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.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium: Play. Eat. Nap. Repeat.

So goes a day in the enviable life of our friends the otters, says the Monterey Bay Aquarium. And this summer, you’re invited to play too, and to celebrate a brand-new sea otter pup!

In its 25+ year history, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has rescued 540 stranded animals. This year brought the latest edition to the family, temporarily named ‘Pup 540,’ in an exciting new exhibit you won’t want to miss. This little pup, believed to be about one day old at the time of rescue, was found washed up on the coast in April and now lives happily in her new home with surrogate mother Joy, the aquarium’s most successful surrogate mother to date. Catch these two playing on the aquarium’s YouTube channel!

Also new this summer is the Open Sea exhibit—an awe-inspriring million-gallon display with a 90-ft window where you’ll see hammerhead sharks, mola molas, puffins, sardines, sea turtles, and more. And the aquarium is hoping to have a white shark on exhibit this fall, the first since releasing one of the majestic predators into the wild in 2009.

There’s more to do at the aquarium than could ever fit into one day. Summer is a prime time to visit, with countless Aquarium Adventures, including Day and Evening Sealife Sails where you may even get a chance to steer the boat; a SCUBA diving program for children ages 8-13; and a Summer Deck Program combining music, theater, and puppets. You can even watch aquarists feed the penguins or the creatures in the Open Sea Exhibit.

On weekends, the aquarium holds a special concert series through September 4 called Evenings by the Bay. Visitors can enjoy the underwater magic of Monterey with a glass of wine and specially prepared menu, all set to the soundtrack of Monterey Jazz Festival musicians. Stay after hours for Summer Nights Sleepovers—bring your sleeping bag and camp out next to your favorite exhibit, then wake up to an MBA continental breakfast.

But the aquarium is more than just an attraction. Besides the daily rescue and care of our finned and feathered friends, its ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and the community is shown in its programs Save the Oceans, supported among others by celebrity Betty White, and the Seafood Watch program to promote sustainable fishing practices. Many local restaurants have joined the effort, among them Fish Hopper and two waterfront restaurants at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa on Cannery Row. Click here for a list of participating restaurants. You can even download an App from the MBA website that shows you where you can find sustainable seafood and sushi, as well as share your own findings with others.

Be sure to visit the aquarium website for weekly podcasts, blog updates, amazing pictures and videos, fun facts, and even a free downloadable wallpaper—and learn what you can do to help protect our oceans and its beautiful creatures.

Book your accommodations with PGI and receive two days at the aquarium for the price of one. Find out more on our website or call our innkeeper for more details!

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