Sunset view of ocean

BlogStaff Picks

  • Fresh Oyster

    A Morning at Fisherman's Wharf

    February 01, 2018

    A trip to our breathtaking Monterey would not be complete without a visit to the historic Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Experience life on the coast with a walk down the Wharf’s bustling block of one-of-a-kind shops and seafood restaurants—the chowder is a must-eat! If you look out towards the water, you may be able to spot some whales, fishing, and sailing. Is the water calling your name? Get out there yourself with one of the Bay Cruises to breathe in the fresh ocean air and experience Monterey from a whole new perspective. Calling all early birds, visit the wharf at sunrise for a truly local experience. Watch as the fishing boats and charters load, unload, and sail out to sea for a crisp, unique morning you’ll never forget. The sights, sounds, and smells of the wharf have captured the heart of Monterey for years, we can’t wait to hear what memories you’ve taken with you.

  • Sun-filled trees on a hiking path

    Your New Year's Resolutions Begin at Jacks Peak

    January 01, 2018

    Start your New Year’s resolutions on the right foot with a day hike at Jacks Peak County Park. The park offers numerous trails that will lead you to stunning views of Monterey Bay and Carmel Valley, and will take your breath away only by its beauty. These trails allow you to get a good exercise in, but vary in difficulty and have parking lots close to the top of each peak, just in case you’re more interested in the destination than the journey. Start your hike early in the cool, crisp morning air, and take advantage of the picnic spots available in the valley. What makes Jacks Peak so special is that they’re home to fossils from the Miocene epoch, and one of the only remaining natural stands of Monterey Pine trees in the United States. A day spent with nature is a day of self-reflection, appreciation, and wonder—Jacks Peak promises all that and more.

  • christmas ornament

    Top Reasons to Spend the Holidays in Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

    December 07, 2017

    When choosing your winter vacation, we know you have a series of sophisticated decisions to make. It’s important to take into account the location, temperature, and amenities of your future getaway. Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa is ranked the #1 hotel in Monterey by TripAdvisor. We are a self-sufficient destination that provides an enriching, relaxing, and culinary-infused trip without ever having to leave the hotel. Although the surrounding areas are some of the most magnificent in California, our hotel has a long list of services and luxuries suited to rejuvenate and regenerate. Whether you are traveling with loved ones or alone, there is something for everyone. When selecting where to celebrate the holidays, don’t pick a snow-laden town, head towards the shore and pamper yourself with stunning vistas, health-conscious menus, and beds so comfortable they'll feel like you're sleeping on a cloud. Vacations should be a time of regeneration. Visit Monterey and recharge you batteries before heading home.

  • girl exercising outdoors

    How to Stay Fit While Visiting Monterey

    November 07, 2017

    Monterey County draws a certain type of traveler, one that loves beauty, nature, and health. While enjoying your vacation, fit these health-forward activities into your busy schedules for a balanced holiday under the Californian sun.

    Sweat It Out In Our Fitness Center - Let the Monterey Bay be your backdrop as you engage in heart-elevating activities. We suggest a combination of weight training, cardiovascular exercises, and gentle stretching. Our state-of-the art fitness center offers every equipment to meet your needs.

    Take A Breathtaking Hike - Choose from Toro Park, Jacks Peak County Park, Point Lobos State Reserve, and many more, for a calorie burning session with a view.

    Engage in Outdoor Sports - Everyone knowns that Monterey is known for our world-famous golf courses, however there are other great ways to break a sweat. Grab a complimentary bike from next door, or challenge yourself by renting paddle boards and kayaks for a day on the waves.

    Staying fit while vacationing is easy when you have stunning weather, sloping mountains, and a beautiful coastline to keep you going.

  • pumpkin patch

    Fall Celebrations: Halloween is Just Around the Corner

    October 04, 2017

    Candy apples, spiked cider, and pumpkin cupcakes are a couple of treats that come to mind when thinking about Halloween. When choosing your next holiday activity, consider these local events that are guaranteed to ignite your festive spirit.

    Haunted Ghost Tour of Point Sur Lightstation, Oct. 21st & 28th, 5:15pm

    If you feel like going on an adventure, head south to the Big Sur for an incredible haunted ghost tour of an already stunning destination. Enjoy a picture-perfect sunset over the Pacific Ocean while listening to historic ghost stories and more. The tour includes deserts and beverages. Children under 6 are not admitted. Tickets costs $90.

    Point Sur Lightstation, State Historic Park & Lighthouse, Hwy One, Big Sur, CA 93920

    Carmel-by-the-Sea Halloween Parade, Oct. 28th, 11am

    Carmel-by-the-Sea is celebrating their 101st anniversary with a Halloween parade to remember. Sunset Center is hosting the after-party that will include hot dogs and birthday cake. A fantastic way to spend your Saturday morning.

    Carmel-by-the-Sea Halloween Parade, Ocean Avenue, Free event

    Halloween Dance Party, Oct. 28, 7:00pm to 10:00pm

    Join Monterey Bay Aquarium’s members only party, for a night of dancing, trick-or-treating, and spooky fun times. Put on your most ghoulish costumes and join the locals in the monster mash or a ghostly version of the twist. Membership opportunities can be found here

    Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

  • wine and cheese

    Five Facts You Didn’t Know About Monterey, CA

    September 04, 2017

    Monterey is known as one of the most beautiful coastal cities in California, however, there is more than meets the eye. Explore its rich history with a series of fun facts you may not know. Let’s take a journey together and get to know the behind-the-scenes of this charming seaside town. 

    Monterey Was Named After A Count

    In 2002, Monterey celebrated it’s 400th year anniversary, highlighting the day the Spanish merchant Sebastián Vizcaíno discovered Monterey Peninsula and named it after the viceroy of New Spain, Count de Monte Rey in 1602.

    Our Wine Compares to Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy, and Bordeaux

    In 1960, the University of CA at Davis, labeled Monterey County as Region I and Region II, which is comparable to the above mentioned wine areas making us a hearty competitor and a great purveyor of wines.

    We Love Golf

    There are approximately 26 public and private courses and we have some of the highest rankings in the nation, including our stars Pebble Beach, Spyglass, and Poppy Hills.

    Number One Agricultural Region in the United States

    We know how to do farm to table and it shows. Nicknamed, the “Salad Bowl of the Nation,” select from a luscious variety of fruits and vegetables grown in Salinas Valley. Our total agriculture contribution is $8.2 billion.

    Monterey Plaza Hotel Defines Luxury

    We are Ranked #8 among luxury hotels in Monterey by U.S. News & World Report and take pride in the seamless elegance we provide for our patrons. Make your reservations here and see yourself, (877) 862-7552.

  •  Chapel with garden in front

    The Top Three Historical Sights in Monterey

    August 08, 2017

    Monterey is a world class destination with the finest hotels, restaurants, golf courses, wine rooms, jazz festivals, and more. However, it’s rich Californian history is filled with stunning antiquaries also worth exploring. It’s hard to narrow down the compelling historical sights to just three, but if we had to, we’d suggest these:

    Carlos Cathedral, The Royal Presidio Chapel

    Your first stop should be this stunning and charming cathedral. Let history do the talking at the oldest stone building, completed in 1794. The church is still a working parish, and we suggest the docent led tours that are available daily in the adjacent building, for a historical day.

    San Carlos Cathedral, The Royal Presidio Chapel, 500 Church St, Monterey, CA  93940

    Colton Hall

    Head to Colton Hall, built by Walter Colton, the first American Mayor of Monterey, in 1849. It was the largest public building to serve as Monterey’s first school and government center. The shape and size of California was decided amongst those walls during the Constitutional Convention of 1849.

    Colton Hall, 570 Pacific St, Monterey, CA 93940

    Carmel Mission

    Venture a little outside of Monterey to see the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo. A beautiful sanctuary and chapel dedicated Padre Serra, president of the Franciscans in California in the late 1700’s. Today the Mission is still an active school, parish, and museum.

    Carmel Mission, 3080 Rio Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

  • caramel apples

    A Day at Cannery Row

    July 03, 2017

    Monterey Plaza Hotel is located on historic Cannery Row. Spend the day exploring our charming and eclectic neighborhood. With over 85 boutiques, 25 delicious restaurants, and a fine selection of prestigious contemporary art galleries, their is something for everyone. 

    Take in the breathtaking sights while walking along the coastline of Monterey Bay. Housed in the renovated fishing shacks and cannery buildings of Monterey Bay’s fishing industry, the architecture creates a mystique that is felt on the vibrant streets.

    The shops sell a variety of luxury goodies like chocolates, high-end clothing, antiques, and souvenirs. While the restaurants feature everything from ice cream to farm-to-table dinning to wine tasting rooms. We are one of California’s premier wine-producing region, and our first class wine tasting rooms are just steps from our hotel. Each person will have a unique experience at Cannery Row, we challenge you to have the finest.

  • people viewing fish

    Monterey Bay Aquarium: A Deeper Look

    June 05, 2017

    Monterey’s coastline has an abundance of natural geography. While you are appreciating the majestic views from one of our many verandas, consider visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey Bay Aquarium was founded in 1984 and continues to be a leader in the awareness of ocean conservation, seafood depletion, and human rights in the global seafood chain. It’s visited by more than two million people a year and that number is growing. If there is one sightseeing adventure your must add to your list, this is it. Visit the nonprofit public aquarium for a stunning example of education meets aquaculture preservation.

    The largest exhibition in the aquarium is a 1,200,000 gallon Open Sea exhibit where observers can see ocean sunfish, stingrays, sea otters, jellyfish, and more. It’s one of the only aquariums in the world to house both bluefin and yellow fin tuna. Next check out the centerpiece exhibition, which is an impressive 28-foot-high, 333,000 gallon tank dedicated solely to California coastal marine life. It is the first aquarium in the world to grow a living giant kelp forest. Eighty species of seaweeds grow in the exhibition, and visitors stand in awe while enjoying the dramatic view.

    Julia Packared, the Executive Director and Vice Chair, continues to foster an environment of continued growth and symbiosis with ocean conservation and global solutions to aquaculture problems. Carve out an afternoon or an early morning and head to his world-class establishment to expand your knowledge and compassion for the ocean.

    Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

  • man with glasses

    Chef Spotlight: Discover the Award Winning Cuisine of Executive Chef James Waller

    May 17, 2017

    Executive Chef James Waller has been charting new and innovative courses through contemporary flavors with us since 1997. Receiving prestigious awards and accolades such as as the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences' Five-Star Diamond Award, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and the AAA Four-Diamond Restaurant Award, he sources only the freshest and most sustainable seafood for our menu. The result is a decadent selection of dishes that aligns with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s sustainable Seafood Watch Guide.

    Chef Waller’s cuisine is fit for he highest political dignitaries as he has served an elaborate list of American presidents including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, and Bill Clinton.

    Enjoy magnificent views from our nautical themed Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen & Bar, which provides guests with an elevated experience of dinning sophistication and earth-conscious sustainability. Built on pillars above the water, feast on a selection of raw or cooked seafood, local soups and salads, small plates, and wood-fired dishes, while keeping an eye on the coastline for whales and frolicking seals.

  • spa pool with ocean view

    An Indulgent Day at Vista Blue Spa

    April 27, 2017

    The next time you visit our luxurious Monterey Bay hotel – indulge in a little spa time – we insist! Unwind at Vista Blue, our state-of-the-art, full-service spa. Named one of Travel & Leisure’s Top 25 Spas, and for three years in a row, one of Conde Nast’s Top 75 Hotel Spas in North America, Vista Blue will not disappoint!

    Nestled on the roof of our four-star hotel, enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Bay from the comfort of our courtyard. Choose from an extensive list of treatments ranging from classic massages and facials to our signature sea salt body scrubs, guaranteed to rejuvenate the body and revive the senses.

    Make a day of your Vista Blue Spa experience and enjoy the outdoor sun deck, complete with cozy fireplace. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a light lunch before or after your treatments. Or schedule an al fresco soak in one of our bay view whirlpool tubs. Indulging has never been easier!

    For spa reservations, please call 831-646-1700 or 800-334-3999 - or visit us online at

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