Farmers Markets are bountiful in the Monterey Peninsula

The Monterey Peninsula is world-renowned for its animal and plant diversity and its rich cultural heritage.  Equally wonderful but less well-known is the abundance of fresh, local, and often organic food that abounds along California’s Central Coast.  If you’re like us and you’re excited about food, Monterey is the place for you. 

On Monday, from 3-7, neighboring Pacific Grove has a California Certified Farmer’s Market at the corner of Central and Grand Ave.  Stroll along and sample fresh, locally sourced food.

On Tuesday from 9-1 at the Barnyard Shopping Village in neighboring Carmel there is yet another opportunity to enjoy all the richness that the Central Coast has to offer: 25 farmers and vendor have a variety of produce, grass-fed meat, seafood, organic eggs, flowers, local honey (which is good for combatting Central Coast allergies), and potted flowering plants.  Another opportunity for a dazzling mid-morning stroll through picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Once you’ve walked around Carmel’s farmer’s market, chances are you’ll be ready for a nap before setting out once again.  Return to your garden oasis room at the Old Monterey Inn for a nap, a soak in a Jacuzzi tub, and sip of wine at out complimentary Wine and Hors d’oeuvres. 

Later on that same Tuesday, downtown Monterey closes its main street to cars, and opens it up to pedestrians and vendors for the Monterey Farmer and Artisan Market! From the Old Monterey Inn to the Monterey farmers market is only a five minute walk.  Enjoy flowers, music, color-chancing mugs, sweaters, fresh (delicious) pasta, produce and more!  An hour or so will give you plenty of time to sample most everything, make a few purchases, and find your way to a local restaurant like Montrio or Restaurant 1833.  A wonderful, relaxed evening indeed!

Believe it or not, there are even more farmers markets within 10 minutes of the Old Monterey Inn—On Friday from 10-2, the Monterey Peninsula College hosts over fifty farmers and vendors (most of whom are certified organic/and or sustainable).  The market boasts a selection of grass-fed meat and poultry, fish, oysters, cheeses, olive oil, fresh (delicious!) pasta and homemade sauces, organic juices, artisan bread and baked goods, organic honey, mushrooms, eggs, flowers, seedlings, herbs, vegetables, and nuts.  You’ll wish you could conjure a wheelbarrow out of thin air to carry everything you want to buy!

And last, but certainly not least, on Sunday morning from 8-12, the Del Monte farmers Market welcomes visitors with an equally stunning selection of produce, artisan baked goods, and flowers.  After enjoying a decadent breakfast at the Old Monterey Inn, the Del Monte Farmers market would be a perfect stroll.

If the farmers markets are any indication, there is food and flavor aplenty on the Monterey peninsula, and we are excited to share our bounty with you!

Farmers Market in Monterey

Jazzing Up the Bay : Monterey Jazz Festival

People visit our Monterey Bed and Breakfast from all over the world and pack their itineraries with any number of activities. Indeed, the Monterey Peninsula has it all: whale watching, kayaking next to the sea otters, fine wine, fresh seafood, Pebble Beach golf courses, John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Henry Miller’s library, picturesque Big Sur, the list goes on… We wanted to give you yet another reason to come visit us at the Old Monterey Inn: Dixieland Monterey’s Jazz Bash by the Bay! coming to the city in the beginning of March.

March 1st through March 3rd, the Monterey Peninsula will come alive with this Monterey Jazz Festival featuring more than 26 live acts featuring youth bands, big bands, and a program that highlights trends in jazz: traditional jazz, zydeco, swing, gypsy jazz, blues, and ragtime. There’s something for everyone in that musical lineup!

Dixieland Monterey was founded in 1980 and begun as a humble addition to the annual Monterey County Fair. Since then, it has become its own main event and brings jazz enthusiasts from all over the world together to enjoy traditional jazz and swing bands and more!

John Keller, the founder of Dixieland Monterey explains the success of the event: it is in a “prime location: who can resist the beauty of the Monterey waterfront? The real reason people return each year is because they love the music. Dixieland Monterey offers them the opportunity to experience live jazz performed by some of the world’s most talented musicians. Essentially, Dixieland Monterey continues to thrive because it gives people what they want — great music — and great music never goes out of style.”

The Portola Plaza, in historic downtown Monterey, is a 10-15 minute walk from the front door of our Inn. Picture this: your morning starts with a gourmet Old Monterey Inn breakfast; then you enjoy a leisurely stroll through our flower gardens and the traditional English-style hedge garden, maybe even catching a glimpse of a deer or a buck; you retire to your room for a soak in the Jacuzzi tub or a mid-morning nap. Around noon, you walk downtown, stopping for a quick bite on your way to Dixieland Monterey. You enjoy hours of exquisite live music and afterwards, you enjoy a fantastic dinner at one of our local gourmet restaurants. Night falls, and you nestle up close to your own personal fireplace and relive the magic of the day. That is Dixieland Monterey. That is the Old Monterey Inn.

Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Events – Live Music at our Elegant Inn

Cool winter evenings here on the Monterey Peninsula make wine and hors d’oeuvres hour especially cozy at the Old Monterey Inn. Join us for incredible Monterey events this 2013. The enormous fireplace burns warmly each evening while guests gather around, relax and get to know each other over a glass of our house wine produced locally in the Carmel Valley. To complete the scene, we have lately had the pleasure of enjoying our 100 year old grand piano being played by Mr. Marco Antonio Vazquez. With just the right mix of selections and the delicate touch to make the background music seamlessly smooth, Mr. Vazquez provides an elegant backdrop to many of our weekend evenings. Several of our guests have commented that they find it difficult to want to leave the ambiance of our living room to go to their dinner reservations!

This is definitely the time of year that makes one want to linger over a glass of wine or a cocktail and enjoy live music in a warm, cozy spot! Several other locations around the Peninsula offer an opportunity to do just that! A few that come to mind, and are very close to our luxury Monterey Bed and Breakfast are Cibo Italian Restaurant in downtown Monterey, right by the famous Fisherman’s Wharf. Cibo offers fabulous Italian dining and live music six nights a week. Their evenings include Soft Jazz, R & B, and even an occasional Salsa or Reggae night (if you feel like dancing, this is your spot)! Next on the list would be Bistro Beaujolais right in the heart of downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. Bistro guests listen to live music Fridays and Saturdays, and enjoy alfresco dining in a beautiful outdoor courtyard complete with fire pits and heat lamps of course! Last, but certainly not least, would be the famous Mission Ranch Restaurant. Built in the 1800’s and overlooking Point Lobos and the Monterey Bay, this piece of Carmel history boasts a long established tradition of excellent American Cuisine and one of the coolest Piano Bars around! They don’t take reservations here, but what a great place to wait for your table!!

Come join us at the Old Monterey Inn, we will get your itinerary for a weekend of live music enjoyment all set up for you!

Old Monterey Inn Live Music & Wine - Couple on a Couch


New Years in Monterey and Enjoy a Getaway at our Monterey B&B

New Years in MontereyHappy Holidays everyone! There is always a lot happening on the Monterey peninsula, and this winter is no exception! This season in Monterey brings a myriad of events. The yuletide joy of the winter holidays is fading, but that brings us to the final holiday of this year and the first of next: New Years in Monterey! We have a delightfully active cultural community, and it shows with the fantastic variety of events scheduled for the New Year’s holiday.

This particular blog entry is about our grand event called “First Night Monterey.”  Monterey’s 20th annual New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts is a variety event with different clubs and community groups each contributing towards one common goal: celebrating beginnings and ends, uniqueness, and commonalities. The festivities include 9 hours of entertainment starting at 3:00 pm for the kids, 5:30 pm for the twilight parade, and 11:00 pm for the Grand Finale and Countdown!

This year will feature three core cultural representations: Art, Dance, and Music. Local art galleries participate and show some of the finer pieces of visual art. There will be music that ranges from country music to jazz to slam poetry. And of course, there will be dancing!! The festival offers folklore dance to traditional cultural homages to pop. So if you feel the urge to bust a move on the last night of 2012, you will have every opportunity. There are two Grand Finales, both indoor starting at 11:00 pm. You can go online to buy a First Night Monterey button for entrance in advance or to find out more details of this big Monterey event.

The best part of all of this is that our Monterey Bed and Breakfast is just a short walk from the festivity areas. The children’s events take place at Colton Hall, which is the next block down on our street! If you would like to join Monterey’s First Night, consider our award winning bed and breakfast for your lodging. A joyful new year’s event combined with a warm and cozy place to stay is a first class experience.

We would love to have you join us at our Monterey B&B to ring in the New Years in Monterey, but no matter where you choose to celebrate, we wish you your best New Years ever!


Monterey Events: “Christmas at the Inns”

Monterey Events: Christmas at the InnsWe hope everyone enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday. We at our Monterey Bed and Breakfast had plenty to give thanks for this year, most importantly all of the wonderful guests who spend time with us at our beautiful Old Monterey Inn throughout the year. The holidays are steeped in traditions for most families, and for us at the Old Monterey Inn one of our favorite traditions is, of course, the long awaited opportunity to deck the halls.    

In the first week of December, Monterey is home to an event called Christmas at the Inns. During this festive event, participants are chauffeured around to the numerous inns and bed & breakfasts that host Monterey’s international clientele. During the week between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas at the Inns, we go all out!  Along with our traditional Christmas décor, we also break out the winter recipes!  Expect delectable Christmas themed cookies and refreshments, elegant and nostalgic holiday music, and a breathtaking adorned pine in our cozy living room. Nothing warms the soul like curling up with a loved one next to our wood burning fireplaces with a steaming mug of herbal tea or a great glass of wine from one of our fantastic local wineries from the Carmel Valley.  

Christmas at the Inns is a great way to get in the holiday spirit, and it is one of our favorite holiday Monterey events! If you are fortunate enough to be a resident of the area, this is a great opportunity to check out your local hospitality businesses in full swing!  The dates for this memorable event are December 4th and 5th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm each evening; the Old Monterey Inn is participating on Wednesday the 5th. The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce website provides ticket and registration information!

If you’re looking for yourself or for another, we do have gift certificates available for purchase. Giving the gift of ultimate elegance and relaxation is truly priceless! Keep an eye out for our monthly specials and our low seasonal rates!! 



The Monarch Butterfly Migration Comes to the Monterey Peninsula

monarch butterfly migration comes to montereyThis week’s Old Monterey Inn Blog is a tribute to the beautiful Monarch, and the annual butterfly migration through the Monterey Peninsula!

The Monarch Butterfly is one of the more stunning creatures in nature, and here on the Monterey Peninsula, we have the extreme fortune of being one of the stopping spots on the butterfly’s annual migration south. Every year, as many as 10,000 Monarchs stop at specific spots in the area, most notably the Monarch Grove Sanctuary on Ridge Road in Pacific Grove.

The monarchs arrive to us starting in October, with the majority of them here mid-November through March. This perfect butterfly habitat consists of mainly Monterey Pines and Eucalyptus trees. The beautiful creatures cluster together to keep warm, and then when the morning sunlight hits them, they open their wings and create a stunning display of color! The Butterfly Sanctuary is free, and guests are encouraged to take photos and video!

Holding to tradition, Pacific Grove (also known as Butterfly Town, USA) celebrates its annual Butterfly Parade and Butterfly Bazaar on the first Saturday of every October. In addition there is also a Historic Home Tour that opens up classic Victorian homes in Pacific Grove for people explore!

Traditionally, during this joyous and whimsical occasion, local grade school children will don costumes specific to the grade they are in. Kindergarteners wear the iconic butterfly costumes, second grade as otters, third graders in traditional Native American garb, fourth graders as pioneers, and fifth graders as clowns!  Let’s call it a Carnival of sorts. The Butterfly Parade begins and finishes at the Robert H. Down School on Pine Avenue and follows Fountain Ave, Lighthouse Ave, and then finally 17th Street. The Butterfly Bazaar begins as soon as the parade concludes.

We would love to welcome you to our award winning Monterey bed and breakfast for your accommodations while you’re enjoying the butterfly migration. Also, we would so enjoy seeing your photos of the various Monarch Butterflies you encounter by sharing them on the Old Monterey Inn Facebook page or our Trip Advisor listing!


One of our Favorite Monterey Events: Monterey County Fair is Here!

Monterey eventsThe Annual Monterey County Fair is this Labor Day weekend 2012! Actually, the fair begins Wed., Aug. 29th with Kid’s Day as all kids under 12 are free on Kid’s day! Then, Thurs., Aug. 30th is Senior’s Day & Dollar Day. On Fri., Aug. 31st, we honor our Military with a day where all active and retired military enter free with valid ID. The Junior Livestock Auction Events will be occurring on Sat., Sept. 1st. Then, on Sun., Sept. 2nd is Fiesta Day, and the fair ends with Picnic day on Labor day! For a complete and detailed list of events each day, see the daily schedules.

As always, the Monterey County Fairgrounds will be hosting a myriad of shows, rodeos, cowboy bootcamp, contests, carnival rides, concerts, family entertainment, and after-hours fun, and much more for all ages to enjoy! For all information regarding one of the best Monterey events, the Monterey County Fair website has it all. 

Here at the Old Monterey Inn, a favorite Monterey bed and breakfast getaway, we are big fans of community events that bring people from our neighboring, agricultural towns and cities together. If you are in town staying with us or have future plans to do so, check out what’s going on for the week! Enjoy the Fair, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Cannery Row while you are in Monterey. We look forward to seeing you!  

Engaged at our Romantic Getaway in Monterey!

romantic getaway in MontereyThe Old Monterey Inn is popularly regarded as a romantic getaway in Monterey for many couples celebrating anniversaries, weddings, and even engagements.

As a matter of fact, on Saturday, July 21st, Joel Hamilton and Paula Prakash stayed in our lovely and romantic Brighstone Suite. That night, Joel found the perfect moment to propose to Paula, and she said “Yes”!  She was so excited that she sent us an email with a darling photo of her and her new fiancée.

We feel honored that people choose to spend such special moments with us, and we take every opportunity to ensure a memorable occasion for all of our guests, including couples desiring a romantic Monterey getaway. Best wishes to Joel and Paula!

Monterey County Celebrates 20th Annual Winemakers Celebration!

monterey county b&bWith so many events around the Monterey Peninsula, wine tasting at our outstanding wineries of Monterey County deserves to be high on the list! Few people realize that Carmel Valley, which is just a few short miles from our Monterey B & B, is home to 39,300 acres of vineyards, which produce grapes for 83 wineries (per WinesVinesData).
The heart of the tasting rooms for Monterey County is located in the tiny village of Carmel Valley about 12 miles off of Highway 1, and luckily enough, Monterey County’s 20th Annual Winemakers Celebration is coming on Saturday, August 11th from 1 to 4 pm at the Barnyard Village Shopping Center in beautiful Carmel is the location which will host over 40 Wineries providing 150 wines. Great food, live music, and awesome scenery await you! Lawrence and I definitely want to join you there!
If you want to make a weekend of it while you are enjoying the Monterey County Annual Winemakers Celebration, we would love to have you stay at our luxury Monterey County b&b while rooms are available!

Happy Birthday Monterey!

Monterey Peninsula b&bThis weekend will mark the 242nd birthday of the wonderful City of Monterey! Our beautiful city is actually one of the most historic locations in California; Colton Hall is where the State of California was born. Monterey served as the Capital City under both the Spanish and Mexican flag from 1777 to 1846. The U.S. flag was ultimately raised over California at the Customs House next to famous Fisherman’s Wharf, less than a mile from our Monterey bed and breakfast! The city of Monterey boasts California’s first theatre, public building, public library, publicly funded school, printing press, and newspaper! At our Monterey Peninsula B&B we offer brochures to a self-guided walking tour called the Path of History, which starts just down the street. The California State Park system also offers fully guided tours of these same attractions. For tour schedules please call (831) 649-7118.

We would love to share more information with you! Come visit us soon at our romantic Monterey bed and breakfast!