It sits on the most spectacular part of the Peninsula coast, sandwiched neatly between the overly pretentious Pebble Beach and the more sought after tourist destination of Monterey. Pacific Grove gets very little notice but it is just as fun and interesting as any of the other towns found around the bay.
It was founded in 1875 by a group of Methodists who thought the area would be perfect for a meditative center and retreat. That spit of land seen in the above photo is known today as 'Lover's Point' but the legend has it that it was first named, 'Lover's of Jesus Point'.
In those early days and well into the 20th century, any swimming done along this beach was done in full attire.
I have seen old pictures of women wading in the water wearing ankle length dresses and great plumed hats while carrying parasols in one hand and a baby in the other.
Additionally, the town was gated (to keep out the heathens?), no liquor was allowed within the city limits (until very recently), no smoking, and no dancing. I cannot be sure if it is true or not but the town supposedly had an ordinance forbidding the closing of curtains on all front windows until after 9 pm--the assumption being that you were hiding something if you closed them too early.
So, with a history like that, you can be sure the town is quieter than most. But it also prides itself on having more Victorian homes, per capita, than any other town in the US. It was also the set for the Tom Hanks movie, 'Turner and Hooch'
It is now the home of many artists, writers and naturalists--and the Monarch Butterfly.
Each winter the beautiful Monarch returns to a small grove of trees in the heart of Pacific Grove, by the thousands, to find a mate and perform the eternal dance of procreation.
Pacific Grove's shoreline is spectacular and easily accessible. There are no barricades, fences or houses on the beach to keep you away. Parking is plentiful and driving along the waterfront is slow and relaxing--no one seems to be in a hurry on this part of the peninsula.
Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.
Dec 31, 1943 --Oct. 12, 1997
His plane crashed into the water just off this coast.