New Year. New Possibilities.

What is it about starting over? Starting fresh. Is it the possibility for something better to come around or happen?

The New Year brings a wave of positive energy and excitement as many of us set new goals, plan for future travel, and focus on our health and wellbeing. While the hotel is currently open to essential travelers, we hope to welcome all guests back to Monterey, California, very soon. In anticipation of welcoming more guests to the hotel, we have put together a list of 21 activities and ideas to incorporate into your Monterey travels.

Portola Hotel’s 21 New Year Must See & Do Activities

1)  Travel with the entire family. That means your pup too! Portola Hotel is pet friendly and the perfect location for traveling with your dog. Centrally located in downtown Monterey, Portola offers easy access to outdoor dining and a scenic recreation trail for walking your pet.

Sleeping Dog at Portola Hotel

Pet Friendly Accommodations at the Portola Hotel & Spa

2) Take in the ocean air and the beauty of the Monterey coastline with a leisurely walk along the recreational trail from Lovers Point in Pacific Grove to Sand City and beyond.  The perfect trail for walking, running, or cycling, with breathtaking views and various shops and dining options along the way.

3) Enjoy a bowl of Monterey Clam Chowder from old Fisherman’s Wharf.  Several restaurants along the wharf offer house made chowder served in bread bowls, and if you have a craving for chowder before you can visit, Fisherman’s Grotto sells their delicious chowder online.

4) Experience a CBD Massage from Spa on the Plaza. The benefits of CBD include reducing inflammation and deep relaxation. Spa on the Plaza uses organic, high quality CBD massage oil from Vital Body. Book a massage when the Spa re-opens in the New Year.

Spa on the Plaza CBD Massage Oil

Spa on the Plaza CBD Oil & Creams

5) Explore the Monterey Bay by kayak. Adventures by the Sea on Cannery Row offers daily kayak rentals and easy ocean access.  What better way to explore and enjoy the marine life from a safe distance than on a kayak!

6) Read a book written by John Steinbeck, an American author, and Nobel Prize winner. Born in Monterey County, Steinbeck wrote “Cannery Row,” “Of Mice and Men,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and many more award winning pieces of literature.

7) Pack a lunch or pick up food to go from a local restaurant and enjoy a picnic at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Explore walking trails and enjoy the beautiful landscape found throughout this park.

Point Lobos

Point Lobos State Nature Reserve

8) Become a wine member at one of Monterey County’s numerous award winning wineries and enjoy pinot noirs, chardonnays, and other varietals shipped to your home all year long. The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association is a fantastic wine resource for the destination.

9) Learn to surf. Ride the wave and experience the ocean from a longboard. Surfing is a phenomenal way to get into shape and improve your mental health. Sign up for lessons with Monterey Bay Surf Lessons, offering classes at “Carmel-in-the-Sea.”

10) Learn about the conservation research and efforts put forth by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Their team addresses the challenges, opportunities, and actionable steps around important environmental topics like plastic pollution, climate changes, sustainable seafood, and more. Discover how the Monterey Bay Aquarium is making an impact on ocean health.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

11) Volunteer at the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (PGMNH) is looking for Monarch Docents to connect with visitors and spend time in the sanctuary. View all volunteer opportunities with the PGMNH here.

12) Spend the afternoon exploring the sights along 17-Mile Drive. The scenic Pebble Beach experience unfolds the Del Monte Forest’s beauty, white sand beaches, and beautifully curated golf courses.

13) Nourish your body with hand crafted cold-pressed juices and cleanses from Central Coast Juicery. Located in Pacific Grove, Central Coast Juicery offers a wonderful selection of pressed juices to reboot and revitalize your immune system.

14) Treat yourself to a “Suite” Getaway to Monterey and stay in a newly renovated suite at the Portola Hotel. These coastal inspired accommodations feature upgraded features, including air conditioning, spacious floorplans, modern furniture, and a variety of high quality amenities.

Luxury Hospitality Suite

Luxury Hospitality Suite

15) Say no to plastics and look for sustainable alternatives.  Use reusable bags when shopping at any store, opt for reusable containers when storing food, and replace your plastic water bottle with a reusable water bottle or hydroflask.

16) Train for a marathon with over a year to train for the next Big Sur International Marathon (BSIM). Scheduled for April 24, 2022, the BSIM is one of the most breathtaking and challenging courses. Offering scenic views of the California coastline and elevation changes as runners make their way to the top of hurricane point at 560 feet

17) Support local art galleries and artists. Venture Gallery, located along Alvarado Mall, is owned and operated by local artist offers exceptional fine art, including paintings, original prints, wood and glass sculptures, ceramics, and fine jewelry.

18) Set a tee time and enjoy a day on one of the Monterey Peninsula’s 18 world-class championship golf courses. Each course is perfect for spending a day on the greens and offers various landscapes, including ocean views or mountain terrains. View available golf courses near the Portola Hotel & Spa here.

Poppy Hills

Poppy Hills Golf Course

19) Take a drive along the coast on scenic Highway 1. Stretching over 656 miles, Highway 1 is the longest state route in California. Please remember to travel responsibly, protect our environment, and preserve this beautiful landscape for future generations to enjoy.

20) Experience horseback riding through over 27 miles of marked equestrian trails that weave through the enchanting Del Monte Forest. The Pebble Beach Equestrian Center offers daily trail tours led by professional guides, and private lessons are available.

21) Reduce your carbon footprint when you travel. Consider taking longer trips, reducing the need for shorter travel plans throughout the year. Unplug your appliances when you are away, eliminating unnecessary power sources. In addition, offset your carbon footprint with The Ocean Foundation.

However you choose to spend 2021, we hope you embrace the moments, cherish the memories you create, and travel responsibly. We wish you a very Happy New Year and hope we have an opportunity to welcome you to the Portola Hotel & Spa!

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