Kick Off The Holidays in Monterey!

Join us this season for our favorite holiday events and activities! Save the dates and book your favorite room today!

Christmas in the Adobes
CHRISTMAS IN THE ADOBES

December 9-10, 2016

A favorite local tradition takes us back in time to visit Christmases past in Monterey. Take a candlelit stroll amongst the twenty 19th-century adobes, dressed in period decor and aglow by the festive luminaries. Learn the history behind each of the charming homes, some of which are open to the public for the occasion. Enjoy tasty refreshments and live performances while you celebrate the 33rd Annual Christmas in the Adobes. Tickets are $25 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-17 (must be accompanied by a paying adult), and free for children ages 5 and under. Buy tickets online.

Ice Skating on the Bay
ICE SKATING BY THE BAY

Now through Jan 1, 2017

The winter holidays aren’t complete without a day at the rink! Ice Skating by the Bay returns this year at Custom House Plaza near Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Bundle up in your most festive attire, grab your special someone, and hit the ice with a view of Monterey Bay. Enjoy all month long!

Christmas Dinner in MontereyCHRISTMAS DINNER IN MONTEREY
December 24-25, 2016

Relax this year and leave the cooking to the incredible restaurants of Monterey! Leave the stress of the holidays to the fabulous restaurants in Monterey County! Many local eateries are open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ready to make your holiday one to remember. For Christmas Eve, we recommend the multi-coursed meal offered at Jacks Restaurant & Lounge. They’re also offering an equally delicious menu on Christmas Day. Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar will be open Christmas Day and serving their regular menu as well as a special pre-fixe holiday menu. If all-you-can-eat is more your style, TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency will be offering a decadent Christmas buffet. See the full list of Monterey County restaurants available for your Christmas celebrations.

Big Sur Food & Wine Festival: Three Days of California’s Best Food & Wine

Big Sur Food & Wine Festival

“If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul.” If you’re one to live the good life, there is no better place to do so than at the Big Sur Food & Wine Festival, happening November 3-5, 2016.

Three days and nights of California’s best wines, local cuisine, and unbeatable scenery— does it get any better? Think hiking with stemware, with winemakers and chefs as your guides, touring private properties with ocean views, and of course tasting several food and wine pairings along the way. Every day will provide a different “Magical Mystery Tour,” each with luxury shuttle service and bubbles courtesy of Laurent Perrier Champagne.

Big Sur Food & Wine Fest Big Sur Food & Wine Festival Events wine events in Monterey CA

In addition to your diverse mystery tours, there is a Pinot walkabout, a local marketplace featuring top California chefs, winemakers, and artisans, and an evening dedicated to New Orleans culture, complete with street food and live jazz. You’ll also get to learn from the best with panel tastings and a sommelier dinner. Are you prepared for this amount of fun? Additionally, by attending this festival, you’ll be supporting local nonprofits that benefit health, safety, education, and arts, as well as relief efforts for those affected by the recent Soberanes fires.

With your days packed with outdoor activity, coastline exploration, learning, shopping, and a whole lot of eating and drinking, you’re sure to want to stay nearby and indulge in all the autumn comforts like feather beds and fireplaces. We’re happy to announce that we still have some room left at our luxurious Monterey bed and breakfast this weekend and would love to host any merry festival-goers. Check availability.

Big Sur Food & Wine Festival 2016

All photos courtesy of bigsurfoodandwine.org.

Oktoberfest in Monterey 2014

If you are an October fest aficionado like we are here at Old Monterey Inn, you’ll be thrilled that the annual Monterey Oktoberfest is coming up on September 13th and 14th at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.

As always, this traditional German party is a beer-aplenty, fun-loving, outdoor celebration of fall, good friends, good brews, and good times; starting with the Opening Parade led by Ms. Oktoberfest and the St. Pauli Girls.

This year’s Monterey Bay Oktoberfest has many new fun-filled activities like the Beer Stein Holding Contest, Dachshund Races, Porsche Vintage Car Displays, Sport’s bar with TV and a Jr. Ms. Oktoberfest Contest.  For the kids, a Petting Zoo and bounce houses.

As you browse through the fairgrounds to enjoy select arts and crafts vendors and a great big stein of Munich Oktoberfest brew, be sure to stop and sample the delicious mouth-watering Oktoberfest food: Bratwurst, Calamari, Bavarian-style Turkey Legs, German Pretzels, Apple Strudel and more.

Here’s another wonderful combination: attend Monterey Bay Oktoberfest while staying at the Old Monterey Inn!  Oktoberfest’s festive garden party and the Old Monterey Inn’s serene and breathtaking gardens will provide you with ample opportunity to enjoy a taste of cultural diversity and provide you with a relaxing haven a few miles away from the excitement of Oktoberfest. Advance Oktoberfest tickets are available online at www.oktoberfestmontereybay.com. Old Monterey Inn information and reservations can be found at www.oldmontereyinn.com.

We are excited to welcome you to the Monterey Peninsula as you join the Oktoberfest festivities and indulge in the relaxation, luxury, and elegance of the Old Monterey Inn.

Oktoberfest Monterey

Oktoberfest Monterey

B&B Near Pacific Grove

 

Now is the Best Time for Whale Watching in Monterey

You can’t do much better than whale watching in Monterey – it’s one of the finest places in the world to go on a whale watching trip—we are one of the only places in the world where you can see whales year-round, and where whales swim so close to the shore.  The Monterey Submarine Canyon is as immense as the Grand Canyon and is located not even a mile off shore.  This allows whales to feed in deep water close to shore, much to the delight of eager whale watchers!

From April through December, whale watchers will see killer whales, fin whales, minke whales, humpbacks, and the mighty blue whales—these are known as the summer whales.  If you go whale watching in the winter months (December through April), you’ll see California Gray Whales and dolphins as they travel from the Bering and Chuckchi seas to Baja California, Mexico.   

Fisherman’s Wharf is a 15 minute walk from our Monterey Inn, and you can choose from any number of whale watching companies—we’re happy to make reservations for you, as well!

Many of the whale watching trips leave around 9:00, so you’ll have to be down on the wharf at about 8:30.  You might be thinking, “Oh, no! I’ll miss the delicious breakfast at the Inn!” Rest assured, though, we would NEVER let you leave empty-handed and hungry.  Let us know the night before that you’re out on the town early the following morning, and we’ll prepare a muffin basket for you—muffins, fruit, trail mix, and biscotti to keep you going strong until lunch!

After a few hours on a whale watching boat, you’ll be windswept and perhaps a little tired—though delighted, we’re sure.  Come back to our Monterey bed and breakfast for a soak in your own two-person Jacuzzi tub or book a massage at our on-site spa.  Relax and rejuvenate before wine and hors d’oeuvres from 4-6, and then take a quick catnap before dinner out on the town. 

Stay with us at the Old Monterey Inn, and you’ll combine adventure and luxury, whale watching and tub-soaking! 

Whale Watching in Monterey CA

Experience the magic of whale watching.

Monterey CA romantic getaway

Relax after your whale watching adventure in a beautiful room.

 

Monterey First Night Celebration

Searching for something really great to do on New Year’s Eve? You might want to consider Monterey’s First Night Celebration. It starts at 3 p.m. on December 31 and goes to midnight. There are 25 venues, most indoors, with a theme of Imagine Create Participate. This is the 18th year that Monterey has offered a celebration where art, music, lights sounds and community unite to create a new year. There will be long-time favorite entertainers like the Black Irish Band, I Cantori, Grumbling Ginger and the resolution sculpture – a life size board game – the Game of Life. First Night transforms the streetscapes, parks, buildings, theatres, churches, and concert halls throughout Historic Monterey into a fun and unique celebration site. Check out www.firstnightmonterey.org for the schedule of performers. I know I’ll be there watching the Twilight Procession at 5:30 and taking advantage of all the entertainment and other venues that can be had for only $25 (now that’s a deal!). And I’ll be ringing in the New Year at the Grande Finale!

Monterey Historic Car Races & Cherry’s Jubilee

The 60th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, locally known as ‘car week’, will soon be upon us.  An event that is so popular folks book their lodging as much as a year in advance.   First conducted in 1950, the Concours d’Elegance is often said to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile.  The Concours d’Elegance is quite literally an automotive contest of elegance.  And, as Ansel Adams said, “From a strictly personal point of view, my definition of an elegant car would be ‘the kind of car I would like to be buried in’”.
One of the truly fun events is at the Laguna Seca Raceway, the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion (formerly known as the Monterey Historics) is a celebration of motorsports history that reunites authentic race cars with a world-class track.  You’ll see pre-war Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, and Talbot-Lagos to the more powerful Ferraris, Corvettes, Cobras and Porsches.
This year, for the first time, there will be a Pre-Reunion, a relaxed weekend for the competitors to prepare for their races.  The drivers get valuable tract time to shake down their historic cars, test tires, and have fun with their fellow competitors.  Fans who want to come to the Pre-Reunion and avoid the hubbub of ‘car week’ can participate in this event on August 7 & 8 for a ticket price of $50 per day.  Tickets will only be available for purchase at the gate and include parking.  It’s a chance to see those wonderful old cars up close and personal without fighting crowds.
Cherries Jubilee on September 8-12, 2010 – Dubbed the biggest oldies party of the year, the 18th Cherry’s Jubilee is a motorsport festival that takes place in many areas of the Monterey Peninsula as well as at the Laguna Seca Raceway.  There’s dancing, eating, wine to be enjoyed but most of all there are those wonderful cars (classics, special interest, muscle cars, something for everyone!).

Our romantic bed and breakfast, the Old Monterey Inn, is perfectly located for all these events.  While you’re at it, scroll down and read our earlier blog on experiencing car racing with Skip Barber’s Racing School.  If you’ve a need for speed, that is the place to test yourself!

Wine Tasting from the Old Monterey Inn

I admit it, I’m a wino.  There is just no getting around the fact that I love my wine.  I truly appreciate wine and, yes, on occasion I’ve been known to overdo just a bit.  Monterey County has some excellent wineries and while you are visiting the Monterey Peninsula, why not take a wine tour.  It can be a case of so many wineries and not enough days, so I’m going to talk about just a few but please go to www.montereywines.org  to see the complete list.  The following can be visited by driving yourselves, taking the Wine Trolley or we can arrange for a Luxury Limo so you can imbibe to your heart’s content!
Staying close to home, Carmel Valley offers some very good examples of Monterey County Wines.  We are lucky enough to serve Chateau Julien wines during our Wine Hour here at the Inn.  They have a beautiful winery with lovely gardens.  I especially like their Rosato which is a lovely Rose’ made with Sangiovese grapes.  They make a limited amount and don’t normally offer it at their tasting so be bold and ask to taste it.  Scrumptious served at lunch or a brunch!  It’s also one of the few wineries close by that offers a tour (Mon thru Friday 10:30 & 2:30—Sat & Sun 12:30 & 2:30).
Another really good winery can be found in Carmel Valley Village, Parsonage Village Winery.  Each one of their wines is remarkable and don’t miss out on their spiced pecans, irresistible!
If you are interested in staying organic, try Heller Estate Winery.  They are very knowledgeable about the art of organic viticulture!  Ask to try their Toby’s Port, yum.
If you favor Pinot Noirs, which like our climate here since it’s nice and cool, go to Talbott or Boekenoogen (great name).  And Merlots are pretty darn good at Georis Winery; as is their restaurant The Corkscrew.  Georis Winery and the Corkscrew restaurant are owned by the folks that own Casanova’s Restaurant in Carmel (another one of my very favorite romantic spots).
Below I’ve listed the 2010 Wine Events & Festivals, we hope you’ll find something irresistible and come to stay at the Old Monterey Inn bed and breakfast.  Until then, I toast you all!

2010 EVENTS & FESTIVALS
EVENT ORGANIZATION DATE EMAIL PHONE WEBSITE

The Wine Collector’s Package  Michaud Vineyard: Chalone Appellation, Monterey, L’Auberge Carmel and Aubergine Restaurant  Call to make reservations dbemore@laubergecarmel.com
831.622.5907

Fromage Friday
Come Join Us Every Friday afternoon for a Wine & Cheese Pairing  Taste Morgan  Every Friday at our Carmel Tasting Room     3pm – 5pm     831.626.3700

Library Sunday
Come Join Us Every Sunday and taste wines from Morgan Winery’s Library  Taste Morgan  Every Sunday at our Carmel Tasting Room    2pm – 5pm     831.626.3700

Vintage Affair  Chateau Julien Wine Estate

Sunday, April 18th
11am –  4 pm
The Barrel Room opens for a full day of specialty wine tasting, large format bottles, vertical tastings and much more.    831.624.2600

WINE 101  Scheid Vineyards

May 7, 2010
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Do you love wine but don’t have time to become a Certified Sommelier?  Have we got a class for you!  Wine 101. $50 per person / Vin’s club $40 per person  kim@scheidvineyards.com 831.455.9990

MONTEREY WINE AUCTION & GALA
Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association
Auction proceeds benefit the MCVGF Scholarship Foundation for the children in our community and Ag Researc. (501[c](3) non-profit charity)
Saturday, May 8, 2010
call 831.375.9400 for details    831.375.9400

Winemaker’s New Release Party  Chateau Julien Wine Estate
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The Estate’s “Vintner’s Collection”
5pm – 7pm    831.624.2600

Santa Lucia Highlands Fling
The Wine Artisans of the Santa Lucia Highlands
May 15, 2010
2pm – 5pm
$85 per person
tickets on line at www.santaluciahighlands.com

The Annual E.A.R.S. Fundraiser
Wild Things
May 15, 2010
heather@wildthingsinc.com
831.455.1901 ext. 3

Sycamore Cellars GRAND OPENING
“Grand Opening of the Sycamore Cellars Tasting Room”
May 29, 2010
cyndi@thesycamorecellars.com
831.674.5670

Wine & Cigar Dinner
Chateau Julien Wine Estate
Friday, June 18, 2010
Reception: 6:30pm, Dinner 7:30pm
831.624.2600

ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT at
Bayonet/Blackhorse Golf Course

Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association (MCVGA)  Golf Tournament

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Your chance to play golf with a winemaker!    831.375.9400

WINEMAKERS’ CELEBRATION  Winemakes’ Celebration at the Custom House Plaza  Saturday, August 7, 2010    831.375.9400

Harvest Dinner  Chateau Julien Wine Estate
Friday, September 24, 2010
Grape Crush: 7pm, Dinner: 8pm    831.624.2600

GREAT WINE ESCAPE WEEKEND

Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association
Various locations throughout Carmel, Carmel Valley, Monterey and Salinas  Friday through Sunday                         November 12 – 15, 2010    831.375.9400

Holiday Spectacular Chateau Julien Wine Estate

December 5, 2010 ~ 2:30pm – 5:30pm
The Choral Project, founded by Artistic Director Daniel Hughes in 1996, has developed an international reputation for performing high-level choral literature and bridging the gap between text and music, singer and spectator. Come and hear the 48-voice ensemble in the Chai – Spectacular!   831.624.2600

Valentine’s Day Love Story

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day which is right around the corner, I thought I would share with everyone my romantic love story.  When I was 17 and at one of those notorious high-school-friend parties, I met the love of my life.  He was 19 and oh so tall and handsome!  We spent many wonderful years together during which the Draft for Vietnam loomed darkly.  Finally, Teddy, decided to enlist in the Navy to try to avoid Vietnam.  Off he went to Basic Training and then was stationed on an aircraft carrier for 2 ½ years.  He was just about to come home on his first long leave (30 days) after 3 years when his leave was cancelled and he had three days to report to Vallejo, California, for Special Forces training to be on a River Patrol Boat in Vietnam.  Of course, we were shattered.  I was able to spend time with him during his training but always the dark shadow of Vietnam loomed.  We were engaged to be married and so afraid of what the next year would bring.  As it turned out, Teddy survived the long, frightening year in Vietnam but our relationship did not.  Due to family and other outside influences, we didn’t get married.  I have to tell you, though, that I loved him all my life.  I thought of him every day over the last 40 years and when I was at my darkest, I would sit down and write him a letter pouring my heart out (of course, I never mailed the letters).  We both married others and lived our lives as best we could.  Two years ago, after I had been divorced  for several years and I knew that Teddy was also divorced, I sent him a birthday card.  It took a while but he finally contacted me.  At first, we just talked for hours on the telephone and made plans to get together.  As time went by we realized just how much we really did belong together but here I was in California and Teddy was in Florida.  Hence the 5, 6, 7 hour daily phone calls for four long months.  So, we started to plan a trip driving from Florida to California.  It would take 2 ½ weeks and we would go through Alabama, Louisanna, Texas, New Mexico & Colorado.    I can tell you that it was magical.  By the end of the trip we knew that we should have never been apart and that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together!  Today, Teddy and I are partners at the Old Monterey Inn and we both glow with happiness.  On November 2, 2009, we had dinner at Fandango to celebrate what would have been our 40th wedding anniversary.   We can testify that storybook romances do happen and people can feel an overwhelming love and connection.  Romance is definitely always in the air at the Old Monterey Inn!

Elkhorn Slough

Sometimes you just want to be outside and one with nature. I can testify to the serenity and an abundance of wildlife you’ll find. Whether you go early in the morning, at sunset or by moonlight, whether you kayak or hike, Elkhorn (pronounced slew) is an outdoor adventure. You can watch sea otters, sea lions, seals, brown pelicans, American avocets, cormorants, egrets, terns, falcons and more in this tidal slough and estuary on the Monterey Bay. The Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of the San Francisco Bay and provides a habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including more than 340 species of birds (go to www.elkhornslough.org/birdlistTOC.htm for a complete list of birds) and is one of the premier birdwatching sites in the Western United States. Elkhorn Slough is a great place to kayak for the beginner or the experienced. It will give you the opportunity to get a closer look at harbor seals while they’re napping along the mudflats and the sea otters while they float and play right along side your kayak. You can rent kayaks from www.montereybaykayaks.com or www.kayakconnection.com. Both companies have an extensive list of tours guided by naturalists. Just another one of Nature’s extravaganzas offered by the Monterey area!

Father’s Day Excitement

What man doesn’t love automobiles! When they watch the Grand Prix car races or the Daytona 500 they dream of that experience of speed. Now you can make his dream come true. John ‘Skip’ Barber, a Formula One race car driver, started the “Skip Barber School of High Performance Racing’ in 1976. One of those schools is located in romantic Monterey at the Laguna Seca Speedway. Your man can spend his day learning how to be a race car driver while you luxuriate at the Old Monterey Inn with some of the best Monterey spa treatments. Then you’ll come together for an evening of romance at one of the top restaurants in Monterey. Maybe you’d like to combine experiences the next day and do some Monterey Bay kayaking and see the harbor seals and sea otters up close. I’m thinking a Gift Certificate for the racing school combined with a Gift Certificate for lodging at the Old Monterey Inn would just about top any father, husband or son’s list for the ideal gift. Give us a call and we’ll help you make his dreams come true.