Archive for the ‘Local Events’ Category

Celebrity Sighting Tips – It’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am Time!

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
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A legendary location for golfers from across the globe, Pebble Beach is home to professional tournaments throughout the year. None, however, is more famous and star-studded than the highly anticipated AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.  Taking place this week through February 9th, this tournament is not only venerated for its beauty and list of champions, but also for its reputation as a celebrity magnet.  We know you come for the golf, but just in case you are trying to catch your favorite celeb or athlete in action, here are some of the best locations around the Peninsula to play “paparazzi”.

It may be early morning, but that doesn’t mean that the stars are not out and about.  Come tournament time, pros and amateurs alike are warming up before the day’s play and for many that means breakfast with family, friends or entourage. Some of the stars prefer the relatively quiet Lodge at Pebble Beach, but for those staying outside the gates; several opt to visit these choice restaurants to rub elbows with the public and to get their fill of the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.  The most promising places for star-sightings in the AM are Jacks Restaurant & Lounge, Katy’s Place, The Cottage Restaurant, located in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea and Toasties Café in Downtown Pacific Grove.

As the tournament winds down for the day, the late afternoon fun is just beginning.  Although some players may head back to their hotel rooms to rest up for the next morning, many take advantage of the exciting local scene, returning to the Tap Room for post round drinks before heading over to Spanish Bay to continue the party. Some additional popular starts for drinks are the Portola’s Jacks Lounge, Peter B’s Brewpub, Carmel’s Il Fornaio and Jack London’s. In Monterey, Cannery Row’s historic Sardine Factory is also a popular post-Pro-Am hotspot, having garnered the reputation as CBS Central due to the number of the televisions network’s announcers and executives that frequent the establishment.

For the second year in a row, Grey Goose Vodka and the Portola have teamed up to create the After Hour Lobby Lounge open Thursday through Saturday during Golf Week from 6pm-9pm. Who knows who could turn up there! In addition to the Grey Goose Lobby Lounge, the Portola, Taylor Made Golf and the NCGA/Poppy Hills Golf Course have created a Pop Up Golf Experience also located in the lobby, February 6th-8th from 5pm-9pm – everyone could use some swing and putting tips, even the pros and celebs, so stop on by and check out who’s there!

There’s no need to wait till after the tournament to catch a glimpse of you’re your favorite celeb.  If you are a diehard fan, the main driving range at Pebble Beach or the putting green by the Lodge are prime spots. The amateurs are more likely to interact with their fans and you get to see them before and sometimes after their round.  Also, the well-known Club 15, an impromptu gathering of fans beside the 15th tee, is a great place to get up close and personal. Every Saturday, they come out in force to support the tournament’s sometimes less than skilled amateurs. Additionally, fans that purchase a ticket for the AT&T tournament’s practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, have the best shot of seeing the stars outside of the actual competition. The atmosphere is laid back and casual with many of the stars interacting with their fans along the way. If a celebrity autograph is on your bucket list, the practice rounds are your perfect opportunity, as photos and autographs will not be allowed during the tournament rounds.

For golf enthusiasts and the celebrity-obsessed alike, this tournament is one event you won’t want to miss.  Fans can buy tickets online at www.attpbgolf.com/tickets. Some say the best thing about this event is the money donated to charity which recently topped $100 million dollars. Others though, will describe the time they were behind Justin Timberlake at the bar. Either way everybody is a winner at the AT&T…FORE!

Come One & Come All to the Fourth Annual Whalefest

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
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If you are like me, you love the ocean. Whether it’s walking along the beach, visiting an aquarium or experiencing some nautically inspired art, the ocean and specifically the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary give each and every one of us so much to be thankful for. That’s why I’m calling all marine-life enthusiasts, from near and far to swim on over to Monterey’s Historic Fisherman’s Wharf for the Fourth Annual Whalefest. This free, family-friendly event takes place this weekend, January 25-26, 2014 from 10am to 5pm.

The event is a celebration of the whale, its environment and the many organizations that protect the Monterey Bay. Not only does Whalefest offer music, lectures, exhibits and films, but there are live art demonstrations and a 60 foot model gray whale that attendees can explore. And since it is migration season, now is the time to observe these beautiful creatures. So, if an up close view of these huge mammals is more your speed, whale watching trips are available throughout the day as are tours on a 29 foot Coast Guard Transportable Response Boat.

Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a site rich in Monterey’s iconic history and this event will be buzzing with vibrant sights and exciting exhibits in every nook and cranny. There’s a world of deep-sea adventure to be had right here in Monterey. Whalefest promises to be a weekend of inspiring, educational and empowering exploration of the majestic Monterey Bay. With the mission of protecting the beautiful Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Whalefest is a weekend of fun, for a cause.  Don’t miss out on a moment of the excitement.

Visit www.montereywharf.com for additional info plus a schedule of performers and events.  Don’t miss out on this “whale” of a good time!

Looking to book a whale-themed getaway – check out the Portola Hotel & Spa’s Whale Watching package, it includes two tickets for a whale watching tour, plus 15% off the regular nightly rate.

Monterey Swingfest

Friday, January 10th, 2014
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At Central Coast Living we are always surprised by the interesting facts we uncover. Did you know that California has an official state dance? We didn’t either, but it does and it’s the aptly named West Coast Swing!  It comes as no surprise, then that Monterey holds its very own festival celebrating California’s favorite dance.

Join the fun January 16-20, 2014 for an entire week of swing dancing at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel just minutes from the Portola Hotel & Spa, for the 21st Annual Monterey Swingfest. Whether you’re a pro looking to compete or a beginner eager to learn, the Monterey Swingfest promises to be a good time for one and all.

Learn from the best, including intensive workshops with the likes of Sarah Vann Drake, Torri Smith and none other than West Coast Swing legend Skippy Blair.  Swingfest offers classes for every level, from beginning to advanced, and with activities planned on most days from 10am until the wee hours of the morning, you’re sure to wear out your dancing shoes.

Featuring two types of dance competitions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, show off your skills, or merely be a spectator. Hope for the partner of your dreams to help you dance your way to the winner’s circle in the Jack & Jill contest or bring along your better half and sign up as a dynamic duo for the Strictly Swing contest.  Competition not quite your speed, then Monterey Swingfest has something for everyone, including open dance sessions for early birds starting at noon and then throughout the day so you can literally dance the whole day…and night away!

It’s bound to be a weekend of toe tapping competition and thrilling entertainment, so put on your dancing shoes and let the fun begin!

Carmel Art & Film Festival

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
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A hub for culture on the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea has always been a little slice of heaven with a big devotion to the arts.  Its streets are filled with charming art galleries and state-of-the-art performing art centers boasting packed performance schedules, so it is no wonder that Carmel is the home of the annually acclaimed Carmel Art & Film Festival.

Celebrating art from virtually every medium, the festival runs from October 9-13, 2013 and includes performances and exhibits featuring music, fine art, photography and of course, film.  This year’s featured artist is Louisiana native George Rodrigue, who considers Carmel the second home for himself and his iconic blue dog.  This year’s festival will include a live painting demonstration and lecture by Rodrigue at the Patron Carnival Party held in his honor.

Art comes to life on stage with the musical portion of the festival.  Highlighting young local talent and emerging artists alike, Carmel Art & Film is planning a line-up to rival that of last year’s bash, sure to get you out of your seat and dancing the night away.

No film festival would be complete without a dazzling line-up of the best in independent films.  Screening the best in independent film in four categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary, Short, and Student, California Art and Film Festival will show over 100 films over the four days at such venues as the Sunset Center, the Golden Bough Playhouse and the Carmel High School Performing Arts Center.  As a special treat, the whole family is invited Saturday night for a special screening on beautiful Carmel Beach.  Four days of cinematic pleasure culminates in the presentation of five awards at a special Filmmaker’s Gala at Sunset Center on Thursday, commemorating the best in each of the four film category, as well as the presentation of the coveted Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award, given to the director, actor, producer or cinematographer who best exemplifies Eastwood’s commitment to the craft of film making.

The Carmel Art & Film Festival is four days of art and culture you won’t want to miss, visit the event website www.carmelartandfilm.com to keep updated on the event line-up and other important details, and to get your tickets today!

FIM Superbike World Championship

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
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Photo Courtesy of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

 Home to one of the world’s most renowned racetracks, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will be playing host the FIM Superbike World Championship Monterey Round, racing into town, September 27-29, 2013.

Featuring iconic manufacturers like BMW, Aprilia and Ducati, the riders and their teams are racing high-performance bikes so similar to the ones found in the showrooms that you’ll think that they were driven straight from the dealer!  If you have a need for speed and a thirst for adrenaline, this three-day racing extravaganza is one you won’t want to miss.

The racers’ only visit to the United States, the FIM Superbike World Championship is a fantastic opportunity to watch these acclaimed international and acclaimed racers. Coveted as the best in the world, these 25 riders line-up on the starting grid, setting the stage for an entertaining and exhilarating hard-fought race at every turn.  This racing spectacular is bound to be the thrill of the Fall season, leaving the competition in the dust!

Just a 15-20 minute ride from the Portola Hotel & Spa, the FIM Superbike World Championship at the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is so close you can feel the power of these racing bikes.  Advanced tickets are available online or at the gate, starting at a mere $20 for a Friday-only ticket to $70 for a three-day General Admission ticket.  Visit the ticketing page of the website above for full details on all ticket options, including the coveted VIP packages.

On your marks, get set, go!