12 Unforgettable Things to Do in Pacific Grove, CA

Pacific Grove is a charming little town off of the Pacific Coast Highway. Located near Monterey, this town is filled with dollhouse-like Victorian homes and buildings and is affordable to spend a few days in. Pacific Grove is the perfect destination to head out to if you would rather travel around by foot or bike since everything is within walking distance from each other.

In this guide to the area, you’ll find the best things to do in Pacific Grove for an unforgettable visit

Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.

Ocean Views in Pacific Grove CA

Take a moment and spend a few days out in Pacific Grove, enjoying the sunshine, the sounds of the waves off the beach, and good food, of course.

Guide to Pacific Grove, Ca

Best Restaurants in Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove has a variety of delicious restaurants you can sit back and relax for a while, enjoying amazing food.

Passionfish 

  • Address: 701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA

For nearly two decades, Passionfish has been serving locals sustainable seafood in their family-owned restaurant. They offer small seasonal plates and entrees, and dishes include smoked trout ceviche or a Dungeness crab salad.

Their wine list is breathtaking, offering over 400 local and imported wines that are all close to the retail price.

Poppy Hall

  • Address: 589 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 

Comfort food is all you need when you’re on vacation, and Poppy Hall has it. They offer an outdoor patio that is perfect for enjoying the afternoon sun, or you can enjoy their cozy dining room. They are only open for lunch and brunch, and their menu reflects those options, including salads and super crispy fries.

Jeninni Kitchen and Wine Bar

  • Address: 542 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 

If you’re looking for a coastal Mediterranean feel that features a menu inspired by Greece, Spain, the Middle East, and North Africa, then Jeninni Kitchen is where you need to go. They offer delicious food that will leave you wanting more, and they have an abundant wine list that you can choose from a glass or bottle option. Book a table on their website.

Julia’s 

Address: 1180 Forest Ave Suite F, Pacific Grove, CA 

Vegetarians need a place to eat too, and Julia’s is hands down one of the best spots. Their variety of food is a vegetarian’s dream, we’re not talking just salad and pasta here, and the servers are friendly. Locals recommend trying their fried mushrooms or orange chicken. You can check opening hours here.

Wild Fish Restaurant 

Address: 545 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA

Wild Fish is a little on the expensive side, but some things you need to treat yourself. They have an indoor seating area and an outdoor patio, plus their menu tells you where all their food is sourced. Their seafood is locally sourced, and sometimes they even offer live music.

Their main star on the menu is their seafood, so if you’re not a seafood fan, maybe look elsewhere.

Ocean Views in Pacific Grove CA

Fun Things to do in Pacific Grove

If you decide to spend a few days in Pacific Grove, here are fun activities that your entire family will love doing.

Asilomar State Beach 

Address: Sunset Drive, Pacific Grove, CA 

Explore this beach, which is now an official state park that sits along the Monterey Peninsula. Along this beach, you will find thousands of marine species that you can observe but not disturb. The beach is accessible by a one-mile pedestrian trail that will wind you through the dunes of the beach.

This beach isn’t as big or accessible as other beaches in the area since it does have a lot of rocky areas and is a protected landmark.

Lovers Point Park 

Address: 17th Street, Pacific Grove, CA 

Lovers Point is a popular destination for swimming, fishing, surfing, and picnicking. The four-acre park has a large grassy area and sandy beaches for miles.

There is a children’s swimming pool and a volleyball court, plus a restaurant and a snack bar. It is a great location to go and hang out with the entire family to relax and enjoy nature, and you might also catch a wedding since it has the best backdrop.

Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove CA

Point Pinos Lighthouse 

Address: 80 Asilomar Ave, Pacific Grove, CA

The Point Pinos Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast. It was built in 1855 and had been guiding ships along that Pacific coast for over 160 years. Currently, the lighthouse still uses the same lenses and prisms as when it was first built.

Locals and visitors can head to the lighthouse Thursday-Monday to get tours and enjoy this cool part of history. Sometimes they even host special events.

Monarch Grove Sanctuary  in Pacific Grove CA

Monarch Grove Sanctuary 

  • Address: 250 Ridge Road, Pacific Grove, CA 

This nature preserve is the habitat for thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies over the winter. The area is filled with dense eucalyptus, cypress, and pine trees that create the perfect shelter for the butterflies.

The arrival of the butterflies is usually in October, where you can see them clustered together in the trees. While this sanctuary is small, it is among the most amazing Pacific Grove attractions to walk through and enjoy.

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History 

  • Address: 165 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 

Established in 1883 by naturalists John Muir and Louis Agassiz, the museum is one of the many interesting things to see in Pacific Grove. It caters to what is primary in the region, local fauna and flora.

Exhibits include wildlife, birds, plants and geology with displays of over 400 bird specimens and over 100 plant species that are native to Monterey County.

Your entire family will love learning a little more about the life that surrounds them when they step into this museum.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Pacific Grove, CA

Sea Breeze Inn and Cottages 

The Sea Breeze Inn is a cozy and charming cottage one mile from downtown Pacific Grove and the beach. Most rooms include a small kitchen, table, and seating area. They are pet friendly and offer fireplaces inside of their rooms.

Sunset Inn

Originally a landmark, the Sunset Inn has been renovated to be a luxury inn. Their rooms include wooden floors, fireplaces, a small kitchen area, and a two-person whirlpool tub. The hotel is also within walking distance to the Point Pinos Lighthouse.

Centrella Inn 

This stunning Victorian Inn is pet friendly and offers a complimentary breakfast for all guests. All rooms have Victorian era décor with old fashion claw-foot bathtubs and antique furnishings, and period art pieces.

The Inn also holds an early evening social hour with wine and fresh-baked cookies, plus tea and coffee are served throughout the day.

Pacific Grove is the perfect destination to head out to, especially if your family enjoys the outdoors. There are amazing and unique activities for everyone to enjoy, and a lot of them can be educational for the family. After enjoying a day out, you have unlimited options for dining.

Want more info about Central Coast California? Check these other travel ideas!

Where to stay in Santa Monica

Find more Santa Monica accommodation options on Booking.com.

Santa Monica is fairly easy to get around. We recommend renting a car and exploring all there is to see. You can find the best prices on rental cars by clicking here.

When you’re not discovering Santa Monica on your own, we suggest treating yourself to a tour. From private wine tours to kayak and SUP tours, cooking classes classes to tours of celebrity-owned homes, there’s a little something for everyone. Browse all the Santa Monica tours available on Viator by clicking here.

If you want to capture the memories from your trip to Monterey, we recommend hiring a professional photographer. A Flytographer photoshoot is one of our favorite souvenirs from our travels and we want to share them with you!

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