Monterey is extra beautiful in the Fall
This year a global pandemic has put tourism into shutdown. With curves being flattened and social distancing having some positive effect there is so hope of a small relief for summer but not likely to be much off the bottom. But do not be too upset if your summer plan for Monterey is on hold as autumn is when the weather is often the best of the year.
Its warm days and cool nights with spectacular scenery make it the perfect time of year for a getaway, and unless it's a long weekend not very crowded. Take any given weekend and add a day or two to it and have yourselves a great mini vacation.
Heading out on Friday morning;
How to get here is of course determined based on the need to get here fast or enjoy the possible scenic drives. From the North its pretty much 101 South and exit the 156 to Monterey.
From the South, there are two main options, Hwy 101 and Hwy 1. Hwy 1 is a spectacular drive but is also an all-day adventure in of itself (perhaps another time).
This route is more suited to a stay of more than a few days.
With that in mind, the exit off of Hwy 101 coming from the South is one of three depending on if you need to gas up or if you wish to taste wine on your way in or not.
As you go into the Monterey Carmel area to your accommodation choices from the big Hotel Chains and also some wonderful local gems are to be had, on the beach or in the valleys there are some great spots to stay.
Saturday morning heading out from your hotel base there are a variety of things to do, see and taste all over the area.
With many choices of where to sightsee and taste some pre-planning would definitely be in order.
Head on out to the rustic Carmel Valley and wander around the Village and grab a bite at the Corkscrew Cafe, Local, Cafe Rustica, or the Wine House. Stop in to taste some of the lovely wines of Joyce Wine Company or one of their neighbors. While walking between tastings and lunch check out the art galleries and antique stores scattered around. If something a little less country is more your style for dinner a stop at Bernardus Lodge for fine dining is on your way out of the Valley. With the high end, Marinus Restaurant, or a bit more casual Wickets Bistro to choose from this is a great option.
Another wonderful option is Carmel by the Sea. This is a magical little seaside hamlet that one cannot help but fall in love with. First, stop by Blair Estate Tasting Room to get a Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea wine tasting passport. The Tasting Passport is good for a “Wine Walk” flight at your choice of any 10 of the 13 rooms.
Taste the distinct flavors of each tasting room all in one day or spread your tastings out over a weekend, several weeks, or even months.(a great value that never expires). In each Passport package, you will find a 10% per bottle coupon to be used during your visit to one of the tasting rooms on the Wine Walk.
Take the time and sample some lovely wines or bubbles at various locations around town. From the original tasting room of Galante Vineyards to the best bubbles at Caraccioli Cellars you won't be disappointed. At any of the passport stops they can set you up with dinner reservations and one of our favorites is Cantinetta Lucca.
The list of places to eat and taste in this little town is long and to date, we have not found one we would not go back to, so explore and get a recommendation from your favorite stop and enjoy. Don't forget to wander down to Carmel beach for sunset!
One morning head out to the coastline and take a walk along the Pacific Grove trails from Lovers Point to Cannery Row. Explore the shops at Cannery Row and have a light lunch at one of the many nice restaurants. To end the Day stop at The Beach House for the early bird dinner starting at 4 pm. Get there at 4 and enjoy the outdoor patio with one of the best views in Monterey.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to do, taste, and see in Monterey. The perfect season for a trip to Monterey will soon be here, so get those couple extra days off and have a wonderful trip to Monterey.
Happy Wine Adventures,