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Best Activities And Restaurants In Pacific Grove, California

Updated on September 18, 2015

Pacific Grove

The beach city of Pacific Grove, California looks like a quiet little town. What you see on Lighthouse Avenue,the main street, is only the surface. Pacific Grove, P.G. as the locals call it, is a town of back streets. Forest Avenue is home to little clothing boutiques, Pavel’s bakery and, Grove Market. Walk through the parking lot of Grove market to Fandango’s. or Joe Rombis.

This little town is rich in history and places to explore, museums, antique stores a historic lighthouse and dancing on Saturday night are just a few activities to explore. You can enjoy the sheltered beach, fishing, bicycling talking to the local people. Best of all enjoy the various restaurants. Whether you are looking for a quiet romantic get away or a family vacation Pacific Grove is a great place.

Say "beach " and I am there. I love Pacific Grove beach, but it is not Hawaii. Pack like you are going to the snow when you head to Pacific Grove if you are from someplace that gets warm during the summer.

Sunny April Afternoon In Pacific Grove

PG Beach On A Sixty Four Degree Day. When the sun comes out the locals go to the beach.
PG Beach On A Sixty Four Degree Day. When the sun comes out the locals go to the beach. | Source

Misty Summer Afternoon

Walkway along the beach in Pacific Grove.
Walkway along the beach in Pacific Grove. | Source

Autumn Morning

Tireless Sea Kayaking
Tireless Sea Kayaking | Source

Weather Is A Significant Part Of Any Visit to Pacific Grove

Northern Californians who live on the coast have a completely different thermometer than most people in the United States. They put shorts on when the sun comes out and sunbath if the temperature is above 60 degrees. The mean temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit year round. A really hot day will be 72 degrees. Mark Twain once said,"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". Pacific Grove is about 90 miles south of San Francisco.

A couple of blocks from the ocean can be significantly warmer than right at the water. You may feel perfectly comfortable wearing shorts and a tee shirt in one part of town and wish you had a sweat shirt in another. Swings from day time to nighttime temperatures can be as much as thirty degrees

Fall and Spring are the most lovely times of the year in Pacific Grove. The weather is frequently sunny and in the 70's. Winter weather is frequently distinguished from summer only by rain. Generally speaking you can freeze on the ocean and sweat a few miles inland. When going to the coast of Northern California always bring a coat.

17th Street Grill



Arriving just after noon we were in search of a pleasant place to eat. Our tour this particular day began with a stroll up 19th Street, The locals are friendly. Our tour guide introduce us to his next door neighbors. The couple make fish mobiles out of plastic. They were taking an incomplete projects to their big kiln. The next stop was the Red House Cafe to examine the menu. This restaurant was highly recommended, but not what we wanted. Across the street from the Red House in Pacific Thai Cuisine. It is a tiny hole in the wall with excellent food, but not what we wanted. We walked up the street to the 17th Street Grill. The Food at the 17th Street Grill is very good. You can have a burger and fries, salad or a wrap and feel wonderfully satisfied when you're done.The outdoor patio is a great place to sit around the fire pit. The fire pit on the glassed in patio makes it a pleasant place to eat even a chilly day. After a delicious lunch we continued walking up Lighthouse Avenue. A stop in Trouters Antiques revealed an amazing assortment of high end antiques. Mrs.Trouter has been selling Antiques for may years in Pacific Grove. The ladies who run the store are a wealth of information on the history Pacific Grove. I am going to say this again. The locals in Pacific Grove are a friendly group. Always delighted to tell you about the area. From Trouters, we walked to Forest Avenue and turned downhill and toward the beach. We passed one of my favorite restaurants Peppers. Fresh Mex, the the food at Peppers is always good. Friday and Saturday nights there is usually a crowd. The smell just walking past is enticing.

Tessuti  Zoo, a fun little craft store on Forrest just west of downtown
Tessuti Zoo, a fun little craft store on Forrest just west of downtown
Tessuti Zoo
Tessuti Zoo


Tessuti Zoo a little craft store with fabric and craft kits is on Forest Ave. Small and interesting stores like this are scattered throughout Pacific Grove. Walk up Forest Avenue from Lighthouse Avenue and you will find thrift stores and boutiques, Pacific Grove has 12 thrift stores you can find the map of them at Saint Vincent de Paul on Forest or Saint Mary's thrift shop. The Grove Market (they make fresh salsa every Friday and Saturday is up the street from Saint Vincents, across the street from Pavel's bakery. There are no big stores downtown, the Del Monte Mall is a shor

Cannery Row and The American Tin Cannery Outlet stores are about a mile north of Pacific Grove along Ocean, down the street from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Bring walking shoes. Pacific Grove and the surrounding area are best suited to walking. Parking can be difficult especially on the weekends.

When you think you've seen it all there is another interesting little niche to investigate that would be missed if you were driving..

Looking For A Place To Stay

Whether you favor hotels or Bed and Breakfasts, for a small town, Pacific Grove has a nice variety My favorite Bed and Breakfasts are the Centrella Hotel, and Seven Gables. The Centrella is more than 100 years old with quit a history. The Centrella is close to downtown. Another historic group of buildings The Seven Gables has an amazing view of the ocean. Whether or not you stay in the these wonderful places I recommend you visit them. They are exquisite. The proprietors are usually willing to tell you the history of these properties. These are Bed and Breakfasts. If you are looking for a more hotel like place to stay The Lighthouse Lodge and Suites has a charm of its own. You might even walk outside and see the resident reindeer.

Visitor Center

Visitor Center
Visitor Center | Source

Visitors Center

At the corner of Central and Forrest is the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. The Chamber of Commerce is a good place to find out about local activities. Weekend evenings you can frequently find live music and dancing around town. While your getting information at the Chamber of Commerce be sure to take a picture with the bronze statue of John Steinbeck.Check out the Chamber of Commerce on their website and be delighted and amazed.

Entrance Pacific Grove Museum Of Natural History
Entrance Pacific Grove Museum Of Natural History

Behind The Museum


Museum Of Natural History

Monarch Butterflies return to Pacific Grove every November and hover around the butterfly plants along the cliffs until November. Monarch Butterflies some of the towns most celebrated visitors have their own sanctuary. The Museum of Natural History is a wonderful place to learn about these beautiful creatures. This busheling museum has something for everyone. There are educational programs. You can learn about California Indians, local animals and their habitats, rocks and minerals. The Carmel Valley Gem and Mineral Society meets there along with other nature affiliated organizations The suggested donation of $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children his is really a worthwhile stop on your exploration.

Toad Hall heritage home
Toad Hall heritage home

Heritage Houses

As you walk around P. G. look for the heritage house signs. Each one has a name and the year the building was constructed.To be a heritage house the house needs to have been built at least one hundred years ago. You can see names like Toad Hall and Ross House on 19th Street. We began our walk on 19th Street and Pacific. We walked east toward downtown. Artists live throughout PG and many of them are really fun to talk with

Walking Path Leading To Monterey and the Aquarium

Seven Gables Inn is the yellow house you see in this picture.
Seven Gables Inn is the yellow house you see in this picture.

Rails To Trails

When you are done walking around Pacific Grove you can walk to Cannery Row and the Aquarium.. The walking trail that connects P.G. to Monterey was once the railroad track use ship Sardines from the canneries. Rails to Trails some years ago converted the old track to a wonderfully paved bicycling and walking trail. This trail follows the coast line up to Fort Ord and California State University Monterey Bay nearly 10 miles. So bringing your bicycle is another thing you might like to bring with you.

PG Beach On A Fifty Degree Day

Bicycle Parking Overlooking Beach
Bicycle Parking Overlooking Beach | Source

The Gem of Pacific Grove

The beach is the gem of Pacific Grove. Terraced during the great depression this beach with snack bar and children's swimming pool is surrounded by sea walls, which protect it from the wind. The last weekend of July The Feast of Lanterns is held at the beach. This play depicts the legend of how the butterflies came to Pacific Grove.

If you just want to relax you can watch the ocean from above, from the level of the snack bar or go sit on the sand at sea level. Weekend mornings there are frequently scuba divers blackening the beach in their wet suits. This is one of the premier dive beaches in the area. Pacific Grove also has a triathlon in the fall that beings here with the swim.

Most of the places that have been mentioned are places to see on foot. Parking is usually at a premium.

There is always something to do in the Monterey bay area.This is just a summary of things to do in this amazing town. With 28 parks and open spaces, including Point Pinos Lighthouse,Pacific Grove is the place to visit.

Events To Plan Your Trip Around

October: Local elementary school children welcome the Monarch Butterflys to Pacific Grove during this annual parade

Tour: of prime and selected Victorian and historic homes, bed and breakfasts inns and churches.

November: Big Sur Half Marathon.

December: Christmas tree Lightening Ceremony

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk

April: 56th Annual Good Old Days Celebration

July: Feast of Lanterns

September: PG Triathlon

Even the Dogs Dress For The Occasion

Jingle Bell Run
Jingle Bell Run | Source

Sports Activities

The Jingle Bell 5k run benefits the Arthritis foundation. This 5K, fun run is a family event. Kids of all ages join the fun. There were moms and dads trading off pushing strollers. Grandparents pushing strollers. All ages of people were walking/running their dogs. There were seven year old kids who ran the whole thing way faster than I did. In the holiday spirit nearly everyone wears jingle bells and holiday hats. The triathlon and 1/2 marathon are serious here, but this run is purely for fun. Running along the ocean on a cold crisp December morning is exhilarating.

Next running will be December 14, 2013

Pacific Grove also hosts a triathlon in which they pair up with the Wounded Warrior Foundation.

Late Afternoon View From The Beach House

Beach House restaurant patio offers a lovely view of the beach and the Monterey peninsula
Beach House restaurant patio offers a lovely view of the beach and the Monterey peninsula | Source

Personal Favorite Restaurants

Pacific Grove has something to suit everyones taste.

Red House Cafe is a tiny little place that specializes in breakfast, salads, and sandwiches.(The Red House closes in late afternoon) This is a charming place. On another trip my girlfriends and I ate here. We had a vegetarian, two gluten and a dairy free gals.They worked with us and we ate heartily and all felt delightfully full and healthy when we finished,

The Passion Fish is a nice, but expensive French style cuisine.The food is very good.

Peppers for Mexican food. Fresh is the best description of the food at Peppers once you have eaten at this restaurant you find yourself going back again and again. Fish tacos yum. The atmosphere and service is comfortable, efficient and friendly.

Fish Wife Fish restaurant is popular with the locals. They would like to keep it that way. The Calamari is wonderfully thick, lightly breaded cooked to perfection. Oh so yummy.

Joe Rombi 's is a cute little Italian restaurant with a seafood menu too.

Max's The owners are delightful. Born in Tokyo Max is a French trained chef who creates delightful meals.The sand dabs are very good.

Pacific Thai has excellent authentic Thai food. With very good service.

Going down to the beach? The little snack has good hot dogs and hamburgers for a quick picnic on the beach. Exciting news! The restaurant overlooking the beach has been reopened and renamed.

The landmark Lover's Point restaurant the Bath House has been renovated, renamed and reopened. The Beach House has a wonderful heated patio with an amazing view of the beach. The early menu is reasonable and very good. This is a lovely place to meet for cocktails and watch the sunset at a totally affordable price.

Walking Along The Ocean Toward Pacific Grove


Map Of Pacific Grove


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    • Valene profile image

      Valene 23 months ago from Missouri

      Looks like a wonderful, relaxing place! I would love to take a vacation here. I love kayaking and fun, laid back towns.