Planning a Trip to Pebble Beach – A Bucket List Trip.

Planning a Trip to Pebble Beach and Enjoying the Monterey Peninsula

Bob and I are both avid, although mediocre, golfers and have been fortunate to have played terrific courses; Pebble Beach has always been at the top of our lists. Our 45th anniversary was coming up, so if we were going to do it, now was the time.

The goal was to plan a fun, romantic getaway that included staying at Pebble Beach for three nights and four rounds of golf at the legendary Pebble Beach courses on the Monterey Peninsula.  We also wanted time to see the area, tour the Pacific Coast Highway, and take in the sights, food, and wine of Carmel, Monterey, and surrounding areas.

Research First:

My first stop was the internet to learn more about Pebble Beach Golf resort and surrounding areas.  I knew we had to stay at the resort to get tee times to play.  Since the resort was exclusive and high-end, I wanted to expand our trip by a few extra nights at surrounding hotels to include more sightseeing without completely breaking the bank.

After a few hours on the internet, I researched the Pebble Beach resort and found out what rooms were available, their room rates, and golf round rates.  Pebble Beach resort offers several accommodations, from traditional lodge rooms to large multi-bedroom condos suitable for families or golf buddies.  I chose the more romantic Casa Polmero Spa Experience with a large king suite, fireplace, and private jacuzzi for three nights, allowing us to play four rounds of golf.  My goal, was to play two rounds on the Pebble Beach course, one round at Spy Glass and one round at Spanish Bay on the north side of the peninsula.

Using a Great Travel Agent:

The rest of our trip would include sightseeing around the Monterey/Carmel area.  Again, I looked for highly-rated hotels with charm and great locations for our adventures.  I planned to stay in Monterey for the first night. Then, after our golf experience at Pebble Beach, we would head to Pacific Grove and stay at the Seven Gables Inn.  This would put us closer to Carmel and the peninsula’s southern end.  With this information in hand, I turned the booking details over to our trusted travel agent Carmen Pelogruto to make the final bookings and arrange for the airfare, rental car, hotel reservations, and a few romantic dinners.

Arrival in San Jose and first night in Monterey:

Monterey Peninsula

Monterey Peninsula

We flew into San Jose Airport at midday from Tampa.  Arriving around 1 pm, we grabbed our rental car and took the scenic route to Pebble Beach.  As we drove through the vast pacific coast farmland in warm sunny temperatures, we couldn’t believe we had to pack multiple layers of clothes to play golf.  The sun was bright, and the fields yielded many crops, from avocados to lettuce.  As we headed to Monterey on the Bay for our first night, we traveled over the mountains and literally through the woods of Del Monte Forest.  Then, the sun disappeared, the temperatures dropped, and we found the area engulfed in a relatively thick foggy marine layer.  What a difference from the ride down the interstate from San Jose.

Enjoying Monterey:

Our hotel was right on the beach at Cannery row called the Spindrift Hotel.  It was in downtown Monterey with many great

Spindrift Hotel - waterfront

Spindrift Hotel – waterfront

Monterey Peninsula restaurants, merchants, and the Monterey Aquarium.   The room was small but overlooked the beach and had a fireplace. Be sure to reserve larger upper-floor rooms for this hotel’s best experience.

After settling in our room, we explored Cannery Row, home to many tourist attractions and novelty shops. In addition, the Monterey Aquarium, restaurants, beaches, wine tasting, and more are all within walking distance.

We visited some shops and then walked along the beach area to take in the sights.  Here we found folks relaxing on the beach and nearby grassy areas, many were bike riding, and others were trying to fish off a few of the piers.  What surprised us was that several people were out in the bay area long-distance swimming.  The water temperatures don’t get higher than about 60 degrees.  Coming from Florida, this was nuts to us, but they were out there swimming through the large kelp beds covering distances of more than a mile—some with support boats, others with none.

After stopping at a wine-tasting venue where I sampled several Napa/Sonoma valley wines, we returned to the hotel to prepare for our first dinner.

A Special Dinner:

We chose to go to a famous restaurant, The Whaling Station, which has been around for many years and specializes in great steaks.  Making reservations before we arrived in town ensured we would get a table.  Eating at one of the more touristy restaurants could be disappointing, but this one had excellent reviews, and we were not disappointed.  Bob had the house specialty steak, and I had Salmon since we were in Salmon territory or close to it.  Both meals were fabulous, and after food, wine, and the house specialty dessert we shared, we headed back for a good night’s sleep as the time change started to get to us.

Tomorrow would be a great day playing at Spy Glass Links Resort and checking into Pebble Beach for our first three-day stay.