If you want seaside splendor, look no further than quaint Pacific Grove, California. The coastal town is a popular base for Central Coast vacation rentals, and with good reason. Dubbed "Butterfly Town U.S.A," visitors flock here for the annual monarch butterfly migration, as well as for its stately Victorian manses and historic lighthouse. Sandwiched between tony Monterey and affluent Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove has a more vintage, homey feel than its more famous neighbors. John Steinbeck, Janis Joplin, and Frank Zappa all called it home, and a tour of the historic downtown harkens back to a bygone era.
With its location on the gorgeous Central Coast, Pacific Grove is a veritable outdoor paradise. From its famed Monarch Grove Sanctuary - best visited between November and February - to the dog-friendly and wheelchair-accessible Asilomar Beach to Point Pinos Lighthouse, built in 1855 and still the oldest continuously operated lighthouse on the West Coast, to its plethora of city parks large and small, visitors will find myriad ways to enjoy the beautiful coastal hills and blue ocean in this charming California town. So, grab a bike and head down the seaside bike trail!
Although in the cultural shadow of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pacific Grove still offers enough places of interest to keep visitors occupied. The historic downtown features a plethora of Victorian homes, most in great condition. The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History boasts a killer whale skeleton, a native plant garden, and a Central Coast bird collection.
Pacific Grove remains a great base from which to explore the entire Central California Coast. Monterey is just over two miles to the south and boasts the Monterey Bay Aquarium as well as the Monterey Jazz Festival. Less than seven miles away lies picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea, a town that is often on best of lists for its beach, romantic flavor, and art galleries. World-renowned Pebble Beach is also only minutes away. Head here in February for the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am golf tourney and in April for the Pebble Beach Food & Wine fest.
So, whether it's whale watching from a private charter, admiring butterflies as they progress through life stages, or enjoying a nosh at a seaside eatery, this hidden gem is a great spot to explore the outdoors...and Vacasa offers an ever-growing selection of Pacific Grove vacation rentals to choose from!
Photo credit: wolterke via AdobeStock