Pacific Grove is a small town that lies on the California coast, between Monterey and Santa Cruz. Boyfriend and I have visited there every year, for the past…eight years, I think. It's calm and friendly and beautiful – what you'd like a good friend to be.
The buildings there are lovely, many dating from the late 19th century (even the liquor store is built in a pseudo-Victorian style), there are bike paths everywhere – which made us wish we'd brought our springer-seat beach cruisers along, kittehs – loved and content – come up to greet you as you walk by, all streets lead to the ocean…the atmosphere is happy and creative.
BUT. Pacific Grove's claim to fame is Butterflies. Millions of monarch butterflies undertake a remarkable migration to the warmer climates in California and Mexico every year starting in the Autumn. No one really knows how they know to make this flight – they only live long enough to make the migration once. One of their favorite stops is in Pacific Grove. How can you not ADORE a place that has an annual Butterfly Parade? Local school children dress as butterflies, march in butterfly formation, carry signs and banners welcoming the butterflies…THAT's good stuff!!
There is also a Butterfly Sanctuary there, where the butterflies congregate. When the sun shone through their wings, they looked like little pieces of colored glass. I saw two meet in mid-air, and they spun in a circle, as if they were dancing. I can't recommend this place enough.
Just outside of the town is Asilomar Beach. Boyfriend is a surfer, so he had to try his luck. Personally I don't like it, because the waves can be trecherous and there's no lifeguard on duty, but I guess that's just me being all concerned and girly. Anyway, this is a picture of him, making the lonely trek down the beach, so the rip current will carry him to the spot that he really wanted. I was so terribly relieved when he was done… because we could then have breakfast.
What? I was hungry!