Sunday

Cyclocross on the Central Coast

Cyclocross on The Central Coast
     On your next trip to Monterey bring your bike and check out the Cyclocross action on the central coast. I went to the race out at Ft. Ord yesterday and there was good competition on a good course. So if you are just coming into town for a family getaway or a golf tournament or whatever and need to get your two wheel fix. Bring your Cross bike or even your mountain bike out and you can race cross.
What is Cross Racing
      Cyclocross was invented in Europe to allow road racers to race during the wet rainy season off road on road bikes with knobby tires. The course is usually 1 - 3 miles per lap and the races last from 30 to 50 minutes. So it's a good enough time for the pros to have a good hard race but short enough for the beginners to have a good time and start thinking about their next race. You can check out the local schedule of events for information from http://www.cccxcycling.com/2011CROSSPAGE.html to get information and directions to the events. So when I say this is off road don't think it's a mountain bike race in fact many people race cross on converted road bikes. So the course is much smoother than a mountain bike course with less drops and not as many technical climbs.
Bring Your Bike To Monterey
     So next time you are in the Monterey area for a visit and your husband is golfing why don't you come out in the morning for a race against some new competitors. Or when your wife is out shopping with her friends you can spend a couple hours out at Fort Ord racing and checking out that next new bike you want to get. Or if you are just a local road or mountain bike racer that wants to extend their season cross is the perfect thing for that. See you at the races.

Wednesday

Holiday Inn Express Monterey

The Holiday Inn Express Monterey
     The Monterey Holiday Inn is located at 443 Wave St. Monterey, Ca. 93940. Which is just a couple minute walk off of the world famous Cannery Row that Steinbeck wrote about all those years ago. Not to mention the bike rentals and kayak rentals at the beach. This Holiday Inn is not a cookie cutter hotel by any means at all. It's built in a two story building and the staff is very helpful and seem to be always cheerful. The rooms are clean and quiet which is much appreciated when you are on vacation especially if you have small children which a lot of people are bringing for weekend trips.

Holiday Inn
     One of the nice things about the Monterey Holiday Inn is though it's not a cookie cutter you still know what to expect when you stay there. You don't expect five star amenities however your rooms will be clean and neat for a reasonable price and it will always be that way. The best thing I can say about this hotel is it's always clean, neat  and always the best value this close to everything Monterey and Pacific Grove has to offer. So on your next trip give it a try, you will probably come back over and over again.

Sunday

Monterey Jazz Fest

The Monterey Jazz Fest is coming
     Monterey will be hosting the Monterey Jazz Fest at the Monterey Fairgrounds from Sept 16-18 don't forget to get your tickets. One of the great things about the Monterey jazz fest is they have something for everyone from well known bands like Huey Lewis and The News to local bands that you haven't heard unless your from around these parts and have been to some of their local shows. There will be 500 artists on 8 stages continuously for 3 nights and 2 days. You should be able to get your jazz fix. You can get your tickets here. So go out to the Jazz fest and have a good time.
Where to stay for the jazz fest
There are many options for hotels for the Jazz fest. If you would like to see the Aquarium and Cannery Row while you are here than I recommend my list of Hotels near the Monterey Bay Aquarium, also since we are getting so close to the date of the jazz fest and this is a very popular event in Monterey you might also check Salinas hotels if you can't find any rooms in Monterey or just to save a little money.

Monday

Monterey Bay Aquarium Discount

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Discount
     The Monterey Bay Aquarium is probably the best Aquarium in the United States if not the World. They have the best displays of the species we all want to come look at,  and ooh and ahh over. They always have new events going on such as the Great White Shark or Jazz at the Aquarium.  But the Monterey Bay Aquarium ticket prices can be a struggle for large families. They charge $29.95 for an adult and $19.95 for kids 3-12. So, how can you get a discount to the Monterey Bay Aquarium?
Discount Tickets to The Monterey Bay Aquarium
     Since the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non profit they don't offer too many discounts themselves, like a lot of businesses do. However there are several ways to get a discount to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Students get $2.00 off the ticket price.
  • Military active and retired Discounts, members of the military whether they are active duty or retired, becuase let's face it are you ever really out of the military once you go in? May purchase tickets at the Naval Postgraduate School, Information, tickets and tours office. 1 University Circle, Building 220, Rm. 126A  Monterey, Ca 93943  phone 831 656-3223
  • Auto Club Discounts Triple A or AAA is offering a discount of $2.00 off a normal admission price to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Now I know everyone says it's only $2.00 but hey if you are taking a family of six that's a little bit of cash.
  • You know that big Entertainment book that your parents used to buy when you were a kid with all the coupons inside and you wouldn't use them all. Well now if you can find the 2007 San Jose Entertainment Book on Amazon at the link above and  and  it has 4 five dollar off coupons that are still good today not a bad deal. So this can save you a little money off the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Another option to find this book is Ebay as they have a lot of these books as well good luck.
  • Hotels, Motels- Most of the hotels on my list of Hotels Near the Monterey Bay Aquarium offer a deal of 2 Adult Tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium valid for two days with your hotel stay. One of the nice things about this is that you get to enter through the member entrance and not wait in the long line. I do mean long on a holiday weekend with a new opening attraction. That's worth it right there. That's about the best deal going here.
  • The member program. The membership price is $175.00 and you get unlimited entries for one year for two adults and 2 children or grandchildren age 3-21 so if you will use it that can be worth your trouble.
  • Another option is Craigslist. Many people in the local area get Aquarium tickets for free or a reduced cost through their Church, Work, or Social Organizations yet can't find the time to go to the aquarium or they have been many times before. So do a search on the Monterey Bay Area Craigslist for Monterey Bay Aquarium Tickets and Chances are you will find some for free on their. Most people may have been a million times but don't want the tickets to go to waste either. In fact right now there are 5 free tickets up on Craigslist right now just for picking them up.
      So, if you are willing to look around there are ways to get a discount and ways to get in a little cheaper or if you are coming from out of town ask your hotel if they have a Monterey Bay Aquarium deal most of them do so you may as well get it. Your staying there anyway. Have fun at the Aquarium.

Saturday

Monterey Vacation Rentals

Stay In a Monterey Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel
      One option for Monterey lodging is to stay in a Monterey Vacation Rental. Some of the benefits of staying in a vacation rental over a hotel or motel is that you can actually save some money. Now, I know what your thinking hey some of those places go for over $200.00 to $300.00 a night. How can I save money at those rates. Some of these Monterey vacation rentals have space for six or even up to eight people. So if you are going with a group of relatives or friends or whatever then the cost split up can be much cheaper than you all getting hotels. If the cost is $300.00 a night and you have six people staying there then it's $50.00 a person or $100.00 a couple per night not bad for a place in Monterey. You can find places either in town or near the beach whatever you need. A lot of people like to get their Monterey Vacation Cottage near the Monterey Bay Aquarium if they are planning on visiting and some vacation home owners even offer free passes to the aquarium when you rent from them.
Great things about Monterey Vacation Rentals
     There are many positives to renting a vacation rental over a hotel if you have a large group but some of the other positives are that you are staying in a house. That comes with no banging of doors late at night or elevators running at all hours. Not to mention that most vacation rentals are in neighborhoods so you see the local vibe of the community and if you stay for a week or so you will probably meet the neighbors. Other positives are you won't be parking your car in a parking garage it will either be in front of your vacation rental or in the garage. Typically vacation rentals are much larger than hotels and you can spread out a little more. Usually what I see people do is rent  a couple different places over the years until they find one they really like and then they go there year after year as a family trip. That's what my family did when I was a kid and we always looked forward to it year after year. Another way to save money with a Monterey Vacation Rental is that you can actually go to the grocery store and buy food and fill that normal size refrigerator with it. Then you don't have to eat out every while you are here just on the days that you want to or that your budget will allow. Some of the disadvantages of renting a vacation rental are it's not a hotel and doesn't have a maid service. So those dishes from last nights dinner need to be washed just like you were at home. The rental also has to be left clean when you leave so you need to clean up a little on the last day where in a hotel you can leave a huge mess and just walk away. However these are the only downsides.
How Do I Rent a Monterey Vacation Rental
     If you want to do it on the web one of the best places I've found is Vacation Rentals By Owner which is a website where you can rent vacation rentals all over California,  you just pick where you want to rent and it will show you the listings and prices. Another option is Craigslist under housing you can  go to the section on vacation rentals and you are set. There will be many different options on Craigslist to choose from. Another option is to talk to your circle of friends and see where they have rented in the past because chances are if your friends had a good experience chances are so will you. If you take their advice and rent the same place they did and have a wonderful time buy them a bottle of wine while your here from a local winery to show your appreciation. Renting a vacation rental in Monterey is just another option of many that you have on your Monterey Vacation. Have fun on your stay.

Friday

New Great White Shark at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Great White Shark In Captivity at The Monterey Bay Aquarium
     The Monterey Bay Aquarium now has a new resident in their recently refurbished million gallon outer bay exhibit it's a juvenile Great White Shark. Great White Sharks are very difficult to hold in captivity usually. Several aquariums have had problems getting their captive sharks to eat or even live more than a few days or weeks. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has had several successes with their white shark program. This White Shark will be their sixth one over the years. It was only recently put into the tank and it's still being watched closely to monitor how it acts around it tank mates and to see if the White Shark will eat normally. The Captive Great White Sharks that they have had in the past have usually been older sharks. This one was recently caught off the Southern California Coast and the Biologists at the Aquarium think it's only a couple months old due to it's size. Usually the Great White Sharks That they Monterey Bay Aquarium catch eventually have to be released due to their size or how aggressive they are. Most of them are juveniles so this one may be able to stay around a little longer since it's starting out a little smaller. So if you get the chance this weekend head out to The Monterey Bay Aquarium to check out the Great White Shark. Since your going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium you may as well check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Discount page and see if you can get a discount.
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