California Cities


Pacific Grove in Monterey County, CA

Pacific Grove has long been known as the Butterfly Capital of California, and the locals call it "Butterfly Town U.S.A.". The groves of trees seasonally have been filled with orange and black Monarch butterflies, beautiful winged creatures that flutter and cling to the branches of the trees and groves.

While migrations of butterflies have been down in recent years, the city continues to honor them with a parade and a delightful statue of near the Pacific Grove post office. because of the annual migration of the Monarch butterfly. The beautiful orange-and-black winged Monarchs arrive in October and spend the winter in Pacific Grove. The butterflies that come to Pacific Grove are a new generation.

The Monarch Grove Sanctuary is located on Ridge Road. Thousands of migratory Monarch Butterflies cluster in the sanctuary from October to February. The population peaks around Thanksgiving and the butterflies' mass mating is around Valentine's Day in mid-February. Volunteer docents welcome visitors each butterfly season from approximately Noon to 3 p.m. daily except Fridays. The docent program is a joint project of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and Friends of the Monarchs. For more information call 831-648-5716, ext. 5.

As a year round destination what really captivates travelers, however, are the beaches. Overlooking the Monterey Bay, the beaches in Pacific Grove have incredible rock formations smoothed by the winds, water and sands of time. A paved beach path runs along the shoreline, and it is here that you find people strolling hand in hand, walking a pet dog, riding a covered surrey bike, or jogging for exercise.

Asilomar Beach is one of the most beautiful places to watch a sunset and as water from the Pacific Ocean spills over the rocks, and the sun drops down behind the rocky coast with a golden glint.

Things to see:

Point Pinos Lighthouse is locate on the Pacific Grove municipal golf course where you can play, as long as you don't mind the occasional deer roaming and munching on the grass lawns overlooking the ocean.

17 Mile Drive is one of the most memorable drive tours on the California. Pacific Grove has an entrance gate to the 17 Mile Drive, which is highly recommended for its vistas, photo opportunities, and glimpse into spectacular golf courses and beaches. Road markers and a map you are given at the entry gate provide all you require to find your way into the world and lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-see attraction. A world class aquarium built right into one of the historic old Cannery buildings offers a window into the world of the Monterey Bay.

Cannery Row shops and dining offer fun souvenirs purchases, gourmet to affordable cuisine, and a walk that includes statues and markers providing a history of the region.

Pacific Grove was founded in 1875 as a Methodist Church Summer Retreat. It was incorporated as a city on July 16, 1889, and became a charter city on April 22, 1927. Pacific Grove was the last "dry" town in California. The sale of alcoholic beverage was prohibited within the city limits until 1969 when the City Council repealed prohibition.

Events: Feast of Lanterns - For over 100 years the city has celebrated a cultural event with beach party, fireworks, a Queen & her court and more. It is usually held in July.

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