Monterey of My Own

A view of Lovers Point at Pacific Grove

A view of Lovers Point at Pacific Grove

For a relatively small area on the California Central Coast, Monterey County enjoys worldwide notoriety and a year-round influx of vacationers. For many first-time visitors the wild Pacific shore with its sandy dunes, cypress groves, and verdant valleys supersedes just about anything in nature previously thought beautiful and engaging. No matter how many times I come back to Monterey Peninsula, there is always something to discover in this incredibly rich and multi-faceted region of the Golden State.

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Carmel-by-the-Sea, a Walkable Feast

Street signs in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Street signs in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County, California, is a fairy tale town designed more than a century ago as an artist colony, and indeed it has been visited or occupied by world-famous artists, poets, and all kinds of creative dreamers. Buildings here don’t have numbers but proper names. Gnarly old trees and cascading flowers take over the sidewalks. There are no streetlights or neon signs; therefore the city life is calm and serene, and on every step there is a quaint inn, a charming restaurant, or an alluring art gallery.

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Quail Lodge & Golf Club: A Carmel Valley Haven Unlike Any Other

Golf fairway at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley

Golf fairway at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley

Reaching the half-century mark is a significant turning point for any human being. Often, it’s a time of reflection and renewal: Where have I been? Where am I going?

For the creative folks running Carmel Valley’s iconic Quail Lodge, hitting the 50-year marker seems to have been approached with that same depth of observation. After all, back in the 1960s it had already begun establishing itself as one of the premier go-to havens—a resort tucked away on about 850 acres that included a bevy of trails in the heart of paradise as well as a prominent golf portal that both locals and travelers near and far could appreciate.

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Big Sur: The Sky With Diamonds

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Geographically, administrative or natural borders do not define Big Sur. It is not a town, and population-wise it is the opposite of big. Even its name is an awkward Spanglish combination of “Big” and “South” (from el sur).

And yet, this enormously beautiful wild stretch of land on the Central Coast of California is on every self-respecting traveler’s list.

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