The Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club is very active and you can see sailboats on the water on most sunny days. The MPYC hosts several sail boat races–mostly Sundays on a weekly basis–and it’s a delight for participants and spectators alike. Wednesday is a popular sailing day, but races are not typically held mid-week.
The race schedule can be found at the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club’s website. Most races begin at 1:00 PM and end by 5:00 PM. Spectators can get good views anywhere along the Recreation Trail, but here are some local places where you can get the best views from shore.
Sapporo Restaurant is a local favorite for teppan-yaki and sushi yummies. The restaurant is located upstairs and is right next door to the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, located at the Commercial Wharf #2, at the corner of Del Monte Blvd. and Figueroa in Monterey. You’ll find ample paid parking close by.
Del Monte Beach is where you can take a stroll and see all the sailing action without any obstructed views.
Find a bench along the Recreation Trail anywhere from San Carlos Beach park (but the Coast Guard pier can block your view) up to Fisherman’s Wharf.
If you don’t mind seeing the boats from a distance, but want a bigger picture overview, drive up the hill and into the New Monterey neighborhood. You can get pretty good views from the corners of Belden and Dickman, Belden and Hoffman, and Belden and Prescott. The further up you go, more panoramic views will be found. Be mindful of locals walking their dogs and all the stop signs. You don’t want your sightseeing of the water to become dangerous for the locals.
Whether we are looking to exercise while on Christmas vacation, or whether we’re planning on making regular exercise as part of our New Year’s Resolutions, there are plenty of places to exercise on the Monterey Peninsula.
In-Shape is a fairly new health club chain that has opened 2 locations in the Monterey Peninsula. The Monterey facility is located at 2370 Fremont Street, Monterey, CA 93940-5407 (831) 333-1835. The Pacific Grove facility is located at 1146 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, (831) 649-2348. Call each facility for daily operating hours.
Monterey Sports Center is city-owned and -operated by the City of Monterey. It’s beautiful and very affordable for drop-in, out-of-town guests, and it has a large pool area, cardio room, basketball court, weight room, exercise classes, and well-tended locker rooms. Monterey Sports Center is located in downtown Monterey at 301 East Franklin Street, Monterey, CA 93940-3044, (831) 646-3730. Call for daily operating hours.
The Recreation Trail is a very popular destination for walkers, runners, and bikers, for this coastal trail offers gorgeous views of the Monterey Bay. The Rec Trail goes all the way from Asilomar State Beach to Marina, so you have plenty of entry and exit points from which to choose. Just park somewhere near the water’s edge and start your nice, long stroll.
El Estero Park has many areas of diversion for the whole family. From walking around or paddle boating within El Estero Lake, to playing with the little ones in Dennis the Menace Park…from picnicking by the lake to skateboarding in a safety zone, El Estero Park is a popular family destination.
Monterey County’s Beaches are lovely and there’s something for everyone. Get close to the sea lions at the Coast Guard Pier at San Carlos Beach at the foot of Cannery Row in Monterey. Take a nice, long beach walk and dream of owning your own condo on Del Monte Beach. Surf or body board the beaches in Seaside, but be careful of the strong current. Paragliders and kite aficionados can be found along the windy shores of Marina’s beaches. They’re all lovely and they all beckon you to come over for a visit.
The golf course at the end of Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove is known as the Pacific Grove Golf Links, and it’s an incredible bargain considering its location by the ocean. Rated as one of the best golf courses under $50, it’s a must-see for golfers who don’t want to pay the higher rates at Pebble Beach.
Scuba Diving is very popular around Monterey Bay, due to the fact that it’s a national marine reserve. If you’re okay with diving in cool water temperatures from 50 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll love this region of gorgeous dives. Popular dive sites include Breakwater at San Carlos Beach for diving newbies, right by the Coast Guard Pier in Monday; night diving at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove; and doing the “Monastery Crawl” at Monastery Beach in Carmel–which can be extremely dangerous and is known by locals as Mortuary Beach. The BEST diving can be found at Point Lobos in Carmel, but you’ll need to make reservations, for they only allow 15 dive teams per day. Be warned, diving here is splendid, but DO NOT dive in poor diving conditions…regardless of how far you’ve traveled to dive here. Dive smart!
Kayaking is tremendous fun and a great way to get some exercise on the water. You can kayak out in Monterey Bay, or go inland down Elkhorn Slough by Moss Landing. Either way, you are very likely to pull up close to sea birds, otters, sea lions, harbor seals, jellyfish, kelp, and fellow kayakers.
Paddle Boarding is a pretty cool new sport where a person stands up on a surf board and paddles around. Paddle boarders get ripped abs and arms and say that it’s pretty easy once you’ve mastered balancing on the surf board. There’s even a local paddle boarder who takes his dog along for a ride on the board. So cool! Paddle boarding lessons are available at Adventures By The Sea and gear is available at Monterey Bay Kayaks.
Bicycling is fun for all ages and there are plenty of places to bicycle around the Monterey Peninsula. There are plenty of places to rent a bike if you don’t have your own, and the types of bike rides to choose from are endless. Here is a link to several bike routes around town. For novice bikers, choose the Recreation Trail. For diehard mountain bikers, try some of the tougher trails up in the hills. Just be careful of cars when you’re sharing the road–especially around blind corners or narrow mountain roadways.
Looking for something fun to do on New Year’s Eve… and a chance to do something good at the same time?
Local improv group Women of Whimsy will present a hilarious, high-energy show on Friday, Dec. 31 at 7:30 pm at the Alternative Café in Seaside. Toast the New Year with champagne (or coffee) and laughter… knowing that 20% of all proceeds will benefit the Agricultural Land Based Training Association, which provides opportunities for farm workers to grow and sell organic produce in Monterey County. Now, what could be better than that?
Space is limited, so make reservations early (831) 394-3031. The Alternative Café is located at 1230 Fremont Blvd; tickets are $10 General and $8 Students/Seniors.
There’s a neighborhood in Pacific Grove, that transforms itself during the holiday season and is known as “Candy Cane Lane”. The neighbors have had a long-time tradition of decorating their houses and yards to the hilt, which has resulted in a magical place to walk around with your sweetheart and your family.
The residents make Candy Cane Lane a wonderful little Christmas fantasy land. There are plenty of lights, of course, and also mechanized displays, plywood and 3-D characters (both traditional and cartoon). In the park are some shared attractions, like little clapboard kiddie houses and a look-only ferris wheel. Some displays are traditional, while some are not (Elvis and the Justice League), but it’s all wonderful.
Bundle up your little ones and take them on a December evening. They’ll remember it their whole lives. Here’s a video to help you see what it’s all about.
Candy Cane Lane can be found off Hwy. 68/Forrest Avenue at Morse Drive in Pacific Grove. Parking is very limited and if you decide to drive around, please be very careful of all the little ones walking around, distracted by the yard displays.
Insiders’s Tip: There is less traffic during the 6:00 – 7:00 PM dinner hour. Park your car at the nearby school and enjoy the walk around the neighborhood.
The Christmas In The Adobes will be held December 9 & 11, 2010, from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. This is a special event because these are the only nights out of the entire year that all of the adobes are open to the public.
Christmas In The Adobes is a Monterey history and holiday tradition that has been going on for 26 years. Take a step back in time and tour 22 historic adobes by night. Holiday caroling, entertainment and refreshments are provided along the way.
This is most definitely a local favorite and if you’re able to attend this event, you won’t regret going on this beautiful walking tour. Tickets may be purchased at the Cooper Museum Store, 525 Polk Street at Alvarado, beginning October 15.
Adults $15 early bird price until November 15 – $20 thereafter
Juniors age 6-17 $2
Children 5 and under free
Information Line: (831) 649-7120
Proceeds support Monterey State Historic Park children’s educational programs.