Monterey Peninsula, California, USA

Living on the Monterey Peninsula

Iyna Bort Caruso

On the Monterey Peninsula life revolves around the sun, sea and golf.  Located on California’s central coast, about a two-hour drive south of San Francisco, it is known for its mild weather, foggy summers and clear spring and fall days.

The peninsula is an affluent area with a tourism-based economy. Some call it the golf capital with its 26 public and private courses. A handful of courses in Pebble Beach rank among the best in the nation.

In the late 19th century, the peninsula was discovered by writers like Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Miller and John Steinbeck. They put the area on the map and folks have been coming ever since.

The coastal city of Pacific Grove with its Victorian-style home and quaint downtown is so rich in charm it’s called America’s Last Hometown. Pacific Grove is also known for the monarch butterflies that winter here during their annual migration. For golfers, public course represented a great value. The famous 17-mile drive, a scenic road, snakes from Pacific Grove to another high profile golf community, Pebble Beach. Quiet and secluded, the resort destination counts the nearly century-old Pebble Beach Golf Links, considered to be one of the top public courses anywhere, among its collection of fine courses. Coastal estates here overlook some of the most spectacular scenery on the peninsula.

Nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea has bohemian roots as a former artists colony. Today it’s a high end enclave of galleries, shops and restaurants, and yet it retains a certain quirkiness. There are no street addresses, for instance, and the wearing of high heels is prohibited without a permit (due to irregular street surfaces). Ocean-facing homes in this one-square-mile village on the rugged Pacific coastline is prime real estate. Eclectic architecture includes residences by the likes Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Morgan who designed the Hearst Castle and the fantasy cottages of Hugh Comstock.