More than a dozen notable celebrated chefs from every region of the United States will be in Monterey, California in May. They will serve as ambassadors of sustainable dining at “Cooking for Solutions.” They will focus “on great cuisine from sources that protect the health of the oceans and the land.” In the past, celebrity chefs like Rick Bayless, Michael Chiarello and Sam Choy have created memorable gourmet food adventures that feature sustainable seafood dishes ingredients. Many chefs and wineries will present!
Visit http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/vi/vi_events/cooking/ for more information and to buy tickets.
When you travel to California’s gorgeous Central Coast, bask in the natural splendor of Monterey Bay. The stunning scenic city of Monterey has plenty of shops and restaurants. Monterey has a plethora of notable attractions including: the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf. Attend the Monterey Wine Festival, the annual Monterey Jazz Festival and plan some whale-watching excursions.
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has an amazing number of thriving marine habitats for sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, pelicans and dolphins. At the southern end of Cannery Row, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
This is one of the largest aquariums in North America. The Monterey Bay Aquarium was founded in 1984 and is located on the site of a former sardine cannery.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of few aquariums in the world to exhibit both bluefin and yellowfin tuna. The aquarium benefits from fresh ocean water which is obtained through pipes from Monterey Bay. Visit www.montereybayaquarium.org for more information.
John Steinbeck who grew up in neareby Salinas and also lived in nearby Pacific Grove. Steinbeck was an author of 27 books. Steinbeck had many Pulitzer Prize-winning novels including The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.
Cannery Row is a popular destination for tourists with plenty of quaint shops located in former cannery buildings. I loved the art glass display on Cannery Row. In June, Cannery Row has an annual Block Party. A few privately-owned and operated fishing companies still exist on Cannery Row. For more information visit www.canneryrow.com
Their are outstanding Vino con Vista opportunities with outdoor waterfront dining at “Bubba Gump” @ www.bubbagump.com and at the Fish Hopper Restaurant @ www.fishhopper.com. Monterey is a premium wine-growing region. At the Monterey Wine Tasting Center on Cannery Road, you can taste wine from 85 local wineries. There’s also plenty of salt water taffy in Monterey.
Monterey was the capital of Alta California from 1777 to 1846 under both Spain and Mexico. It was the only port of entry for taxable goods in California. In 1846 the U.S. flag was raised over the Customs House and California was claimed for the United States.
Admire the home of Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado. Visit historic museums in Colton Hall, the Pacific House and the new Maritime Museum. Pick up a Monterey map and follow the yellow circles in the sidewak labeled “Path of History” to enjoy a walking tour of the historic structures in Old Monterey.
Historical Monterey has more than thirty carefully preserved buildings. The city had California’s first theatre, public building, public library, publicly funded school, printing press and newspaper.
There are many historic adobes buildings and national landmarks in Monterey including the Larkin House built in the Mexican period by Thomas Oliver Larkin; an early example of Monterey Colonial architecture. The old Custom House, the historic district and the Royal Presidio Chapel are also National Historic Landmarks. The Cooper-Molera Adobe is a National Trust Historic Site. Colton Hall, built in 1849 by Walter Colton was originally both a public school and government meeting place.
Travel to Carmel to see the Royal Presidio Chapel. It was destroyed by fire in 1789 and replaced with a sandstone structure that was completed in 1794. In 1840, the chapel was rededicated to Saint Charles Borromeo. This Mission is the oldest continuously operating parish and the oldest stone building in California. At the foot of the main altar is the tomb of Padre Junipero Serra. He was the founder of all California Missions. The San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission is located at 3080 Rio Road in Carmel www.carmelmission.com
Old Fisherman’s Wharf was built in 1845, and eventually catapulted Monterey’s sardine industry into a prominent position. There are pcharming shops and restaurants at the Wharf. You can take a “Glass Bottom Boat Tour” (831-372-7151) or you can embark on a whale-watching excursion from Fisherman’s Wharf! Monterey Bay Whale Watch (831) 375-4658 offers year-round whale watching trips that leave from the docks of Fisherman’s Wharf. There is an incredible diversity and abundance of whales and dolphins inhabiting the bay. www.montereywhalewatching.com
Make plans to attend the Monterey Wine Festival in June at the The Monterey Custom House Plaza.
When I attended, there wase a “Bartenders Fedora Cocktail Throw Down” and The West Coast Chowder Competition. To experience the nautical aspect of Monterey, visit the Maritime Museum of Monterey located in the Stanton Center on the Custom House Plaza, near Fisherman’s Wharf.
If you miss the wine festivals, there are plenty of wine tasting opportunities in Monterey: Take the Wine Trolly from the Portola Hotel & Spa; or visit the Bargetto Winery located in Cannery Row. You will find a winery/brewery, a wine tasting room, winery tours, group tours and gift shop. Check out A Taste of Monterey located in Cannery Row, attractions include a wine tasting room, winery tours, group tours, and gift shop. You can visit Terranova Fine Wines across the street from the Portola Hotel & Spa or visit Wine From The Heart at 241 Alvarado in the Portola Hotel & Spa Mall. This shop specializes in California premium wines and offers daily wine tastings.
There are many outdoor adventures opportunities: Adventures by the Sea rents bicycles, 4-passenger surreys, rollerblades, kayaks and offers scuba for individuals or groups. The Monterey Bay Dive Center can coordinate dive boat excursions. Play tennis at the Monterey Tennis Center at 401 Pearl Street in Monterey. If you like horseback riding, go to the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center and ride through Pebble Beach. There is also a Spring Film Festival.
Book a tour to the historic Hearst Castle; there are four separate tours of different sections of the expansive castle with rich décor, art and antiques. William Randolph Hearst was a media mogul who owned newspapers, magazines and radio stations.
Spend your Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend at the lovely Portola Hotel and Spa. It has the perfect location!
Book a dinner reservation at the Sardine Factory at 701 Wave Street in Historic Cannery Row, a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Winner. www.sardinefactory.com
Another outstanding dining opton is the “C Restaurant and Bar” at the “Clement” Intercontinental Hotel at 750 Cannery Row where every table offers an ocean view.www.ictheclementmonterey.com
Visit Chef Tim Wood and dine The Carmel Valley Ranch. He started his career in New York’s Catskill Mountains. He attended Culinary School at New York’s Culinary Institute. Tim has worked at Manhattan’s Rainbow Room, and the Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, as well as The Carneros Inn.
|Dr. EveAnn Lovero is a Travel Junkie who writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com|