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.

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.

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