The One Northern California Town That’s So Perfectly Quintessential Coastal
Who doesn’t love a charming small town? Pedestrian-friendly, close-knit, and exuding their own unique vibe, they draw you in. No matter where you are in the country, there are some that are “so ____” (you fill in the blank). That’s what you’ll find in the coastal California town of Pacific Grove. Come along as we explore a little slice of what it has to offer residents and visitors alike.
Located on the northern coast of California just a stone’s throw north of Monterey, Pacific Grove is the quintessential coastal California town.
Exuding a classic Main Street feel with an upscale vibe, it is one of the most charming spots in The Golden State. Prior to its official incorporation as a city in 1889, Pacific Grove was intended to be a summer camp (in tents, no less) as part of a Methodist Christian seaside resort. Today, this town of just over 15,000 denizens draws folks from all over the country to experience its charming, pedestrian-friendly, “Main Street USA” ambiance.
Visitors and residents alike love the small town feel that hearkens back to an earlier time and place.
A central community meeting place is Jewell Park. Encompassing a block, the park is brimming with verdant trees, a gently meandering landscape, an inviting lawn area, and a gazebo. Outdoor cultural performances, weddings, and other special events often take place here.
First put into service in 1855, the Point Pinos Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the west coast.
Given the topography of the rocky California coastline here, a lighthouse was definitely necessary to warn boats and ships before they came too close. Sebastian Vizcaino, a Spanish explorer who came here on an exploratory mission in 1602, is said to have named the area Punta de Los Pinos (Point of the Pines) as a reference to the thick pine trees found in the region. The name stuck and was used for the lighthouse.
One of the most popular beaches here is Asilomar State Beach.
Extending just one mile and encompassing several rocky coves, the beach is accessible by a walking trail. The views are absolutely spectacular, particularly at sunrise and sunset. You can also traverse the Asilomar Natural Dune Preserve via a quarter-mile-long boardwalk to gain a greater sense of the ecological diversity here.
Pacific Grove is heaven on earth for foodies.
From quaint mom ‘n pop owned bistros to upscale A-list restaurants of every stripe—Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Greek, French...the list goes on—and everything in between, Pacific Grove is sure to satisfy. Because the town is located along the coast, you’ll also find plenty of fish and seafood places where the focus is on sustainability and freshness.
Pacific Grove also features a wide array of inviting accommodation options.
Whether you prefer a quaint bed and breakfast inn, a family-friendly budget hotel, an intimate cottage property, or luxury lodging, you will find it here.
Amazing golf, exciting shopping, lively events, and historic structures are also part of the landscape here. Whether you come for a day or a long weekend, Pacific Grove will pull you into its quintessential coastal California town vibe and leave you wanting more!
Have you been to
Pacific Grove? If so, we’d love to see your photos and hear about your experiences there.
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