Archive for the ‘Action & Adventure’ Category

Nature Valley First Tee Open

Monday, July 2nd, 2012
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As everyone knows, the Monterey Peninsula is home to some of the best golf courses in the world hosting the most prestigious of tournaments including the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and U.S. Open. While the U.S. Open is one of the most brutal and exacting tests in the game and the AT&T is the PGA tour’s annual celebrity fun fest, one of the most compelling and socially relevant professional events in the country is also played on the Peninsula.

The Nature Valley First Tee Open is a Champions Tour event, July 5 – 8, 2012, like any other, but what makes this tournament special is the 81 junior golfers aged 15-18 that make up the field. Alongside 162 amateur players, the juniors partner with their Champions Tour Pro in a team competition that concludes on the final day at the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

What’s unique is that the junior players are all members of the national First Tee Program. This program, founded by the World Golf Federation, allows young people to learn and develop life-enhancing skills and values through golf and character education. The participants come from all walks of life, but most are kids that otherwise might not have been exposed to the game of golf. Through a series of local qualifiers, the junior players earn their way to the First Tee Open, but don’t let their age fool you, these kids have game.

If you love the game of golf, or simply good competition, some of the most recognizable professionals will be playing. Since it is a Champion’s Tour Event, the competitors will be much more accessible and the tournament is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to the game; especially since anyone under 18 is FREE! So check out one of the most interesting and inviting Champion’s Tour stops there is – you and the kids will have a ball!

Monterey Movie Tours

Friday, May 25th, 2012
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The Monterey Peninsula is beauty personified. From the hills in Carmel Valley to the Lone Cypress Tree in Pebble Beach visitors and locals alike marvel at dramatically different settings located throughout the area. A group with a different take on the stunning visuals is Hollywood location scouts. For years, the Peninsula has been the backdrop for a wide variety of feature length movies, documentaries and commercials. See if you can remember the local flavor highlighted in these famous films? How about Play Misty For Me, Clint Eastwood’s homage Carmel and Jazz or the slobbering antics of the four footed star of Tom Hank’s buddy film, Turner & Hooch? Maybe you remember the whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home or the sandy embrace of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity? One of the easiest ways to experience the best of the best in locations and movie trivia is through Monterey Movie Tours. The tour takes you throughout the Monterey Peninsula in an air conditioned high seat backed luxury tour bus complete with audio narration and visuals on the overhead screens. Stops include three along the famous 17-Mile Drive and the tour is approximately three hours. The tour begins in downtown Monterey and is just a short walk from the Portola Hotel & Spa. If you are looking for a great addition to an already fun filled visit to the Monterey Peninsula, take a tour through this beautiful area with the magic of the movies as your guide!


HER Helmet Thursdays

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
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In a world where multi-tasking is not just a word, but a way of life, what if you could do something good for your body, your wallet and the environment all at once? You can do just that, and more, by participating in HER Helmet Thursdays. HER Helmet Thursdays is a wonderful program that offers discounts to bicyclists, every Thursday, at participating businesses throughout Monterey County.

H-E-R, stands for H: Hotels/other lodging, E: Entertainment venues and Educational attractions and R: Restaurants/other food and beverage service – including related places like wineries. One of the great aspects of the program is that there is no coupon, punch card or special code needed to get the discount, just show your helmet as evidence that you biked to the business. To obtain the discount at lodging establishments, you’ll need to bring your own bike or rent a bicycle anywhere in the county.

The program started in 2009, helps to promote Monterey County as a bike-friendly destination in addition to offering an eco-friendly and healthy alternative to driving. Known as one of the top biking destinations in the state of California, Monterey County offers great scenic, trail and road biking and now everyone, from the casual to competitive rider can get a little something back from these participating businesses.

As Monterey’s first and only LEED®-EB certified hotel, the Portola Hotel & Spa has fully embraced the program and its merits. With your helmet, you’ll receive a 10% discount at the newly renovated Peter B’s Brewpub, located right behind the hotel (excluding alcohol) and 10% off your room rate at the Portola Hotel (please contact hotel for details).

A trip to the Monterey Peninsula offers so many things to do. Why not take in the site and experience the beauty of the area while going something good for the environment and yourself? Multi-tasking has never been so much fun!

Next week participate in the 18th Annual Bike Week, May 7th -13th, 2012.

Big Sur International Marathon

Monday, April 30th, 2012
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26.2 miles of grueling terrain coupled with strong winds and a stretch of road they call Hurricane Point. Beautiful pain, some runners call it. Others call it one of the most beautiful runs in the world. Everyone calls it the Big Sur International Marathon. Each year thousands of people, from elite Olympic runners and people looking to prove themselves to Team In Training groups and those just wanting to be part of the action join the fun. They all descend onto the Monterey Peninsula April 27-29, 2012 to take part in one of the most famous races in the world. The Portola Hotel & Spa is the perfect spot to set up camp to enjoy the best the Monterey Bay has to offer, while preparing for the Big Sur. Race headquarters and the Race Expo is located at the Monterey Conference Center directly adjacent to the Portola Hotel & Spa so guests are in a convenient location to partake in all the festivities. Let’s not forget the award winning Spa on the Plaza located next to the hotel to relax you before the race or to cure your aches and pains after the race. Relaxing in one of the Portola’s newly appointed guestrooms and savoring a meal at Jacks Restaurant before the big day or enjoying a cold pint at Peter B’s Brewpub post race are just a couple of the added perks of booking your stay.

While 2012 BSIM may have come and gone – the 2013 registration will be up and fill up faster than you can run!

Sea Otter Classic 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012
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2012 Sea Otter Classic ©Photograph Julie Braunstein

One of the best things about the Monterey Peninsula is the bevy of fantastic and exciting events that happen almost every weekend.  Look on a calendar and you are sure to find something that peaks your interest. Why, just in the past month, the Peninsula has hosted the school-age talents of Monterey Jazz Fest’s Next Generation Jazz Festival and the gastronomic indulgence of the Pebble Beach Food & Wine. So what if you tend to gravitate toward things at a faster speed? Then look no further than this weekend’s 22nd Annual Sea Otter Classic held at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey.

This “Celebration of Cycling” features nearly 10,000 athletes and 50,000 spectators enjoying racing from a variety of cycling disciplines. Not only are professional riders competing at the Sea Otter, including national and world champions, but a host of amateur riders are also part of the festivities competing in their own categories.  The festival takes place April 19-22, 2012 and also hosts the largest consumer bike exposition in North America.

In addition to the racing and expo areas, the Sea Otter Classic also includes free, family-friendly activities including bike demos, stunt shows and special children’s events. Its spring and the weather will be wonderful, so check out the Sea Otter Classic and catch the excitement!