Guide to Pacific Grove: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The best things to do in Pacific Grove: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, signature entertainment and shopping.
Pacific Grove is located in Monterey County, on the Central Coast of California. It lies directly to the west of the city of Monterey on the shores of the bay of the same name, sandwiched between its more eminent neighbors. Pacific Grove is less famous than Pebble Beach, and still touches with its charm of a quiet provincial town. In addition, it has earned the nickname “American Butterfly City” as thousands of migratory monarch butterflies arrive here in winter. For the peaceful beauty of these places and stunning views of the ocean, the city fell in love with artists and other bohemian personalities back in the 19th century. See citypopulationreview for state facts, symbols and history of Iowa.
The town is famous for its many Victorian houses: it is believed that there are more of them preserved here than anywhere else in the United States. Some of these old mansions have now been turned into small B’n’B hotels.
How to get to Pacific Grove
The easiest and most logical way to go here is from Monterey; for example, on the Monterey-Salinas transit bus. It takes 10 minutes by taxi from Monterey Airport to Pacific Grove.
A bit of history
The first Europeans arrived here in 1542, but the first settlement was not established until 1855, when the Point Pinos lighthouse began operating. Lighthouse Road, one of the city’s two main streets, was originally created to get to the lighthouse from Monterey. Numerous Chinese immigrants settled along the coast beginning in 1863, forming Pacific Grove’s Chinatown. Most of them worked as fishermen in Monterey Harbor. The Methodist community also played an important role in the development of the city: here the believers set up a summer tent camp, which then began to grow into more permanent buildings.
The Point Pinos lighthouse is still in operation and is considered the hallmark of the city. This is the oldest lighthouse on the west coast, whose work was not interrupted: the lighthouse on Alcatraz Island was ahead of Point Pinos by 8 months, but was moved in 1909 during the expansion of the prison.
Attractions and attractions in Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove is a small city, and you will be enough to explore it on your own two. The town is famous for its many Victorian houses: it is believed that there are more of them preserved here than anywhere else in the United States. Some of these old mansions have now been turned into small B’n’B hotels. In particular, this is the purpose of the beautiful Sevn-Gables mansion, built in 1886. The Gothic building of St. Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1887, is also beautiful and worth seeing. It was erected in the image and likeness of the cathedral in British Bath.
3 things to do in Pacific Grove:
- Ride your car or bike on 17 Mile Drive. It starts in the northern part of the city and winds along the coast, from where breathtaking views open up. Be sure to take pictures of the famous lone cypress. The section of road from Pebble Beach is tolled.
- Ride (or walk) along Ocean View and Sunset Boulevard. Just as good as 17 Mile Drive and completely free.
- Try to find the cottage in which Steinbeck lived for several years, although this is not easy: there is no sign on it.
Point Pinos Lighthouse between Lighthouse Avenue and Del Monte Boulevard is hard to miss. It was built in 1855, and even the lenses in the lantern are still used original, made in France in 1853. Today, the lighthouse is surrounded by golf courses, but is still actively used by the Coast Guard. It stands at an altitude of 27 m above sea level, and under suitable conditions, the signal is visible at a distance of up to 15 nautical miles. Point Pinos is open to the general public in the afternoon, usually from 13:00 to 16:00; visiting is paid.
Robert Louis Stevenson described the lighthouse in his book From Scotland to Silverado.
The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is located on Forest Avenue, and here you can get acquainted with the nature of the Monterey Bay area. It was opened in 1883: it is one of the oldest natural science museums in the country. Many museum expositions are intended, in particular, for children. Admission is free, although donations are welcome.
In addition, the city has a small but interesting museum of classic motorcycles named after Jameson. Here you can see quite rare models: for example, a 1965 BMW R60 with a sidecar. The oldest motorcycle in the collection is a 1940 Indian. In total, the exposition presents about 35 bikes and scooters.
In Pacific Grove, you should definitely visit the Butterfly Sanctuary. It sits in an inconspicuous spot on Ridge Road between Lighthouse Avenue and Short Street and is also free to enter. From October to March, a huge number of butterflies make a stop in Pacific Grove halfway through their winter migration. With folded wings, butterflies resemble dry leaves, but this is only until they are disturbed. Binoculars are useful for viewing the reserve.
The inhabitants of the city feed the butterflies by planting many purple and yellow flowers. And one of the local laws implies a fine of 1000 USD for killing or harming a butterfly.
The city has several great natural places to relax and enjoy the natural beauty. In particular, there are as many as 28 parks here, from coastal to forest in Monterey Pines. There is even a specially designed tourist route through the parks, which involves a walk of about 17 km. Be sure to visit Perkins Coastal Park. There, for the monarchs, a plant with a rude name, edible carpobrotus, is planted and not in flower beds, but all over, like grass. Its flowers form a stunning crimson carpet.
The beaches at Pacific Grove are also worthwhile. There are even several of them in Lavers Point Park: small, sandy, equipped for various types of activities and water sports. Asilomar is a narrow strip of sand about 5 km long, the infrastructure of which is a little lame, which is redeemed by the aesthetic appeal.
Pacific Grove Events
The city hosts an annual butterfly parade when elementary school students dress up in colorful costumes and march through the city. And Lavers Point Park also hosts an annual Chinese-style Lantern Festival with a small theatrical performance from high school students and fireworks.