Venue Ninth International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology

Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Avenue
Pacific Grove, California 93950 USA
Phone: +1-888-635-5310

We are pleased and excited to hold ISSM 2014 at one of the most breathtaking locations in all of California: Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, a 107-acre (0.4 square kilometer) state park known as the "Refuge by the Sea."


Attendees of ISSM 2014 will travel to Pacific Grove, California, a coastal city of 15,000 located on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula in Central California. Pacific Grove is known for its breathtaking ocean views, picturesque Victorian homes, and Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse on the west coast. LIFE Magazine named Pacific Grove the "Most Romantic City in the U.S." in 2002, and the San Francisco Chronicle deemed it the most walking- and bike-friendly of the Monterey Peninsula cities.

Nicknamed "Butterfly Town, U.S.A.," Pacific Grove is quite possibly the only city in the U.S. where it is illegal to harm a butterfly. That's because, every year, over 25,000 Monarch butterflies migrate 2,000 miles (3,219 kilometers) from Canada to spend the winter clustered among Pacific Grove's forests of pine and eucalyptus trees. If you plan on attending ISSM 2014, chances are you may see a butterfly or two, as they usually arrive in October.

Conference Venue

The conference will be held at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, a secluded ocean-front retreat located in Pacific Grove, California. Nestled along the rocky shoreline, Asilomar features a sprawling conference center that was built in 1913 and is now a National Historic Landmark. The rustic lodges are surrounded by old growth forests and white sand beaches. A broad diversity of indigenous wildlife, such as deer, can be found roaming the grounds.


Walking trails crisscross the park, including a wooden boardwalk that connects the conference grounds to Asilomar State Beach. Rocky coves and tide pools cover the narrow, mile-long strip of beach, which is part of a national marine sanctuary. Thousands of species inhabit the coves, among them harbor seals, sea lions, sea otters, and a variety of birds. Another highlight of the area is a natural dune preserve made up of 26 acres (0.16 square km) of rare white quartz sand dunes that have been restored with native plants.

Facility Usage Fee

Please note that management at Asilomar will require each conference attendee to pay a "facility usage fee" for each day that you attend the conference. The facility usage fee is mandatory and covers the following:

  • Daily state park access.
  • Three onsite meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
  • All applicable taxes.

If you are lodging at Asilomar during your entire stay at the conference, the good news is that your facility usage fee is covered in the daily lodging room rates. Therefore, you will not have to pay a separate fee.

If you are not lodging at Asilomar (that is, you are commuting or are lodging at another hotel), then you will be need to pay a facility usage fee of $150 (USD) for each day you attend the conference. The daily facility usage fee is not optional, and will be required to register for ISSM 2014 if you are not lodging at Asilomar for each day you attend the conference.


Conference attendees will stay in guest lodging rooms at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds. Lodging rooms are just a short walk through the white sand dunes to the conference meeting rooms.

venue great room

In the spirit of a natural refuge, lodging rooms are free of modern-day distractions such as telephones and televisions. The historic rooms feature hardwood floors and rustic furnishings. The more contemporary rooms are available with patios, balconies, and fireplaces. All lodging rooms have private baths, and many buildings feature common living rooms with fireplaces and overstuffed chairs.

Complimentary Wi-Fi internet service is available in all lodging rooms at Asilomar. Other amenities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, sand volleyball court, and pool tables for guest use. You can also rent a bike for trail or beach riding.

Room Rates

Attendees of ISSM 2014 will receive discounted room rates at Asilomar. The room rates* are as follows:

Occupancy Type Room Rates
Per Person Per Day* (USD)
Single $253.67
Double - double occupancy rooms are extremely limited and are available on a first-come first-serve basis $163.02

*Please note that room rates include the per-day facility usage fee, which cover the daily state park access fee, three onsite meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and all applicable taxes.

Room Reservations

Reservations for guest lodging at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds can be made here. Conference attendees will be required to make their own room reservations.

Reservation Deadline: To guarantee availability, reservations must be made by September 5, 2014.

Booking Payment Policy: Asilomar will require 100-percent advanced payment for lodging (that is, your credit card will be charged the full amount at the time of booking).

Booking Fee: Asilomar will charge a $20 (USD) online booking fee. The facility will not accept reservations over the phone.

Booking Cancellation Policy: A full refund, minus a service charge of $100 (USD) per person, is given for cancellations received in writing (letter, fax, or email) by August 5, 2014. Regrettably, no refunds can be made for cancellations received on or after August 6, 2014.

Reserve Your Room Now!

For Those Not Staying Onsite

For those who will not be staying at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, please note that you will be required to pay a $150 per day (USD) usage fee to access the facility and eat meals at the conference. The usage fee is not optional and will be required to register for ISSM 2014.

Other hotels are available within 2 miles (3.2 km) of Asilomar, such as Holiday Inn Express and Howard Johnson Inn & Suites. As of summer 2013, their rates range from $100-300 (USD) plus tax per night. However, please note that conference attendees not staying at Asilomar will be required to pay the $150 (USD) per day usage fee, as mentioned above.

Conference Meals

Conference attendees will be enjoying their meals at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds. The costs for meals are included in the lodging rates (for those staying onsite) and in the daily facility usage fees (for those staying offsite or commuting to the conference).

The common dining hall at Asilomar features breakfast, lunch, and dinner served family style. The menu includes seasonal local produce purchased fresh from organic farmers in the region. All meals in the dining hall are served with vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten free options.

What to Pack

cliffs at sunset

The local weather can vary from rain to warm sunshine or cool misty fog. We recommend that you pack layered clothing and several pairs of sturdy walking shoes. For those planning to spend time outdoors, make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen. The ocean water is chilly in this region, so if you decide to go swimming at any of the local beaches, we strongly suggest you wear a wet suit to stay warm. You may also want to bring a flashlight for walking across the forested conference grounds at night.

Air Travel

Conference attendees who will be traveling by air to Pacific Grove, California, have several domestic and international airport options.

Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) is 8 miles (13 km) away (20 minute drive).

Mineta San Jose International (SJC) is 80 miles (129 km) away (1.5 hour drive).

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is 110 miles (177 km) away (2 hour drive).

Oakland International Airport (OAK) is 115 miles (185 km) away (2 hour drive).

Ground Transportation

Monterey Airbus provides passenger shuttle service between Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds and the San Jose (SJC) and San Francisco (SFO) International Airports.

Taxicabs are available at the Monterey Airport (MRY) for transfer to Asilomar. Fares are typically $20-$25 (USD) one-way.


Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds is part of the California State Parks system. Onsite parking (including disabled parking) is available and complimentary. However, there is a daily per-person access fee to enter the park. This fee is included in the lodging room rates for those reserving a room at the facility; it is also included in the non-optional facility usage fee for those staying offsite.