With its close proximity to the city, there's no reason not to get out of dodge and jet down to Monterey for a brisk weekend on the coast. If you're a nature lover like I am—I can't get enough of those adorable sea otters and harbor seals bobbing in and out of the water—make haste. Gray whales and their newborn calves are are making their northern migration to back to their Alaskan feeding grounds and will be far out of town in a few months. Here, a simple weekend package you can write home about.
The recent news from the Monterey Bay Aquarium that Toola, "the most important animal in the aquarium's sea otter program," had died was certainly sad (the 28-year-old otter passed away due to "natural causes and infirmities of age."
All sorts of news has been burbling out of the Monterey area. Monarch butterflies! Whales! Butterflies and whales spotted on the same day! This is the kind of news we like - nature-oriented and ending in exclamation points. But we also like current happenings that involve the word "free."
“The Monterey Bay has always been a great place to visit for its beautiful scenery. Now you can come for the beer!" Jeff Moses, owner of Night That Never Ends Productions, is hosting the 2011 Monterey Beer Festival, which is being billed as “the greatest assortment of beer ever assembled on the Central Coast.” On Saturday afternoon, June 11, more than 80 brewers will be pouring hundreds of the best beers from around the world. Monterey area chefs will make a wide variety of food available and live music will play throughout the day.
Art lovers will find delight in the posh Hotel Pacific and Monterey Museum of Art's "Mini-Me" deal. It focuses on the museum's annual exhibit of "small" paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculptures, all 7 inches by 9 inches or less and all up for auction, as donated by the artists. The special includes two tickets to the museum, two auction raffle tickets, and a night's stay in a deluxe suite, complete with cozy fireplace to keep the ocean chill at bay.
The moon has received no shortage of press in recent weeks. Now, she's even inspiring hotel deals. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, which took place yesterday, the newly opened Hotel Abrego has rolled out a monthly "Moon Over Monterey" special through the end of the year.
Time: 2.5-hour drive
What you get: Windswept coast, world’s best aquarium, rickety charm
No doubt, Pebble Beach will be a feast for the senses this coming weekend. In an event put on by American Express Publishing, more than 60 award-winning chefs from all over the country will join forces with 250 wineries for the second annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine, from April 16 through 19.
Here’s a common element of modern-day travel that can baffle even the most seasoned globetrotters among us: the hotel deal. In times like these, they seem to appear at every turn and on every travel web site. Some are good, decent, all-American deals that give us the chance to go, see and do for less. But just as many are gimmicky, glossy temptresses without much real value.
But as more and more travelers see deals as deciding factors in whether they’ll travel far and wide in the coming year, the art of deciphering the travel deal becomes ever more important. So how is the average traveler to assess a hotel deal’s, well, dealiness (see: truthiness)?