Replies: 23 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2013 12:16 PM Last Post By: willysnoutredux
Dec 4, 2012 7:00 AM
my husband will be attending a Congress in Asilomar Conference Ground on the Monterey Peninsula and we (2 adults, one child, then aged 6) plan to travel together.
Does anybody know the Asilomar Conference Ground? Any other hotels near the Conference Ground that you could recommend?
What is worth beeing seen on the Peninsula?
We would fly to San Francisco, stay in SFO one or two days and then drive to Asilomar. One of the questions is whether we fly back from SFO or L.A.? We visited L.A., Santa Monica, Malibu and Santa Barbara this year...
Your replies and ideas are really welcome!!
Dec 4, 2012 7:50 AM
1What time of year?
If I had my choice, I'd stay at Asilomar itself. This is my standard post on that:
In the Monterey area, you might want to look into staying at Asilomar. It is a part of a protected reserve that is part of the state parks system. It is primarily a conference center, so rooms for travelers are not always available. If you want peace & quiet, this is it. It's a collection of small buildings, set among trees. There are paths to wander and Asilomar State Beach is just over the sand dunes. Deer and other wildlife will wander past your room; birds chirp in the trees. Some of the buildings were designed by the same architect who did Hearst Castle. Some rooms have fireplaces or balconies. Many of the cottages have a common room with a fireplace. Rooms have private baths. There is a heated swimming pool and you can rent bicycles.
It isn't for everyone. Rooms do not have phones or TVs. There is Wi-Fi internet access in the rooms & some common buildings, and a T-1 line in the main lobby. The dining hall is sort of a cross between a restaurant and a college dining hall, but meal packages are optional. Most rooms include breakfast.
Dec 4, 2012 7:54 AM
Dec 4, 2012 8:00 AM
3When are you visiting? There can be a lot of interesting wildlife in the area, but it follows an annual cycle.
Otherwise, look at the aquarium--some people love it, others hate it. Point Lobos State Reserve has interesting flora and fauna. If you can find a babysitter for your child, the Carmel Mission is worth a visit.
If you fly back from L.A. you have an excuse to drive down the scenic coast between SF and LA.
Dec 4, 2012 11:00 AM
4I wouldn't necessarily fly into SFO, Oakland often has better prices, although I cannot tell where you are flying from.
Dec 4, 2012 1:00 PM
5You can see sea otters and possibly gray whales just a short walk from Asilomar. There is great boat-based whale watching nearby. Or you can go on kayaks at Elkhorn Slough and get up close to seals, sea lions, sea otters, pelicans and more.
You can rent a bike and ride to Monterey along a nice path, stopping to enjoy wildlife sightings and tide pools along the way.
Dec 4, 2012 3:22 PM
6Asilomar is in a lovely part of a lovely town, Pacific Grove.
Other nearby lodgings include Pacific Gardens Inn on Asilomar Blvd., the Sunset Inn on Asilomar Blvd, and Butterfly Grove Inn on Lighthouse Ave.
There are days of great activities and sights within twenty miles of these hotels.
What is worth seeing on the Peninsula could fill a book and does at most bookstores.
You don't have to go to LA to see Big Sur. You can take Hwy 1 south for an hour or more from the Monterey Peninsula and turn back around. It is just as spectacular on the return route. I highly recommend Point Lobos State Reserve about five miles south of Carmel.
When will you be in town?
Dec 4, 2012 6:32 PM
7Asilomar's a real treat. There was a time when it wasn't well known, and they'd rent out extra rooms not filled by groups. I was able to get rooms two or three times on that basis, and thoroughly enjoyed it. You'd be utterly foolish to pass up an opportunity to stay at Asilomar as part of the conference, if possible, and afterwards, if possible.
The first thing I'd do if I were you is see if you can extend your stay there after the conference is over. If you can't, then I'd do what #6 suggests and look at the nearby hotels. You should do both of these things well in advance. Beyond that, accommodations range very widely in price, from $75 or so all the way up past $1,000 at the best place in Big Sur. If you (the OP) want ideas, you need to say how much money per night you're comfortable paying, and what your maximum is.
It also matters what time of year.
Dec 5, 2012 2:44 AM
8Thank you for all your replies! Sounds great!!
@all: We will be travelling from Germany and stay at the beginning of June 2013. We would not stay at San Francisco Airport, I meant, we would stay in San Francisco in a hotel, have a tour and drive further to Asilomar and then around. Sorry for confusion...
@ nrclibn: why would we need a babysitter for your child in order to visit the Carmel Mission? Our child is used to make visits with us;-)
Here further questions:
- Do we need a car or is it possible i.e. to drive to the aquarium by public transports?
- Do you recommend to drive to Big Sur and back in one day or is there any reason to stay one night somewhere?
- Are they any restaurants nearby Asilomar, since my child does not eat everything...??
Thank you. I appreciate your ideas and your help and if I could, I would prepare my luggage already now:-)
Regards from Munich!
Dec 5, 2012 4:17 AM
9You;ll need a car for this trip.
Big Sur is about an hour from Asilomar. I enthusiastically recommend it. The view from the cliffs is excellent. Also, you should visit Nepenthe restaurant, which is directly on Hwy. 1. Also, you should visit Pfeiffer Beach. This is not the same as Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Do an online search and/or ask at Nepenthe for directions. To do all of this, leave Asilomar by about 10:30 a.m. and plan on lunch at Nepenthe. Then spend a couple hours at the beach, then drive back to Asilomar. It's an easy day trip.
There are plenty of restaurants within a 10-minute drive from Asilomar.
HAVE A GREAT TRIP
Dec 5, 2012 7:42 AM
10You'd only need a baby sitter for a mission visit if you think your child would be massively bored, or you want to attend a service and you think the child would not be able to sit quietly.
Mission Carmel. There is an admission charge for anyone over age 7. "Many people visit the Mission on a self-guided basis using the small brochure provided as a guide to the history and the grounds." The brochure is available in German.
There is another mission that is definitely worth a detour on the way to or from San Francisco. San Juan Bautista. The plaza in front of it is actually a State Historic Park.
There is a bus that can get you from Asilomar to the aquarium, but you might be happier driving, just for the convenience. Monterey transit.
Dec 5, 2012 9:43 AM
11Rent bicycles in Monterey or Pacific Grove and spend a day biking the 17 Mile Drive to Carmel for lunch & back from Asilomar .There is no entry charge for bikes.
Dec 5, 2012 11:38 AM
12I had pasted this into my post #9 above, but somehow it vanished.
Wiilysnout's Big Sur Diary, 2006
Dec 6, 2012 5:29 AM
Dec 9, 2012 5:43 AM
what would you advise to see between San Francisco and Monterey?
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