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.

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!

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…

Join 7 other followers