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.

PGIF: October Fests and Columbus Day Weekend

October. A time for pumpkins, festivals, Fleet Week, theater, beer, and celebrating the fall, our nation…and especially California. Here’s our quick list of just a few ways you can enjoy Columbus Day weekend 2011:

Further Back
It was around this time many years ago that Monterey housed the debates that have led California to where we are today: Statehood. Now you can see how it all began at the Monterey History Fest this weekend, October 8–9, at the Custom House Plaza and other venues around Monterey. It’s a fun way to dig deep into the richness of Monterey’s heritage, with historical reenactments, musket and cannon firing demonstrations, a Native American puppet show children will love, and Civil War encampments—plus a military camp of the California Historical Artillery Society, the largest mounted artillery group in the US. There will also be a special commemoration of the 162nd Anniversary of California’s Constitution Day, scripted from actual state records. Come be a part of history!

Further On
Grateful Dead founding members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir are coming to the area with their band ‘Further,’ on tour now. And Monterey is throwing a festival just for them! The Further Festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, October 7–8, will feature an outstanding lineup of musicians, including Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, Joe Russo, Sunshine Becker, and Jeff Pehrson, as Further lights up the Peninsula with their signature jams and stellar style.

Pure Jade
The 20th Annual Big Sur Jade Festival kicks off this Friday, October 7–9, at the Pacific Valley School across Highway 1 in Big Sur. Peruse long tables covered with the precious stone and enjoy live music, good food, and lectures and demonstrations including how to carve a jade bangle. One of the world’s largest shows of its kind, the three-day event is perfect for craft-makers, collectors, hobbyists…just about anyone.

Photo by Digital Sophia

Footloose and Fancy Fare
If you’re in the mood for something sweet and savory with a little ’80s panache, try a Taste of Carmel, one of the top wine and dine events in the area, Thursday, October 6, at the historic Carmel Mission. Sample a variety of flavors from some of the best local restaurants and wineries—Cantinetta Luca, Merlot Bistro, Lula’s Chocolates, Morgan Winery, and Chateau Julien, to name just a few. You’re also invited to wear your ’80s best for this year’s theme, ‘Footloose and Fancy Fare,’ with a DJ and dance party.

Mini Mention
They may be small, but they are mighty: miniature ships at the Society of Miniature Ship Collectors Meeting, Northern California chapter, October 8 at the Portola Hotel & Spa, Monterey. Hundreds of models will be displayed, drawing exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. You might even see some Naval ships passing through the area, part of San Francisco’s Fleet Week.

Weekend Shorts
There are too many events to list this weekend! Here are a few more you might enjoy:

October 7
First Fridays Art Walk, downtown Salinas. A great way to observe California Arts Day!

Robinson Jeffers Fall Festival, Robinson Jeffers Tor House, Carmel. The festival runs Friday to Sunday with poetry readings, lectures, and an Annual Jeffers Poetry Walk on Carmel River Beach.

October 8
Beerfest at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Cannery Row, Monterey. Beer and live music, Octoberfest style.

Photo Safari, Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing. Beginner to advanced photographer, anyone can join this fun cruise through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area, taking photos of the wildlife and making memories for a lifetime.

October 9
First Annual Monterey Beer Garden, Memory Gardens, downtown Monterey. Hosted by Peter B’s Brewpub of the Portola Hotel & Spa, the evening offers over a dozen brews, BBQ, and some great fall fun.

October 7-9
Romeo & Juliet, Outdoor Forest Theater, Carmel. A classic, right here in Monterey.

There’s no wrong way to celebrate Columbus Day weekend. We hope you celebrate with us!

Monterey: An Artist’s Paradise

Monet, Rodin, Warhol…who hasn’t been inspired by a timeless work of art? Whether you create it, collect it, or simply love admiring it, Monterey puts its signature on all things art.

Saturday, September 24, is national Museum Day! To celebrate, the Monterey Museum of Art gives you a chance to enjoy their two locations for free. But be sure to bring a pass! You can download a museum day pass for two from the Smithsonian Magazine website. Right now, the MMA Pacific location houses an exhibit from photographer/videographer Greg Mettler using a distinct self-made camera obscura, while the La Mirada museum features a series of murals by Gottardo Piazzoni originally created for the San Francisco public library and a collection of photographs by Edward Weston, one of the first to capture the stunning Point Lobos rock and cypress images that have come to embody Carmel. The museum also runs an Appetite for Art series, combining art with hospitality: your host will open up their home and their art collections for an evening of fine dining and art appreciation.

September 24
Have you ever gone dancing at your local museum? The Museum of Monterey is putting on a musical/art event offering Salsa dance lessons in English and Spanish this Saturday. Dance the afternoon away with DJ Wilfredo Prudencio, then enjoy Mark Tanous’ ceramic exhibit ‘Deep in the Blues: Treasures From the Monterey Bay and Beyond’ and presentation, ‘Stories My Life Told Me.’ Another exhibit to check out is ‘Flows to Bay,’ highlighting marine pollution and the need to protect our oceans and our environment. Check back soon for special offers: the MoM will be raffling off some one-of-a-kind prizes, including an acoustic guitar designed and decorated by American Idol finalist James Durbin and a Plastic Pollution Coalition poster signed by the top 11 finalists from American Idol’s last season.

September 24–25
Take your love of art on the road for the annual Monterey County Artists Studio Tour, a unique opportunity to visit artists’ studios throughout Carmel, Carmel Valley, and surrounding areas. Art lovers can talk with the artists, see masterpieces in the making as well as completed works, and experience creative genius in action. The map for the tour comes out Thursday, September 22, in Monterey County Weekly, so be sure to pick up your copy!

Sunday, September 25
If you’re already exploring art from here and there, why not stop by Big Sur for their exhibition called just that: ‘Art from Here and There‘ at the Ventana Inn and Spa. The show is held at the inn’s terrace restaurant and will include fine local cuisine, wines, and a spectacular live auction, all to benefit the Big Sur Health Center.

Kick off the creative festivities with some frozen yogurt at Pinkberry in Monterey at their Pink Carpet Grand Opening! DJ, free fro-yo, and fun for the whole family. More info on their Facebook event page (

Paint your weekend in big, bold strokes, let your muse take you to Monterey, and be inspired!

MGMT, the Mazda Raceway, and getting creative with summer

Monterey ROCKS! And here are three ways you can rock with us, Wednesday, August 10…

Tomorrow night in Big Sur, the Henry Miller Memorial Library is hosting east coast indie rockers MGMT, performing hits off their album, ‘Congratulations.’ Check out the website for a list of the library’s myriad upcoming events for music lovers, and don’t forget to click on the MGMT link to ‘waitlist’ your tickets!

If you’ve ever dreamed of being on the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, now’s your chance! Once every month, cyclists of all levels get the opportunity to ride its historical tracks for the Twilight Ride, tomorrow from 5:30-7:30pm. It’s two miles, eleven turns, and a 300-ft ascent of raceway magic and memories…not to mention an unforgettable cruise around the world-famous Corkscrew. Bring your bike, helmet, $10 entrance fee, and a lot of energy!

And for all of you artists, why not try swapping out your summer vacation scrapbook with a vacation sketchbook? Ignite your creativity! Tomorrow morning kicks off The Traveler’s Sketchbook, a three-day workshop for budding and blooming artists of all levels with illustrator Chi Birmingham from Brooklyn, NY. Enjoy beautiful outdoor locations while studying artistic topics like perspective, proportions, and more! For more information, visit

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