Virtual Guidebook to Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur and Central Coast
Downtown Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove California


Pacific Grove calls itself "America's last hometown". I was fortunate enough to live there for three years and certainly enjoyed the experience, despite the lack of reasonable employment possibilities (I was teaching community college half-time).

Pacific Grove's downtown is compact and quiet, the adjacent neighborhoods packed with Victorian buildings large and small. The weather is always cool but often mildly sunny, and I loved the low-sweeping fog. There are tourists but never crowds.

Monarch butterflies favor the mild climate of Pacific Grove to over-winter on their epic migrations from the Northwest and Canada. Certain groves of pines and eucalyptus have been "butterfly trees" for decades and are protected by local ordinance. One of the main events of the year in this quiet little town is the butterfly parade, held since 1939, when first graders pin on orange wings to celebrate the return of the monarchs in early October.



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Lighthouse Avenue in downtown Pacific Grove

(December 12, 2005)


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Downtown Pacific Grove

(December 12, 2005)


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Historic Holmans Department Store, now an antiques mart

(December 12, 2005)


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Pacific Grove City Hall on Forest Street

(December 12, 2005)


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The restored Chataqua Hall in the Pacific Grove encampment area

(December 12, 2005)


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The Natural History Museum of Pacific Grove

(December 12, 2005)


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Saint Marys by the Sea Episcopal Church

(December 12, 2005)


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