Fourth of July 2024

Fourth of July 2024


“Steinbeck country.” Iconic California experiences. Dramatic coastal views. Sounds of crashing surf & sea otters. Ocean kayaking, whale-watching, exploring local lore. Vineyards, galleries and the famed Aquarium. Steps from Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf. Elegant hotel & spa surrounded by scenic wonders. Close to Pebble Beach, Carmel, Big Sur and 17-Mile Drive.


The Monterey Plaza's central location on Cannery Row makes it easy to enjoy the area's many attractions and activities, including world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium just three blocks away. Launch an ocean kayak from the hotel's beach, play a round of golf at one of 19 championship courses, go sailing, whale watch or scuba dive in the protected marine sanctuary of Monterey Bay. Walk to Fisherman's Wharf, Old Town Monterey or the Maritime Museum, or take a scenic drive to Carmel, Pebble Beach, 17-Mile Drive, or Big Sur.


Renaissance Weekend is comprised of hundreds of programs and shared meals in which participants with in-depth knowledge reflect off-the-record on a wide variety of current issues. Lively discussion by all participants is encouraged, and the tone is decidedly relaxed.

Each afternoon is set aside for recreation, including sports, seaside activities, relaxation, and exploring Monterey Bay. Two meals "on-your-own" — Friday dinner and Saturday lunch — allow participants to sample local restaurants and dine with fellow participants and new friends. Friday, we will break at 2:45 pm for the day; Saturday, we will break at 1 pm and resume at 6 pm.


Participants' program assignments are based on information provided on the Participant Profiles page of their online registration, which should be completed as early as possible. Please email the Renaissance Weekend team if changes have been made to your Participant Profile after your registration is confirmed and before we distribute the Tentative Program. 

In mid-June the Tentative Program and other materials will be sent to each registered party's lead participant, who is asked to share them with other members of his/her party.

Registration opens on Wednesday, July 3rd at 4:00 P.M. at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, where participants pick up their materials and the Final Program, and check in separately with their hotel. Proctors and Moderators briefings meet between 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. The first program begins at 6:00 P.M. that evening at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

Early arrivals are invited to help with Registration and to notify the Renaissance Weekend staff of their availability. 

The program ends by 11:00 A.M. on Sunday, July 7th.


Conversation over meals is an important part of the Weekend, and all guests are expected to participate in the Common Meals. Only children under three are not charged for Common Meals. The "on-your-own" meals, Friday dinner and Saturday lunch, are designed to facilitate participants' enjoyment of Monterey Bay and surroundings. Meals & Meeting Services Fees may not be reduced for early departures or absences from meals.

Sports & Recreational Activities

Most afternoons — from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. — are set aside for participants' personal and family recreation. Walk to the Monterey Bay AquariumFisherman’s Wharf, or Old Town Monterey. Carmel, Pebble Beach, 17-Mile Drive and Big Sur are just a short, scenic drive away. Launch an ocean kayak from the beach adjacent to the Hotel, play a round of world-class golf, or skate along a picturesque recreation trail. Sailwhale watch, or scuba dive in the protected marine sanctuary of Monterey Bay. Explore Monterey in kayaks or on bikes, check out a wine tasting, take a wine course, play tennis, or venture to Pebble Beach. All of this may be arranged through the hotel concierge (831-646-1700, x 5310).

Unwind at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa with spa services at the Vista Blue Spa (800-334-3999) or at the hotel's fitness center. Due to high demand it is suggested that you book spa treatments in advance of your arrival. 

To explore the Bay, participants may arrive early or extend their stay, and Renaissance Weekend room rates may be available upon request of the hotel.

Getting There

Participants arriving after 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday or departing before 9:00 A.M. on Sunday are requested to advise Renaissance Weekend staffMonterey Plaza Hotel & Spa's concierge can assist with any transportation needs.

Airports with easy access to Monterey include Monterey Regional (MRY, 4 miles), San Francisco (SFO, 112 miles) and San Jose (SJC, 80 miles).

Airport shuttle service is available from San Francisco or San Jose through Monterey-Salinas Airbus. Reservations are required. 

Rental cars are not necessary, but the $20/day resort fee includes valet parking.

To explore the Bay, participants may arrive early or extend their stay, and Renaissance Weekend room rates may be available upon request of the hotel.

Monterey Plaza Hotel

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa's central location on Cannery Row makes it easy to enjoy the area's many attractions and activities, including the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, just three blocks away. The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is one of only 137 recipients of the Mobil Four-Star Award, establishing this luxurious waterfront resort as one of the finest in the country. 

The Renaissance Weekend room block is available for booking during registration on our website, rates starting at $369/night. To reserve at the group rate, participants must be fully registered for the Renaissance Weekend.

Please call the reservations team directly (831-920-6709) and reference the Renaissance Weekend room block to book.

Fourth of July is a very popular time to visit Monterey. Rates often rise quickly, so early booking is recommended. Additional nearby hotels are available:

  • The Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel is 2.3 miles/10 minutes away from the primary meeting site. Rates for July 3-7 start at $230 per night.
  • The Monterey Hotel is 1.1 miles/5 minutes away from the primary meeting site. Rates for July 3-7 start at $187 per night.
  • The Hilton Garden Inn is 2.1 miles/9 minutes away from the primary meeting site. Rates for July 3-7 start at $280 per night.

Camp Renaissance, Teens & College Students

Camp Renaissance is an active program tailored for children ages 3-12 — typically includes presentations by fascinating adult participants, hands-on experiments, indoor and outdoor games, nature walks, musical performances, story-telling, and arts-&-crafts projects. These activities are supervised by the Camp Renaissance Counselors, with involvement from adult Renaissance participants whose experiences are of interest to young people. Camp Renaissance runs concurrently with the adult program and does not provide full-time child care. 

Young people are welcome at all functions. Most teens and college students participate in the Weekend's scheduled program. In addition, they often have designated gathering places, assigned programs, and their own activities and discussions. Teens and college students are usually placed on panels related to their interests, as indicated on their Participant Profile.

College students integrate themselves into the scheduled program. Many form strong bonds and even lifetime friendships during evening social events and programs planned specifically for them.

Parents are expected to oversee their sons' and daughters’ comings and goings throughout the Weekend. Renaissance Institute and Renaissance Weekend, and its staff, assume no liability regarding children or teens.

There is no organized program or child care provided for children under the age of three. Younger children are welcome at Camp Renaissance programs when accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. Participants should make arrangements for babysitters at least three weeks prior to arrival at the Weekend by phoning the Monterey Plaza Hotel Concierge for assistance. To maximize their enjoyment of the program, families with very young children are encouraged to bring a baby-sitter or au pair. Although there is no Registration Fee for babysitters/au pairs, they must register for meals at the children's rate, attend solely for child care, and, if practical, may assist periodically with Camp Renaissance. Baby-sitters/au pairs are free to attend programs and panel discussions designed specifically for Camp Renaissance participants.

Camp & Teens Programs are organized at all New Year's and most of the other Weekends.  On the rare occasions when there are few registrants in these age groups at the smaller Weekends, no such specific programs may be organized; and such young people, as always, are welcome at all sessions. Confirmation of Camp and Teens Programs, available six weeks before any Weekend, may be secured through


Monterey temperatures in early July can range from the 60's to the mid-70's. Check weather reports shortly in advance of the Weekend.

Dress is informal, resort casual, during the Weekend. Jeans are acceptable for day-time programs. Men typically wear jackets for dinners.



All Registration and Meals & Meeting Services Fees will be refunded — less a $250/party processing fee — for cancellations received by Renaissance Weekend in writing via e-mail, fax, or mail, sixty days in advance of the first night of the Weekend. No refund is available for cancellations communicated less than fourteen days in advance. Cancellations received in the intervening period are eligible for 50% refunds. For a one-time transfer of fees, however, payments can be applied towards any of the three immediately following Renaissance Weekends, subject to a $100/party transfer fee, if space remains and such notice is received.  No refund is available after a payment has been transferred and applied to a new Weekend.

Meals & Meeting Services Fees may not be reduced for absences from meals.

Lodging cancellations are handled directly by your hotel subject to its specific policies. Be sure also to advise Renaissance Weekend of cancellation.


Registration Fee

Adults (22 and older) $1,400/person
Youths (ages 3 - 21) $400/person

(Youth Registration Fee applies only to children or guests, ages 3-21, of invited adults.)

Meeting Services, Meals & Special Events Fee

Adults (13 and older) $1300/person
Youths (ages 3 - 12) $400/person


Exploring Monterey

Monterey Bay Plaza Hotel – Perfect location, welcome sea breezes
Monterey Bay Plaza Hotel – Perfect location, welcome sea breezes

Crashing waves on Monterey Bay’s beach & the sound of sea otters at play punctuate the Mediterranean ambience of this elegant hotel, with the town’s famed aquarium & Steinbeck-memorialized sites just a short walk away.

Iconic California experiences
Iconic California experiences

So much to do within steps of the hotel: Meander along fabled Fisherman’s Wharf & Cannery Row; visit the world-renowned Aquarium; launch an ocean kayak from the hotel’s beach; go whale-watching or sailing in the Bay’s marine sanctuary.

Savor “Steinbeck Country”
Savor “Steinbeck Country”

Stroll amidst Old Town’s & Carmel’s galleries. Drive along breath-taking Pebble Beach, 17-Mile Drive & Big Sur. Marvel at the scenic wonders. Sample the local fresh-from-farm produce. Re-live the region’s four centuries and prize-winning novels’ local lore.

cypress tree
Especially worth noting

Chat with winemakers in their tasting rooms. Play legendary golf courses. Extend your stay to visit even more natural & historic attractions.  Wander further to explore Silicon Valley, San Francisco & the Napa Valley.

Big Sur
Big Sur
Carmel By The Sea
Monterey Wharf

Camp Renaissance

Children ages 3-12 years can immerse themselves in hands-on experiments, indoor and outdoor games, nature walks, musical performances, story-telling, arts-&-crafts projects, and presentations by fascinating adult participants who are major authorities in their fields.