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Seaside is a medium sized community found in Monterey County along the Pacific Coast of the Golden State, California. Seaside covers nearly nine square miles, and had a population of approximately thirty four thousand residents as of the 2008 census. The city is located within forty feet of sea level, and includes just one tenth of a square mile of standing surface water. The current mayor of Seaside is Ralph Rubio, and the community is represented in the California state legislature by State Senator Sam Blakeslee and Assemblyman Bill Monning. The city of Seaside was originally known as East Monterey, and was planned in 1888 by founder Dr. J.L.D. Roberts. Prior to the planning of the community, the land which now comprises Seaside was under Mexican and Spanish control as early as the seventeenth century. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Monterey region was the domain of the Ohlone people, who inhabited the area for centuries. Seaside received a post office three years after construction began on the community, and the city was officially incorporated in 1954. Some notable residents of Seaside throughout the years include the former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Herman Edwards, and pro football tight end Tony Curtis of the San Francisco 49ers. One of the most interesting and quirky elements of Seaside’s local culture is a large sand dune known as Message Mountain. Local residents often utilize the sand of Message Mountain to convey birthday wishes, congratulations, and even the occasional marriage proposals. Message Mountain, which is also known as “The Big Dune” and “The Big Sand Hill,” is also an excellent observation point for fireworks during Fourth of July celebrations.
Seaside is home to two excellent golf courses, although there are dozens of others within driving distance. Black Horse golf course was founded in 1964 and is named after the 11th Cavalry of the United States Army; while Bayonet Golf Course was named after the US Army’s 7th Infantry Division and was opened in the mid 1950s. Bayonet Golf Course is located on the former grounds of Ford Ord, while Black Horse was purchased by the city of Seaside and is now open to the public at large. Both courses offer beautiful views of Monterey Bay, and each offers unique challenges to golfers. There are a number of public and private schools in the Seaside area, including the International School of Monterey, Seaside Middle School, Seaside High School, and Monterey Bay Christian School. Post secondary opportunities in the Seaside area are offered by California State University, Monterey Bay and the Monterey College of Law. Seaside is located about two and a half hours’ drive away from the city of San Francisco, and roughly an hour’s drive from the city of Santa Cruz. Seaside enjoys pleasantly warm weather throughout most of the year, as temperatures rarely venture above seventy five degrees or below forty degrees. The weather is occasionally foggy and rainy, but the climate in the region is generally Mediterranean during most months. The Monterey County area in general offers a considerable number of well known shopping destinations and tourist attractions, ranging from shopping malls and boutiques to aquariums and museums. The region is also notable for its unique architecture and a variety of local vineyards and wine tasting rooms.