The Monterey shoreline is like the Grand Canyon, pictures don’t do it justice. You just have to go see it. The best vantage starts in Pacific Grove’s section of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail that runs parallel to Ocean View Blvd. This trail stretches from Lighthouse Point through Lovers Point to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s a two-mile walk on flat terrain but may take you an hour and a half when you take detours off the trail to get a better look at the rocks, kelp roiling in the blue ocean, cormorants staked out on rocks and pelicans flying in formation.
Conveniently located between Carmel, Pebble Beach and Monterey, Pacific Grove is a not-so-hidden-gem. The atmosphere is casual and steeped in history with the gracious amenities you expect.
To experience the Monterey Peninsula like a local Pacific Grove provides opportunities to stay in Victorian and Edwardian Mansions, ocean side hotels for a lost weekend. Ocean views private vacation rentals for home-like longer stays and larger groups.
Stock up at Nob Hill foods and the Monday Farmers Market. Bring your own bags, they charge $0.25 for each bag if you don’t.
Places to eat:
- Beach House Lovers Point: 620 Ocean View Blvd. at Lovers Point
- Experienced travelers find that eating dinner close to their lodgings the first night in a location is a sound practice. Walk along the Monterey Recreation Trail to the Beach House Lovers Point and enjoy the breathtaking shoreline view to Monterey from the comfort of the heated patio. The Sunset Supper, a special menu of fresh seafood and tasty ingredients, when travelers are seated between 4:00 and 5:30. There is plenty of parking available if walking is not an option.
- Red House Café: 662 Lighthouse Ave.
- Eat breakfast in this quaint early 20th Century red bungalow for a taste of freshly made dishes such as rich Cinnamon Brioche French Toast, or the light Red House Frittata made with spinach, artichoke, and red peppers. Finish with a bowl of bright fruit and honey cream. Friends and visitors alike linger over strong coffee and newspapers discussing current events or their daily outings.
Places to stay:
- Mermaid House. 661 Mermaid Ave. loverspointinnpg.com/beach-house. Book through Sanctuary Vacation Rentals, Inc. 831-373-7103. Luxurious and modern this three-bedroom, three-bath house is the easy launching pad for a Pebble Beach or Carmel event without hassle factor. It’s perfect for an extended family, corporate team building or college reunion. One block from Lovers Point Park, you can jump on the Ocean View trail and walk one of the loveliest miles on the continent’s edge north to Monterey’s Aquarium and Cannery Row.
- Lovers Point Inn, 625 Ocean View Blvd.; 831-373-4771; loverspointinpg.com. Situated across the street from the Lovers Point access to the recreation trail, this ocean front hotel offers comfort, value and walking access to Monterey and the Point Pinos Light house. Enjoy your complimentary continental breakfast on the patio as gulls, cormorants, and pelicans fly by in formation. Parking and free Wi-Fi are included in every room.
- The Old St. Angela Inn; 321 Central Avenue; 831-372-3246; oldstangelainn.com. This romantic bed and breakfast inn has nine unique rooms distinctively decorated in the warm craftsman style of the original house, all with private baths. Indulge in breakfasts and “afternoon teas” which include wine, tea, or coffee and homemade cookies, all prepared from scratch.