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.

And now for our feature presentation…

Where do films go before they become famous? Who sees them first?

You do, at the Carmel Art & Film Festival, October 12-16, Sunset Community and Cultural Arts Center in Carmel. The place in Monterey where movies come to get famous, last year’s awards showcased short films ‘Louder Than a Bomb,’ later bought by Oprah Winfrey’s TV network OWN, and ‘The Butterfly Circus,’ rumored to be on its way to full-length filmdom. (Click here to watch ‘The Butterfly Circus’ on Vimeo)

The festival will welcome a host of artistic talent, sights, sounds, and special guests, among them James Franco for the Stateside premiere of his film ‘SAL,’ and of course, the man himself: Clint Eastwood, who will also be presenting the famed Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award.

Multiple screenings, lectures, and parties with take place at venues all around the Sunset Center, including All Saints Theater, Carmel Youth Center Theaters, and Carmel Beach (let’s hope for good weather!). Some of this year’s features include ‘J. Edgar,’ directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, and Armie Hammer; ‘Something Ventured,’ by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller; and ‘Losing Control,’ by Valerie Weiss. A full catalog of movie trailers is available on the festival’s website.

When you’re not screening an up-and-coming blockbuster, join industry professionals for ‘Conversations and Encounters’ on a variety of subjects: Amy Powell of Paramount Pictures, Twitter co-creator Dom Sagolla, Emmy award-winning composer John Winegless, celebrity photographer Michael Childers, top comedy writers Fred Wolf and Adam McKay, and Peter Bart, former film journalist and VP of Production at Paramount Pictures in the era of some of the most unforgettable movies ever made.

And what would a film be without music? Find out all about the ins and outs of the perfect soundtrack at the Composer’s Event with film composers Alan Silvestri, David Newman, and Mark Mancina. Then stop by the Carmel Art and Film Festival’s Music Café for artists Raquel Rodriguez, Dane Edmondson, and Morgan Fisher.

You can find out more information from the festival’s website (carmelartandfilm.com) or on their Facebook page. Don’t forget to stop by and ‘Like’ our page while you’re there!

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!

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…

PGIF: A weekend to remember

It’s a big weekend for Pacific Grove, and for our country. A time for festivals, charities, football, and remembering our heroes. Here’s a look at a few things to do in Monterey this September 9 to 11:

Trumpet at Sunset

Star composer and trumpeter Chris Botti gives a hit performance today (Friday) at the Sunset Center in Carmel. Voted one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” the phenomenal jazz instrumentalist has sold nearly 3 million albums to date and has worked with such award-winning talents as Sting, Josh Groban, and Frank Sinatra.

Walk, Don’t Run. Or Do Both.

Our hometown is in the spotlight with some exciting community events! Stroll through the town’s charming Victorian-era streets at the Wine, Art & Music Walk here in Pacific Grove Friday from 6-9pm, highlighting some of the finest art the city has to offer. Or go for an all-out sprint along the coast in the Pacific Grove Triathlon hosted by Tri-California Events, Inc., which also runs the Alcatraz Challenge Swim in San Francisco, the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, and Wildflower Triathlons. The PG Triathlon includes a “Kelp Crawl” swim, looped bike and run courses by Lovers Point, Olympic Distance Triathlons, and 5k and 10k fun runs.

Bella Italia!

Where would Monterey be without the fishermen who have made it home to some of the best seafood in the world? The 78th Annual Festa Italia Fisherman’s Festival, Friday through Sunday, celebrates these hardworking professionals as well our community’s rich Italian heritage with music, dancing, and of course, tantalizing Italian cuisine. Festival highlights include a parade, bocce ball tournament, and much more.

And speaking of great Italian food, Cantinetta Luca in Carmel is celebrating the tomato on Monday with their 4th Annual Three Chefs Heirloom Tomato Dinner, where every course highlights this juicy Mediterranean staple…including dessert!

‘Cruisin’ for the Cause’

It’s hard to go wrong when you combine classic cars, Cannery Row, and a great cause. The Cherry’s Jubilee Motorsports Festival, begun as a fundraiser for the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, is a stellar combination of all three, having raised more than one million dollars and a host of loyal supporters since its beginning almost 20 years ago. Motorists in the festival will start up the weekend cruising down beautiful Fisherman’s Wharf, then it’s on to Pacific Grove as part of Saturday’s Show & Shine on Lighthouse Avenue before moving on to Cannery Row to wow spectators and enjoy all that the famous strip has to offer. The festival ends with a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning at Laguna Seca where visitors can catch fresh flapjacks flying from a flatbed truck. Try saying that three times fast.

Remembering Our Heroes

It’s hard to believe it has been ten years since the tragedy that forever changed American history. In honor of the heroes of September 11, 2001, Carmel Plaza is sponsoring the Community Hospital Blood Drive on Saturday from 1-4pm. Monterey will also hold a local Heroes Run on Sunday at 9am, part of a nationwide commemoration by the Travis Manion Foundation, an organization that ‘honors the fallen by challenging the living.’ Although registration for this event is now closed, the runners in Monterey need your support! We will never forget those who were lost, their loved ones, or all who have sacrificed for our amazing country.

We hope you can take time out from a busy back-to-school schedule to slow down a bit and take in life along the coast with us, or wherever you are, with family and friends. Remember: that’s what the weekend is all about.

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

PGIF: It’s the weekend at Pacific Grove Inn

For film, music, art, and cuisine, Monterey has it all. Here’s a quick rundown of what to do in Monterey this weekend!

The Concerts in Carmel series continues today (Friday) @ Carmel Plaza. This week’s show stars musicians Lisa Taylor & SoulCity, Wrath Wines & Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, and Bistro Beaujolais. The featured charity is Kinship Center, an adoption and foster care organization in California. Come enjoy a fun evening and show your support!

The Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa also presents a concerts series each Friday this summer, starting at 5pm. A beautiful location on the beach near Cannery Row, it houses two waterfront restaurants: Schooners by the Bay, offering fresh seafood plus ‘Best Margarita’ and ‘Best Specialty Drink’ in the county; and The Duck Club Grill, an all-American dining experience with an exhibition kitchen and winning wine list.

If you’re looking for something fun the whole family can do together, the Monterey Museum of Art is opening up their La Mirada location for Family Day Photography, a full day of fun photographic memories, including portrait galleries to appear on the museum’s Facebook and Flickr pages, still life sketching, story time, and a scavenger hunt.

For the movie buff, this Saturday (August 13) Monterey welcomes legendary filmmaker, actor, and comedian John Waters (Cry-Baby, Hairspray) to the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur. It’s a rare opportunity for inside info, Q&A, comedy…and even a chance to meet and greet and have dinner with the guest star. Tickets are limited!

For those of you who love a great sale, check out the Pebble Beach Estate Sale happening all this weekend at 3197 Del Ciervo in Pebble Beach. Today’s tag sale is by private invitation only (2pm-6pm), but you can email info[at]pebblebeachestatesales.com for your tag. Shoppers can see en exquisite collection of French & European antiques, art, furniture, and much more!

For wine connoisseurs, this Saturday is the 19th Annual Winemakers’ Celebration, one of the biggest wine-tasting events in the county, at the Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel. Besides a sampling of over 200 local wines and treats from neighboring gourmet restaurants, you’ll have a chance to learn more about the fascinating business of winemaking from the pros. There’s even barrel building, live music, and a silent auction.

To get a preview of Saturday’s outdoor festival, stop by Taste Morgan, one of the event’s featured wineries, for Fromage Fridays. Located in Carmel’s Crossroads Shopping Village, visitors here can get a compelling taste of local vintages from a source of certified organic grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

And of course, for those in town, Pacific Grove Inn offers an outstanding pairing of flavors at our afternoon wine reception every day from 4-5pm.

Come indulge your eyes, ears, and appetite the Monterey way in a wonderful weekend of surf, sand, music, and gourmet tastes!

Chrome, steel, and classic wheels: The Concours d’Elegance 2011

In Monterey, August may well be “Automobile Month.” Thousands of car collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world flock to the coast on the third Sunday of the month for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, an extravagant automotive event held on the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. With approximately 200 classic cars and motorcycles of all shapes, colors, makes, and models covering the lush fairgrounds, the Concours has been called the Super Bowl of car shows. The New York Times even hailed it as the Olympics of the automotive universe.

It all starts up in Washington today with the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, which begins near Seattle and traces the coast along its way south to the next event, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance on August 18. This tour traditionally follows parts of the famed 17-Mile Drive, passing through Carmel-by-the-Sea, where bystanders encounter a striking view from Ocean Avenue.

Begun in 1950, the Concours d’Elegance has grown from a small social event to a full-scale weekend of chrome competition, ceremonies, and champagne. Last year was a milestone for the Concours, which has raised more than $14 million dollars for charity in its 60-year history. The event draws numerous celebrities, including talk show host Jay Leno, who raised over $50,000 last year with an offer to give anyone who donated to the event a tour of his garage and tickets to The Tonight Show.

Other don’t-miss events in August include the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on Ocean Avenue on August 16, and a memorable weekend of rare four-wheeled gems at RM Auctions, the world’s largest auction house for vintage and collector cars. For the adrenaline junkie and to experience the excitement and energy of Monterey racing history, check out the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

And Pacific Grove has its own community auto events. August 17 is “The Little Car Show,” the second annual event to benefit the Pacific Grove Library and Youth Center. You can even stop by to meet writer Tad Burness and car collector Jack Passey and get signed copies of their books. We also have our own Concours, the 17th Annual Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally on August 19.

Wherever you are in Monterey, you’re sure to do at least one double-take on the highway this month. So keep your eyes open—you may find yourself part of a caravan on your way to Pebble Beach.

PGIF: Kicking off the weekend in Pacific Grove

It’s the weekend at Pacific Grove Inn! Lots to do in Monterey this weekend…here are just a few highlights.

Looking for something fun to do with your family? MY Museum (Monterey County Youth Museum) is gearing up for a fantastic fall with their Back to School Bonanza, today from 3-5pm. Decorate backpack tags, catch up on the latest school supplies, and have a blast getting set as the back-to-school countdown begins.

Or if you’re in the mood for a musical, head down to the Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater for your favorite show tunes in BROADWAY: A Musical. Experience the classics from Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, Grease, and more right on Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Concerts in Carmel concert series kicks off tonight at Carmel Plaza. Every Friday (except August 19) from now through September 30 will feature world-class musicians, a sampling of the best local wines and bites, and a special Monterey charity.

And speaking of concerts, there’s nothing better than an evening of music by the Bay. At the Evenings by the Bay concert series hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, two unique worlds unite, combining the talent of Monterey Jazz Festival musicians with gourmet food and wine, a peaceful atmosphere, and the breath-taking galleries of our fantastic aquarium. Bump elbows with a California Sea Lion, or toast to a Northern Elephant Seal in an unforgettable evening of friendship and fun. Book a Monterey Bay Aquarium package at PGI and get two days’ admission for the price of one!

Enjoy the town tonight…we’ll leave the light on for you.

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