Pebble Beach Fridge Magnets
again, as everyone knows, I like to collect fridge or refrigerator magnets on all of the places that I visit whether local or international and going to monterey is no exception. you can have a variety of refrigerator magnets and other souvenirs that you can buy them when you have a side tour of the 17 mile drive and the world famous pebble beach golf links.they come in all shapes and sizes and also in different prizes too and you can buy them at the assorted souvenir shops at the Lodge in pebble Beach which as an assortment ot souvenir stores. The variety of fridge magnets can be of the magnetized type or the metal type with a magnet glued at the back or ceramic style of fridge magnet with a magnet at the back. prices of these magnets vary from $ 2.99 to $ 8.99 depending on the type and the size of the fridge magnets.
- Road Trip
Pebble Beach Shot Glasses
not only do i collect assorted fridge magnets of my local and international travels but i also collect shot glasses which I sometimes use to take a shot of tequila heheh (thank you patron!) and here in pebble beach area of the 17 mile drive, home of the world famous Pebble beach golf course, near monterey, is no different hehehe. you can buy these assorted shot glasses here in pebble beach at the Lodge at Pebble Beach Club House that is near the 18th hole of the pbbl beach golf course and they come in all lengths and materials like the usual glass or frosted glass or tempered glass or aluminum or pewter and the prices vary from $ 3.99 to $ 9.99 per piece of my favorite shot glasses.
- Road Trip
Monterey Shot Glasses
not only do i collect assorted fridge magnets of my local and international travels but i also collect shot glasses which I sometimes use to take a shot of tequila heheh (thank you patron!) and here in monterey is no different hehehe. you can buy these assorted shot glasses in monterey cannery row that comes in all lengths and materials like the usual glass or frosted glass or tempered glass or aluminum or pewter and the prices vary from $ 3.99 to $ 9.99 per piece of my favorite shot glasses. The can be had att he many souvenir shops lining the cannery row or at the old fisherman's wharf.
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Monterey Fridge Magnets
again, as everyone knows, I like to collect fridge or refrigerator magnets on all of the places that I visit whether local or international and going to monterey is no exception. you can have a variety of refrigerator magnets and other souvenirs that you can buy at the many shops lining the cannery row and they come in all shapes and sizes and also in different prizes too. The variety of fridge magnets can be of the magnetized type or the metal type with a magnet glued at the back or ceramic style of fridge magnet with a magnet at the back. prices of these magnets vary from $ 2.99 to $ 8.99 depending on the type and the size of the fridge magnets.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Sand City's West End Celebration
Sand City's West End Celebration is one of the smaller local festivals and one that is attended mainly by locals. At the same time, it is one of the more fun local events and certainly worth a trip (much better than Monterey's Turkish or Greek Festivals, or the Cannery Row Block Party).
The West End Celebration is a festival for the area's growing collection of painters, photographers, sculptors, glassblowers, and other artists. To make it even better they have some great local restaurants and bars on site to deliver Monterey seafood and tasty beer and liquor from one of the best local bars! Yes, you heard right, this event allows open containers on the street during the festival as long as you get your drinks from within the festival perimeter.
This festival in 2008 had 50 or more local artists, numerous local food vendors--including one of my favorites Sea Harvest, and of course a full bar from Carbone's the best neighborhood bar in Monterey (it might help that Sal lives in Sand City!). The festival also had lots of live music--at least eight bands on three or four different stages. Just outside the festival area is the Ol' Factory Cafe, Sand City's best (and only) bar and restaurant that happens to be located in a smelly old factory (ok, it's not smelly, despite the misleading name).
The West End Celebration is held on a Friday and Saturday in late August each year.
Seaside's Japanese Obon Festival
The Japanese Obon Festival is an annual event held at the Monterey Buddhist Temple in Seaside. The small festival is held in and around a beautiful temple, and it offers a variety of simple Japanese foods (such as teriyaki and odon), free Japanese tea, children's activities, a bookstore, flower arrangements, and more. Guest may wander though the traditional Japanese temple and see the beautifully landscaped grounds. The centerpiece of the festival is an outdoor stage with taiko drums, dance, katana sword fighting demonstrations, and much more. Entrance and parking for this great little event are free, but donations are accepted.
Obon Festivals are a traditional Japanese festival meant to honor ancestors.
Monterey Greek Fesitval
Another summer weekend, another festival in Monterey. While the Greek Festival grabs what is probably the best weekend of the year--Labor Day's three-day weekend--it was a pretty standard celebration by Monterey's high standards. It had the usual ethnic foods, music, dance, gift items, and of course the "Visit Greece" booth. The food was good, gyros were nice and big at $5 each, and the baklava was good, but its goopiness made it maybe a little too much like apple pie. The dancing was OK, but nobody around was watching except maybe one lady and her terrified two-year old.
All in all, a good place to grab lunch while in town, but don't plan to spend all day here.
The Greek Festival is held annual on Labor Day Weekend at Custom House Plaza near Fishermans Wharf.
Our Favorite Local Bands
Stun Gun Jones, A Band of Ninjas, and The Money Band are our three favorite local rock bands in Monterey. They play frequently in downtown Monterey at the Mucky Duck and the Brit, but you might also see them on Cannery Row at Bullwhackers or a few bars in Carmel or Carmel Valley.
All three bands play a good mix of modern rock with a few songs from other genres to keep it interesting. The Money Band is certainly the most entertaining and the most experienced of the three--they will interact with the crowd quite a bit, letting people sing along on the microphone, walking through the crowd, chatting between sets, and grabbing a beer with their fans. The Band of Ninjas does a good job, and the music is excellent, they were even cool enough to play a private party for us on Saint Patrick's Day Stun Gun Jones is obviously the least experienced of the bands and least interactive with the crowd, but their lead singer's vocals give them an opportunity to play a wider variety of music.
Here's a video of the Ninjas playing for us: (http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=30529431).
Check out the local bar schedules on the Monterey County Weekly website:
I have no idea who or what a cherry is other than a small red fruit with a hard pit. Even the cherry's jubilee website doesn't seem to tell me who "Cherry" is nor why he seems to be so jubilant each year in early September.
Cherry's Jubilee is an annual vintage car show in Monterey and Salinas that raises millions of dollars for Salinas Valley hospitals. The festivities cover three full days and include about 1,000 classic cars, hot rods, pickup trucks, and motorcycles. The events include the opening show in Old Town Salinas, a poker run through Carmel Valley, a "criuse-in" around Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, displays at Monterey's Cannery Row, and the majority of events are Saturday and Sunday with exhibitions and hot laps at Laguna Seca racetrack (which has a $10 entry fee for spectators).
We checked out the free displays and the cruise-in at Monterey on the Friday night of the event. Here we saw dozens of classic cars on display on Alvarado Street and at the Fishermans Wharf parking lot. Also, what seemed to be all 1,000 participating cars cruised by in a slow, several hour long parade snaking through town, down Alvarado, through Custom House Plaza, and into the Fishermans Wharf Lot. It was noisy and crowded, but easily the most lively evening I've ever seen in Monterey.
The next night we walked down to Cannery Row where many of the same cars were on display and the Row too was very busy.
Watsonville's Strawberry Festival
The Monterey Strawberry Festival in Watsonville is an annual event to celebrate the region's bountiful strawberry crop. California produces some 88 percent of the nation's strawberries, and in Santa Cruz County strawberries are the number two crop, behind only marijuana.
The Starawberry Festival is held in late July/early August each year, and it has carnival rides, live music, food an beverage booths (but no alcohol), and a variety of booths selling carny odds and ends like chamois and herbal remedies. The best part of the this festival is the local Mexican food and the Hispanic music that plays throughout the day. The worst part is that the festival is pretty lame compare to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the Castroville Artichoke Festival, the Monterey County Fair, and numerous other local events.
The highlight of the festival for me was the food. We started at a local Mexican food stand, called Mexican Food Garcia from Watsonville, where the workers barley spoke a word of English, but their deep fried qeusadillas were some of the best I can remember--and three of us ate great meals for about $11. Later we moved on to the disappointingly small Strawberry Lane booth where they had about five different strawberry desserts for a few dollars each. I was amazed that this strawberry fest had hardly anything strawberry related...maybe they should check out the garlic festival for ideas. Would strawberry ice cream or shortcake be a stretch?
Monterey SummerFest at Custom House Plaza
One of the many summer events in downtown Monterey's Custom House Plaza is the annual SummerFest art and craft fair. This small event is held in late June each summer (21-22 June in 2008). The organizers claim an attendance of about 5,000 people.
The main purpose of the event is an art and craft fair. 50 vendors display paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and much more. Entertainment runs nearly all day each day and includes local bands and belly dancing (which for some reason is hugely popular in Monterey). They also had about five food vendors in 2008 including a stand from Gilroy with lots of Garlicky foods, some Lebanese, Mexican, and a few other options.
This certainly not a must see in Monterey, but if you are in the area, it might be worth stopping by to look around. We visited just after a big thunderstorm and the crowd was very small... no lines! I would guess there were more vendors than people looking when we passed through. We had originally planned to eat lunch here, because most of these festivals have a wide variety of food options, but the food at this event was very limited.
The event is organized by California Artists and the local Pac Rep Theater. They also have similar events throughout the year at the Custom House Plaza such as the SpringFest (May), TheaterFest (July), FallFest (October), and a Holiday & Gift Faire (early December).
Custom House Plaza is located at the northern end of Alvarado Street, Monterey.
Monterey-PG lighted boat parade
The boat parade, called “Brighten the Harbor,” takes place on a Sunday evening in the middle of December (in 2007 it was on December 16th). the parade is sponsored by the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, and runs from the Coast Guard Wharf to Lovers Point in Pacific Grove. The parade lasts just an hour, and in the 2007 edition only about 6 or 8 boats went to the effort to decorate their boats and chuck out the $25 entry fee. Our favorite was the boat with Santa and the reindeer.
A great place to watch the parade is the Coast Guard Wharf.
Here's a video from the 2007 parade http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=5WuEXQ9xabI&feature=related
Monterey Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival
Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival is one of Monterey's oddest events of the hundreds that take place here each year. Using much of the Monterey Conference Center in the Portola Plaza Hotel, the three-day event has it all from music & poetry to quilting bees and dance... all with lots of hats, belt buckles, leather, and chaps, in a town not used to seeing these particular accouterments.
Many of the performers are from the Pacific Coast areas such as Monterey County, Oregon, and western Canada.
Tickets range from $15 to $35 per show or $190 for the entire weekend pass which includes 11 performances, and is $55 off the total price if you bought individual tickets for each event. The Friday night BBQ is an extra $50.
California's Annual Turkish Festival
The annual California Turkish Arts & Culture Festival is held each year at Custom House Plaza in downtown Monterey next to Fishermans Wharf. Admission is free and you are treated to an array of live music, folk dancing, belly dancing, art exhibits, and children's' activities. Food and drinks include doner kebaps, Adana kebaps, borek, baklava, Turkish coffee, and more. This is one of just six Turkish festivals held in America in 2007 including those in Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, DC.
We spent a few hours here on Saturday afternoon, enjoying belly dancing, music, and some of the good food. We had an Adana kebap and the Turkish chicken sandwich for $8 each and an order of two baklava for $3. The sandwiches were kind of small, but very tasty and the baklava light and flaky and sweet. This festival is one of the many fun things to do in the summer in Monterey!
I have talked to a local resident who was born and raised in Turkey and he was very disappointed with the festival because it was small, with expensive and bland food, and worst of all, it ignored the vast majority of Turkish culture, instead focusing on one particular region.
The 2008 Turkish Festival will be Sat & Sun August 2 - 3, 2007 from 11am to 6pm.
Cannery Row Block Party
The Cannery Row Block Party began back in 2004, and it celebrated its 5th year during my visit in 2008. The day is really intended to bring people to Cannery Row and keep them there for an afternoon so local businesses can made some extra money, but it has some pretty good activities. During the festival they accept donations for the Monterey County food bank, and they have a drawing for a $700 prize.
There are two stages just a half block apart that have live music and kids entertainment. The Steinbeck Stage is at Steinbeck Plaza next to the Fishhopper and Sly McFly's; here they have local bands such as Jonah & the Whalewatchers, Red Beans & Rice and the Chicano All Stars performing live music.
The second stage is in front of Bubba Gumps and the brand-new Clement Hotel where they have several animal demonstrations. Here they brought in Salinas' Wild Things animal preserve and had unique demonstrations with monkeys and other live animals.
This year's event also had an Ice Cream Sundae Eating Contest sponsored by Ghirardelli and a rib-eating contest with ribs from Willies Smokehouse. They also had a magician, face painting, and a balloon artist
This event is free to the public!
While the festival is small and geared mostly toward children, it is one of the more fun things to do on Cannery Row. If the weather is nice, why not enjoy a few hours with the tourists? In 2008 the party was on Sunday June 1st.
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