The City of Pacific Grove boasts 28 public parks and acres of open space including: beaches, recreation trails and forest; as well as museums, seasonal events and eco-friendly activities. Visitors are encouraged to park their cars, and travel by foot or bicycle during their stay in Pacific Grove.
The Point Pinos Lighthouse, built in 1855 to warn boaters of the rocks that separate Monterey Bay from the open Pacific Ocean, is the oldest lighthouse in continuous use on the West Coast. Its original Fresnel lens was made in France in 1853 and has shown its beacon of light for over 150 years. The lighthouse is now owned by the City of Pacific Grove and is open to the public.
The Pacific Grove Recreation Trail extends for about one mile from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to Lovers Point. Formerly located on the Southern Pacific Railroad Right-of-Way, the trail has separate walking and cycling paths. It serves as a major walking, jogging and bicycling route along the northeastern coastline of the City. Oceanside paths and benches continue along the coastline for another two miles bringing you up close and personal with the flora and fauna of the Monterey Bay.
The Pacific GroveMuseum of Natural History is a treasure of local wildlife information, with displays of more than 400 species of local birds and animals, special marine mammal exhibits, native plant and flower displays, minerals, Indian artifacts and periodic shows.
Lover's Point Park is a landscaped community park of 4.4 acres. It is used for picnicking, fishing, swimming, water sports, and surfing. Lover's Points’ amenities include a large lawn area, a beach volleyball court, a children's swimming pool. Sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, a concrete pier structure and a snack bar. It is popular for weddings, and is home to the annual Feast of Lanterns pageant and fireworks celebration.
The heart of Pacific Grove is its downtown shopping and dining district, and truly has something for everyone. Art galleries, quaint shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants have made their home in restored Victorians, as well as more modern establishments. Enjoy a meal and a leisurely stroll through this wonderful area.
Asilomar State Beach is a narrow one-mile strip of sandy beach and rocky coves and is a popular place to picnic, surf, explore the fascinating tide pools and enjoy the beauty of Pacific Across from Asilomar State Beach is the Asilomar Natural Dune Preserve. A quarter-mile boardwalk meanders through the 25 acres of restored sand dune ecosystem. Visitors can discover the native plant greenhouse where more than 450,000 plants, representing 25 species, have been grown and planted in the dunes and coastal bluffs.
Arriving in October of each year, the Monarch Butterflies cluster together on the pines and eucalyptus trees of the Sanctuary. Their migration to Pacific Grove is so unique and inspiring that Pacific Grove is nicknamed "Butterfly Town, U.S.A”. An integral part of Pacific Grove's identity, the community has always welcomed the butterflies and stayed committed to their protection. The Monarch Sanctuary is a testament to that commitment with a group of dedicated volunteer docents offering education and enlightenment during their seasonal visits.
Pacific Grove prides itself on its year-round list of exciting and unique events. From the pageantry and fireworks of the Feast of Lanterns, to the historic Good Old Days and the wonderment of the Butterfly Parade there is something for young and old. Pacific Grove also offers a multitude of additional events including car shows, community concerts, cycling events, triathlons, nationally recognized wildlife and wildflower shows and so much more.
Step into the salt kissed air of Pacific Grove and discover the myriad of recreational activities available. Visitors can hike, bike or jog along the ocean's edge. How about kayaking or scuba diving in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary? There are over 20 outdoor parks/spaces and beaches to enjoy, as well as a dog park, tennis center, and several family-friendly parks.