Alice in Wonderland On California’s Central Coast

How To Have a Very Alice in Wonderland Day on the Central Coast

Are you like me? When you travel to a new city, do you research ahead of time and see if there are any attractions, hotels or restaurants with an Alice in Wonderland theme? No?! My Alice obsession may be a little extreme, but wouldn’t it be a shame to depart a city and later learn that I could have visited The Gryphon’s Dance Studio or The Duchess and the Cook Spice Shop? (Neither of which are real. That I know of.) So I am always prepared.

If you have ever journeyed to the Central Coast of California, you know that it is full of spectacular scenery, technicolor sunsets and delicious wine. But did you also know it is full of Alice in Wonderland things to see and do? For example, you could:

Shop At The White Rabbit In Carmel

Nestled up a steep flight of stairs on Ocean Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea sits an adorable ALL Alice in Wonderland gift shop called The White Rabbit. We are mostly talking original Carroll and Tenniel-themed goods here, not Disney. The White Rabbit carries t-shirts, tote bags, pillboxes, wall hangings, jewelry and approximately a billion other frabjous objects. Their signature items are backwards clocks! Upon entering the shop, needless to say, I wanted everything. After an agonizing deliberation, I settled on a “It Was The Best Butter” wall plaque. This shop can definitely take some time for a true Alice-phile to get through, so make sure your significant other has something else to do for a while! You can shop The White Rabbit online too, but be aware the site does not contain all the items available in the store.

Alice in Wonderland gift shop in Carmel California

He’s looking at his watch because his wife has been in the store for two hours.

Stay At The Jabberwock Inn In Monterey

I give the Jabberwock Inn major points for not going with the obvious in their Alice appreciation. What I have not given the Jabberwock Inn, however, is my business. I just learned about this B&B recently, but you can bet your last tart I will be staying there the next time I am in Monterey! With room names like Mome Rath, Tulgey Wood and Borogove, how could I not? Also, the location is perfect (an easy walk to Cannery Row, but far enough away for peace and quiet), and the decor features the odd rabbit and chessboard here and there. Finally, the Jabberwock Inn has a five star Yelp rating (!) and serves something called Jabber Juice in the morning. Sold!

Jabberwock Inn in Monterey

Ya’ll come galumphing back now, ya hear?

Visit The Butterflies In Pacific Grove

No, they are not bread-and-butter-flies. But work with me here. Every year from October to February thousands and thousands of monarch butterflies descend upon Central California on their migration route. Specifically, they gather at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Pacific Grove. A stroll through these woods and you will swear you are in the land of Looking-Glass Insects! Be sure to visit these beauties when the sun is high in the sky- I went too late in the afternoon, and they looked like little brown paper bags scrunched up on the leaves. A little disappointing, but I saw a young deer and its mother, so that was cool. For those wondering, I did not attempt to put my arms around the fawn’s neck. Now you’re just being silly.

Alice in Wonderland and deer

Not recommended in un-enchanted woods.

Wine Taste At The Rabbit Hole In Paso Robles

When you have had your fill of butterflies and jabberwocks, hop on the 101 South for a hundred miles or so to the popular-yet-off-the-beaten-path wine country town of Paso Robles. The small downtown is dense with restaurants, galleries and winery tasting rooms, most notably The Rabbit Hole. Why is The Rabbit Hole the most notable? Do you really have to ask??? This Alice in Wonderland themed tasting room features sparkling and still wines, friendly staff and a positively dizzying array of Carrollian decor. Floating Cheshire Cat heads, backwards running clocks, White Rabbit murals- the gang’s all here! The bathroom in particular is CAN’T MISS. Oh, and the wine… The Rabbit Hole is the tasting room for Rabbit Ridge Wines. I quite liked several of the still wines, especially a white blend called Multiplicity which now sits in my wine fridge at home. The Bling bubbly was a little fruity for my bone dry palate, but my husband enjoyed it a lot.

You don't have a disembodied Cheshire Cat head hanging at home?

You don’t have a disembodied Cheshire Cat head hanging at home?

Alice in Wonderland bathroom

Didn’t I tell you the bathroom is can’t miss?!

bathroom with Alice in Wonderland theme

More bathroom. You’ll want to hang out in there!

White Rabbit wall at Rabbit Hole

I forgot to pack my belt! I promise I wasn’t pregnant wine tasting, it just looks that way.

Did I miss anything Alice on the Central Coast? What do you do when you visit Monterey?




About Heather Haigha

Heather Haigha is your intrepid guide for all adventures under ground, through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole and sometimes even real life! Read her whimsical musings on the Alice Is Everywhere blog, and hear the melodious sound of her voice on the Alice is Everywhere podcast.