Monarch butterflies are considered the "king" of the butterflies. Pacific Grove is nicknamed Butterfly Town USA and the city has established the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary to protect the winter home for one of the largest concentration of Monarchs in the country. During the fall, these butterflies migrate from areas west of the Rockies to the sanctuary. Each winter visitors come to the grove to see thousands of beautiful Monarchs living in the special microclimate of the habitat at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary. The butterflies cluster on the Monterey pines and the eucalyptus trees that provide windbreaks and protection from temperature extremes. When the midday winter sun warms their wings, they leave their clusters to fly among the branches. This is the best time for viewing. For more information, check out the sanctuary website and Pacific Grove Monarch Conservancy websites.
The name fits. Lovers Point Park is both a grassy park and a sandy beach, and it's hands-down the most romantic setting for miles around. It's no wonder this little oceanfront park often sees two or three weddings per day.
Just a pleasant 15-minute walk from Point Pinos Lighthouse, Lovers Point Park sits directly on the water, providing easy beach access for picnics, playtime for toddlers, or access for snorkelers and divers. The grassy park above it includes built-in barbecue grills and wooden picnic tables for a scenic lunch. Public restrooms are available as well.
From the park you get a panoramic view of the bay, with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the background. Nighttime viewing rewards visitors with the sparkle of lights across the water.
Ranked by Golf Digest as among the "Top 50 for Under $50" the Pacific Grove Golf Links has been called "the poor man's Pebble Beach" because the two courses are nearly side-by-side and were designed largely by the same man. Unlike Pebble Beach, however, Pacific Grove is a municipal course with very affordable green fees. The 18-hole course surrounds Point Pinos, including the lighthouse itself. In fact, the clubhouse and entrance are directly across the street from Point Pinos Lighthouse. Visit both at once without even moving your car!
For more information on the Pacific Grove Golf Links, visit their website here, or drive to:
77 Asilomar Boulevard Pacific Grove, CA 93950 Phone : 831.648.5775 Fax : 831.648.5779
The white beaches and ragged shoreline around Pt. Pinos are valuable resources and visitor attractions. They are protected by the State of California as state beaches and marine reserves. This area is characterized by rocky formations along the shore, rock outcroppings offshore, extensive tidepools, and sandy pocket beaches. Visitors come to take photos, relax on the sand, walk the many paths, explore the sea life in the tidepools, and to observe the bird life. Directly off shore is the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, a protected area of the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay, often likened to a marine national park. Our nation's largest sanctuary encompasses 276 miles of the California Central Coast and extends out more than thirty miles in many places. Numerous recreational opportunities such as fishing kayaking, diving, and whale watching are available to the visitor.Tidal and Currents Information
A place to house "collections of nature's wonders" was the driving force for founding the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum (PGNM) in 1883. The focus of the museum remains much the same today with an emphasis on exhibits that present and interpret aspects of the local environment. For visitors, PGNM is a great resource for orientation to nature on the Monterey Peninsula and its surrounding waters. Permanent exhibits and collections as well as special events present key features, history, and elements of the local environment. Visitors can explore the Native Plant Garden and view exhibits dedicated to Native Americans, birds, whales, and mollusks. PGNM is a child-friendly museum and it frequently sponsors hands-on workshops for children and families. For more information on museum hours and adult, family, and child-centered events visit the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum at http://pgmuseum.org.
Walk or bike along the scenic recreation trail ("rec trail" to the locals) adjoining the beach along Pacific Grove's spectacular coastline. This is as close to the water as you can get without getting your feet wet.
The trail parallels Ocean View Boulevard through Pacific Grove and follows Cannery Row through Monterey, making it the ideal path to/from all your favorite destinations. You'll pass Lover's Point, Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and dozens of beautiful Victorian houses, inns, and desirable oceanfront properties.
The trail is open to pedestrians and bicycles only, so it's quiet and safe. You can even rent a pedal-powered "surrey with fringe on top" for families and non-riders.
The beautiful beachfront Asilomar Conference Grounds is a short distance south of Point Pinos. the name Asilomar is "invented" from the Spanish words "asilo" meaning refuge, and "mar," meaning sea, thus "refuge-by-the-sea." Be sure to visit the chapel and conference hall, both examples of the Arts & Crafts architectural style designed by Julia Morgan, noted architect of Hearst Castle. You can take an architectural-history tour of the grounds. Better yet, stay in historic buildings preserved by the California State Parks system.More than half of Asilomar is a preserved area of pristine coastal sand dunes, the Asilomar Natural dune Preserve. Walk the boardwalk and see the dune habitat up close. Take in the views of the ocean and surf from the top of a sand dune. This blend of nature and historic architecture makes Asilomar a special place to visit.
The next lighthouse south of Point Pinos is Point Sur. Just 45 minutes south of Point Pinos along the scenic Highway 1, Point Sur clings dramatically to the ocean-side cliffs overlooking the spectacular Pacific Ocean. Point Sur is not as old as Point Pinos, but it is much larger, with a half-dozen buildings including carpentry and blacksmithing shop, barn, two houses that were shared by the four full-time lighthouse keepers, and more. Join one of the three-hour docent-led walking tours and take a trip back in time and up to the top of "the rock." For tour times, visit the Point Sur website.
Page 1 of 2
Help restore the lighthouse!
Your tax-deductible donation is applied 100% toward restoration materials.
Point Pinos is the oldest "continuously operating" lighthouse anywhere on the Pacific. Technically, it was the second lighthouse ever built (after Alcatraz) but was never demolished or decommissioned. Although Alcatraz is slightly older, its lighthouse was demolished and later rebuilt outside the prison walls.
90 Asilomar Avenue (near Lighthouse Ave.) Pacific Grove, CA, 93950
The Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove, California, is maintained by an all-volunteer staff of restoration experts, docents, and historians. As with all active lighthouses and aids to navigation, the actual electric light itself is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.