“I have never been in any place so dreamlike. Indeed, it was not so much like a deserted town as like a scene upon the stage by daylight, and with no one on the boards.” – Robert Louis Stevenson.
Those gracious words, quoted from his book, “The Old Pacific Capitol,” describe Stevenson’s reaction to the town during his late evening stroll in November 1879 after droves of religious worshippers had vacated the town for the season, leaving it seemingly empty in comparison. More than 100 years later, he might use those exact same words to describe this sleepy town.
Pacific Grove Independent Living
With its numerous attractions and activities, and its relaxing atmosphere, Pacific Grove independent living is an easy choice for many. For those who call Forest Hill home, the balance of relaxation and activities continues as one ventures to downtown.
Just half a mile away, within easy walking or biking distance of Forest Hill, downtown Pacific Grove will charm many with its Victorian-era storefront facades, plus small boutiques and gift shops, antique stores, art galleries, restaurants and bakeries.
Places To Eat In Pacific Grove
If you are looking for a great place to eat, you will find more than 60 eating establishments in Pacific Grove, many of them downtown. Here are a few that any “Pagrovian” might enjoy:
- Passionfish serves dinner only, offering American and seafood menu items, including vegetarian friendly and gluten-free options.
- Red House Cafe serves brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner and has a late night service. Its menu includes American, cafe, soups, contemporary, vegetarian friendly, with vegan and gluten-free items.
- Toasties Cafe, best known for its breakfast, is a casual eatery offering American food for lunch and weekend dinners.
Art Galleries And Studios
Various art galleries and studios are located the downtown area. Studio/galleries offer a distinct opportunity to watch and even chat with artists who are creating their next great masterpiece. Here are a few of the art gallery/studios available:
- Pacific Grove Art Center is considered the jewel of downtown Pacific Grove by many. Unfortunately, it is not currently handicap accessible – anyone visiting must climb stairs. But, the four galleries and 16 artist studios make it worth the effort. The exhibits, which specialize in unknown, local and controversial artists, are changed every couple of months.
- Artisana Gallery features the work of local artists, plus fair-trade items from various countries. Items include pottery, paintings, sculpture, metal arts, photography, jewelry and so much more.
- Hauk Fine Arts specializes in the work of early contemporary and early California artists. The gallery showcases its art, which focuses on Northern California, in an intimate setting providing the viewer a unique closeness to the paintings.
- The Strouse and Strouse Studio/Gallery features the work of local artists, including that of its owners. It specializes in diversified art styles, from abstract to realism, in pottery, paintings, sculpture, photography and handmade jewelry.
Gift Shops In Pacific Grove
If you are looking for a special handmade item to be given as a gift, or if you are looking for something special to enhance your home’s decor, downtown offers many places to search for your treasures. Here are a few to get you started:
- Bana Home Decor & Gifts offers everything you need to decorate your home, including furniture, art, rugs, decor and candles.
- Blessing Boutique features the work of local artists. It offers antiques, furniture, home decor and trinkets.
- Tessuti Zoo is a fabric store come to life. The displays contain all sorts of fantastical creatures and beings, both large and small, made from thousands of fabric swatches. The store is an explosion of color, texture and fabric, a veritable feast for the eyes.
Other Things To Do Around Downtown
The downtown area has many other activities and markets you might enjoy, including:
- Pacific Grove Farmer’s Market provides a wide variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts grown by local small-scale family farmers (70% of produce is certified organic). It also features prepared food, music and artisanal items from local vendors.
- Lighthouse Cinema offers a small-town movie experience while presenting current films at reasonable prices.
- Pacific Grove Public Library is a full-service library with free Wi-Fi.
After a long day of partaking in activities around Pacific Grove, you may want to find a place to sit and chat with friends; or you may choose to curl up alone with a good book. Either way, there are several places you can do just that:
- BookWorks features organic Fair Trade coffees and teas, plus house-made quiche, bagels, burritos and other treats. Check out their bookstore filled with a selection of carefully chosen books.
- Crema is an expresso bar serving locally roasted Verve Coffee Roasters Espresso and Mighty Leaf tea plus brunch, breakfast and lunch. They also offer bottomless mimosas in 5 flavors. It closes at 4, so get there early to enjoy their cozy atmosphere … and the mimosas!
- Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company is dedicated to bringing the finest and freshest handcrafted coffee and espresso beans directly to customers, providing wholesale products created in their certified organic roasting facility. They also serve sandwiches and other light dining treats.
- Jenninni Kitchen and Wine Bar offers a contemporary take on the Mediterranean coast’s sultry cuisines, paired with unique, quality wines and house-made specialty beverages.
As you can see, downtown has much to offer; and we’ve just barely scratched the surface. Check it out for yourself and see why living independently in Pacific Grove is easy and fun. Oh, and if you walked downtown and bought too many things from local shops to carry back, no worries, you can always contact a car service.
Choose from plenty of activities at Forest Hill, enjoy community lounges or venture just a short distance to downtown and create your own unique adventure. The choice is yours! Our caring staff at Forest Hill is here to help you in your pursuit of a living an exceptional independent life in Pacific Grove.