- Top 10 Deals with a View & Liquid Adventures for Lovers of the Sea -
MONTEREY, Calif., July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Boasting 99 miles of prime Pacific coastline, the 5,312 sq. mile National Marine Sanctuary and nation's top-ranked Monterey Bay Aquarium, the county's newest addition: The 2010 BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit is a kindred spirit. Set for August 25-29, this global ocean-focused event will whet everyone's whistle with the screening of 60+ award winning ocean films, photography and visual arts exhibits, line-up of seminars and special tribute to Jacques Yves Cousteau at 100. www.bluefilmfest.com.
Combine an educational getaway with a wave of hotel deals and liquid excursions and extending the summer is as easy as a spray-on tan. From Stand Up Paddle lessons to a stint at sea kayaking, ocean-view hikes and coastal biking, this region peaks during Indian summer. Full list of "Deep Blue Deals" at www.SeeMonterey.com.
TOP 10 DEEP BLUE DEALS
From Lover's Point to Pebble Beach, an enticing escape is on tap September 1 through November 30, 2010*. Here is a snapshot of the top 10 hotel deals.
Pacific Grove Inn – Cuddle up in an ocean view room with a gas fireplace in this historic 16-room Victorian inn combining two buildings -- the Buck Mansion and Tuttle Cottage. Queen Anne meets modern as guests unwind with afternoon wine, evening cookies and a full hot breakfast for as low as $102.00/double. Pop for a weekend suite for just $144.00/double. www.pacificgroveinn.com.
Tally Ho Inn – Everything about this hidden gem reflects luxury, from the stellar views to the heated bathroom floor, 42" plasma television, fireplace, Jacuzzi tub and Bose Wave radios. Add a private deck with views of Point Lobos Nature Reserve and Pebble Beach, complimentary breakfast and parking and this city by the sea never looked so alluring. Deep Blue Deal starts at $199.00/double including a $20.00 per person credit at adjoining Il Fornio restaurant. www.tallyho-inn.com. Call 800-652-2632 and mention "Deep Blue Deal."
Martine Inn – The sweeping ocean views of this 100-year old mansion on Monterey Bay are just the start. Add museum-quality antiques – like a signed Chippendale Revival bedroom set – fine linens, claw foot tubs, wood burning fireplaces and fresh florals and a stay at this inviting bed & breakfast is the perfect blend of relaxation and rejuvenation. Guests can peruse the 1000-book library, wander amidst the collection of vintage MG cars and enjoy daily gourmet breakfast on a selection of stunning Sheffield silver. Whale watching tour for two is in included in the ocean view guestroom Deep Blue Deal (new bookings only) starting at $339.00/double, two night minimum. www.martineinn.com/deepbluedeals.html.
Monterey Bay Inn - Film buffs can't get any closer to the deep blue ocean than contemporary Monterey Bay Inn, overlooking the national Marine Sanctuary, one of the world's richest marine regions. Otters, seals, whales and seabirds are on view from the sleek-styled inn's guestroom decks, and the roof top hot tub is the spot for stargazing in the evenings. This 49-room gem complete with feather beds, expansive bathrooms and evening turn-down offers a Deep Blue stay by the bay starting at $219.00/double with complimentary continental breakfast. www.montereybayinn.com.
Spindrift Inn – For a romantic romp, the Spindrift Inn is an ideal getaway. Completely renovated in fall/2008, this distinctive 45-room inn on Cannery Row overlooks the Pacific. Gracious appointments, including custom-designed canopied feather beds, wood burning marble fireplaces, polished hardwood floors and 37-inch flat screen TVs make for a restful stay. Other perks include nightly turndown and silver-tray continental breakfast served in-room starting at $259.00/dbl. Cannery Row view rooms start at $179.00/double. www.spindriftinn.com.
Hofsas House – Tuck away in a quiet residential area of Carmel-by-the-Sea surrounded by fragrant Monterey Pines at the charming 38-room Hofsas House. Here, European-style design and hospitality set the stage for a restful retreat, including guestrooms with prime ocean views, fireplaces, a heated pool, continental breakfast and a view deck to catch the sun sizzling into the sea. Pack the poodle, just eight short blocks away lies one of the state's most dog-friendly beaches, Carmel Beach, with views of Pebble Beach and beyond. Doubles start at $139.00. www.hofsashouse.com. Call 831-624-2745 and mention "Deep Blue Deal."
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa – Step things up a notch this fall at Monterey's only Forbes Four-Star rated property. Draped along the Pacific with clean Mediterranean-style decor and a stunning "you've arrived" lobby, this 290-room Cannery Row classic with two restaurants and gracious guestrooms perched over Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is offering a two-night escape along with a $100.00 resort credit which can amply be applied to the rooftop Vista Blue Spa starting at $189.00/double. www.montereyplazahotel.com
Asilomar Conference Grounds – Set on 107 acres of natural forest, sand dunes and coastline this is the stop for architectural buffs and outdoors enthusiasts with its direct access to the 17-Mile Drive, Asilomar State Beach, Point Pinos Lighthouse and miles of biking and hiking trails. The 313-room property offers the simple comforts of rustic historic structures designed by acclaimed Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan. Tap into this timeless escape for $144.00/double including a day car pass to all four Big Sur state parks and a box lunch for two. www.visitasilomar.com/deepbluedeal.
Green Gables Inn – Step back in time with a stay in this classic Queen Anne Victorian, built in 1888, standing front and center overlooking Monterey Bay. Spend the morning tucked next to the fireplace -- binoculars in hand -- for the show of the season in one of 11 antique-appointed guestrooms. As the afternoon unwinds, pop onto Monterey Recreation Trail fronting the hotel for a ride to Cannery Row, enjoy a $50.00 certificate for dinner at Fandango or Passionfish restaurants, a signature Four Sisters Inns breakfast and afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres starting at $195.00/double. http://www.greengablesinnpg.com/deepbluespecial.htm.
Pine Inn – This classic Carmel property has a rich history, from the days of Upton Sinclair opting for his morning juice here to the hotel's legendary relocation in 1903 by being rolled down Ocean Avenue on logs. Built in 1889, all 49 guestrooms have been carefully restored yet retain the charm of an era gone by. Rooms feature pillow-top beds, antiques, marble bathrooms, free Internet and when the sun rises, guests can dive into a full American breakfast buffet. Doubles start at $169.00, including a $20.00 per person credit at adjoining Il Fornio restaurant. www.pineinn.com. Call 800-228-3851 and mention "Deep Blue Deal."
Nature at its naked best, this region's character becomes clear this time of year as whales start their annual migration and estuaries become flush with fowl. From safari tours to scouting lost ship wrecks, a litany of liquid rich adventures await the avid enthusiast.
Kayak Surfing: For the ultimate challenge, dump the long board and take to the waves in a kayak. Learn the art of carving, roll techniques and how to get in/out of the wave in a safe, serene environment. Lessons and a full line of specialty surf kayaks are available at Kayak Connection and Adventures by the Sea. www.kayakconnection.com, www.adventuresbythesea.com.
Stand Up Paddle: Those hot on Laird Hamilton's new sport can hit the waves running with classes in S.U.P. This trend emanating from Hawaii combines surfing with canoe-style paddling in a stand up position, exercising the core and sense of balance. Learn to walk on water via classes covering the basics of balance, strokes and paddling techniques. www.adventuresbythesea.com, www.kayakconnection.com, www.montereybaykayaks.com.
Kayak Tours: A great way to frolic with otters and other resident wildlife is aboard a naturalist-led kayak tour. Get an up close and personal peek at nature's bounty in Monterey Bay, slip off to Pacific Grove's Stillwater Cove or slither into Elkhorn Slough for a combination slough/sea adventure. Rentals are available as well.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: From giant kelp to resident seahorses, the nation's top-ranked aquarium is a sure bet for all things Pacific. Kids 8-13 can tap into the Aquarium's Underwater Explorers program, an aquatic adventure with a surface SCUBA dive in the Great Tide Pool on Monterey Bay. Book a Morning Rounds: Behind-the-Scenes Tour for a rare opportunity to interact with the aquarium's exhibit animals as an aquarist would. The new Hot Pink Flamingos: Stories of Hope in a Changing Sea provides a fresh perspective on global climate change through its impacts on the ocean—and the lives of tropical wading birds, sea turtles, jellies, penguins and coral reef animals.
Elkhorn Slough Safari: For a vivid postcard of this region's ecosystem and wealth of wildlife, naturalists can dial into the Elkhorn Slough Safari, a classic outback tour aboard a 27-foot pontoon. Spreading 1,400 acres and reaching inland nearly seven miles from the coast, the Elkhorn Slough Reserve steps up with some 400 plant species, 80 kinds of fish and 340 types of birds, including such rare species as the Peregrine Falcon and Snowy Plover. Photo safaris and birding workshops are also available. Kayaking the slough is another option.
Tide pooling: From turban snails to purple sea urchins, tide pooling is an ideal way to spend an afternoon and nowhere are the creatures so plentiful – just ask Steinbeck's famed Doc Ricketts. The shoreline along Pacific Grove is an ideal spot to scout at low tide as is Point Lobos and Lover's Point.
Beachfront Blading/Biking: Savor the flavor of the ocean via a variety of paved trails skirting the sea. The 18-mile Monterey Recreation Trail traverses the coastline past Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf. Continue north and the sites switch to surfers tackling frothy waves at Seaside State Beach and hang gliders catching a breeze over the dunes of Marina State Beach.
Another surf-friendly biking option is the 17-Mile Drive, a must-see for every cyclist. Rated as one of the top 100 routes to pedal in America, this ride is an excellent way to experience the 5,300-acre Pebble Beach community boasting manicured mansions, emerald greens and jaw-dropping views of the Pacific coast. For off-road enthusiasts, Fort Ord steps up with a massive network of 86 miles of trails on 7,200 acres of biking nirvana.
Whale Watching: The enormous depths of Monterey Bay paired with a 99-mile stretch of coastline draw a rich and varied lineup of whales and wildlife. Among the most impressive are gray whales, some 7,000 behemoths, migrating to Mexico's Baja Peninsula each winter. From October through November, the popular humpbacks and blue whales, the largest animals in the world, which feed on the nutrient-rich waters along Monterey's coastline. Visitors can tap into a whale watching tour, rent a sailboat or stay closer to shore with a good pair of binoculars. www.chriswhalewatching.com, www.adventuresbythesea.com.
Sailing/Deep Sea Fishing: Monterey Harbor or Moss Landing are key stops for charting an excursion or DIY outings on the Bay. Cruises, lessons and bareboat rentals can give any wannabe skipper a fix. Farther south, Lake San Antonio offers year-round boating and water skiing, as well as camping and eagle tours.
Pt. Lobos State Reserve: Offering unparalleled oceanfront hiking, "the crown jewel of the state park system" just south of Carmel offers a matrix of trails through cypress groves, headlands, coves and one of the richest underwater habitats in the world for SCUBA. Formerly the home of a turn-of-the-century whaling and abalone industries, today the reserve shares space with thousands of seabirds, seals, sea lions and migrating whales.
Carmel River State Beach: This mile-long coastal strand neighboring a lagoon and Wetlands Nature Reserve is the ultimate California beach walk. Jump off point is via a steep set of stairs at the end of a multi-million dollar residential area on Scenic Road in downtown Carmel. Kayaking, surfing, bird watching and sunbathing are mainstays.
Lover's Point/Pacific Grove: This family-friendly spot is the ultimate oceanfront play date for kids, launch point kayak tours (or DIY kayaking) and instruction in Stand Up Paddling (S.U.P.). Part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, this slice of paradise offers two small sandy beaches, a beautiful sand rock outcropping and plenty of scenery. A one-mile walk or bike along the Monterey Recreation Trail leads to historic Cannery Row.
Andrew Molera State Park: This ocean-rich park offers a network of trails that sport massive views of land meeting sea. The headlands trail is rugged yet worthy for spirited hikers. Other-worldly treks include the short hike to view of McWay Falls via Julie Pfeiffer Burns State Park or a leisurely 10-minute walk to Salmon Creek Waterfall, just one mile north of Gorda.
SCUBA: Diving for monsters of the deep -- reportedly sited just off the Big Sur Coast -- or the bizarre giant squid with three hearts, blue blood and enormous brains spotted in the depths of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is certain to sharpen one's character. Listed as one of North America's top ten dive sites by Scuba Diving magazine, Monterey offers both expert and novice adventures via Monterey Bay Dive Center's Discover SCUBA program. Instruction and dives at the 5,312 sq. mile Marine Sanctuary (which boasts a canyon twice as deep as the Grand Canyon), picturesque Point Lobos (inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island) or San Carlos Beach offer insight into the region's rich diversity of sea life.
TIE AN EVENT TO IT
Monterey Bay ReggaeFest; www.mbayreggaefest.net
Monterey Jazz Festival; www.montereyjazzfestival.org
Seagate Triathlon at Pacific Grove; www.tricalifornia.com
Old Monterey Seafood & Music Festival; www.oldmonterey.org
Monterey Bay Greek Festival; www.montereybaygreekfestival.com
Cherry's Jubilee; www.cherrysjubilee.org
Monterey Wine Festival; www.montereywine.com
Fall Birding Excursion/Moss Landing; 831.633.5555 http://www.mosslandingchamber.com/
Big Sur Jade Festival; www.bigsurjadeco.com
Big Sur River Run; www.bigsurriverrun.org
Monterey Sports Car Championships; www.laguna-seca.com
Marina Air Faire; www.marina-airfaire.com
Big Sur Half Marathon; www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org
Seaside Sparkler; www.ci.seaside.ca.us
Great Wine Escape Weekend; www.montereywines.org
Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational; www.pebblebeach.com
Cannery Row Tree Lighting Ceremony; www.canneryrow.com
Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor. The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 45,000 acres of premium vineyards, 24 golf courses and over 250+ lodging properties. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), just three miles from historic downtown Monterey and minutes from the area's major attractions, is served by non-stop flights to and from Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO). www.SeeMonterey.com.
* Based upon availability, restrictions and blackout periods apply.
SOURCE Monterey County Convention and Visitor's Bureau