Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pacific Grove Getaway

Looking for an interesting California getaway? Try whale watching. A whale watching tour can add excitement to any California getaway.

One place you might consider is California's Monterey Bay area. Monterey Bay is situated near the mid-section of California's coastline. The bay not only has a shallow shelf by the shore, it also has an enormous and deep submarine canyon. These extremes in habitats permit a large variety of marine creatures to live there.

The entire Gray Whale population migrates past the Monterey coastline every winter and spring, and are present off Monterey from mid-December through mid-May. This time is also perfect for spotting several species of dolphins and porpoise, as well as sea lions, sea otters and harbor seals.

To ensure a pleasant trip, do be sure to dress in several layers of warm clothes as it can be pretty windy and chilly on the ocean.

There are certainly plenty of places to stay in the Monterey Bay area, but I prefer to stay in Pacific Grove, which is a little quieter and less touristy than neighboring Monterey, yet close enough to enjoy all that Montery Bay has to offer, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Point Lobos State Reserve and Fisherman's Wharf.

Another reason to stay in Pacific Grove is for a chance to see the Monarch butterflies. You see, whales aren't the only creatures you can spot migrating. The beautiful Monarch butterflies migrate to Pacific Grove from October until March, so if you schedude your getaway from January through March, you can witness grey whales in addition to Monarch butterflies. That's right, a 2fer. Oh, and yes, Pebble Beach is nearby too.

Where might you stay in Pacific Grove? One place to consider is the Martine Inn, a 24-room villa built in 1890 that Bon Appetit magazine has considered "one of the best B&B’s in historic homes." The Martine Inn offers authentic Victorian-era antiques, with some rooms boasting fireplaces, claw foot tubs and Bay views. And, it's only 3 blocks from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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