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A Walking Tour of Pacific Grove Parks

On 23 October 2018, my brother and I took some time off our busy work schedules. That day, we visited the city of Pacific Grove. This quiet city is located in Monterey County along California's central coast.



Not wanting to spend a fortune, we decided to embark on a walking tour of some of the city's 28 parks. This activity was suggested for visitors in the Pacific Grove website.

A photo-mosaic of my Pacific Grove visit
A photo-mosaic of my Pacific Grove visit


Parking in Pacific Grove

The first order of the day was to find a good parking spot. While there are many parking spots in Pacific Grove, most of them are limited time spaces. We did find a 24-hour parking lot bounded by 15th Street, Fountain Street, Lighthouse Avenue, and Laurel Street. For more information about parking in Pacific Grove, click here.

Courtesy Visit: Pacific Grove Town Hall

Before we embarked on our walking tour of Pacific Grove parks, we made a courtesy stop at the Pacific Grove town hall. The Pacific Grove town hall was built in the tradition of classical Victorian architecture. It's classic look lives up to the fact that 75% of homes in Pacific Grove are listed in the national registry of historical places. That's 3 in every 4 buildings in this quaint and quiet town. Here's a fun fact: the city has more historical houses per capita than any other city in the state of California.

Town Hall at Pacific Grove California
Town Hall at Pacific Grove, California


First Stop: Elmarie Dyke Open Space and Chautuaqua Hall 

The Elmarie Dyke Open Space is actually the fifth stop in the Walking Tour of Pacific Grove Parks map. We made this the first stop of our Pacific Grove parks walking tour since it was closest to our parking spot. This open space was actually built to enhance the historical Chautuaqua Hall. Chautuaqua Hall was built by the Pacific Grove Retreat Association in 1881. The building is a listed as a state historical landmark. It hosts many dance classes to this day.

Chautuaqua Hall at Pacific Grove California
Chautuaqua Hall 


The Elmarie Dyke Open Space truly enhances the aesthetic appeal of Chautuaqua Hall. On the day we visited, several flowering plants were in full bloom. The rustic benches and gazebo gives the park an old world feel.


Elmarie Dyke Open Space at Pacific Grove California
Elmarie Dyke Open Space 
Elmarie Dyke Open Space at Pacific Grove California
Elmarie Dyke Open Space 


Second Stop: Caledonia Park 

Caledonia Park was but a simple community park. It had a children's playground, a well-manicured grassy area, public restrooms, and the Thomas Richard Stillwell basketball court. 

Caledonia Park at Pacific Grove California
Caledonia Park 

Caledonia Park at Pacific Grove California
Caledonia Park 

Third Stop: Chase Park

Chase Park is a simple park with trees and benches. By this time, I am amazed with how much greenery there is around Pacific Grove. Many of the parks are actually simple gardens or mini-forests. But a lot of them is a refreshing retreat from the urban jungle.

Chase Park at Pacific Grove California
Chase Park 


Fourth Stop: Lovers' Point Park

Among the bigger parks and more frequented parks in Pacific Grove is Lovers Point Park along the ocean. It's not really hard to figure out why people love to visit this park. For one, the ocean breeze and views is a real draw. A lot of amenities are also available in the space. There are businesses that offer tourist activities. Food is available in various stalls and cafes. 

Lovers Point Park at Pacific Grove California
Lovers Point Park 


Fifth Stop: Perkins Park 

Perkins Park is best described as a landscaped garden along the coastal trail in Pacific Grove. 

Perkins Park in Pacific Grove California

Perkins Park 

Sixth Stop: Esplanade Park 

Esplanade Park is another of those parks with just benches and trees. This park though has good views of the ocean. It is also a very quiet spot in town.

Esplanade Park in Pacific Grove California
Esplanade Park 

Seventh Stop: Point Pinos Lighthouse

Point Pinos Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the west coast of the United States of America. The lighthouse has been in operation since 1855. The Alcatraz Island Lighthouse is actually older by 8 months. However, it was replaced by a military prison in 1909. It was unfortunate that we visited on a Tuesday. Public access to the lighthouse is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Eighth Stop: Railroad Way 

From the Point Pinos Lighthouse, we proceeded to the Southern Pacific Railroad Right-of-Way Trail. From 1889 to 1971, the Southern Pacific Railroad operated the Del Monte Express train service. The route was from San Francisco to Pacific Grove.

We had a funny moment midway through the trail. This was when we discovered a trail caution. The sign indicated that mountain lions have been seen around the trail in the past. Somehow, this explained the presence of many deer in the area. Deer is a prey of the mountain lion.

Midway through the Southern Pacific Railroad Right-of-way trail in Pacific Grove California
Midway through the Southern Pacific Railroad Right-of-way trail 

Ninth Stop: Monarch Grove Sanctuary 

Pacific Grove is dubbed as "Butterfly Town, USA". This is because the city is an overwintering site for monarch butterflies. The town's Monarch Grove Sanctuary is actually a dedicated space for monarch butterflies. Too bad, we haven't seen a lot of monarch butterflies during our visit. We've been told the peak butterfly population would be around Thanksgiving.

Monarch Grove Sanctuary at Pacific Grove California
Monarch Grove Sanctuary 


Tenth Stop: Jewell Park 

Jewell Park was our final stop at Pacific Grove on October 23. The park features a gazebo, restrooms, and a well-manicured lawn.

Jewell Park at Pacific Grove California
Jewell Park 
Right across Jewell Park was the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. We visited the museum prior to our final stops at the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce and Jewell Park. The museum featured an outdoor garden, and various displays of flora, fauna, and local history.

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Facade of the museum

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Outside the museum

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Mountain lion replica inside the museum
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Grizzly bear display at the museum

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Outdoor garden at the museum


Eleventh Stop: Andy Jacobsen Park 

On the second day of our Pacific Grove mini-vacation, we stopped at 3 more parks. The first stop was at the Andy Jacobsen Park. This was the suggested starting point of the walking tour map. A very simple park with a single bench facing the ocean. We couldn't find the granite marker described on the walking tour guide.

Andy Jacobsen Park in Pacific Grove California
Andy Jacobsen Park 


Twelfth Stop: Berwick Park

A wide grassy area that is well-maintained characterizes Berwick Park. A few sculpture pieces also adorn the park.

Berwick Park in Pacific Grove California
Berwick Park

Thirteenth Stop: Greenwood Park

Before we returned to Lovers Point Park, we made a stop at Greenwood Park. Greenwood Park is undeveloped land. It's main feature is a old wooden footbridge over a creek or ravine. 

Greenwood Park

Greenwood Park

Other Stops at Pacific Grove

During our visit to Pacific Grove, we also visited the Steinbeck cottage along 11th Street, Steinbeck's grandmother's house, The Beach House Cafe, and The Grill at Lovers Point. We also marveled at some church buildings and many of the historical houses in town.


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About Thaddeau II Engaling

Brothers Janus and Thadz document their travels around the United States and occasionally around the world.

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