800 Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove, CA | Directions 9395036.619228 -121.935731
Once upon a time, when I was a kindergarten teacher, I'd carefully bookmark the Asilomar Reading Conference weekend the minute it was announced, because not only did we get to spend days browsing all the latest in good literature, but we got to stay at this elegantly-rustic historic oceanfront lodge, with its Julia Morgan-designed buildings and windswept serenity (enhanced by a lack of electronics in the room). With this kind of scenery, who could really blame us for missing a seminar here and there for beach walks?
A historical refuge by the sea. – The Scene
Nestled along the Pacific on the Monterey Peninsula, this enormous historical compound is surrounded by pristine beaches and forests. It is part of the California State Park system, encompassing 107 acres of coastline and ocean dunes on the shore of a marine sanctuary. Wildlife such as seals, deer and whales is abundant and the weather is usually mild. The property hosts an endless parade of business retreats, family reunions and weddings.
The grounds' original Arts and Crafts-style hotels and conference centers were designed by Julia Morgan, who is also responsible for the Hearst Castle. The seven newer buildings were designed by John Carl Warnecke, an expert at combining nature and architecture. Originally part of a YWCA headquarters, the guest rooms aren't luxurious, but they are stately. Of course the rooms are the last reason to stay here--the main attraction is the rich heritage of one of California's oldest and most gracious beachside resorts.
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