the package. Lodging in the newly appointed guest room of your choice, a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie upon arrival, complimentary beer tasting flight, appetizer and souvenir beer growlette from Peter B’s Brewpub and use of the outdoor heated pool, relaxing cabanas and Jacuzzi and the recently renovated fitness center.

The Portola has ample space to securely store your clubs keeping your room free of clutter and their concierge will be more than happy to help book tee times, make transportation arrangements if needed or suggest additional activities. With all this and so much more, the golf package at the Portola Hotel & Spa truly is a Golfer’s Paradise. Golf on the Monterey Peninsula just got a whole lot better!

Father’s Day Contest!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
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One of the great traditions we celebrate is Father’s Day. Almost everyone has a favorite story about their dad, but the fanfare was always reserved for Mother’s Day. Mom gets to indulge. Dad gets to rest. While good in theory, why can’t Dad enjoy some of the finer things? A trip to the spa might be out of the question, but how about something a little more…“Dad-like”. The Portola Hotel & Spa is looking to change that with their Father’s Day Giveaway Contest.

Now through June 17th, you have the chance to give Dad a little love. Simply come down to Peter B’s Brewpub located behind the Portola and sign-up for your chance to win Dad a night at the award winning Portola Hotel & Spa and dinner for four at Peter B’s Brewpub. There are plenty of other prizes including Growler’s of Peter B’s craft beer, T-shirts and more! The winners will be announced on June 18th with more details on Peter B’s Brewpub’s Facebook page. Do yourself and Dad a favor and get him something great for Father’s Day.

Now there are some people who might not win, but don’t fear, Central Coast living has the Top 10 cool things to do on the Peninsula for Father’s Day:

  • Hike Garland Ranch. It’s free and it’s a fantastic way to spend time with Dad.
  • Golf at Pebble Beach: There is a special rate on father’s day and trust me, dad will get off the couch
  • Skydiving in Marina. Dad will like that you see him as young.
  • Fishing on Monterey Bay. Quintessential Dad!
  • Catch a Game at Peter B’s Brewpub. All of the action and none of the traffic.
  • Lunch on the couch and the U.S. Open. The final round of our national championship and a great sandwich from one of      the area’s incredible delis.
  • Sailing on Monterey Bay. There are a number of charter’s available and again, who doesn’t love the ocean.
  • Golf. ‘Nuff said.
  • Catch a Classic Car Show or a race at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. You might have to wait a couple of weeks, but      summer brings a bevy of auto events of all shapes and sizes.
  • Rent a Kayak or Paddle Board. Who doesn’t love the ocean?