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Overview

Whenever I think of Pacific Grove, I picture the girl next door. Often travelers pass her by on their way to Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur, but this idyllic "Butterfly Capital of the World" draws a loyal following of repeat visitors. Lured by gingerbread mansions, perched precariously atop Pacific-facing cliffs, a bike trail along the purple flowered coastline, fresh sustainable seafood, deer resting near your front door, world famous golf courses, and of course, butterflies, travelers find Pacific Grove to be the perfect antidote to urban chaos or suburban simplicity. The town started as a church camp gathering spot beneath sea sprayed tents ...

Whenever I think of Pacific Grove, I picture the girl next door. Often travelers pass her by on their way to Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur, but this idyllic "Butterfly Capital of the World" draws a loyal following of repeat visitors. Lured by gingerbread mansions, perched precariously atop Pacific-facing cliffs, a bike trail along the purple flowered coastline, fresh sustainable seafood, deer resting near your front door, world famous golf courses, and of course, butterflies, travelers find Pacific Grove to be the perfect antidote to urban chaos or suburban simplicity. The town started as a church camp gathering spot beneath sea sprayed tents and within a few decades morphed into the home to well-restored Victorians, ethnic eateries and art galleries. Meander through Monterey pine-shaded parks; pedal the 17 Mile Drive or to the Monterey Bay Aquarium; spot whales spouting in the distance; or tour Julia Morgan architecture at Asilomar State Park. Or, take off for a day trip to hike Point Lobos, shop in Carmel, or wind along the Big Sur coastline. Pacific Grove enchants, inspires, and doesn't necessarily break the bank.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late summer, early fall