Archive for the ‘Action & Adventure’ Category

Get Spooked in Monterey

Friday, October 4th, 2013
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As the fall rolls in, the Monterey Peninsula welcomes some of the loveliest weather we’ll see all year!  The Portola Hotel & Spa celebrates its favorite season with a very unique, yet luxurious autumn package to highlight the Peninsula’s exquisite charm in its entirety, spooky ghost stories included!  As the golden leaves start to turn, the autumn season isn’t complete without a little thrill to send a shiver down your spine and to shock your hair on end.

With Halloween right around the corner, why not get into the “spirit” and explore the sites of hidden treasures, mysterious gardens, and ghostly thrills from Old Monterey’s past?  No doubt a charming little town during the day, there’s no better place to satisfy the inner thrill-seeker than a haunted trolley ride through historic Monterey.  If a little bit of haunting is your thing, Portola’s Ghost Trolley Package is bound to be right up your very spooky alley.  Led by local historians, this 90-minute trolley tour will lead you to some of the Peninsula’s most haunting locations! This overnight package for two is available Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays only, and includes a copy of local author, Randall A. Reinstedt’s Ghosts and Mystery Along Old Monterey’s Path of History.

No fall trip to Monterey would be complete with out a little fright, so sign up to get spooked this fall!  This sensational fall package is available to book online at www.portolahotel.com, so make like the autumn leaves and drop on by for an unparalleled adventure of fun and luxury.

Hurry! This package ends  October 30, 2013!!!

Celebrate Father’s Day with Brews & Views

Monday, June 10th, 2013
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Peter B’s Brewer, Kevin Clark and his son L.J.

Mark those calendars! Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 16th and there is no shortage of activities to fill a day with Dad on the Monterey Peninsula!

Get away from the ordinary and bring Dad to stay at the Portola to recharge his batteries.  Explore the rich historical setting of Old Monterey and spend some quality time with Dad. Rent a bike or head out on foot to the Coastal Recreation Trail, just right outside our door and experience many of Monterey’s world-famous attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Hungry? The culinary team at Jacks Restaurant & Lounge will be hard at work in the kitchen providing you and Dad with the finest local cuisine from Central Coast farmers, fisherman, ranchers and dairymen. Or, head to Peter B’s Brewpub for delicious locally brewed craft beer, 15 high-definition TV’s, a pool table and a unique pub-style menu that Dad will surely love.

For the ultimate pre-Father’s Day gift, attend the Monterey Beer Festival on Saturday, June 15th between 12:30pm and 5:00pm with entertainment and beer galore. Fill your day and your belly with tastings from over 80 Central Coast breweries and local food vendors serving up Thai noodles, Korean and Southern BBQ, Cajun specialties, old-fashioned Bratwurst and more. Live bands include the Chicano All Stars, Powerage and Jack Nielsen’s Triple Threat, just to name a few. General Tickets are $45 and other ticket packages including V.I.P. are available. For more information visit www.montereybeerfestival.com.

So if you’re in the mood to celebrate this Father’s Day and make it one to remember,  than we’ve got it all, right here at the Portola!

 

Aquarium for Two Package

Thursday, March 7th, 2013
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Photograph Monterey Bay Aquarium©

It’s easy to find adventure when you are traveling by yourself, with your significant other or with friends, but finding something exciting to do with your family that keeps your interest can become an adventure in and of itself. That’s why the Monterey Bay Aquarium is such a great choice. Not only is it located right on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, on historic Cannery Row, but it is chalk full of amazing and educational exhibits and interactive activities for kids and adults alike.

The fabulous Jellies Experience is now open and there are countless other interesting this to experience and explore. There is the Splash Zone that allows kids of all ages to engage with ocean inhabitants and feedings at each of the exhibits and countless other things to do. The Portola Hotel & Spa offers a wonderful Aquarium Package for Two. Not only is the Portola within walking distance to the Aquarium, but this package has it all! With the Portola Hotel Aquarium for Two Package, you get a nautically inspired and elegantly appointed guest room of your choice, two adult Aquarium tickets good for two consecutive days and the Portola’s famous warm homemade chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. Additionally, you also receive a delicious breakfast buffet for two at Jacks Restaurant and complimentary use of the fitness center. Guests can also purchase additional tickets right at the front desk and the Portola’s friendly and knowledgeable staff has a host of other activities and family-friendly things to do. It’s important to remember that the Monterey Bay Aquarium is more than just a place to look at the creatures of the ocean. They are one of the foremost research facilities in the world and are the stewards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® Program.

So the next time you are looking a fun-filled family getaway that gives back, look no further that the Portola Hotel & Spa’s Aquarium for Two Package. You’ll be glad that you did, and so will the fish!

Refuge

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
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As previously mentioned in this blog, the wild and wonderful treatments available at spas are something out of this world. Most of the newest treatments are based on the healthy and beneficial powers of different natural ingredients. Whether animal, vegetable or mineral, one might think they are at a restaurant rather than a spa when looking over the menu of services.

Refuge, in Carmel Valley bucks that trend with one of the most unique spa experiences seen in some time. Quickly becoming a hot, new activity on the Monterey Peninsula, the Refuge Experience is based on the European practice of Hydro-thermal Therapy. The practice of exposure to a hot environment, immediately followed by immersion in cold water has been around for centuries, but Refuge has created an entire spa around the experience.

The grounds are tucked away amongst the Santa Lucia Mountains and winding roads of Carmel Valley with the various features set amongst large natural rocks and forest trees creating truly serene environment. The hot to cold benefits can be experienced in several degrees with hot tubs of varying temperatures and large steam and sauna rooms to be followed by the cold water pool of your choice.  Guests can then relax around outdoor fire pits or indoors on zero gravity chairs.

Trip Advisor has ranked Refuge at the #3 experience in Carmel, but the location is spa only, so a great lodging option is just over the hill at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey. The hotel is offering a Refuge Package deal that includes two passes to Refuge and a night on one of their nautically inspired, elegantly appointed guest rooms. The package also includes breakfast for two at Jacks Restaurant and a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. The package is a great call for a couple or for a couple of friends looking to get away from it all.

Start the New Year Off Right

Friday, December 21st, 2012
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With the “holidaze” upon us and 2013 right around the corner, people are starting to think about what they’d like to do better in the New Year. For some it’s taking up a new hobby or checking something off their bucket list. For others it might be taking a class or perhaps volunteering. But for almost everyone, getting in shape is resolution number one. Many people start off with a great plan, but heading indoors to the gym can become repetitive. Healthy living cannot be understated, but how can you keep yourself interested day in and day out?

We’ve put together a list of the top 10 outdoor activities (in no particular order) which you can do to keep yourself in shape; your mind engaged and increase your appreciation for the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. Some of these activities are low impact and some are higher, but each and every one is available right now and well within your budget.

10. Park It: The California State Parks, Monterey County Parks and Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District all have beautiful and easily accessible offerings just a few minutes away. From the sandy stretch of Asilomar State Beach and the gentle terrain of Toro Park to the secluded serenity of Frog Pond and the incredible vistas of Garland Regional Park, a healthy and invigorating experience await you on the walk or hike of your choice.

9. On Your Right: The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail offers 29 miles of paved perfection winding its way along the coast from Castroville in the north to Pacific Grove and parts of Pebble Beach to the south. The trail is well maintained and is used by bikers, joggers, walkers, and surreys. The trail offers a number of vistas and points of interest along the way. Bike big and tackle the whole trail or take your time and cruise a portion. Either way some of the best views of the Monterey Peninsula are right there in front of you.

8. Fore!: What’s better than spending some quality time with your family or friends? Everyone knows the Monterey Peninsula has some of the world’s best golf, but you don’t have to be Jack Nicklaus to get outside and chase that little white ball. There are a number of public and municipal courses that offer beginning, group and kids lessons and that are easy on the eyes and on the wallet. Pacific Grove Golf Links, Monterey Pines and Ranch Canada are great for those who are new or returning to the game. Laguna Seca Golf Ranch offers a fantastic practice facility and even world famous Pebble Beach boasts Peter Hay a 9-hole pitch and putt right next to its bigger brother.

7. A League of Their Own: The cities on the Monterey Peninsula offer robust Parks and Recreation programs. While each one is slightly different, most of the programs contain organized leagues for a variety of team and individual sports. Whether softball, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, volleyball or even bowling, the opportunities to participate in the competition and camaraderie of a league and gain some valuable exercise are priceless. The signup and seasonal information are readily available on the website of your individual city.

6. Doggone Fun: Fido is bored and so are you. Why not take him out for a little quality time and exercise. Anywhere will do and the Monterey Peninsula has a host of pooch-friendly parks, trails and even shopping centers to satisfy event the laziest of “man’s best friends” Carmel is famous for its canine hospitality and Monterey, Pacific Grove, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks and Marina all have dedicated dog parks. If you and your dog are a bit more adventurous, check out some of the great trails available through the Monterey Regional Parks. Some even allow of leash walking, which I am sure Fido will appreciate!

5. Drop and Give Me 20: The main focus of this information us getting in shape in the outdoors and while the traditional gym membership does not fit that our model, (not to say it is bad) there is a great opportunity to get the benefits of a trainer/class environment that gives you all the benefits of Mother Nature. Spa On the Plaza offers a bi-weekly outdoor fitness class called Fitness for Body and Soul, taught by former world class athlete and Exercise Physiologist, Janel Willette. Fitness for Body and Soul is an innovative out door fitness class that integrates a full cardiovascular, strength and flexibility workout with the beauty and natural terrain of the Monterey Bay.

4. More Water Please: It is the Monterey BAY right? So, what list of outdoor fitness options would be complete without mentioning some of our favorite water sports? Yes the water might be a little chilly, but that’s what wetsuits are for and there are a number of places to pick up a suit and the water toy of your choice right on the water. Adventures by the Sea offers a complete selection of kayaks, paddle boards and instructors if needed. You can take a class or head out with a partner and get what many fitness experts call one of the best cardio vascular workouts there is. Plus, there is a very good chance you will run into some of Monterey Bay’s beloved sea creatures.

3. Paddle Away: Equally as rewarding, but somewhat less strenuous are the paddle boats on Lake El Estero in Monterey. You won’t have to brave the ocean, just some curious Canadian Geese, swans and ducks looking for a snack. The boats are perfect for families and while the kid’s oohh and ahhh at the waterfowl; you can say that you got a good solid workout paddling them around the expansive lake.

2. Go Team: Even if you don’t have kids, volunteering as a coach for a YMCA or Rec league team gets you thinking about your health as the kids run by you. Not only can impart some of your knowledge on the younger generation, but you just might learn a thing or two from them as well. You don’t have to be an expert at the pick and roll or the corner kick, just be there and the kids will love it!

“But what if I am just visiting the area? Then take in a local high school or college game. Studies say that you can burn 250-350 calories watching a live sporting event. The Monterey Peninsula offers a high level of prep and intercollegiate athletics with the California State University, Monterey Bay Otters and the Monterey Peninsula College Lobos leading the way. Let local and get loud.

1.  Walk this Way: Lace up your shoes and open the door. A low to moderate impact workout, walking is the easiest way to get in shape and enjoy the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula. You’ll feel like a new person just by reintroducing yourself to the world around you!