Pacific Grove is ideally located for autumn activities. Historically a seaside resort and campground, it maintains its reputation for a temperature climate, clean air and healthy living. You can find golf courses, tennis courts, miles of shoreline and even a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary.
Pacific Grove has a classic Main Street USA feel. The city features old-fashioned charm and beautiful spaces. Its modern focus on green elements, nature and sustainability provides fresh air and makes Pacific Grove appealing to the eye. This is especially true in the cooler months of autumn. Try a Segway tour or farmers market to enjoy the urban areas of Pacific Grove.
Several local businesses in downtown Pacific Grove are participating in First Friday Grassroots events during fall. Events occur on the first Friday of each month from 6 to 9 p.m. Other events, such as the Flavors of Pacific Grove, give you an opportunity to enjoy foods prepared by the great chefs of Pacific Grove at Asilomar Conference Grounds. You can also bid on hundreds of donated trips, restaurant certificates, accommodations and golf packages.
Witness the Arrival of the Monarch Butterflies in Pacific Grove Each Fall
Monarch butterflies arrive in Pacific Grove each October. They cluster together on cypress, pine and eucalyptus trees in Monarch Grove Sanctuary. In fact, this unique monarch migration to Pacific Grove has helped the city earn the nickname, “Butterfly Town, USA.” These magnificent creatures remain in Pacific Grove from November to February.
You can view these winged beauties at Monarch Grove Sanctuary, located at 1073 Lighthouse Avenue. The city park is open from sunrise to sundown, but the best time to see the monarchs is noon to 3 p.m. and when the sun shines brightly on their trees. Access to the Monarch Grove Sanctuary is free.
The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History hosts the Butterfly Ball each autumn. The elegant evening includes fine dining, a silent drawing and dancing. Proceeds from the Butterfly Ball benefit the museum’s interactive monarch exhibit.
Pacific Grove even welcomes the monarchs with a Butterfly Parade, in which schoolchildren wear butterfly wings. The October event has been a yearly event since 1939, when the city passed an ordinance authorizing a $1000 fine for anyone harming a butterfly in any way.
Other Fall Activities in Pacific Grove
Located on the tip of the scenic Monterey Peninsula between Pebble Beach and Monterey, Pacific Grove is a short, but incredibly picturesque drive from Big Sur and Carmel. Miles of shoreline beckon the autumn traveler, offering breath-taking views of Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean and surrounding areas. Pacific Grove is rich in parks, ocean-side trails and attractions that spark to life in the fall.
Visit the oldest continually operational lighthouse on the West Coast, Point Pinos Lighthouse. Set on the jagged rocks of Monterey Peninsula and open year-round, this lighthouse offers spectacular views for minimal cost. The lighthouse is adjacent to the 16th tee of Pacific Grove Golf Links, a classic 1932 golf course partially designed by Jack Neville.
Several beaches dot the area near Pacific Grove, including Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Lovers Point Beach and Asilomar State Beach. These beaches are perfect for kayaking or surfing; you may even have the opportunity to catch some delicious fish for your evening meal.