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Festivals & Events


Nature: Festivals and Events



Year-round
Historic Garden League Tours
Monterey: 831-649-3364
Thursdays at 10:30am and 1pm
Docent-led tours of historic gardens, including Doud House, as featured in House Beautiful, presented by the Historic Garden League. Tours begin at the picket fence of 210 Olivier St. Cost is $3.50 per person and reservations are encouraged.

January 12-13
Whalefest 2002
Monterery: 831-784-6464
Whale watching, special exhibits and museum tours, plus food and fun, make this festival an educational treat. Free admission, on Fisherman's Wharf.

February 1-Labor Day
"Steinbeck & Ricketts: A Friendship Celebrated" at Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey: 831-648-4800
www.montereybayaquarium.org
A new exhibit highlighting the profound friendship between Steinbeck and innovative marine biologist Ricketts.

March 9
National Marine Sanctuary Annual Symposium
Monterey: 831-647-4255
In-depth discussion of "New Technology Revealing the Secrets of the Sea." Free to the public, this symposium features speakers from MBARI, Moss Landing Research Station, and more.

March 10-11
55th Annual Monterey Gem & Mineral Show
Spreckels: 831-663-2698
The show provides plenty of gems, jewelry, fossils, rocks, equipment, demonstrations and displays.

March 21
Sweet Thursday on Cannery Row
Monterey: 831-372-8512
www.canneryrow.org
Steve Webster of Monterey Bay Aquarium talks about The Sea of Cortez: Then and Now at Hopkins Marine Station Auditorium.

April-September
Guided Garden Tours
Carmel: 831-624-9035
Every other Sunday at noon, join Horticulturist Margo Grych on a free guided tour of the fabulous gardens in the Barnyard.

April 6
Wildflower Photos of Nancy Benham
Pacific Grove: 831-648-5716
www.pgmuseum.org
Retrospective of Nancy Benham's wildflower photographs, from the museum's permanent collection.

April 8
Jellies: Living Art
Monterey: 831-648-4800
www.montereybayaquarium.org
Perhaps the most spectacular display of jellies from around the world, accompanied by human-made artworks (including David Hockney), dance and music. Continues through 2002.

April 18
"The Other Doc"
Monterey: 831-649-6690
www.canneryrow.org
Ed "Doc" Ricketts was not the only marine biologist working on Cannery Row in the 1930s. This talk by Tim Thomas introduces JD Phillips, an influential biologist from the Fish and Game Department.

April 19-21
41st Annual Wildflower Show
Pacific Grove: 831-648-5716
With the collaborative efforts of the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, view over 600 species and varieties of Central California wildflowers.

April 20
Earth Day at Earthbound Farm
Carmel Valley: 831-625-6219
www.ebfarm.com
Down on the farm, they celebrate Earth Day with farm tours, bug walks, composting and planting demonstrations, and great activities for kids. Sample organic foods and beverages, too.

April 20
13th Annual Home & Garden and Floral Affair
Carmel: 831-624-8886
www.thebarnyard.com
Stroll through the gardens while sampling food, wine and listening to music. Learn how to Feng Shui your home with flowers,go to the silent auction and more!

April 21
Sea Otter Focus Tour
Moss Landing: 831-633-5555
Take an early morning tour of Elkhorn Slough by boat with marine biologist Robin Duncan, and learn all about our threatened neighbors, the sea otter. Reserve early.

April 27
Wildflower Walk Big Sur
Big Sur: 831-384-1376
The California Native Plant Society leads a daylong walk through very private property: the Rancho Rico, where grasslands and redwoods meet maritime chaparral and hardwood forest. 10am sharp start time; call for directions.

April 27
Wildflower Walks in Carmel Valley
Carmel Valley: 831-372-3196
Come to Garland Ranch Regional Park on Carmel Valley Road for a morning four-hour hike or an afternoon three-hour wildflower walk. Meet at the visitor's center at 9am or 1pm, and bring water; rain cancels.

April 27
A Taste of Spring: Wine and Wildflowers
Joullian Vineyards
Carmel Valley: 831-659-2800
www.joullian.com
This springtime open house features wine tasting, vineyard and wildflower tours and wine sale at the mountainside winery. Bring a picnic and enjoy grand views.

April 28
Dia de los Ninos
Monterey: 831-648-4888
www.montereybayaquarium.org
In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, children are admitted free to a delightful day of music, storytelling, dance and more, all in the setting of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

May-September
Historic Garden Tours
Monterey: 831-647-6204
Take a fascinating tour of Monterey's best-kept secrets. Learn about plant lore, identification, and uses. Tours begin in the Cooper-Molera Adobe courtyard and then proceed to the Larkin House gardens. Tuesdays at 1pm.

May 5
Jeffers Tor House Garden Party
Carmel: 831-624-1813
www.torhouse.org
Annual Garden Party (2:00-5:00pm) featuring music, afternoon tea, silent auction and gifts for sale. Photography allowed this day only.

May 5
Marine Mammal Behavior and Babies
Moss Landing: 831-633-5555
This early morning tour of Elkhorn Slough by boat observes harbor seals and their pups, led by a marine biologist. Reserve early for this once-a-year tour.

May 5
34th Annual Carmel Valley Flower Show and Plant Sale
Carmel Valley: 831-659-9488
Flower displays prepared by different Carmel Valley gardens and nurseries. 10:00am to 3:00pm

May 11
9th Annual Bird-a-thon
Big Sur: 877-897-7740
www.VentanaWS.org
Help raise funds for the Big Sur Ornithology Lab while you help the Ventana Wilderness Society count species of birds in Monterey County. Don't know an eagle from an oriole? Join a docent-led Group Count!

May 11
Tours of Ed Ricketts's Lab
Monterey: 831-649-6690
www.canneryrow.org
The one day in the year when visitors can tour the lab of Ed "Doc" Rickettsrevolutionary marine biologist and friend of John Steinbeck.

May 11-12
Festival of the Winds
Marina: 831-595-7516
www.marinafestival.com
Kite flying, hang gliding, kids' crafts, kite making workshops, demonstrations, and the Fourth Annual Tour de Fort Ord Bike Ride.

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May 14
Ed "Doc" Ricketts Birthday Party
Monterey: 831-649-6690
www.canneryrow.org
A celebration of the life and times of Ed Ricketts, held at Kalisa's La Ida Cafe on Cannery Row.

May 15
"Seafood Choices: What's for Dinner?"
Monterey: 831-633-6565
www.montereybayaquarium.org
Lecture series at the Monterey Bay Aquarium presents chefs, scientists, and conservationists, discussing sustainable seafood. Optional pre-lecture dinner event; seating limited, so reserve early.

May 17-18
Springtime at La Mirada
Monterey: 831-372-5477
Delicious food, guest speakers, and bountiful rose gardens enhance these two days in which local artists display and sell their works.

May 17-19
Cooking for Solutions: Sustainable Cuisine
Monterey: 831-648-4800
www.montereybayaquarium.org
The nation's great chefs join Alice Waters, of Berkeley's Chez Panisse in a delectable weekend of sustainable seafood, wine and organic produce.

May 18
Cooper-Molera Historic Garden Sale
Monterey: 831-649-7118
This is the only time during the year to purchase plants grown from cuttings and seeds taken from the Cooper-Molera historic garden. 9:00am-2:00pm.

May 18
Upper Carmel Valley Birdwalk
Carmel Valley: 831-632-2473
Audubon Society field trip led by Rick Fournier looks for grosbeaks, goldfinches, warblers and more. Meet at Baker's Square (Highway One at Rio Rd.) at 7:30am.

May 18
Mission Trails Birdwalk
Carmel: 831-373-1000
Guided walk through Mission Trails Park, off Highway One near Carmel Mission Basilica, with local bird specialist Rob Fowler.

May 19
Sea Otter Focus Tour
Moss Landing: 831-633-5555
Take an early morning tour of Elkhorn Slough by boat with marine biologist Robin Duncan, and learn all about our threatened neighbors, the sea otter. Reserve early.

June 8
Fremont Peak Birdwalk
San Juan Bautista: 831-632-2473
Audubon Society field trip led by Rick Fournier ascends Fremont Peak in search of bluebirds, wrens, titmice and hummingbirds. Call for information.

June 15
Condors in Big Sur
Big Sur: 831-372-4608
Audubon Society field trip led by Robert Horn accompanies the Ventana Wilderness Society on an outing to observe the newly repatriated condors above Big Sur. Limited numbers, so call to reserve; priority given to Audubon Society members.

June 22
Hidden Gardens Tour
Big Sur: 831-667-1530
www.hiddengardens.org
Musicians and artists are scattered throughout beautiful home gardens in Big Sur. Garden market at Captain Cooper School offers handicrafts and special items to make your garden special.

June 22-September 8
The Pantanal: Brazil's Forgotten Wilderness
Pacific Grove: 831-648-5716
www.pgmuseum.org
This exhibition invites you to discover the incredible natural wonders of the Upper Paraguay River Basin, home to the greatest concentration of fauna in the Americas.

July 20
Steinbeck's Tidepool
Salinas: 831-775-4724
www.steinbeck.org
Steinbeck and The Sea of Cortez, a slide presentation with dramatic readings by The Western Stage.

September TBA
Monterey Bay Master Gardeners Tour
Monterey Bay area: 831-620-1325
Each year, a self-guided tour rotates between bay area communities, with the proceeds benefiting community garden projects in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

September 21
Oceans Fair
Monterey: 831-647-4255
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the National Marine Sanctuary Monterey Bay. Free festival, with entertainment, food, an ocean treasure hunt for kids, and lots of information about our precious oceans.

September 21
International Coastal Cleanup Day
Monterey: 800-COAST4U
Help break the Guinness Book World Record held in California for the most volunteers cleaning up garbage in one state.

September 21-November 17
These Rare Lands
Pacific Grove: 831-648-5716
www.pgmuseum.org
Large format, panoramic photographs highlighting the scenic beauty of America's parks, monuments and battlefields. Traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution.

September 29-30
42nd Annual Monterey Gem & Mineral Show
Monterey: 831-659-4156
Gems, jewelry, minerals, fossils, rocks, equipment exhibits, dealers, children's activities and food.

October 5-6
Monterey Bay Bird Festival
Moss Landing: 831-728-3890
www.elkhornslough.org
Monterey Bay and its surrounding lands offer some of the most spectacular birding on the Central Coast. Includes field trips, workshops, boat trip, kayak tours, dance performances, food and music.

October 5
Butterfly Parade
Pacific Grove: 831-646-6540
Elementary school children parade in butterfly costumes to welcome the monarch butterflies back to their winter home. Community bazaar follows.

November 30-March 2, 2003
Endangered Cultures: Portraits from Tribal New Guinea
Pacific Grove: 831-648-5716
www.pgmuseum.org
A photographic exhibit focusing on the beauty and complexity of tribal adornment in New Guinea's highlandsan island containing over 1200 languages.

December TBA
Stars & Moons Constellation Evening
Carmel: 831-620-8830
www.quail-lodge-resort.com
Enjoy stargazing with the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, warm winter drinks, hot hors d'oeuvres and a delicious buffet dinner.

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