Have yourself a sandy little Christmas. Walking in a winter wonder beach. Jingle Sea Otters, Jingle Sea Otters. Chestnuts roasting on an open bonfire. Did those “remixes” of classical holiday tunes conjure up an image of a “Coastal Christmas”? I sure hope so because the holiday season on the Monterey Peninsula doesn’t stray too far from my spin on those holiday favorites. Well, maybe just a little – but in the best possible way. Do you have your seat belt on, because this sleigh is on its way to holiday fun in the Monterey Bay!
The details of Christmas are often the best, right? So let’s starts with the sights of Monterey that will greet you all throughout your Christmas journey. Look up next time you’re in Monterey and while walking through Seaside and Pacific Grove. In Monterey you’ll find decorations on the streetlight posts of the major streets. From beautiful angels to garland, Monterey never disappoints. Seaside also dons their streetlights with words of “Hope and Peace”. Wait until dusk settles to make your way through Pacific Grove – the trees lining the main street (Lighthouse Avenue) will suddenly flick to light and the small city is brought to life with a magical glow of clear lights on the buildings and trees. For the best indoor display of holiday cheer – check out Macys in Monterey located at the Del Monte Center. And while you’re there, stroll the center – you’ll be able to find Santa’s workshop, a glorious tree and decorations all around!
Monterey County is known for being a classic. And the holidays are no exception. On the November 25, Cannery Row is home to the annual Christmas Tree lighting. This year it begins at 6 p.m. Also, located at the fairgrounds is our Christmas tree legend – Cardinale & Wright Christmas Trees offers some of the best picks when it comes to picking the perfect tree. After you’ve picked up your tree and you’ve seen Cannery Row’s being lit – head up the hill to Candy Cane Lane! Morse Lane is decorated from head to toe in holiday splendor. The center of this quaint neighborhood is a must see – trains, Ferris wheels and cutouts of favorite cartoon characters line the grass. Each house on the blocks that are Candy Cane Lane brings its own unique design – some are keeping it classic with just light displays while others are bringing it up a notch and adding tributes to fallen soldiers, nativity scenes, Elvis and a giant nutcracker! Candy Cane Lane opens the first weekend of December.
For something new – try ice skating at Custom House Plaza in Monterey! The rink is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Price of admission is $12 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under plus a skate rental fee of $3. Also in Monterey is the infamous Christmas in the Adobes. Adults ($20) and children ($2) can visit historic downtown Monterey and jump into a live history lesson of Christmas customs of the past. Indulge yourself in Pacific Grove with Christmas at the Inns on November 29 and 30. For $20 per guest, you can explore some of the most beautiful and classic inns that Pacific Grove has to offer. If you’re staying through the New Year – be sure to check out First Night Monterey, a festival that spans throughout Monterey and showcases dancing, art, theater, musicians and various booths that last until the wee hours of the morning. A must see for first time Monterey visitors!
You may now remove your seat belt – it is now safe to move about the sleigh. I hope this quick trip down the coast for a little holiday fun brought you closer to a feel of our slice of the North Pole. If you’re in town this holiday season be sure to bring your jacket and Santa hat! Have a very happy holiday season, readers!