Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Best Beaches on the Monterey Peninsula

Friday, July 11th, 2014
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It’s common knowledge that the Monterey Bay has one of the most beautiful coastlines on the entire planet. But with all those miles of photo-worthy shore, how can you tell which beach is right for you? Central Coast Living’s team has visited them all and here are a few of our favorites!

Located off of Highway 1, just south of Carmel is Carmel River State Beach.  With a lagoon formed by the Carmel River, this California State Park attracts a large number of migratory birds, making it a great place for birders.  Also providing access to notable kelp forests in the area, the beach is a hotspot for scuba divers and kayakers as well.  Not the best place for swimming due to its strong currents, beautiful Carmel River State Beach is better suited for a day in the sand or cozying up to warm fire for s’mores in the evening.

Just a mile north of Carmel River Beach, within charming Carmel-By-The-Sea, is Carmel Beach. Renowned for good surf, soft sand and excellent dog-walking conditions Carmel Beach is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.  Perfect for sandcastle building, it’s no wonder that Carmel Beach annually hosts a beloved sandcastle contest as well as the Sunshine Freestyle Surfabout, one of California’s longest running surf contests.  Even better than the sand under your feet are the evening sunsets painted where the sky meets the sea. Carmel Beach is also an ideal spot for bonfires and evening picnics.

Spanning from Monterey to Seaside, the Monterey State Beach offers a long uninterrupted stretch of sand and surf beginning next to historic Fisherman’s Wharf and ending in Seaside. This popular beach is the perfect place for many outdoor activities, such as surfing, kayaking, swimming, kite flying and even fishing. Look toward the sea and you’ll spot scuba divers emerging from the depths.  Look toward the sky and you’ll find hang gliders soaring over the dunes. Perfect for everyone, Monterey State Beach is a great place for a true California beach experience.

This next beach packs a whole lot of beautiful views and natural diversity into a single mile of coastline.  Providing public access to the Monterey Peninsula’s rocky coastline and dune habitat, Asilomar State Beach is a popular spot for every beach activity from nature walks and surfing to a romantic date night. With a quarter-mile long trail running through the dunes, Asilomar is the perfect place to take in breathtaking views or go for a morning jog.  Explore the little worlds hiding within Asilomar’s many tide pools or set up shop for an evening bonfire.  A fully accessible beach, Asilomar State Park features beach wheelchairs to allow full access to those with limited mobility.  Dog friendly and child-friendly alike, Asilomar is a great family beach.

One of Pacific Grove’s most beloved landmarks, Lovers Point Beach is a favorite for both P.G. natives and visitors alike.  With a safely protected seashore perfect for children, a rec trail wrapping around the iconic coastline, and lovely Lovers Point Park overlooking the rugged Pacific, Lovers Point is the perfect beach destination for families and visitors of all ages.  Enjoy a game of volleyball while overlooking the water, or bring your children to play in the Lovers Point Children’s Pool.  Enjoy a run on the rec trail or take your dog for a walk with a view.  Featuring bike, surrey and kayak rentals during the high season, Lovers Point has been named Best Place for a Wedding for several years running. So if you are looking for the perfect blend of romance and family fun, look no further than Lovers Point Beach and Park.

From small hidden beaches and long stretches of shoreline to rocky points and quiet tide pools, Monterey Peninsula’s cost offers something for everyone. The next time you visit Monterey, discover how many things there are to do at the beach!

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!

Sea Otter Classic

Friday, April 11th, 2014
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Sea Otter Classic Credit Julie Braunstein

Since the advent of the bicycle, outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide have enjoyed the beautiful scenery and differing terrain of the Central Coast. From a leisurely ride along the coast to a heart-pounding off road trek, it is no surprise that the Monterey Peninsula is home to the world’s largest cycling festival, the beloved annual Sea Otter Classic. With a twenty-four year history, participants anticipate this four-day “Celebration of Cycling” all year long.

A true family-friendly event, the Sea Otter Classic is equal parts recreational biking, competitive events, festival, expo, and all around excitement!  A cherished Monterey tradition, the Sea Otter Classic offers amateur and pro cycling events along with fun activities for all ages.  The Gran Fondo, Saturday April 12, and the mountain bike Gran Fondo on Sunday April 13, both follow routes showcasing the Peninsula’s natural beauty, and conclude with a celebratory lunch.  With special activities for children, including specially-designed races, a Bike Play Zone and a carnival and seasonal egg hunt, these events for kids will keep your little ones occupied all day while teaching them confidence and improving their budding biking skills.

For the older crowd, the Sea Otter Classic also plays host to one of the largest consumer bike expos in the world.  With more than 400 exhibitors showing off the latest and greatest in biking technology, the Sea Otter Classic is the prime location to get your hands on top of the line biking equipment.  To top it all off, this four-day extravaganza includes a beer and barbecue garden as well as an all-ages international food court.

Join the two-wheeled thrills this weekend for excitement you won’t want to miss.  Visit www.seaotterclassic.com to register for your event and for more scheduling and ticketing information.

Peter B’s Craft Brews – The Best In Monterey

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
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 Fire Pits at Peter B’s Brewpub, behind the Portola Hotel & Spa.

 

Whether you’re a local or a visitor enjoying a luxurious Monterey getaway at the Portola Hotel & Spa, you won’t be disappointed when you walk through the doors of Monterey’s original craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub.  Serving house-made, craft beer created by Head Brewer, Kevin Clark, as well as a brand new pub menu stocked with inventive, not to mention delicious favorites, Peter B’s Brewpub is the location among Monterey watering holes.

Located just behind the Portola, Peter B’s offers an awe-inspiring array of some of the best craft beers available on the Central Coast. Toss in 18 high-definition televisions and a pet-friendly, heated patio surrounded by historic adobes and the sounds of the nearby Monterey Bay – you have the recipe for greatness.  More than just a top-notch place to eat, Peter B’s is the perfect place to unwind after a full day of work, meetings, a round of golf or sightseeing.

Peter B’s has maintained its outstanding level of service throughout the years, providing a great place to meet new people and enjoy food, good friends and fun.  With the recent debut of a new menu as well as a renovation, Peter B’s offers a diverse and delicious menu including beer-inspired dishes, vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as local coastal-inspired favorites with a twist (AND they even have a kids menu).

With an amazing Happy Hour, seven days a week from 4pm-6:30pm, munch on anything from American Buffalo Chili; Warm Crab, Spinach and Artichoke Dip; the Brew-House Rueben, to House-Made Sausage and so much more yumminess.

Spring Packages

Monday, March 17th, 2014
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With much of the country still frozen in Old Man Winter’s icy grip, the Monterey Peninsula has been experiencing a milder than usual season and with Spring’s official arrival only a few short days away, thoughts of locals and visitors alike are turning to sunny skies, blooming flowers and any number of reasons to get back outside and enjoy the great outdoors. The Portola Hotel & Spa is embracing the return of the Spring Season with a couple of packages that are sure to put a spring in your step.

Nothing says spring like watching the earth’s largest mammals frolic and play with their calves, as they migrate from their mating and birthing grounds along the Baja Coast north to their feeding grounds around Alaska. March is high season for the whales and the Portola has you covered with a fantastic Whale Watching Package that gets you up close and personal with these fantastic creatures. Guests will receive 15% off a nautically-themed guest room and enjoy a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. The package also includes two tickets to a four to five hour whale watching tour embarking from Fisherman’s Wharf.

If the thrill of the open ocean does not tempt you, then how about the thrill of locally-sourced award winning cuisine with the Portola’s Breakfast for Two Package? Guests who opt for this package will receive a breakfast buffet for two with unlimited Mimosas for breakfast at Jacks Restaurant, in addition to nautically-themed accommodations and a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie on arrival. The breakfast buffet features a fresh, seasonal European style buffet with made-to-order omelets, assorted petite pastries, muffins, sliced cold cuts, fine artisan cheeses and more. And if any youngsters have accompanied you on your journey, not to worry; Kids 6-12 eat for only $5.95 and 5 and under eat for free! Families or couples can dine fireside in the Jacks dining room or if the mood suits, in the fresh coastal air on the outdoor, pet friendly, heated patio.

So if Spring has put a “spring” in your step and you are itching to get back into the great outdoors, why not enjoy the season on the unforgettable Monterey Peninsula!