One Time in Monterey

One time in Monterey

Regardless of whether you stay at the Asilomar Conference Center facility or not, you need to take some time to explore Asilomar State Beach.

Asilomar State Beach is a narrow, one-mile strip of sandy beach and rocky coves, with a coastal walking trail. Meander along 24 acres of restored sand dune ecosystem and discover over 450,000 plants, representing 25 species. Located within Asilomar Marine Reserve, all marine resources, animals, rocks, and shells are protected. No collecting or fishing is allowed.

Monterey cypress, Monterey pine, and coast live oak trees make up the surrounding forest. Living here are 90 species of birds…so get out your birding list and find some new ones.

Asilomar’s rich history dates back to its origins as a YWCA Leadership Camp built in 1913. Known as Monterey Peninsula’s “Refuge by the Sea,” the state park is located on 107 acres of state beach and conference grounds, within the quaint and scenic town of Pacific Grove. Asilomar is celebrated for its restored dune ecosystem and architectural significance, with cozy, historic structures designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan between 1913 and 1928.

After exploring the dunes, dust the sand off your feet and hit the road.Thirteen of Morgan’s original structures remain today and constitute her largest collection of Arts & Crafts style architecture in one location. Thirty years later, John Carl Warnecke (best known for John F. Kennedy’s gravesite memorial), created seven more complexes that make up the conference grounds. In 1987, the original Morgan buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Warnecke buildings will likely follow. While updates have been made throughout the decades, the tranquility and harmony found at Asilomar have been preserved.

It’s worth the time to take the 17-Mile Drive through Pebble Beach. One of the most famous scenic drives in the world winds you through the impressive Del Monte Forest and along the mesmerizing coastline. Homes, mansions, golf courses, horses, and again that fantastic Pacific Ocean coast…it doesn’t get much better.

Back toward Monterey, stop at the Fishwife Seafood Restaurant in Pacific Grove for dinner. Local seafood served with a Caribbean accent…it’s all good.

Then, back to the beach to watch the sun set…the perfect way to end One Time in Monterey.