PGIF: Summer Time and Traveling Is Easy!! Especially when it’s Free!

This summer in Monterey, avoid parking fees, traffic congestion and gas usage by taking the MST Trolley!!!  It’s free and the absolute best way to get around the city of Monterey.  The free MST Trolley operates on a daily basis starting Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. The route serves Downtown Monterey, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Look for the green MST Trolley signs to board along the route. 

The Pacific Grove Inn is one mile walk away from Cannery row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Guests can choose to stroll along the bike path beside beautiful Monterey Bay or they can choose to wander down Lighthouse Ave where one can find numerous shops, restaurants and antique stores to peruse while heading toward Cannery Row.

Also, sure to check out the following exciting events happening in and around the Monterey/Pacific Grove area for the rest of July and August:

Now – July 28, 2012 – 75th Annual Carmel Bach Festival

Set in the heart of the magnificent Central California coastline, a visit to the Carmel Bach Festival is an experience of beauty in many forms-stunning natural landscapes, historic architecture, breathtaking ocean views, exotic flora, and of course, glorious music-making. Enjoy five-star lodging, award-winning restaurants, champion golf courses, spas, wine tasting, nature hikes, art galleries, and shoppingラplus the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row. World-class music tops off this feast for the senses and the spirit!

July 19, 2012 – July 22, 2012 – Salinas Rodeo at the Salinas Sports Complex

The California Rodeo Association is a not-for-profit organization that strives to preserve and promote the traditions of the California Rodeo Salinas and the West.

July 25, 2012 – July 29, 2012Feast of Lanterns

For over one hundred years the citizens of Pacific Grove have celebrated its history and culture with a summer festival called the Feast of Lanterns. This Festival has evolved over its 100-plus year history from the ceremonial end to the Chautauqua Assembly with a lantern parade to the beach and fireworks over the bay to a multi-cultural community event filled with entertainment. 

July 27, 2012 – July 29, 2012 –  Red Bull United States Grand Prix featuring the MotoGP World Championship

MotoGP is the world’s premier motorcycling championship at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca, with a season of 18 Grand Prix race weekends in 15 countries bringing together the world’s top motorcycle manufacturers like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Ducati – plus an elite list of riders from every corner of the globe.

August 7th from 4pm to 7pm – Old Monterey Farmer’s Market

The Old Monterey Farmers Market, established in 1991, comprises of 3.5 city blocks and runs year-round rain or shine. During the summer it’s the largest gathering of people in Monterey County, attracting more that 10,000 locals and tourists in one location. You can travel the world in just three blocks, finding arts and crafts, handmade jewelry, furniture, clothing, international food, organic produce, flowers, and pastries.

August 13, 2012 – August 19, 2012 – Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Each year the Pebble Beach Concours dメElegance welcomes a host of visitors from around the world to its annual celebration of the automobile.

August 17, 2012 – PG Concours Auto Rally

Pacific Grove Youth Action, Inc. (PGYA) is a local non-profit organization which has put on the Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally since its inception in 1995. Since that time PGYA has assisted the youth of Pacific Grove by sponsoring after school tutoring and programs at the PG Youth Center. Our fund-raising event is the Concours Auto Rally which is held on the Friday afternoon and evening of the Concours weekend.

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PGI Now Available to Book through Facebook and Upcoming Monterey Events You Won’t Want to Miss!

Happy Tuesday to all~

We are very happy to announce that we have just added a new Book Now button for Pacific Grove Inn onto our Facebook page!  We’re super excited about this and wanted to share with everyone! You can check it out for yourself here!

The Pacific Grove Inn is offering a 10% off special through the month of March!  To reserve your stay, you can call us directly at 831-375-2825, visit us on our website or visit our Facebook Page! 😉

Also, there are some great events coming up that you won’t want to miss out on!

On March 6th, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones are going to be performing at the Sunset Center in Carmel by the Sea, April 19-22 brings us back the annual Sea Otter Classic at the Laguna Seca Raceway, April 29th welcomes back the Big Sur Marathon and May 18-20 brings the Ferrari Racing Days at Leguna Seca!

Make sure you plan ahead and book your reservation today, as we expect to sell out for all the events mentioned above!

$65 Special This Week Only at PGI!

Special $65 rate going out to all our beloved family and friends this week only, Dec 12 – 15th!! 

This stay will include a beautifully decorated historic bedroom with King or Queen sized bed, complimentary wireless internet access, exquisit Gourmet Breakfast cooked to order each morning of your stay, afternoon wine and cheese reception and fresh baked cookies in the evening. 

To take advantage of this special offer, you must call the Inn directly at 831-375-2825 to book your reservation.  Add on any of the following fantastic specials listed below to this incredible offer as well. Simply inquire with our front desk staff at the time of booking!

Special Rate does not include taxes or fees and is based on double occupancy in Standard King or Queen room.  Limited time offer. Available while inventory lasts. 


Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Join us and experience the wonders of ocean life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The living beauty of our ocean planet is on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, considered the best in the world!  You’ll explore the hidden universe in Monterey Bay, from shallow tide pools, and lush kelp forests to the vast open ocean.  Changing specials exhibitions feature marine life from around the world.  It’s a place like no other, with a million-gallon indoor ocean, a living kelp forest, jewel-box exhibits that reveal the delicate beauty of colorful sea creatures.  Get close to playful sea otters and delicate jellies, powerful sharks, charming penguins and elusive octopus.  Get in touch with sea life, too, with hands-on exhibits, aquarium adventures and daily programs. Come discover a new world at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

If you are interested in purchasing our special two-day VIP Access tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the same price as you would pay for a regular ticket normally, you will have the option to include them at the time of booking your reservation.


Two-Hour Adventure Kayak

Two-Hour Kayak Adventure

Select from one of the following two tours.  Both offered daily year round at 10:00, 12:00 & 2:00.  Be sure to indicate your tour selection and preferred time in your reservation comments.

ELKHORN SLOUGH ADVENTURE TOUR: The 2nd largest estuary in California, this short tour is a perfect, quick getaway for beginners to discover the wonderful sea otters, seals, sea lions and variety of shorebirds. Especially recommended for families with younger children ages 3 and up. Includes sit-on-top double or triple kayaks, wetsuit or paddling jackets and pants, life jackets and all kayak gear.

MONTEREY HARBOR ADVENTURE TOUR: This short tour is a perfect getaway for everyone to discover the Monterey Harbor and beyond! Monterey provides wonderful wildlife experience as you paddle around sea otters, kelp beds, harbor seals, sea lions and shorebirds. No experience required and especially recommended for families with children 3 yrs and up. Includes sit-on-top double or triple kayak, wetsuit, paddling jacket, life jacket and all kayak gear. Wear bathing suit, quick drying clothing, water shoes and hat.

Should you be interested in either of these tours, you will have the option to purchase them at the time of booking your reservation.


Special Occasion Package

Special Occasion Package

Celebrating an anniversary, birthday or simply want to add a special touch to your stay?  Book this package and a beautiful and delectable six-inch cake will be waiting in your room to celebrate your special occasion!  We have six delectable options for you to choose from: 

  • St Michel Mini Cake – Chocolate cake with dark, milk, and white chocolate mousse and Grand Marnier
  • Marquise Mini Cake – Chocolate cake, chocolate truffle cream
  • Fraisier Mini Cake – Vanilla cake, vanilla custard, fresh strawberries
  • Schuss Mini Cake – Lemon cake, raspberry mousse
  • Brazilia Mini Cake – Coffee flavored cake, chocolate mousse
  • White & Dark Covered Chocolate Strawberries

**Reservations for this package are not available for stays within 72 hours, as we must allow time to ensure your cake order be prepared for your arrival.**


Pacific Grove Golf Links

Pacific Grove Golf Links

Since its initial opening in 1932, the Pacific Grove Golf Links has enjoyed a rich and storied history.  The 18-hole layout, with a front nine that offers glimpses of Monterey Bay on fairways framed by Cypress Trees, and an ocean-side back nine cut through windswept dunes reminiscent of a traditional Scottish links, has delighted visitors and locals alike for over 75 years. 

Featuring a newly constructed, award-winning Golf Shop and Clubhouse, the Pacific Grove Golf Links pairs a historical playing experience with a modern twist.  The property, from the course to the Golf Shop to the Point Pinos Grill, encourage guests to “Experience golf as it should be”.  If it’s playing the great game of golf for the first time, or playing as a seasoned tournament player, guests of the Pacific Grove Golf links are sure to find everything they are looking for, and much more.

The Pacific Grove Golf Links is open sun-up to sun-down, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

An option to include a round of golf at the Pacific Grove Golf Links will be available to you at the time of booking your reservation.


Monterey Whale Watching

Monterey Whale Watching

Imagine being within feet of some of the most majestic, graceful, rare animals in the world.  In Monterey Bay you will be given the opportunity to experience sights that will create memories for a lifetime.  Princess Monterey Whale Watching is Monterey Bay’s leading company in narrated ocean and bay tours.  Specializing in natural history and biology of marine wild life; especially whales!  Whale watching tours are approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours in duration.  Advanced reservations are suggested to secure preferred dates and tour times.<

The option to purchase tickets to join the Princess Monterey Whale Watching experience will be presented to you at the time of booking your reservation.

PGIF: Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Walk!

Happy Holidays to everyone out there!!

So sorry to have gona MIA for the month of November!! We hope everyone had a wonderful November and fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday full of memories to last a lifetime!  We have lots of exciting new projects afoot at the Pacific Grove Inn, including some wonderful new special promotions being offered this month only!    But first, here are some wonderful events going on this month in Monterey that you should be aware of.

Dec 2nd – Steinbeck Center Features the Book Launch of Salinas-born author, James B. Golden’s 2nd Novel “Afro Clouds and Nappy Rain”

Tonight from 5PM to 8PM, The National Steinbeck Center’s December 2 First Friday event will feature the launch of Salinas-born author James B. Golden’s second book and the opening of the Mission San Antonio Padua Exhibition.

Afro Clouds and Nappy Rain, the newest book by award-winning author-poet-journalist James B. Golden introduces readers to Curtis Brown, an amalgamation of troubled young men Golden has worked with in the judicial system.

Golden views the National Steinbeck Center as “an integral part of Salinas and my development as a writer/scholar.” With the release of his newest book, the Salinas native has once again found a way to give voice to a population of young people who have remained silent for decades. Event Cost: Free.  For more information visit: http://www.steinbeck.org/

Dec 3rd – 18th Annual Stillwell Fun in the Park in Pacific Grove

Area residents young and old are invited for some wintry fun at Pacific Grove’s eighteenth annual Stillwell’s Fun in the park set for Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Tommy Stillwell Court, located behind the Pacific Grove Post Office, 680 Lighthouse Avenue, will be full of kiddy rides and bounce houses.  The fun will also include a petting zoo, pony rides, as well as two trains that will travel around the park. Live entertainment will include the Tinsel Tones, and the Alli Clarke Band.

Other special big treats in store for the kids are Santa’s arrival at Noon, on a shiny Pacific Grove fire truck and a visit by the Snow Queen.  Refreshments will be served throughout the day.

For additional information: (831) 373-3304 or www.pacificgrove.org

Dec 10 – 5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk at Lover’s Point Park 

Come and join the 5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk from 8AM to 11AM on saturday, Dec 10th!  The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce and Arthritis Foundation are starting a new tradition starting at Lover’s Point Park, walking distance from the Pacific Grove Inn!  Its a great fun and festive way to kick off the holidays with family, friends and co-workers!  Get a head start on your holiday feasting and burn some calories, tie some jingle bells to your shoes, and help raise some funds to support the foundation! 

15% Off Special at PGI for the Month of December

We are offering a special 15% off all reservations booked for the whole month of December!  Take advantage of this special offer and book your reservations today by calling us directly at 831-375-2825 or visit us online at: www.pacificgroveinn.com 

And remember, you can always add any of the following items onto your reservation at the time of booking:  Tickets to the Monterey bay aquarium,  Two-Hour Kayak Tour, Rounds of Golf for Pacific Grove LinksSpecial Occasion Cake or Chocolate Covered StrawberriesWhale Watching Tour

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.

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!

Still want to win a free night in Monterey?

We are so happy to have made so many new friends during our Facebook Win-A-Free-Night contest in September. If you missed it, you can still win a free night at PGI on Twitter!!

The rules are simple. First, follow @PacificGroveInn on Twitter, then retweet any of our tweets that have the #pacificgroveinn hashtag on them. Remember, you have to be a follower, and the tweet you RT should have the hashtag on it. (If you RT one of our tweets without it, it can still count as long as you add the hashtag to it.)

The contest will go until Wednesday, October 26. We’ll hold our random drawing and the winner will be announced the following Friday, October 28, at 12:00 noon.

Good luck to everyone and looking forward to meeting new friends on Twitter this month!

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…

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 (https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=141189889310948).

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

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