Christine’s guidebook

Christine

Christine’s guidebook

Neighborhoods
This is where you go to see how the rich and famous live (Clint Eastwood was Mayor). It is an interesting and beautiful neighborhood right on the shoreline of Carmel Beach. The homes don't have street numbers, but whimsical names. Many of the homes have architecture making them look like a fairytale village. Head down Ocean Avenue for the main strip of shopping, dining, and wineries. Keep going to the bottom of Ocean Ave to find the gorgeous Carmel Beach. That's the world famous Pebble Beach golf course you see across the bay (to the right)! Head back up Ocean Ave to make your first right on Scenic Drive and hug the coastline for a beautiful drive to Carmel River State Beach.
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Carmel-by-the-Sea
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This is where you go to see how the rich and famous live (Clint Eastwood was Mayor). It is an interesting and beautiful neighborhood right on the shoreline of Carmel Beach. The homes don't have street numbers, but whimsical names. Many of the homes have architecture making them look like a fairytale village. Head down Ocean Avenue for the main strip of shopping, dining, and wineries. Keep going to the bottom of Ocean Ave to find the gorgeous Carmel Beach. That's the world famous Pebble Beach golf course you see across the bay (to the right)! Head back up Ocean Ave to make your first right on Scenic Drive and hug the coastline for a beautiful drive to Carmel River State Beach.
Pacific Grove is known for it's annual Monarch Butterfly migration and calls itself "America's Last Home Town." It's just a really nice, family-friendly neighborhood.
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Pacific Grove
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Pacific Grove is known for it's annual Monarch Butterfly migration and calls itself "America's Last Home Town." It's just a really nice, family-friendly neighborhood.
Salinas is fine, for the most part. Visit the Steinbeck museum. Just be careful after dark - Salinas has some rough areas and gang activity. We are not located in the city of Salinas, but about 15 minutes North, out in the hill country.
Salinas
Salinas is fine, for the most part. Visit the Steinbeck museum. Just be careful after dark - Salinas has some rough areas and gang activity. We are not located in the city of Salinas, but about 15 minutes North, out in the hill country.
Carmel Valley has a microclimate that is typically 10-30° Fahrenheit warmer than the Monterey coastal areas and is always sunny. This is a central destination for wine tastings. You might want to consider who is going to be driving home...
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Carmel Valley
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Carmel Valley has a microclimate that is typically 10-30° Fahrenheit warmer than the Monterey coastal areas and is always sunny. This is a central destination for wine tastings. You might want to consider who is going to be driving home...
This is a quintessential seaside walking neighborhood. The secret is out though, so traffic and parking may be impossible at certain times of year.
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Capitola
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This is a quintessential seaside walking neighborhood. The secret is out though, so traffic and parking may be impossible at certain times of year.
This is a small fishing village that has a few little shops, some great restaurants, and side-of-the-road farmstands selling local produce.
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Moss Landing
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This is a small fishing village that has a few little shops, some great restaurants, and side-of-the-road farmstands selling local produce.
Here's where the locals end up dining out in downtown Monterey. Visit Alvarado Street Brewery if you like really good beer.
Alvarado Street
Here's where the locals end up dining out in downtown Monterey. Visit Alvarado Street Brewery if you like really good beer.
Sightseeing
This is the closest beach and happens to be a highly diverse wildlife preserve. It's home to one of the largest sea otter colonies on the West Coast. Here you will also find the evening bioluminescent kayak tours. Hint: book your whale watching trip out of here instead of Monterey - often the Monterey whale watching tours sail straight to Moss Landing where the whales tend to congregate.
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Moss Landing State Beach
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This is the closest beach and happens to be a highly diverse wildlife preserve. It's home to one of the largest sea otter colonies on the West Coast. Here you will also find the evening bioluminescent kayak tours. Hint: book your whale watching trip out of here instead of Monterey - often the Monterey whale watching tours sail straight to Moss Landing where the whales tend to congregate.
Seriously, do it! This is a drive you will never forget. Plan a picnic and a couple of hikes and make it a day trip. Warning: no cellular reception, bathrooms are scarce, tourism traffic can be bad at certain times of year.
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Big Sur
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Seriously, do it! This is a drive you will never forget. Plan a picnic and a couple of hikes and make it a day trip. Warning: no cellular reception, bathrooms are scarce, tourism traffic can be bad at certain times of year.
Funloving kids and adults will enjoy this place. Entrance is free, it's right on the beach, and Santa Cruz is a stereotypical California Beach town.
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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
400 Beach Street
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Funloving kids and adults will enjoy this place. Entrance is free, it's right on the beach, and Santa Cruz is a stereotypical California Beach town.
Head North from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and make this drive at sunset. See all the surfers carving the waves as they dodge cliff sides and boulders. This road winds up at Natural Bridges State Beach.
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West Cliff Drive
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Head North from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and make this drive at sunset. See all the surfers carving the waves as they dodge cliff sides and boulders. This road winds up at Natural Bridges State Beach.
Kind of a tourist trap, but worth visiting. Good clam chowder.
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Fishermans Wharf
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Kind of a tourist trap, but worth visiting. Good clam chowder.
Definitely a tourist trap but worth visiting once.
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Cannery Row
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Definitely a tourist trap but worth visiting once.
World famous and spectacular
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Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
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World famous and spectacular
Great little beach in a cove protected from the wind and waves. Keep heading west on Ocean Boulevard to visit the various tide pools and look for hermit crabs, sea anemones, fish, urchins, sea otters, seals, etc.
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Lovers Point Park
631 Ocean View Boulevard
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Great little beach in a cove protected from the wind and waves. Keep heading west on Ocean Boulevard to visit the various tide pools and look for hermit crabs, sea anemones, fish, urchins, sea otters, seals, etc.
There's a shipwrecked concrete boat at the end of the pier.
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Seacliff State Beach
State Park Drive
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There's a shipwrecked concrete boat at the end of the pier.
Just one of many beautiful beaches nearby...
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Sunset State Beach
201 Sunset Beach Road
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Just one of many beautiful beaches nearby...
Just one of many beaches nearby...
La Selva Beach
Just one of many beaches nearby...
This is also a glider port for paragliders and hang gliders to take to the skies.
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Marina State Beach
Reservation Road
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This is also a glider port for paragliders and hang gliders to take to the skies.
It's no ordinary playground. This should find itself on your itinerary if you have young children.
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Dennis The Menace Playground
725 Pearl Street
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It's no ordinary playground. This should find itself on your itinerary if you have young children.
Great hiking with rock scrambles, caves, and interesting geology. This is where the California Condors roost. The temperature can be dramatically different than it is at our house, so look it up on your weather app ahead of time. There's an East Entrance and a West Entrance, so plan your route ahead of time. **We recommend you go to the West Entrance, NOT the East entrance, which Google recommends. Google tells everyone to go to the East Entrance and the parking lot fills up if you aren't there first thing after they open.**
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Pinnacles National Park
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Great hiking with rock scrambles, caves, and interesting geology. This is where the California Condors roost. The temperature can be dramatically different than it is at our house, so look it up on your weather app ahead of time. There's an East Entrance and a West Entrance, so plan your route ahead of time. **We recommend you go to the West Entrance, NOT the East entrance, which Google recommends. Google tells everyone to go to the East Entrance and the parking lot fills up if you aren't there first thing after they open.**
This is a quick trip from our place and worth a visit if you want a low key activity to fill a couple of hours. It's right on the San Andreas Fault Line. Ask a guide to show you the crack.
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MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
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This is a quick trip from our place and worth a visit if you want a low key activity to fill a couple of hours. It's right on the San Andreas Fault Line. Ask a guide to show you the crack.
This is the oldest church in continuous use in California and the smallest cathedral in the US. Beautiful architecture from the Spanish colonial times. http://mchsmuseum.com/missions.html
San Carlos Cathedral
500 Church Street
This is the oldest church in continuous use in California and the smallest cathedral in the US. Beautiful architecture from the Spanish colonial times. http://mchsmuseum.com/missions.html
Sea caves, arches, secluded cove. It's a steep hike down from the top of the cliff. A secret beach that only the locals know about. Shhh - don't tell anyone.
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Shark Fin Cove
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Sea caves, arches, secluded cove. It's a steep hike down from the top of the cliff. A secret beach that only the locals know about. Shhh - don't tell anyone.
Iconic.
Bixby Creek Bridge
Iconic.
This is a very rare tidefall (waterfall that lands directly in the ocean). Its 80 foot cascade hits the beach at low tide and the ocean at high tide. This, along with Bixby bridge, are some of the most photographed locations in Big Sur.
McWay Falls
This is a very rare tidefall (waterfall that lands directly in the ocean). Its 80 foot cascade hits the beach at low tide and the ocean at high tide. This, along with Bixby bridge, are some of the most photographed locations in Big Sur.
At the end of West Cliff Drive, this is a good spot to start or end your day trip to Santa Cruz.
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Natural Bridges State Beach
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At the end of West Cliff Drive, this is a good spot to start or end your day trip to Santa Cruz.
Peek over the edge of the cliff to see surfers zooming just below. This is where the locals surf, don't even think about joining in here. Tourists are invited to surf at Cowell's beach, which is great for beginners.
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Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
701 West Cliff Drive
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Peek over the edge of the cliff to see surfers zooming just below. This is where the locals surf, don't even think about joining in here. Tourists are invited to surf at Cowell's beach, which is great for beginners.
See whales, sea lions, dolphins, and gorgeous views
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Sea Goddess Whale Watching
7881 Sandholdt Rd
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See whales, sea lions, dolphins, and gorgeous views
Full of migrating flocks of birds, seals, sea otters, and bioluminescent algae! Schedule a night time kayak tour to see the water light up as your paddle stirs the water.
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Elkhorn Slough
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Full of migrating flocks of birds, seals, sea otters, and bioluminescent algae! Schedule a night time kayak tour to see the water light up as your paddle stirs the water.
This is a sprawling, outdoor outlet mall. Plan your trip ahead of time.
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Gilroy Premium Outlets
681 Leavesley Road
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This is a sprawling, outdoor outlet mall. Plan your trip ahead of time.
This is a historic and beautiful drive around the Monterey Peninsula through the Pebble Beach neighborhood. It really is something you should plan into your itinerary - a "must see!"
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17 Mile Scenic Drive
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This is a historic and beautiful drive around the Monterey Peninsula through the Pebble Beach neighborhood. It really is something you should plan into your itinerary - a "must see!"
This is a spot along 17-Mile Drive to capture your own rendition of this iconic photo.
Lone Cypress
This is a spot along 17-Mile Drive to capture your own rendition of this iconic photo.
This is a great activity for anyone, but especially kids. There are a couple of different railroad routes; one sticks to the redwood forests and the other ends up at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
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Roaring Camp, Big Trees and Pacific Railroad Station
North Big Trees Park Road
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This is a great activity for anyone, but especially kids. There are a couple of different railroad routes; one sticks to the redwood forests and the other ends up at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Food scene
They did "Beat Bobby Flay" with their famous Cioppino.
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Phil's Fish Market & Eatery
7600 Sandholdt Road
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They did "Beat Bobby Flay" with their famous Cioppino.
This is a secret place that only the locals visit for the best seafood without paying for a view or all the pretense of tourist traps. Shhh - don't tell the tourists!
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Monterey's Fish House
2114 Del Monte Avenue
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This is a secret place that only the locals visit for the best seafood without paying for a view or all the pretense of tourist traps. Shhh - don't tell the tourists!
You'll be overwhelmed trying to choose from 105 flavors! Get whatever you like, but add a scoop of Heaven and a scoop of 1020 to your order. So good!
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Marianne's Ice Cream
1020 Ocean Street
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You'll be overwhelmed trying to choose from 105 flavors! Get whatever you like, but add a scoop of Heaven and a scoop of 1020 to your order. So good!
This is your quickest fix for a sweet tooth. Rosie's carries Marianne's Ice Cream from Santa Cruz which is the locally famous stuff. Rosie also has Dole Pineapple Whip if you are looking for something tart. She also makes fresh Bionico's if you want something a little more healthy. Real Hawaiian shave ice was also added to the menu recently. Rosie basically has a little of everything...
Rosie's Ice Cream
8059 San Miguel Canyon Road
This is your quickest fix for a sweet tooth. Rosie's carries Marianne's Ice Cream from Santa Cruz which is the locally famous stuff. Rosie also has Dole Pineapple Whip if you are looking for something tart. She also makes fresh Bionico's if you want something a little more healthy. Real Hawaiian shave ice was also added to the menu recently. Rosie basically has a little of everything...
Go see Martin - he's the best! You have never seen a better Yelp review rating... We can't figure out how he stays in business since he gives away more food than he sells. Everything on his menu is good, but he Tri-Tip sandwich is most unique. The toppings he puts on that sandwich are different every time and seem to be whatever he has near him at the moment of assembly, including Taki's corn chips or flaming hot Doritos! Don't go here if you are into ambiance or pretense because this place is on the other end of the spectrum.
Prunedale Market & Deli
17515 Orchard Lane
Go see Martin - he's the best! You have never seen a better Yelp review rating... We can't figure out how he stays in business since he gives away more food than he sells. Everything on his menu is good, but he Tri-Tip sandwich is most unique. The toppings he puts on that sandwich are different every time and seem to be whatever he has near him at the moment of assembly, including Taki's corn chips or flaming hot Doritos! Don't go here if you are into ambiance or pretense because this place is on the other end of the spectrum.
This is just a few minutes away and is one of your best options if you get caught without dinner plans. Get the tri-tip or ribs. They also make their own wine.
101 wine press
8049 San Miguel Canyon Road
This is just a few minutes away and is one of your best options if you get caught without dinner plans. Get the tri-tip or ribs. They also make their own wine.
This is a good spot to get breakfast while you wait for the Monterey Bay Aquarium to open.
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First Awakenings
125 Ocean View Boulevard
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This is a good spot to get breakfast while you wait for the Monterey Bay Aquarium to open.
Good food, great staff, singing dishwasher, dancing patrons.
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Dametra Cafe
Ocean Avenue
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Good food, great staff, singing dishwasher, dancing patrons.
Hands down the best shave ice in this area. If you've never experienced real shave ice (not snow cones!), don't mess around - go here for your first experience. This is on the way to the East Entrance of Pinnacles or if you are returning from a day trip to Yosemite.
Ohana Shave Ice
738 San Benito Street
Hands down the best shave ice in this area. If you've never experienced real shave ice (not snow cones!), don't mess around - go here for your first experience. This is on the way to the East Entrance of Pinnacles or if you are returning from a day trip to Yosemite.
Actually good barbecue in the state of California, and in an upscale shopping area to make this recommendation even more unlikely. It may be hard to believe, but it's true. There's live music in the evenings on the weekend.
The Crossroads BBQ
241 Crossroads Boulevard
Actually good barbecue in the state of California, and in an upscale shopping area to make this recommendation even more unlikely. It may be hard to believe, but it's true. There's live music in the evenings on the weekend.
This is a spot that locals hit for a nice date night. It's in a very quirky old homestead with a scandalous history, which you can read about on the back of the menu.
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Tarpy's Roadhouse
2999 Monterey Salinas Highway
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This is a spot that locals hit for a nice date night. It's in a very quirky old homestead with a scandalous history, which you can read about on the back of the menu.
Great spot in Carmel Valley with live music and good food.
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Baja Cantina & Grill
7166 Carmel Valley Road
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Great spot in Carmel Valley with live music and good food.
We didn't like sushi until some friends made us try this place. Outstanding!
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Crystal Fish
514 Lighthouse Avenue
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We didn't like sushi until some friends made us try this place. Outstanding!
Good Thai at the small fishing village of Moss Landing, which is also the closest beach to our place
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Lemongrass Seafood Bar & Grill Thai Cuisine
413 Moss Landing Road
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Good Thai at the small fishing village of Moss Landing, which is also the closest beach to our place
This is a nice place near Cannery Row that isn't just a tourist trap.
Whaling Station Steakhouse
763 Wave Street
This is a nice place near Cannery Row that isn't just a tourist trap.
This is a great place to take the family for the favorite pizza of locals.
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Gianni's Pizza
725 Lighthouse Avenue
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This is a great place to take the family for the favorite pizza of locals.
There is authentic Hawaiian food here (Manapua, chicken katsu, loco moco, spam musubi, etc. The most remarkable item, though, is their chicken wings, sweet and crispy. Finish it off with an authentic Hawaiian Shave Ice.
Keoki's Hawaiian Barbeque Carry-Out
3170 Vista Del Camino Cir
There is authentic Hawaiian food here (Manapua, chicken katsu, loco moco, spam musubi, etc. The most remarkable item, though, is their chicken wings, sweet and crispy. Finish it off with an authentic Hawaiian Shave Ice.
This is a great Asian fusion restaurant with awesome mixed drinks.
Pangaea Grill
This is a great Asian fusion restaurant with awesome mixed drinks.
Wine Tasting
This is not our favorite wine but one of our favorite wine tasting locations. Live music, beautiful location, plenty of room for large groups.
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Folktale Winery & Vineyards
8940 Carmel Valley Rd
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This is not our favorite wine but one of our favorite wine tasting locations. Live music, beautiful location, plenty of room for large groups.
This is very good wine. We have been here for wine tastings more than any other location. It's also in a nice little shopping center with upscale stores and then, strangely, a good barbecue restaurant (Crossroads BBQ) nearby.
Taste Morgan
204 Crossroads Boulevard
This is very good wine. We have been here for wine tastings more than any other location. It's also in a nice little shopping center with upscale stores and then, strangely, a good barbecue restaurant (Crossroads BBQ) nearby.
This is a beautiful location for a wine tasting and picnic with the family. It's one of many wineries on River Road, which runs along the foothills of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.
Hahn Estate
37700 Foothill Rd
This is a beautiful location for a wine tasting and picnic with the family. It's one of many wineries on River Road, which runs along the foothills of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.
https://riverroadwinetrail.com/ There are so many wineries on River Road! It runs along the foothills of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, a designated American Viticultural Area (AVA) wine grape-growing region.
River Road
https://riverroadwinetrail.com/ There are so many wineries on River Road! It runs along the foothills of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, a designated American Viticultural Area (AVA) wine grape-growing region.
This is another one of our favorites and is convenient during your exploration of the Carmel-by-the-Sea neighborhood.
Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room
This is another one of our favorites and is convenient during your exploration of the Carmel-by-the-Sea neighborhood.
Great wine. The owners are friends of ours. This place is located in a cluster of wine tasting rooms within walking distance of each other in Carmel Valley.
Twisted Roots Wine
12 Del Fino Place
Great wine. The owners are friends of ours. This place is located in a cluster of wine tasting rooms within walking distance of each other in Carmel Valley.
Beer Scene
Taphouse only, but they usually have a taco truck parked outside serving awesome street food. Grab a juicy IPA for my husband.
Alvarado Street Brewery & Tasting Room
1315 Dayton Street
Taphouse only, but they usually have a taco truck parked outside serving awesome street food. Grab a juicy IPA for my husband.
More really good beer. Grab a hazy IPA for my husband.
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Humble Sea Brewing Co.
820 Swift St
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More really good beer. Grab a hazy IPA for my husband.
Good beer and a great place to hang out with the whole family, including young kids. They have a taco truck with great food. Grab an imperial IPA for my husband.
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Dust Bowl Brewing Co. Tap Depot
290 Figueroa Street
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Good beer and a great place to hang out with the whole family, including young kids. They have a taco truck with great food. Grab an imperial IPA for my husband.
This is a sister location of the Alvarado Street Brewery. This location focuses on wild ales, sours, Bretts, etc. They don't offer these wild fermentations at their main brewery so they can keep from infecting the tap lines in their Monterey downtown location. It's also in a great shopping area of Carmel. Grab a sour for me!
Yeast of Eden
This is a sister location of the Alvarado Street Brewery. This location focuses on wild ales, sours, Bretts, etc. They don't offer these wild fermentations at their main brewery so they can keep from infecting the tap lines in their Monterey downtown location. It's also in a great shopping area of Carmel. Grab a sour for me!
Really good beer. They rotate their taps with over 100 beers that they brew, so it's hard to give specific recommendations. Grab a juicy IPA for my husband.
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Alvarado Street Brewery
426 Alvarado Street
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Really good beer. They rotate their taps with over 100 beers that they brew, so it's hard to give specific recommendations. Grab a juicy IPA for my husband.
Legendary good beer that you can't get anywhere else since they don't distribute. Check their ratings on Untappd... Grab a saison for my husband.
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Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
103 Kennedy Drive
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Legendary good beer that you can't get anywhere else since they don't distribute. Check their ratings on Untappd... Grab a saison for my husband.

Payo sa lungsod

Huwag palampasin

Farmer's markets are every day and top-notch!

Among other crops, Salinas Valley produces 80% of the leafy greens consumed in the USA. You likely have never seen Farmer's Markets of the caliber you will find around here (5 avocados for a dollar, anyone?). Within 15 minutes you can visit the Garlic Capitol (Gilroy), Artichoke Capitol (Castroville), Strawberry Capitol (Watsonville), and the Salad Bowl (Salinas Valley) of the world. Here are some resources to research your best options during the season you are visiting: https://www.seemonterey.com/food-wine/farmers-markets/ https://www.montereybayfarmers.org
Ang dapat iempake

No cellular reception in Big Sur

Download maps to your phone ahead of time.
Huwag palampasin

Central Coast Wine

The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is a wine grape-growing appellation that is most well-known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. No doubt you are aware of the more famous wine growing region of Napa Valley, but you'll find that there are also some very good wines coming out of Monterey County!
Ang dapat iempake

Monterey Bay June Gloom (runs until September)

Many tourists are surprised at the fog and chilly temperatures that can dominate many days during the summer. Usually the foggy marine layer will burn off by the afternoon. The cold ocean temps in the Bay cool the breeze that comes off the ocean, acting as a natural air conditioner for the areas within 10 miles of the coast line. Plan to bring some warm clothes any time you visit, but especially during the summer months when it is often actually chilly. Our home is usually just outside of the marine layer, so it is sunny and mid 70's. Don't let that fool you, take a jacket as you head out.
Ang dapat iempake

Monterey Bay Indian Summer

Sometime around October there will be a heat wave that brings the temperatures to a soaring 90° Fahrenheit! This may not sound bad to you, but us fog babies wilt under such oppressive heat.
Ang dapat iempake

The ocean is freezing cold!

Heads up, the water along the US pacific coast is fed by currents coming down from Alaska. The typical ocean temperature in Monterey Bay is 57° Fahrenheit all year long - hence the "natural air conditioner" that keeps the air temperature in the 60's year-round. The kids might be able to stand it for a little while, but it's probably time to dry them off and warm them up when their lips start turning blue...
May mga kasamang bata sa pagbiyahe

Beach safety

Poor swimmers beware - the water can be very rough and dangerous at the beach. Riptides and sneaker waves can surprise you or your children and suck you out to sea. Even if you are a good swimmer, the chilly water will take your breath away unless you are wearing an insulating wetsuit.
Mga paraan para makatipid

Hiking trails are everywhere

https://www.seemonterey.com/blog/post/7-hikes-to-take-your-breath-away-in-monterey-county/