Posts Tagged ‘Cannery Row’

Kids on the Peninsula

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
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When most people think of the Monterey Peninsula they think of beautiful golf courses, million dollar homes and some of the world’s most famous events. Others think of miles of pristine coastline, romantic walks along the water and shopping and dining. But as a mom of two, the Monterey Peninsula is one of the best family-friendly travel destinations around!  With as many family friendly activities as there are par fours, Mom, Dad and the little ones can have the time of their lives. Oh, and if the “little ones” are actually teenagers…there is plenty for them to do as well.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium on historic Cannery Row is one of the world’s premiere displays of aquatic marvels. The Splash Zone is entirely devoted to kids of all ages and the Aquarium as a whole, can keep the family interested for hours, but what about the next day?

How about Dennis the Menace Park located by Lake El Estero in Monterey? Hank Ketchum, the legendary creator of the cartoon icon Dennis the Menace made Carmel his home and this park brings the same smile to all who visit. Free and open seven days a week, (click here for more information) the park is perfect for families and offers a multitude of play structures, tunnels, bridges and a maze. Looking for something indoors in downtown Monterey? Try the Monterey County Youth Museum (MY Museum), a hands-on interactive children’s museum, perfect for the busiest of toddlers and young kids.

If you are traveling with kids that are a bit older, check out the paddle boats available for rent on Lake El Estero directly behind the park. It’s a great time and you can get up close and personal with the ducks, Canadian Geese and swans that make the lake their home (don’t forget the breadcrumbs!). Or, for a more radical departure, make a visit to the free skate park also adjacent to Dennis the Menace. With exciting elements to challenge the skills of skateboarders and in-line skaters, this park was created with input from community skaters resulting in a fantastic design overlooking the lake.

All of these activities are within walking distance of the Portola Hotel & Spa making a trip to the complex that much more appealing. With green grass, picnic benches and the beach just across the street, why not order a delicious lunch to go from Peter B’s Brewpub and enjoy a wonderful day of family fun!

Family Fun – Monterey Style

Monday, March 3rd, 2014
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Explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium

A treasure trove of outdoor adventure, Monterey is the perfect location for a family vacation.  With unparalleled beauty at every turn, the Monterey Peninsula and beyond promises endless opportunities for fresh-air fun and adventure for the whole family!  Whether you’re a land or sea body, the Monterey Bay area has something for everybody.

Develop your sea legs and take off on an ocean safari with Princess Monterey Whale Watching. Offering year-round whale watching trips, you can take in the majestic view from the midst of the bay while making some fluked friends along the way!  Maybe getting wet isn’t quite your style; get your under-the-sea fix at the Monterey Bay Aquarium instead.  Located on historic Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium promises to inspire wonder and learning through its innovative exhibits and unparalleled variety of aquatic wild life.  With more than 35,000 creatures, and representing over 550 species in nearly 200 exhibits, the Monterey Bay Aquarium promises a full day of fun for the whole family.  By the end of your excursion you’ll have just about sprouted fins of your own!

Home to some of the world’s most majestic ocean views indeed, the Monterey Peninsula is more than just a marine-lover’s mecca.  With Adventures by the Sea you can explore local sites by land or by sea.  Just pic your mode of transportation, bicycle, kayak, or guided tour and experience all that the Peninsula has to offer.  Looking to head to the hills, a hiker’s paradise awaits.  Check out legendary Point Lobos for unmatched views and a chance to run into some pretty feisty wildlife or explore Garland Ranch Regional Park in Carmel Valley.

For the animal lover within, visit Vision Quest Ranch & the Monterey Zoo. Set on a 51-acre ranch and centrally located off the Monterey-Salinas Highway, the Monterey Zoo (formerly Wild Things) is home to over 100 wild, exotic, and domestic birds and animals.  Take a family trip around the world without having to drive a mile, and learn all that there is to know about these majestic creatures.

So, for your next family trip, look no further than the Monterey Peninsula.  With a little something for everyone, there’s no better place to make family memories that will last a lifetime.

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!

Gearing Up for Winter

Monday, November 11th, 2013
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It’s that time of year again, the most wonderful time of the year!  And while some of us have been humming Christmas carols since last December, we think it’s about time to start getting in the spirit!

This year, you need look no further than the beautiful Monterey Peninsula to gear up and get ready to haul out some holly and deck the halls! Sure it’s no winter wonderland, but who needs the messy snow anyway?  There’s no better way to escape the hustle and bustle of busy cities, or forget the stress of home than planning your winter getaway in lovely Monterey.

Neighbored by sweet Pacific Grove, one of America’s last hometowns, and cozy Carmel-by-the-sea, a romantic and charming destination like no other, the Peninsula is guaranteed to be a little slice of holiday heaven.  Be dazzled by the twinkling lights and breathtaking sights of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, decked out for the holidays; marvel at the several-story-high, elegantly dressed, Christmas tree towering over Carmel Plaza, or let the charm of decorated historic downtown Monterey fill you up with holiday cheer.

The holidays on the Monterey Peninsula offer fun and excitement for the whole family.  On December 6 and 7, from 5-9pm, the California State Parks holds its Annual Christmas in the Adobes, an event celebrating the history and holiday traditions that make Monterey so special.  Participants tour over 20 historic adobes by night and enjoy entertainment and refreshment along the way.  As for the young ones, the local area is nothing short of magical, at Pacific Grove’s Caledonia Park on December 7th during the 20th Annual Stillwell’s Fun in the Park.  Transforming the park into a winter wonderland, this annual event features a day of fun and entertainment for the whole family amid the beautifully decorated park, complete with twinkling lights and a visit from Santa himself aboard a shiny fire truck. And don’t miss Santa make another grand entrance via helicopter during the Carmel Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 55th Annual Santa-Fly in on December 14th.

Don’t let the season pass you by without experiencing the magic of the Monterey Peninsula throughout the winter season.

Stroll the Row, Steinbeck Style

Friday, July 5th, 2013
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Most remember John Steinbeck’s classic work of fiction, Cannery Row from required school reading lists. Others, have lost themselves in the pages of the famous novel time and time again as adults. But when it comes to Cannery Row and its sequel, Sweet Thursday, the vivid pictures they paint of historic Cannery Row and the surrounding areas are unforgettable.

Straight from the pages of the classic novel, the historical streets of the Cannery Row area sit just a little over a mile from downtown Monterey and the Portola Hotel & Spa. These streets and alleys are packed full of literary history that both fans of the novel and history in general will enjoy.

There are a number of not to be missed attractions from both Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday that allow visitors to take a walk in Steinbeck’s shoes, experience the breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay and develop a complete understanding of why Steinbeck had such a deep love for the Central Coast.

Steinbeck’s Homes:

Two of Steinbeck’s homes still stand today. The little red cottage Steinbeck shared with his first wife in the 1930’s can be found at 147 11th Street in Pacific Grove. The home is privately owned, but fans can walk or drive by to get a peak of the house from the outside.

The home where Steinbeck, his wife and son lived in 1945, the year Cannery Row was published, is just a short 10 minute walk from the Portola. The Lara-Soto Adobe in Monterey, located at 460 Pierce Street, is now the Admissions Center at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and is only two blocks up from the great food and shopping in historic downtown Monterey.

 Old Fisherman’s Wharf:

Located on the water, across from Historic Custom House Plaza is Old Fishman’s Wharf, which was featured in Steinbeck’s novel Sweet Thursday. During Steinbeck’s time, the wharf was full of immigrant and native California fisherman who caught the abundance of sardines, squid and abalone that flourished in the Monterey Bay during that time. The canning industry that helped to establish the Monterey we know today gives much of the local flavor in both of Steinbeck’s works. Visitors to present day Fisherman’s Wharf  will find it lined with restaurants, whale watching and fishing charters and fun local shops to explore.

Doc’s Lab:

Still standing at 800 Cannery Row and straight from the pages of the novel of the same name is Doc Rickett’s Lab.  Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts, his friend who himself was the inspiration for the character Doc in Cannery Row, were great friends and would together collect marine life in the Monterey Bay and prep it in this facility before shipping it to schools and medical facilities.  Tours of the lab are available on select dates and interested parties can talk to the Portola concierge about availability or contact the Cannery Row Foundation.

 Wing Chong’s Market and La Ida Café:  

Located at across from Doc’s Lab at 835 Cannery Row is the Wing Chong building that was the location of Wing Chong’s Market in Cannery Row. Steinbeck referred to the market in the novel as “not a model of neatness, but a miracle of supply.” Next door to the Wing Chong building is the location of the La Ida Café from Cannery Row where Eddie, the part-time bartender, poured leftover drinks into a jug for Mack and the boys. The La Ida Café is now home to Austino’s Patisserie, where visitors can go to enjoy a cup of coffee and speculate whether the local legends are true about a under ground tunnel connecting Wing Chong’s Market to Austino’s.

Hop in the car, on a bike or put or on those walking shoes and take in the unique experience of being able to view the locations that will continue to live forever frozen in time on the pages of both Cannery Row and Sweet Tuesday.