California Offers So Much For You To Do
by Scott A. Sumner
When you are a golf enthusiast the name Pebble Beach means one of the best courses in the world. When I had the opportunity to attend the 2008 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am you just had to go. Seeing some of California in February with the cold days of Thunder Bay also seemed appealing to me.
Getting to the Monterey Peninsula of California was easier than I thought with a Northwest Airlines 7am flight to Minneapolis. A 4 hour flight to San Francisco, which with the 3 hour time change, allowed you to land at 11 am. Thats a pretty good connection. Airfares are quite reasonable with my flight costing some $550.00 When you ae going to San Francisco you have to see the city my sister told me and I decided to spend two days touring this beautiful area adjoining the Pacific ocean. The San Francisco airport is large with trams to get you out to the parking and rental car area. My stop at Alamo allowed me to get a 2008 Cadillac SRX complete with portable GPS system. When travelling in a new area I highly recommend paying the extra for GPS. I just punched in my destination ,the boutique Hotel Diva, and got turn by turn instructions right to the doorstep of the hotel. In San Francisco with so many one way streets it was a great idea and I was soon settled into a beautiful ,cool ,hotel. The Hotel Diva, one of San Franciscos first boutique hotels is located right in the heart of the city, near Union Square. Your location is excellent and puts you right in the action of the city.
To get an good overview of the city I recommend taking the BlueLine city tour which is about 4 hours and lets you see much including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Fishermans Warf and the many cultural areas of San Francisco. The downtown area where I stayed had some great retail stores with a huge Macys, Saks 5th Ave and Neman Markus. At Macys you can get a great meal at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant in a large food area on the ground floor. Seeing the sunny weather with many people out in the streets in the hustle and bustle of a cosmopolitan city was fun.
My next destination was about a 2 hour drive up the coast to the Monterey peninsula home of Carmel, Pebble Beach and some tremendous ocean views. Seventeen Mile Dive offers some spectacular views of the Pebble Beach community with its multi million dollar
homes and championship golf courses. Pebble Beach, Poppy Hills and Spyglass are all included in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am rotation of course which includes a large contingent of celebrities and PGA Tour players. The weather was awesome all week and standing out in the brilliant sunshine with the ocean waves crashing in on you at the
18th hole of Pebble Beach is a special experience. As they say in the Mastercard commercials, priceless. The famous Lodge is right on the 18th hole and you can stay here with enough notice. Be prepared to spend some money at Pebble Beach as it is perhaps some of the worlds most expensive real estate.
After my stay at Pebble Beach it was back north to Half Moon Bay a great resort town some 30 miles away from San Fransisco. My stay here would be at the beautiful Beach House hotel located right on the ocean near a marina. This was luxury as my penthouse room included a
fireplace, separate living room area and large balcony overlooking the crashing waves of the Pacific. The wind sailers were out in full force on a beautiful sunny day. A real treat for me was to play golf at the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay. A luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel forms the centerpiece landmark of this truely spectacular course with many holes right on the beautiful Paciific ocean. The setting of the Ocean Course is comparable to the famed Pebble Beachcoure I had just spent the week walking. If you play the twilight time at 2pmand sign up for their specials you can play the ocean Course for s little as $70, with their normal green fee at $195. This is really a great deal especially compared to the $495 plus cart fee for Pebble Beach and their up to 3 month tee time wait list. After a perfect day of golf it was off to Sams a seafood restaurant right next door to the Beach House for some superb fresh seafood.
My one week trip to California gave me a good feel for the beauty of this state and what it has to offer. I know I will come back to explore more of the beauty of California.