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neighborhoods getting oriented

F
rom the fog-cooled coastline of the bay, to the lush and green pastures of
the Salinas Valley, to the jagged mountains of Big Sur, one thing is cer-
tain: Monterey County is home to some pretty varied geography. But the
cultural landscape is equally diverse. Each little town and neighborhood bears
the stamp of its own character and history, much of which can be traced back
to the first European contact more than 400 years ago.
The city of Monterey is the historic heart of the region. It was here, in 1602
— five years before the British established the Jamestown colony on Virginia’s
coast — that Spanish explorers first sailed into the harbor where Fisherman’s
Wharf now stands. Over the years, Monterey grew to become a vital hub of
European culture and commerce on the West Coast, eventually including
California’s first military post and mission north of San Diego. After passing from
Spanish to Mexican to American hands, the state’s first constitution was drafted
at Colton Hall in 1849.
The imprint of those early years remains on the nearby towns. The cattle
that grazed the Salinas Valley during the Mexican rancho period gave way to
grain, then sugar beets and finally lettuce, ultimately positioning Salinas as
the county’s commercial center and a national agricultural capital. Carmel, for
years a tiny hamlet in the shadow of the Mission San Carlos de Borroméo del
Rio Carmelo, is still quiet and quaint. Rugged Big Sur, so formidable to the first
explorers, remains sparsely inhabited by an intrepid assortment of artists, free
spirits and descendants of old California families. The range is as varied as the
terrain itself.
This section serves as a brief introduction to the people and places that
make Monterey County what it is.

20 The Best of Monterey Bay 2008 • 2009 www . bestofmontereybay. com


High atop rugged cliffs overlooking the untamed Pacific and
the lush Carmel Highlands, a romantic hideaway awaits…
For more than 50 years, Tickle Pink Inn has graced this enchanting setting in
Carmel Highlands, drawing travelers from around the world. From the moment you
arrive, a complimentary bottle of champagne ignites a romantic mood while you
settle into one of 35 luxuriously appointed rooms or suites, each with stunning
ocean views. Many also offer private balconies, wood-burning fireplaces, and
in-room spas. Let the natural beauty captivate, renew, and inspire your senses.

Tickle Pink Inn • 155 Highland Drive • Carmel, CA 93923 • Reservations: 866-598-4578 • www.ticklepinkinn.com
(neighborhoods)

big sur After the industry collapsed in the 1950s,


a group of businessmen revived Cannery Row,
Marina’s chief attractions lie along its
quiet coast, where a pedestrian walkway leads
From Carmel Mission, Father Junipero Serra converting the abandoned canneries into hotels, through a native plant restoration project and
and his fellow Spanish settlers could see the restaurants and a lively shopping district. Today a paved bike path (part of a stretch from
raging ocean and steep cliffs of el pais grande this vibrant and colorful section of town serves Pacific Grove to Castroville) cruises past the
del sur — “the big country to the south.” In due as a monument to the folksy characters that hang gliders launching off the sand dunes of
time, the phrase was shortened and Spanglified filled the pages of Steinbeck’s novel. Marina State Beach. Marina is also home to
to Big Sur and the place itself immortalized in The award-winning Monterey Bay Aquarium the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, with
the memoirs of travelers and artists, most is a must-see, with unique marine displays its abundance of bird life and wildflowers. The
famously Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac. and a towering kelp forest tank. There’s also a windy beach here is rarely crowded, but watch
The winding drive down Highway 1 will scenic bike trail that connects Cannery Row to for currents.
thoroughly acquaint you with some breathtak- downtown Monterey.
ing views of the Pacific Ocean, framed by rocky (attractions)
cliffs covered in soaring redwoods. On the way, (attractions) Marina Dunes Natural Preserves, Marina
you’ll pass dozens of campgrounds, lodges, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Coast Guard State Beach, Salinas River National
hotels, restaurants, and miles of hiking trails. Pier at San Carlos Beach, the bike trail, Wildlife Refuge, kite flying, hang gliding,
diving, snorkeling, restaurants, night- ethnic foods.
(attractions) clubs, shopping, museums, wine tasting.
Henry Miller Memorial Library, Andrew
Molera State Park, Garrapatta State MONTEREY
Beach, Point Sur Lighthouse, Esalen CARMEL | CARMEL VALLEY Originally the capital city of Spain’s Alta
Institute, Nepenthe Restaurant, whale Picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea was already California colony, Monterey is to the West
watching, horseback riding. an artists’ colony when the 1906 earthquake Coast what the settlements of Jamestown and
struck San Francisco, displacing Bay Area Williamsburg are to the East Coast. Although
bohemians who traveled south and swelled rich in small-town charm, Monterey nonethe-
cannery row the town’s population and reputation. Today less retains a distinct feel of cosmopolitan
As John Steinbeck described it in his 1945 few artists can afford to live in the place that diversity thanks to the successive waves of
novel, “Cannery Row in Monterey in California elected Clint Eastwood mayor, but Carmel still Chinese, Japanese and Sicilian fishermen in
is a poem… a quality of light, a tone, a habit, has one of the largest concentrations of art gal- the 19th century, followed in the 20th century
a nostalgia, a dream.” Of course, the place leries in the country. by international students and faculty at the
Steinbeck described was still known as “The A stroll down shop-lined Ocean Avenue ends Monterey Institute of International Studies, the
Sardine Capital of the World.” In its post- at Carmel Beach, a crescent of silky white sand Naval Postgraduate School and the Defense
Depression heyday, 19 canneries worked over- lined with cypress trees and showpiece homes. Language Institute.
time to process the annual sardine catch, Just south of town lies the Carmel Mission, Today, Monterey is the perfect place to
which at its peak amounted to nearly a quarter- established in 1771, the second mission built stroll down streets lined with historic adobes or
million tons of fish. in California. It became the headquarters of while away time on colorful Fisherman’s Wharf
Father Junipero Serra, and ultimately his burial watching seals and sea otters splashing in
place—under the sanctuary floor after his death the harbor. The celebrated local cuisine—fresh
in 1784. seafood, Monterey County wines and veggies
An afternoon drive through bucolic Carmel from local farms — is available in dozens of fine
Valley is a perfect way to escape the coastal restaurants and at the farmers market that fills
fog. The sunny weather and rural charm rival downtown every Tuesday. Visitors will find live
those of Napa’s wine country, and many local jazz, rock and comedy in clubs along Alvarado
wineries host tasting rooms. Garland Ranch Street, Lighthouse Avenue and Cannery Row.
Regional Park, near Carmel Valley Village, has
miles of superb hiking trails. (attractions)
Fisherman’s Wharf, Custom House
(attractions) Plaza, Colton Hall, Alvarado Street, MY
Point Lobos State Park, Carmel Beach, Museum, Jack’s Peak, historic adobes,
Ocean Avenue, Tor House, Carmel street festivals, restaurants, shopping,
Mission, Outdoor Forest Theater, Garland whale watching, self-guided historic
Ranch Regional Park, art and photog- walk.
raphy galleries, restaurants, wineries,
shopping.
MOSS LANDING
Halfway up the Monterey Bay coast, beneath
MARINA the towering smokestacks of the nearby power
Marina began life as Paddonville in 1915 plant, lies the fishing village that time forgot.
but wasn’t incorporated as a city until 60 Locals know picturesque Moss Landing as a
years later. It served as a bedroom commu- place to surf or buy fresh seafood, and as the
nity for hundreds of military families who were home of two world-renowned marine research
stationed at the Fort Ord Army base until the institutes. But Moss Landing also has abun-
sprawling installation was closed in 1994. dant charms for visitors: a leisurely pace, a

www . bestofmontereybay. com The Best of Monterey Bay 2008 • 2009 21


www.oldtownsalinas.com • (831) 758-0725
(neighborhoods)

row of antique stores, bed and breakfasts, and


seafood restaurants and cafés to satisfy any
craving.

  


Outdoor types can take advantage of whale-
watching tours or kayak in the Elkhorn Slough
National Estuarine Research Reserve, home to
       a fascinating array of bird and plant life.
    (attractions)
Elkhorn Slough, Salinas River National
      Wildlife Refuge, antiques, restaurants,
   whale watching.

PACIFIC GROVE
Founded in 1875 as a Methodist summer
retreat, “P.G.” is known for its many well-pre-
served Victorian homes and the thriving popu- SALINAS | SALINAS VALLEY
lation of Monarch butterflies that have earned Superb soil and warm winters make the
the cozy burg its nickname, “Butterflytown, Salinas Valley so ideal for growing lettuce that
U.S.A.” it’s been nicknamed “The Salad Bowl of the
History buffs can visit the Point Pinos World.” Wine grapes are quickly catching up;
Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operat- Monterey County grows almost 40,000 acres
ing beacon on the California coast. Even the of grapes a year to Napa’s 45,000, much of
downtown shopping district on Central and the land in the southern Salinas Valley. Many
Lighthouse avenues, with numerous antique of the critically acclaimed wineries offer tours
shops and elegantly crafted bed-and-breakfast and tastings.
inns, is reminiscent of a bygone era. Lovers As Monterey County’s center of government
Point, a city park just blocks from downtown, and a major agribusiness hub, Salinas features
presents an excellent place to picnic and enjoy numerous shopping, dining and lodging possi-
the panorama of Monterey Bay. bilities. Its historic Oldtown district is undergo-
ing a revitalization that kicked off in 1998 with
(attractions) the opening of the National Steinbeck Center, a
Asilomar State Beach, Lovers Point, celebration of native son John Steinbeck’s life
Museum of Natural History, P.G. in letters. Main Street is lined with shops and
Municipal Golf Links, butterflies, historic cafes, and plays host to the First Fridays Art
bed and breakfasts, diving, kayaking, res- Walk on the first Friday of each month.
taurants, shopping. (attractions)
National Steinbeck Center, Main Street
PEBBLE BEACH in Oldtown Salinas, Pinnacles National
Monument, wineries, California Air Show,
Pebble Beach emerged as a mecca for golf-
ers after development of the Del Monte Lodge California Rodeo.
and Pebble Beach Golf Links in 1919. Today,
the name Pebble Beach is synonymous with
golf and gorgeous scenery. A private enclave of SEASIDE | SAND CITY
Nature Tours multimillion-dollar homes, Pebble Beach yields Seaside’s claim to fame is an impressive
variety of authentic ethnic restaurants. It also
breathtaking views along 17-Mile Drive. The
scenic route passes by the iconic Lone Cypress boasts beautiful parks, beaches and a sweep-
and Bird Rock and winds through Del Monte ing stretch of the regional Recreation Trail. CSU
Forest, one of the last indigenous stands of Monterey Bay is located on 2,000 acres of the
Monterey pine. decommissioned Fort Ord.
World-class restaurants, spas and shops Thousands of people drive to Sand City
make their home in Pebble Beach, which also daily, although only about 300 people live
hosts high-profile horse competitions and the there! Locals do much of their shopping at
Concours d’ Elegance, one of the automotive the Edgewater shopping center, which houses
world’s favorite parties. Costco, Office Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware,
See seals, sea otters and thousands of birds Target and Borders.
from a relaxing, stable pontoon boat. (attractions)
Stillwater Cove, 17-Mile Drive, the Pebble (attractions)
(831) 633-5555 Beach Lodge, the Lone Cypress, Spyglass
Hill, Spanish Bay, world-class golfing,
Laguna Grande Park, ethnic restaurants,
coastal Recreation Trail, golf courses,
www.elkhornslough.com bicycling. CSUMB World Theater, big box retail and
other shopping.

22 The Best of Monterey Bay 2008 • 2009 www . bestofmontereybay. com


Jack and Grace Beigle

“We’re having a ball living life our way.”


Happily settled at Canterbury Woods, former Pismo Beach

residents Jack and Grace Beigle have found a welcoming home with fellow

residents that share their active lifestyle. Newfound friends like Dawn Cope

make Canterbury Woods a place that’s more about “community”

and less about “retirement”. There’s something fun to do every day.

Call Canterbury Woods today and learn more about our private cottages,

apartment homes, and worry-free Life Care program. Life is meant to be lived your way.

831-657-4193 • www.jtm-esc.org 651 Sinex Avenue • Pacific Grove, CA 93950


A fully accredited, nondenominational, not-for-profit retirement community, owned and operated by Episcopal Senior Communities.
License: 270708224 COA #89

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