What The Locals Know–Weddings and Resources

by Jennifer Filzen

The Monterey Peninsula is a distinct wedding destination for many happy couples.  If you, or someone you know is planning a wedding, we hope this blog will be helpful.

First, if you’ve not yet seen it, our very own Monterey Rentals website has a wedding page.  We have found that many of the same people who are looking for a vacation rental through us are also looking for local wedding vendors.  So, we got smart and developed a resource guide for our clients.  We hope our wedding page proves useful for you and yours.

Second, if you’re booking a wedding here and you’re doing it during the high season–which is summer–know that room rates at B&Bs, hotels, and motels go up.  Believe it or not, the most economical way to stay on the Monterey Peninsula is to stay at one of our lovely vacation rentals.  If you rent a house, condo, or duplex and share the cost with others in your group, it makes it more affordable and fun.  Your wedding friends and family will likely have a ball at the “party house” that they’re sharing with other guests.  If they can have fun and save money at the same time, everyone wins!

Lastly, if you have questions about what to do, where to send your wedding guests, tours, etc., we have crafted our website to provide helpful information for you and yours.  If you don’t find what you’re looking for on our site, try visiting the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce site or the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Have fun planning for your big day!

What The Locals Know–The Joys of the Rec Trail by Jennifer Filzen

Many tourists are in a rush and don’t get a chance to enjoy the full extent of the recreation trail that extends from Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove to Marina.  Due to most foot traffic staying between the American Tin Cannery and Fisherman’s Wharf, a lot of beautiful views are overlooked.

I live in New Monterey, the neighborhood just up the hill from Cannery Row.  I often walk down the hill and turn right toward Fisherman’s Wharf so I can have a nice, long walk to Del Monte Beach, which is north of the Commercial Wharf.

My favorite time of year is between April through June when the sea lion pups are newly born and they hang out by the docks and shore-lining rocks.  They can be a little stinky (and what baby isn’t stinky at times?) but they’re so darned cute!  Hearing them vocalize and bark is so much fun.

I love the change of scenery along the rec trail.  I start my walk from the hill, where the view can extend out over the blue water all they way to Moss Landing…or on a really clear day…Santa Cruz.  On cloudier days, I’m satisfied looking out over the old buildings of Cannery Row.

As I head north on the rec trail from Cannery Row, I see the grassy park and Coast Guard pier of San Carlos Beach.  Sometimes I’ll walk out to the end of the pier to see the snoozing and/or barking sea lions.

I then proceed north toward Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy the view of the fun houseboats moored out in the water, right next to the colorful buildings along Fisherman’s Wharf.

Once I hit the foot of Fisherman’s Wharf, I look over at the Custom House and think about all the history that building has seen over the centuries.

I continue north down the rec trail and hear the tourists beeping their horns as they go through the tunnel.  Yes, we know you’re a tourist when you honk your horn.  Only tourists do that…all summer long…and it drives some of us locals a little crazy.

After the rec trail delivers me safely around the Fisherman’s Wharf parking lot, I can then visit the Commercial Wharf.  If I want to check in with the commercial fisherman, I’ll walk down the wharf and see their haul.  Squid season tends to be the most spectacular time of year because the boats are out on the water all night long with their lights on to attract the squid.  This gives those of us up on the hill a wonderful boat light show.

Having my fill of the Commercial Wharf, I then step onto the sand of Del Monte Beach, right by the aqua-colored Adventures By The Sea building.  Once my toes hit the sand, my senses are more keen to hear the sounds of the waves and smell the sea mist.  I have walked as far as the Monterey Dunes Beach Resort on days where I want to walk about 4 – 5 miles.

For those with bicycles, or longer legs, you can continue all the way down the rec trail to Marina.  You can see the rec trail as you drive down Highway 1, and I love seeing folks ride their bikes or walk their dogs.

The rec trail is a Monterey Peninsula treasure, and it has made our area rank high on the “city walkability” scale.  Our rec trail has consistently been a site for many marriage proposals.  I, for one, was just recently proposed to by my honey after a nice walk down the rec trail where he got down on bended knee on the beach at Lover’s Point.

Imagine that…the rec trail is just as romantic as it is healthy, beautiful, dog- and family-friendly…and that’s pretty special.

What The Locals Know — Where To Dance

If you’re visiting the Monterey Peninsula and are looking to go out dancing, join the locals at the following dance hot spots.  See you out on the dance floor!
Shall We Dance — Pacific Grove
Saturday night dance parties:
Chautauqua Hall Dance Club — Pacific Grove
Monterey Salsa — Pacific Grove

Thursday night dancing:
Blue Fin Billiards — Monterey

Friday night dancing:
Shall We Dance — Pacific Grove

Tuesday Night West Coast Swing Classes at the Carmel Woman’s Club –Carmel

Wednesday night dancing:
Sly McFly’s — Monterey
Thursday night dancing:
Sly McFly’s — Monterey
Friday night dancing:
Embassy Suites — Seaside
Saturday night dancing:
Highlands Inn — Carmel Highlands

Beautiful Central California Coast

No tsunami on the California Central Coast this weekend, and the Monterey Bay is as beautiful as ever!  A drive that started at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove, meandered through Pebble Beach, and wound up in Carmel yielded some of the most spectacular scenery ever!  Pebble Beach coastlineWhile the rain threatened but never materialized, the sun fought to break through, eventually putting in an appearance that reminded those of us lucky enough to be here today just how fortunate we are!  What a beautiful place!

Why Choose a Vacation Rental Home?

With a TV commercial highlighting vacation rentals having aired in Sunday’s Super Bowl, football fans are discovering why renting vacation homes, condos, villas and cabins is a favorite choice for many versus hotels. Beyond the experiences families and friends build by staying in a home away from home on the Monterey Peninsula, there are numerous benefits to choosing vacation rentals – sometimes in ways they’d least expect.

Whether trying vacation rentals for the first time or if you’re one of the nearly nine in 10 travelers who plan to rent again*, here are some

Casa de la Estrella on the Pebble Beach Golf Course

Casa de la Estrella on the Pebble Beach Golf Course

planning tips and insights as a post-game update for visiting the Monterey Bay area:

•    KNOW YOUR DESTINATION: Whether you are a first-time traveler to the Monterey Bay or not, it’s recommended that you become familiar with the area’s special events, seasons and offerings.

•    LOOK FOR SPECIALS: During certain seasons, vacation rental packages can provide even more value, some with two-bedrooms starting at just $125 per night, with all of the typical amenities and more. Visit www.MontereyRentals.com to become familiar with various vacation rental types, reservation rates as well as travel specials available.

•    AVOID AIRLINE BAGGAGE FEES: Most Monterey Bay vacation rentals come equipped with washers and dryers. Travelers may choose to use these perks to pack less clothing, avoiding commercial airlines’ baggage fees and restrictions.

•    USE SPACE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE:  Monterey Bay vacation homes and condos can be from 500 to more than 5000 square feet, often costing less than a single hotel room by sleeping up to 12 or more guests, versus just a few.

•    SAVE ON DINING OUT: With full kitchens and outdoor grills, Monterey Bay vacation rental travelers often make and store meals and snacks for less, including football favorites like homemade nachos during postseason trips. Use local ingredients and recipes for more memorable mealtimes, like fruits and vegetables from the local farmers’ markets and fresh fish from Fisherman’s Wharf. This also provides healthy travel options, cutting the amount of calories typically consumed while on vacation.

•    ASK ABOUT AFTER-HOURS SERVICE: When looking into any vacation rental accommodations, check to see if there is an accessible customer service number for emergency needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and for after-hour requests.  There is always help available at Monterey Bay Property Management.

•    ENTERTAIN FOR FREE: Most of Monterey Bay Property Management’s vacation homes, villa rentals and condos include amenities not found in hotels, some with private swimming pools, whirlpool spas, game rooms, fireplaces, DVD players, Internet access, and game consoles. Many are also in neighborhoods with access to golf courses, tennis courts, fitness centers, hiking trails, parks, and beaches.

•    ASK ABOUT PARTNERSHIPS: Beyond the ability to live like a local in the Monterey Bay, vacation rental guests can also take advantage of our relationships with activity providers, shops, restaurants, tour companies and more. Guests can also opt for concierge-type services, including grocery delivery, personal chefs, in-home massages and spa treatments, to name a few.

•    REMEMBER BIG EVENTS: Whether it’s for football championships or national Bowl games, concerts, baseball series’, basketball or the US Open at Pebble Beach in June, vacation rentals can save fans from the hassle of finding multiple hotel rooms during big events, and on the cost of multiple reservations.

•    TRANSPORTATION: Other relationships to remember are those made between vacation rental managers and transportation providers, whether it’s rental cars, shuttle services, golf carts, bicycles and more.  Monterey Bay Property Management can provide assistance with all your transportation needs.

To learn more about available vacation rental options in the spectacular Monterey Bay, visit www.MontereyRentals.com as a comprehensive resource. Also visit www.mpcc.com  which lists more ongoing events in the area.

For general answers to frequently asked questions about vacation rentals or for more information, visit http://www.DiscoverVacationHomes.com as an official category resource. Also connect with travelers and experts in the Facebook vacation rental community at http://bit.ly/b4idHA and http://www.facebook.com/DiscoverVacationHomes, and join the conversation on Twitter @GoVacationHomes.

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