Posts Tagged ‘Events’

August Happenings On & Around the Monterey Bay

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
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No matter what weekend you decide to make Monterey your summer getaway, chances are there’s a festival just waiting for you to enjoy.  With everything from the Scottish and Greek Festivals to the Watsonville Strawberry Festival, there’s no shortage of good food, fun entertainment and great excitement to be had!

Start off with a weekend of sweet strawberry bliss and the annual Watsonville Strawberry Festival on August 2-3, 2014.  A two-day festival in historic downtown Watsonville, this event showcases the strawberry, one of Monterey County’s most famous crops.  Free admission to all and fun for the whole family, the festival features delicious food, premier live entertainment, an exciting carnival and the beloved gooey strawberry contest.

Also on the same weekend is the 47th Annual Scottish Games and Celtic Festival. This event brings the tartan of Scotland and the green of the Emerald Island to Monterey from 9am – 5pm on August 2-3, 2014. Featuring authentic music, dance and athletic events there are activities galore for the whole family. One of the centerpieces of the festival is the pipe band competition where teams of bagpipers and drummers toe the line to see who is best. Throw in Highland and Irish dancers, as well as arts and crafts and you have an experience not to be missed.

Next, let a quick trip down to Monterey’s historic Custom House Plaza transport you to exotic Greece for the annual Greek Festival.  A favorite event for locals and visitors alike, the Monterey Bay Greek festival offers three full days of Greek culture and excitement, set amid the charming backdrop of Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf.  With free admission you can enjoy a weekend full of authentic Greek cuisine, live music and dancing.  Kicking off Monterey’s beautiful Indian Summer, the festivities, spanning from August 30 -September 1, 2014, will have you feeling Greek in no time.

These are just three of the many exciting August activities on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. So whether you are a local or a visitor, you’ll have the opportunity to experience some of the more colorful countries and cuisines of the world, Monterey style.

 

We can’t wait to see you here!

Live Music By The Bay

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
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The Monterey Peninsula has always been known for its musical roots. Festivals have been an integral part of Monterey Bay culture since the 1950’s and the region is quickly becoming a must-visit for some of the biggest names around!  With headliners playing nearly every single weekend, why not make the trip to Monterey and not only enjoy great music, while taking in amazing views, top notch accommodations and world class food, wine and craft beer.

This coming Saturday, June 28th, the 2nd Annual Monterey Americana Festival brings country legend, Dwight Yoakam to the stage at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center.  Kick-back and take in the sounds of Americana music artists playing throughout the day and make sure to cruise by vendors and food booths.

Now in its 77th year, the Carmel Bach Festival is a 15-day festival and educational event taking place throughout the entire Monterey Peninsula, July 19th – August 2nd.  The Sunset Center in sophisticated Carmel-by-the-Sea plays home to the festival’s Main Concert Series, as other smaller venues dotted throughout the area feature intimate concerts, lectures and other events.

Next up at the same venue, July 26th – 27th is Blues Brews & Barbeque at Monterey Bay.  This celebration is one you won’t want to miss.  Enjoy the best of blues from musicians like Kenny Neil, Memphis Gold, Terrie Odabi and many more. The perfect mild summer weather will be complemented with amazing food and some of the best craft brews around!

August 23rd – 24th “Monterey meets Coachella” during the First City Festival.  This two day festival also at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center will play host to over 30 acts including Beck, The National, Phantogram and The Naked & Famous.

Wrapping up the summer festival season is the infamous Monterey Jazz Festival, September 19th – 21st. With tickets now on sale, this year’s festival will welcome The Roots, Herbie Hancock, Gary Clark, Jr., Michael Feinstein, Cecile McLorin Salvant and many, many more Jazz legends and superstars.

From Jazz to Americana and from Classical to Electronic, the rhythm of summer is the music of your choice. Here’s to enjoying your favorite on the Monterey Peninsula!

 

 

2014 Monterey Beer Festival

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
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Somehow the picture of summer isn’t quite complete without the idea of a cold beer in hand, and in that vein, a summer on the Monterey Peninsula isn’t complete without the annual Monterey Beer Festival.

Featuring over 30 breweries, the Monterey Beer Festival will allow you to take a spin around the world, taking a sip of culture and flavor as you go.  Join the fun Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 12:30-5pm at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center for the chance to taste unusual offerings from major beer companies, as well as smaller small batch and independent craft breweries – including Monterey’s first craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub, located behind the Portola Hotel & Spa.

Don’t drink on an empty stomach!  Don’t worry! With food trucks and local specialty vendors, there will likely be a different dish to go with every beer.  From Thai noodles to old-fashioned Bratwurst there’s a booth to satisfy your every craving.  Live cover bands including: Powerage, Journey Revisited and Wicked Garden will be rocking the festival AND don’t forget to register for the highly competitive Beer Pong Tournament.

With only a little over a week to go, visit the Monterey Beer Festival website for a countdown to the festivities and to purchase tickets Click here! Advance tickets can be yours for $45 each, or buy them at the door for $50 (tickets for designated drivers available for $20 per person).  Admission includes beer tasting til your heart’s content and a full day of good times and entertainment.  And be sure to look into the VIP tickets ($70 in advance, and $80 at the door), which grant access to a VIP area with private restrooms, festival souvenirs, entry to the main festival and more.

Cheers AND please drink responsibly.

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!

Staycations are the Best!

Friday, May 16th, 2014
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Calling all exhausted parents, worn out families, and couples in need of a romantic rendezvous in the 831; this post is for you!

Just because there’s no time for an actual vacation doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a break.  Monterey’s Portola Hotel and Spa is here to provide the perfect solution!  Why not skip the hassle of booking flights and hotel rooms out of the area, and take a staycation instead.  You don’t have to leave the country to get out of the house.  All you need to achieve the relaxing staycation you so well deserve is a small bag and a quick drive to downtown Monterey.

Reserve a luxurious room and enjoy all of the lavish amenities that Portola has to offer.  Spend your days in rejuvenation at Spa on the Plaza.  Drop in for a facial or a heavenly massage, after, take a relaxing steam or kick back in the sauna. Perhaps taking a dip in the pool is more your style, cozy up in one of the private cabanas on the pool deck and read that book you’ve been meaning to finish for the past few months! After, stop by the concierge desk and play tourist for a day.  Explore the town you live in through a fresh set of eyes and try out new attractions you’ve been too busy to investigate.

You don’t have to go far to experience the bliss of being pampered.  Take a the day off from cooking and experience the Portola’s very own Jacks Restaurant & Lounge or Monterey’s first craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub.   After dinner, spend your evening on a moonlight walk along Old Fisherman’s Wharf or stroll nearby beaches and listen to the peaceful sounds of the tide going in and out.

You may not have time to be a full-blown jetsetter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a local weekend getaway.  Make the Portola Hotel and Spa your next staycation destination.

Happy travels!