PGIF: Cocktails, Concerts, and Things That Go Bump in the Night

It’s almost that time of year again. For trick-or-treating, costumes, and things that go bump in the night. For turkey dinners, and early Christmas shopping, and an entire holiday season filled with the brightest of memories. In fact, it’s the right time for anything here in Pacific Grove, and the weekend lineup is as eclectic and far-reaching as the Monterey Peninsula itself. From fall feasts to festive frights, here’s our quick list of a few things you can do in Monterey this Friday to Sunday.

After Hours Too

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook,” says Julia Child. And there is no dieting allowed in Monterey this weekend! There are several culinary options to choose from:

Third Annual Monterey Bay Restaurant Week, October 20-27
A whole week exclusively for Monterey Bay restaurants! Cuisine in Monterey is top of the line all year long, but this week you’ll get a chance to taste the very best of what the Peninsula has to offer through a selection of prix fixe menus at some of the area’s finest: Andre’s Bouchée Bistro, Carmel Food Company, 1833 Restaurant, and The Fish Hopper to name just a few (check out our Fish Hopper review!). Top chefs bring together the freshest local seafood and produce prepared a la Monterey just for you. Take a look at menus and make reservations at the Monterey Bay Restaurant Week website.

Monterey Tequila and Mezcal Expo, October 22, Portola Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monterey
If you want to know about spirits, there’s a whole expo dedicated to a couple of the world’s most popular. Find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about Tequila at the Tequila 101 presentation, then get some samples at a special tasting. There’s also a salsa dance performance, music, and a silent auction to benefit the Salinas Jaycees Children’s Shopping Tour for underprivileged children.

Salinas Valley Food & Wine, October 22, Salinas
More in Salinas! A collection of the best local food, wine, and friends, brought together on 200 block Main Street in Oldtown.

Halloween Fun

Here in Monterey, we believe Halloween should be safe and FUN! There’s no limit to activities for the whole family:

Haunted Mirror Maze, October 21-22; 28-31
Meander your way through Monterey Mirror Maze, weekends through the end of October. But watch out—it’s haunted! Try their Lazer Maze Challenge or throw on a pair of Kaleidoscope glasses for even more thrills. Check out the videos on their website!

October 22
Halloween/Ghost Tours, Point Sur Lightstation. Experience the lighthouses of Point Sur at sunset for some eerie entertainment—a unique Halloween tour with ghost stories, a ‘paranormal investigator,’ and refreshments. All you need is a sense of fun…and a little courage.

Howl-O-Ween Safari, Wild Things, Salinas. A great choice for younger children and anyone who prefers their Halloween a little more cuddly and a little less scary. Wild Things, a company that provides humanely trained animals for film, productions, and education, is opening up their ‘jungle’ for Howl-O-Ween flashlight tours with a Halloween show, costume contest, Nocturnal Safari, and Trick-or-Treating. Come meet the real creatures of the night!

Fun Fall Days continue this Saturday at Earthbound Farms in Carmel. A host of fun activities for everyone! Check out what they have going on year-round.

October 22-23
A few other fall-themed events you might want to stop by are the Monterey Bay FallFest Arts and Crafts Faire, Custom House Plaza, Monterey State Historic Park, and the Monterey Fall Home Show at Monterey County Fairgrounds, providing everything you need to build and furnish your home for the holidays.

*Mark your calendars now for October 29: the 95th Annual Carmel-By-the-Sea Birthday Celebration & Halloween Parade!

Sunset Spectaculars

There are so many things going on at the Sunset Center this weekend, it merited a special mention all of its own. Here’s something fun you can do every day this weekend:

Friday, October 21
With a name like Mangia del’ Arte, you know it has to be good. It’s an evening of cirque, dance, fine Italian food, and magic at Sunset Center’s Studio 105. Ringmaster Jeff Raz (star of over 500 performances for Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo) has teamed up with magician Calvin Kai Ku for breathtaking acrobatics and magic, while choreographer Tandy Beal directs the cornucopia of visual delights.

Saturday, October 22
Hey Teacher, leave us kids alone! No, it’s not a back-to-school classroom rebellion. It’s the Pink Floyd Concert Experience, what the San Francisco Chronicles calls, ‘One of the best Pink Floyd shows we’ve seen!’ Starring House of Floyd, this live recreation of a real Pink Floyd show is complete with laser lights and a mix of the hits, both old and new, including ‘The Wall’ and ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ You might even hear some tunes you’ve never heard before!

Sunday, October 23
Lisztomania! Presented by the Monterey Symphony with conductor Max Bragado-Darman and pianist Zhengyu Chen. The best of the best.

Magic, memories, and a little mystery…there’s so much to do here this Halloween and beyond. So what are you afraid of? Come visit us! Here’s wishing you a season as colorful as the leaves outside your window, and a happy and safe Halloween. We hope you’ll stop by before the year is out! Our door is always open and our light is always on.

Fun. Fantastic. Fall.

Watermelon to pumpkin pie. Sandals to sweaters. Rolex Monterey Motorsports to Porsche Rennsport. As we fall deeper into a clear, crisp autumn, you might find yourself craving some fall fun. So whether you’re out for a nice steaming cup of hot chocolate, a hay ride round the pumpkin patch, or a seat right by the track, Monterey knows how to do each season in style. Here are a few highlights…

Big Dreams, Big Screen
If you love art, film, music, and celebrities all in one fantastic place, come to the Carmel Art & Film Festival, now to October 16. This week the dreamlike city by the sea is proud to host a ‘Kaleidoscope of Ideas,’ showcasing a variety of mediums in a display of extraordinary talent. Check out our blog post for more info!

Porsche Plus
There’s never a dull moment at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This week the world-famous track will honor one of the most prized cars of our time, the Porsche, at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, October 14-16. Fans will have the chance to meet 50 top Porsche drivers, get autographs, and see almost 1,000 Porsches on display. The reunion is only every three years, so you won’t want to miss it this time! Two bonuses: an exclusive viewing point usually off-limits to the public, and this year’s co-Grand Marshals Jerry Seinfeld, comedian and Porsche enthusiast extraordinaire, and legendary engineer Norbert Singer. Double bonus: If you’re looking for more Porsche action, stop by the Porsche Race Car Classic on October 16 at Carmel’s Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club.

Just for (Fall) Fun
Monterey has plenty going on for families!

Saturday, October 15
Fall Festival, The Farm in Salinas Valley,with hayrides, pumpkin races, a scarecrow contest, and a puppet show.

Fun Fall Days, Earthbound Organic Farm in Carmel, offering squash and seed tasting, cornhusk doll making, pumpkin poles, pumpkin carving demonstrations, games, and crafts.

Sunday, October 16
Fiesta del Mar, Monterey Bay Aquarium.
It’s ocean conservation and a cultural celebration in one for this fun annual event. Live music, Aztec Dancers, crafts, bilingual feeding shows, and all the marvels of the Monterey Bay Aquarium—plus a brand new Great White Shark exhibit. This little guy looks pretty happy in his new home.…you might even see him smile.

Grateful Life Festival, Monterey County Fairgrounds. Open-air concert with Cedar-N-Sage and Cecil Allen (Clay).

Eat, Drink, and Be Marina
Here’s a great chance to sink into coastal life and get to know our neighbor, the city of Marina. You’re invited to ‘Fall into Flavors’ at the 7th Annual International Flavors of Marina on October 13. Sample over 20 of the best local wineries and eateries, and a little bit of life on the bay at The Dunes on Monterey Bay, a new Catalyst Project community planned for completion by 2020. The new development is across from Fort Ord Dunes State Park, the area’s newest park, and will focus on sustainability and community growth. It’s set to have a regional light rail, biking and hiking trails, shopping, and new affordable housing by Pulte Homes and Shea Homes. Enjoy the local flavors and maybe even find your own dream house by the sea.

‘Fast Planes and Hot Cars…’ That’s what the Marina Air Faire is all about this Saturday, October 15. The annual fair gives you nonstop great times from 10am to 4pm: Wine Tasting from Hahn Estates, Scheid Vineyards, and more, an art show and sale, classic car show, aircraft display, silent auction, Community Chili Challenge, even plane rides. And the profits will go to local charity.

Swiss Miss Bliss
Chocolate tastes better on the bay. On the Hot Chocolate Sunset Cruise with Elkhorn Slough Safari, you can enjoy a brilliant coastal sunset while warming up with some hot cocoa in Elkhorn Slough, one of the best viewing places for local wildlife. This is a special tour available only in the fall! Elkhorn Slough Safari is also setting out on a Sea Otter Focus Tour Sunday, October 16, where you can talk with experts and spend quality time with this amazing (endangered) species.

Deep Blue Sea…
Closer to home, there will be a lecture here at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History: ‘Green Seas, Blue Seas—Conveying Science, Conservation and History through Public Art,’ with Frank Schwing, Senior Policy Analyst with the National Oceans Council.

The weekend is almost here! From race cars to art and film, there is a Kaleidoscope of Ideas to choose from. And a trip to Monterey might be the best idea yet.

Pizza secrets, and a concert with the Bacons

How about a hand-crafted pizza tomorrow, Thursday, 9/29, in Carmel? Make a lunch date at Cantinetta Luca, voted ‘Best Restaurant in Carmel’ by readers of Monterey County Weekly, for their ‘Pizza Secrets Class.’ You can discover the secrets to great handmade Italian cuisine right in their restaurant. Learn how to make their famous pizzas in a beautiful ‘Californean’ setting, then sit down and enjoy!

And later tomorrow night, at 8pm, enjoy a special concert with the Bacon Brothers, actor Kevin Bacon and film composer Michael Bacon, at the Sunset Center in Carmel. An unforgettable night of what The New Yorker calls ‘sharply executed rock that has a blue-collar, rootsy edge.’ Plus, come early for dinner at Cantinetta Luca and receive a discount off your check…a gourmet deal just for concert-goers!

How about that for a weekend warm-up?

Monterey by Air, Land, or Sea

Surf and turf. Earth and sky. The delicate balance and perfect pairing of our world’s mediums is part of every day of our lives, in nature, in art, even dining. This weekend, Monterey celebrates our earth’s amazing contrasts with celebrations by air, by land, and by sea.

By Air

California International Air Show

While a few weeks ago Monterey was in the spotlight with the world-famous Concours d’Elegance auto show, the focus this weekend switches from automobiles to aircraft with the California International Airshow, one of the prime air shows in North America (September 23–25 at the Salinas Municipal Airport). With the support of the community, it has raised over $7 million for local needs since its start more than 30 years ago. The CAI Airshow is also a sponsor location for this year’s US Navy centennial celebration, displaying top aircraft including the MV-22, Growler, Super Hornet, and SeaHawk. And there are fun events for families: a performance by the Monterey Bay Symphony Orchestra, a fireworks display, and a kids-only, ‘Just Plane Fun Run,’ where kids 14 and under can race on the runway. An exciting way to enjoy the weekend and support our troops!

Birds of a Feather

There’s another kind of airshow down in the bay: the 7th Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival, now through September 25 in Watsonville. A brilliant weekend for birders of all ages, the festival holds seminars and presentations on falcons, condors, field sketching, nature and wildlife photography, bird identification, and the answer to why birds have names like ‘Woodpecker,’ ‘Warbler,’ and ‘Waxwing.’ Well-known instructor and nature expeditions leader Debi Shearwater (of Shearwater Journeys) is also giving a presentation on ‘The Big Year,’ a year-long race around North America to find the most species and earn the title of Big Year birding champion of North America. Look for Debi played by Angelica Huston in the upcoming movie ‘The Big Year’ with Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson, due out October 14. In the meantime, come get a sneak peak at what the birding world is all about.

Plus: We love birds in Pacific Grove too! Drop by Science Saturday at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History for this month’s theme, ‘It’s for the Birds,’ where you can learn all about the ins and outs of a bird’s life.

By Land

Grape Crush

Carmel-by-the Sea has plenty going on this Friday through Sunday. The Harvest Wine Dinner at the Chateau Julien Wine Estate in Carmel celebrates September with a grape crush—literally tons of grapes will be prepared for winemaking, followed by a gourmet estate dinner. Long since the days of the ‘manual’ grape crush, where crushers would have to stomp the grapes by foot (remember that episode of I Love Lucy?), the time-honored harvest tradition continues under the stars with the best wine, friends, food, and fun…come enjoy a new vintage at the estate’s most popular event!

Bright Ideas

Monterey has been a place of ideas and inspiration since the time of John Steinbeck and Robert Louis Stevenson. Now there’s a festival especially for the love of books and ideas, the Carmel Authors and Ideas Festival at the Sunset Center in Carmel, September 23–25. Attracting movers and shakers like 2010 guest speakers Condoleezza Rice and David Brooks, this year the city is proud to welcome 35 outstanding authors and idea-makers to the event, among them Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Barry, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and sports writer Rick Reilly. But the festival isn’t just for authors. Opening with a reception and continuing with workshops, seminars, book signings, and the chance to talk one-on-one with bestselling writers, this weekend is for anyone with a passion for pages.

Family Fun

Don’t miss the annual Carmel Mission Fiesta, this Sunday starting at 11am. The well-loved community event is fun for the whole family with live music, activities for kids, delicious BBQ, and arts and crafts.

Rocks & Minerals

Over fifty years of fun and still going: the 51st Annual Gem & Mineral Show kicks of this Saturday and Sunday at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. With jewelry, fossils, and every type of geographic treasure you can imagine, the society brings the community together to delve into earth’s natural beauty. Visit the CV Gem and Mineral Society’s website for a coupon off admission fees.

Heroes!

Right here in our hometown of Pacific Grove, the Asilomar Conference Center is hosting a very special Weekend with Heroes, honoring those who have made an impact on our society through their contributions in service, thought, and compassion. Guest speakers include Dr. Phil Lombardo (Can You Imagine Being a Hero?), Christine Benninger (Reinventing Humane Society Silicon Valley), and Evans Wadongo, a Top 10 CNN Hero 2010 (Use Solar, Save Lives). Visitors will also get to snack on organic refreshments from local farms and spend the evening roasting marshmallows around a cozy bonfire!

By Sea

Otter Days

The world is a better place thanks to sea otters! So what can we do to help protect our threatened otter population? Now is your chance to visit, learn about, and nurture these irresistibly cute creatures at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Otter Days, September 24 and 25. The MBA has a schedule chock full of activities: otter feeding and training sessions, a You Otter Know game show, Green Cuisine with chef Barton Seaver, plus a book signing for his new cookbook, Otter Dress-up, and more. Also check out their website for adorable otter antics and catch the story of Kit, the rescued sea otter pup attending Otter U to learn how to become a surrogate mom for other stranded pups.

Up Close and Personal

If you want to experience more otters, sea lions, and marine life, try taking a kayak adventure! Pacific Grove Inn offers special accomodation packages for two fun tours, especially great for families with children 3 and up: the Monterey Bay Adventure Tour, and the Elkhorn Slough Adventure Tour on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, some of the best wildlife viewing along beautiful Highway 1. Both tours include necessary gear, life jackets, and your choice of sit-on-top, double, or triple kayak. Stop by our website for more details.

Wherever you are, the Monterey Peninsula is calling you to a weekend of outdoor fun! Whether you come by air, land, or sea…

Labor Day in Monterey: Anything but Labor

Barbecues, pool parties, parades, the last of the season’s warm summer evenings on the patio with family and friends…however you choose to celebrate this Labor Day, Monterey makes it happen. Here are just a few things to do in Monterey this Labor Day weekend.

Parade to the Park

The city of Marina is one of the few places in Monterey to organize a parade, embracing a richly colorful custom that has spanned more than a century in the US since our nation’s very first parade in 1882. Marina’s parade begins at Reservation Rd and Crescent Ave, leading up to a festival from noon to 2pm at the Marina Shopping Center.

My Big Fat Greek Weekend

Every labor day weekend, Monterey hosts the annual Greek Festival at the Custom House Plaza right on Fisherman’s Wharf. Enjoy all things Greek at this three-day fest, with traditional Greek recipes passed down through hundreds of years of history, live music, Greek dance performances as well as interactive dance lessons, and the chance to experience the Mediterranean lifestyle on the beautiful coast of Monterey Bay.

It’s Labor Day for Sharks too…

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is open this weekend, with another new guest: Great White Shark Jr., 4’7″ and just over 43 pounds. The young shark was found near Malibu, CA, earlier this month and brought to the aquarium’s new Open Sea Exhibit on August 31. Plus, this is the last weekend for Evenings by the Bay, the aquarium’s summer concert series starring musicians from the Monterey Jazz Festival and the MBA’s majestic marine life. But if your weekend’s already booked, the series ends only to set the stage for the Monterey Jazz Festival just around the corner: September 16-18 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.

Monterey County Fair

In honor of its Diamond anniversary this year, the fair is debuting lots of first-ever and one-time-only opportunities, and this year is billed to be the largest carnival in its 75-year history. Rodeo performances are free this Thursday through Saturday, and the fest boasts new thrills with its Zero Gravity ride and T3 Triple Twist. You can even check out some rides previously owned by Michael Jackson, the Zipper and the Wave Swinger.

Cheers!

It’s no secret that the Peninsula and surrounding areas are home to countless fine wines and wine events, and this weekend is no exception. Today, September 1, is a special wine tasting event at the Monterey County Fair, as well as a Wine Dinner by Jordon Winery held at The Clement Monterey on Cannery Row. And each weekend means Fromage Friday at Taste Morgan in Carmel—ask your innkeeper at Pacific Grove Inn about our special coupons to this event!

Feliz Soledad

Celebrate the weekend Fiesta style with Soledad Fiesta Days, September 1-4. Music, activities for children, a talent show, and more, all under a summer sun with the hint of fall…what’s not to love?

No matter where you are or what you’ve got going on this Labor Day, we hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Labor Day from Pacific Grove Inn!

PGIF: Monterey–the Other City that Never Sleeps

After all the bustle and business of last weekend’s world-famous Concours, auctions, and races, you might think the town would take this weekend off.

But not Monterey.

Today is the “Kick-Off Party” of the 10th Annual Sand City West End Celebration, jumpstarting the three-day festival of live music, art, cuisine, and any number of Monterey’s top creative talent. Join in tonight’s party with live entertainment from Blues master Chris Cain, Red Beans & Rice (voted best local band in Monterey for 11 years in a row), and John “Broadway” Tucker (winner of the Monterey Bay Blues Festival’s Mobay Award), plus a special performance by the Monterey Bay Blues Festival’s Blues in the School Honor Band.

The celebration sets up a great lineup of musicians every year, drawing such acts as last year’s Los Lobos (the Grammy award-winning band you may know best from their hit cover of Ritchie Valens’ ‘La Bamba’). Some of 2011’s artists include Honeymoon, Jackie Greene, and Matt Masih and the Messengers.

With the many exhibitions, vendors, music, sculptures, and paintings, there’s plenty for everyone here this weekend. Plus, it’s easy being green at the festival’s ‘Green Scene,’ where you can find out more about raw cuisine, green living, and environmental health.

Saturday, August 27

If you missed any of last week’s festivities, the car shows continue! Tomorrow is the 7th Annual Mopars by the Bay Car Show at Monterey State Historic Park. In case you’re wondering, Mopar is short for Motor Parts, a term coined by Chrysler in the 1920s, which has come to describe any member of the Chrysler family, including Dodge, Plymouth and Jeep. It’s a whole day of entertainment, raffles, and awards, all free to the public.

Science rocks in Monterey! It’s Science Saturday at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. This month’s feature is Rocks and Minerals, with lots of activities to help you explore nature’s geological secrets right here in our own back yard of Pacific Grove.

‘Shop for a Cause’ this Saturday, and treat yourself at Macy’s and macys.com to support the community! All proceeds go to the Marina Foundation, which grants scholarships and funds to residents, education programs, and organizations that enrich our area. You’ll also get the chance to win a $500 Macy’s gift card. This is Macy’s sixth nationwide event, which has raised more than $38 million for charities.

Sunday, August 28

The Marina Certified Farmers Market continues this Sunday, with a special addition: an Otter Day event, celebrating the return of Cal State Monterey Bay’s student Otters. The day is packed with fun activities—a scavenger hunt, healthy cooking workshops with Kari Bernardi and Dale Presson, a fashion show, drawings, live music and a DJ…plus the market’s weekly display of organic produce, crafts, and more.

‘Today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic…’ MY Museum (Monterey Youth Museum) is hosting a Teddy Bear Picnic for children 5 and under, with games, snacks, and songs. And don’t forget to bring the guest of honor—your favorite bear.

One of the best parts of the weekend is Sunday Brunch! Try something new at the annual Jewish Food Festival and Crafts Faire in Carmel, this Sunday starting at 10:30am. Explore Jewish delicacies from challah bread and latkes to blintzes and strudel, plus watch a reenactment of a spirited Jewish wedding, shop from an assortment of fine Israeli and American crafts, and dance along to traditional Klezmer music.

And as a special sneak preview, there’s plenty of fun scheduled for the Monterey County Fair, starting next Tuesday, August 31–September 5. Stop by the website to buy tickets and find listings of all the fantastic upcoming events and sponsors for 2011!

Talk about things to do in Monterey! With this much to do and more year round, Monterey may well be the other city that never sleeps. The laid-back ease of coastal life combined with an exciting social calendar and the unique seaside charm of Monterey make the Peninsula a treasure for travelers and locals alike. We look forward to welcoming you!

Running Events: Music, Music, Music!

Concerts in Carmel: Fridays at Carmel Plaza
Annie the Musical: Weekends through September 25 at the Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel.
Music on the Mall: Del Monte Shopping Center. Saturdays in August. This Saturday is the last one, so hurry if you want to catch some great music and shopping this summer!
Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa concert series: Fridays at the Monterey Plaza Hotel.
Sunday Music by the River: Every Sunday from 1-5pm at the Big Sur River Inn.
Evenings by the Bay + Aquarium Sleepover: Saturdays and Sundays through September 4.

PGIF: The weekend you’ve been waiting for

This is it! If you’re one of the many auto enthusiasts in town this weekend, you’re already set for one of the biggest car events of the year—the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Here’s a tour of the weekend’s festivities…

Rallies: There are more concourses this weekend than there are days to have them! Besides the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this Sunday, August 21, you might want to check out the Central California chapter of the German Marque Concours/2011 Legends of the Autobahn, celebrating German craftsmanship with BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz at the Rancho Canada Golf Ranch in Carmel Valley. The Concorso Italiano brings Italy’s finest to the Monterey area—automobiles, wine and dining, even a fashion show presenting some of Carmel’s best boutiques. This year highlights the Lamborghini Aventador, new Maseratis, and Fiats, as well as a display of classic Ferraris. And if you love Ferraris, there are plenty more to see tomorrow at the Annual Ferrari Event at the Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel.

Don’t forget our own Concours Auto Rally here in Pacific Grove this afternoon, a fun family celebration with a cavalcade of classics, some raffles, and a delicious barbecue dinner. This is a special year for the rally, honoring the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type. The concours benefits Pacific Grove Youth Action, Inc. and has raised over $134,000 for local non-profits.

And don’t miss The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering at the Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club in Carmel. A unique, sophisticated gathering involving much more than just automobiles, guests here can even try out some of the modern luxury cars on display. With four spectacular events packed into one day, it may be hard to choose!

Auctions: To buy or not to buy. RM Auctions, Mecum Auctions, the Pebble Beach Auctions, Ruso and Steele Auctions at the Marriott…the choice is yours and the sky’s the limit.

Racing: After almost forty years, the thrill still hasn’t left the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. With 17 racing groups and all kinds of collectibles from every drive of life, this event is a must for racing fans of any age. And after a hard day’s work racing around the famous track, these autos clean up nice too—you may see some of them at the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday.

Dining: A whole new take on drive-through dining. Dine in DiVine at the Chateau Julien Wine Estate is a chance to take in an elegant display of classic cars as well as dine the way nature intended—in the vineyard, by starlight.

But what about the auto un-enthusiast? Not to worry. Monterey offers something for everyone, every day of the week. Annie the Musical is playing now through September at the Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, part of the Pacific Repertory Theatre, which is the only professional theater on the Peninsula. Or shop to the rhythm at the Del Monte Shopping center. Spend the day finding great buys at their Sidewalk Sale, then catch some dinner at any of the mall’s great restaurants, from California Pizza Kitchen, Islands burgers, to LALLA Grill, and enjoy the Music on the Mall series every Saturday this month. For a great family day trip, head to Salinas for Summer Harvest at The Farm, tomorrow starting at 10:30am, with hay rides, a watermelon eating contest, and much more summer fun.

No matter who you are or what you love, the Monterey Peninsula has it covered. Do you have a favorite MP summer event? We’d love to hear about it!

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Check out a couple of our favorite websites for more fun things to do in Monterey!

See Monterey
Monterey Info Center

The Fish Hopper Restaurant

The Fish Hopper Restaurant
700 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
www.fishhopper.com/monterey.htm

If you’re looking for a great seafood restaurant in Monterey, this is the right place. Serving up some of the tastiest, freshest seafood on Cannery Row, The Fish Hopper Restaurant in Monterey has been well loved in the community for years. They are sister restaurant to the famous Old Fisherman’s Grotto, started by Sabu Shake, Sr., over fifty years ago and located on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.

Opened by the now legendary Shake family, The Fish Hopper is a family business at its roots, proud to serve the same award-winning clam chowder that guests enjoy at the Grotto — the secret family recipe even beat out 13 other entries at the Monterey Wine Festival in 2010, earning it the coveted Copper Pot Award.

The atmosphere here is as vibrant and as its cuisine is colorful. The dining room, extending over Monterey Bay’s beautiful sandy shore and into the water, hosts numerous bay-side tables, a heated deck, and a lively cocktail lounge offering dozens of tropical specialty drinks with names like “Coco Hops,” “Volcano,” and “Bucket of Fire” (which are actually served on fire!). The wine list features countless fine local and imported wines.

Fish Hopper‘s menu is extensive, presenting not only fresh seafood from only sustainable sources, but also a wide selection of steaks, pasta, and salads. Besides the classics such as Seafood Louie Salad, Fish and Chips, and Homemade Crab Cakes, specialties include fresh grilled Sanddabs with mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, and light basil sauce; tender Maple Soy Marinated Skirt Steak with giant asparagus; and Scallops and Prawns Scampi in a puff pastry shell with white garlic sauce. Fresh fish is plentiful and comes served macadamia crusted, sesame crusted, coconut crusted…even crab crusted! And don’t forget to watch for their seasonal specials.

Pasta lovers can choose from a number of entrees, including Seafood Pasta Monterey, a linguine pasta with fresh fish, scallops, prawns, artichoke hearts, and baby spinach in an olive oil garlic sauce; Crab Ravioli in lobster cream sauce; or the Ultimate Seafood Pasta, as decadent as its name: Australian lobster meat, scallops, prawns and Dungeness crab sautéed in a rich cream sauce with asiago cheese atop a bed of spinach fettuccini.

While you’re waiting for your dinner, you can snack on warm conch-shaped sourdough rolls and enjoy the aquatic company splashing in the bay outside your window: Monterey’s playful sea lions and otters…and you might even catch a glimpse of a whale!

Finish the meal with a warm slice of Chocolate Bread Pudding, a unique twist on a cozy family favorite with a texture somewhere between brioche, chocolate cake, and a gooey brownie, served warm with vanilla ice cream. Or choose any number of temptations from their dessert tray.

Whether you’re from the area or just passing through, The Fish Hopper is well worth a visit or two. With a gorgeous view and something on the menu for everyone, it’s ideal for families and couples alike.

Guests at Pacific Grove Inn will enjoy a complimentary Chef’s Appetizer when they present our coupon, available at the front desk. Please ask Christine for more information!

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