Archive for the ‘Action & Adventure’ Category

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!

Jellies in Monterey

Friday, April 6th, 2012
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People travel for many different reasons. Some travel to relax, others travel to escape, and there are those that travel for adventure. It’s easy to relax, escape or get the heart pumping 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.  You can find all that and more at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 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.

In the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s newest special exhibition, “The Jellies Experience”, the magical world of jellies comes alive in all its psychedelic glory. Plunge into a sensory extravaganza of experiences highlighting the intriguing lives of these unlikely animals with their graceful movements, beautiful symmetry, deceptive fragility and surprising survival skills. After experiencing the magical jellies, journey over to the popular Splash Zone which allows kids of all ages to engage with ocean inhabitants and feedings at each of the exhibits in addition to films, talks and interactive activities. If you are going to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Portola Hotel & Spa is within walking distance and offers fantastic packages.

With the Portola’s Aquarium for Two Package, you get a newly renovated, comfortably appointed guest room of your choice, two adult Aquarium tickets good for two consecutive days, express check-in at the Aquarium and the Portola’s famous warm homemade chocolate chip cookie.

You 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 for a fun-filled 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!

Looking to book a Monterey Bay Aquarium Package for the entire family?  Not to worry, they’ve got you covered – click here to view the Portola’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Family Package!

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
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If you are searching for a healthy and engaging activity check out the latest craze to hit the California waters and one that anyone can do – STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING! It hits all the major muscle groups, is a total cardio workout and above all shows you the true beauty of the ocean. Its origins lie with the beach boys of Waikiki and probably go back further than that. It was adopted by the California surf set in the 1960′s and has continued to grow in popularity ever since. You still get the same feeling of gliding along the water, but it lets you enjoy the scenery without worrying that you’ll wipe out. The boards are long and wide which give you a great base with which to start from and a place to sit if you get a little tired, but maneuverable enough to navigate into smaller inlets or ride the tides into shore.

Monterey, California offers some excellent stand up paddle-boarding options including the popular water sports rental company, Adventures by the Sea. There, you can rent equipment, get instruction and guided tours in a group or for your family. It’s a great family activity and you can really explore some of the ocean wildlife while getting a great work out. It’s ok if you are not the most coordinated of people; most riders are able to get up on their first try with only their feet getting wet during the hour long maiden voyage.

Do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful activity. You’ll be hooked!