PGIF: Music, racing, and good ol’ California wine

Here in Monterey, we are passionate about the weekend. As summer turns to fall, the kids are back in school, and work settles into a steady routine, Monterey starts up their world-famous Monterey Jazz Festival, the American Le Mans racing series, California Wine Month, a beach party, and more.

The way they do the things they do
And it’s the way they do the things they do that has made The Temptations one of the most successful Motown groups of all time. After more than 40 years, the hit-making trendsetters (My Girl, The Way You Do the Things You Do, Get Ready) are bringing their unique sound and unparalleled talent to the Peninsula for this one-night-only concert, tonight, September 15, at the Sunset Center in Carmel. What better way to ease into the weekend than velvety vocals, soothing grooves, and a relaxed atmosphere just a stone’s throw from the Pacific.

‘Any good music must be an innovation…’ Les Baxter, American Musician and Composer

And Monterey must be a haven of innovators. This weekend features a staple of every musician’s and music lover’s diet: Jazz. The Monterey Jazz Festival, September 16-18, is the world’s longest-running celebration of its kind, voted “World’s Best Jazz Festival” three times by JazzTimes Magazine readers. And it’s no wonder, with 500 outstanding artists, 5 arena concerts, 7 different stages spread over the fairground’s 20 acres, and 30+ hours of live music, as well as cuisine, a bazaar, and endless activity. The festival is held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, just 10-15 minutes from Pacific Grove Inn.

Featured artists for 2011 include Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins, both praised by the legendary Miles Davis for their exceptional skill, as well as India.Arie, Idan Raichel, and Huey Lewis and the News. Check out their incredible bios and resumes on the festival’s website: http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org/2011/artists/arena.

Ready. Set. Race.
Yes, Monterey loves cars. The racing continues with the American LeMans Series (ALMS) this Friday through Sunday at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It’s a six-hour adrenaline-surge for drivers and engineers alike, racing their 1000+ pounds of pure force around the world-famous track with its formidable Corkscrew. With makes from Acura to Porsche, there’s something for everyone.

A (Post) Midsummer Night’s Dream
In case you didn’t get enough summer this year (who did?), now’s your chance to catch just one more summer night with a beach party, a featured event of California Wine Month. The Pinotfest Monterey kicks off this Friday at Del Monte Beach, with music, dancing, BBQ favorites, samples from 20+ local wineries, and a silent auction to benefit Ag Against Hunger. All this at a newly-renovated beach party house on Monterey’s gorgeous shores alight with tiki torches and a star-studded sky. It’s everything you’d ever want a beach party to be.

For other ways to celebrate California Wine Month, check out these options:

Fromage Friday at Taste Morgan. Ask our innkeeper about your free entry to this weekly wine tasting.

Harvest Wine Dinner at the Chateau Julien Wine Estate, next weekend, September 23. Make your reservation now!

Click here for a full list of featured California Wine Month events.

FallFest/Oktoberfest

Two other fantastic Monterey Bay festivals going on this Saturday and Sunday:

The FallFest Arts and Crafts Faire at Monterey State Historic Park exhibits the talents of our local artists and artisans with sculptures, paintings, and jewelry of all kinds. Enjoy great food while watching live entertainment, and browse all kinds of creative treasures. You can even meet the artists!

The Monterey Bay Oktoberfest at the Barnyard Shopping Center in Carmel opens the tap on “foamy fun” with traditional music, Bratwurst, Pretzels, and of course…beer. The brew of choice is Spaten, one of the few to reach “Oktoberfest beer” status in Munich. Don’t miss this cherished centuries-old Bavarian tradition!

If it’s that easy to plan your weekend by the coast, why settle into back-to-do blues? When the going gets mundane, let the mundane get to Monterey.

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