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Pacific Grove, Monterey County Travel Guide

Pacific Grove Summary


  • Serene setting with famous beaches and nature reserves
  • More affordable than nearby towns (especially Carmel)
  • Famous as a breeding ground for Monarch butterflies, which flock here during winter
  • History as an artists' community
  • A few museums, shops, and restaurants


  • Most shops, restaurants and museums are far from hotels
  • Less happening than neighboring Monterey

What It's Like

Located right at the end of Monterey Peninsula, Pacific Grove is known for its undeveloped beachfronts, diverse wildlife, and history as an artists' community (it's been a hub for artists since the latter part of the 19th century). The town's popularity grew steadily as word of its clean sea breezes and abundant wildlife spread. Today, the town's geography makes it quieter and more secluded than nearby Monterey and Carmel, and it's home to a few museums, shops and restaurants that support the thriving tourist industry.

The town takes pride in its commitment to preserving its famous natural attractions. No development of any kid is allowed directly on the water, which has left beaches and scenic points completely unspoiled. One of the area's biggest draws is the Monarch butterfly breeding grounds, which flock to the protected area from late October until mid-February.

Where To Stay

Taking advantage of Pacific Grove's natural beauty is easiest for anyone who stays close to Asilomar State Beach (many hotels are right on Asilomar Boulevard). This also makes taking in the area's famous sunsets very easy. Many of the lodges further inland on Jewell Ave also offer a peaceful setting for visitors looking to relax.

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