On to Monterey!

So our travel plans will next take us to Monterey. It will be an early morning out of Paso and then we will head up Hwy 101 to Salinas to Monterey.  Now it will be early morning, so we won’t be doing any tastings but we will be passing through lots of wine country.  Monterey wineries begin in Greenfield with Scheid winery and go north through Soledad and Salinas with wineries such as Wrath, and Talbott.  We will enjoy the view and probably take some photos, but sadly on this trip we will not be stopping in.  We will continue to Monterey and there head to A Taste of Monterey to sample a little from many of the different wineries, before heading to lunch and the aquarium.  The drive from Paso to Monterey is about 2 1/4 hours.  We plan to have breakfast  before leaving and we will have snacks packed.

A Taste of Monterey is a tasting room on Cannery Row Monterey with a great view of Monterey Bay.  They feature the wines from over 90 local wineries.  We figured a tasting here, might decide what other wineries to add to our list in this area.  The location is only a block from the Monterey Aquarium so we will park once and then enjoy the day.  After the tasting we will head to lunch  possibly at the Sea Harvest Market & Restaurant.  This place is slightly off the beaten path, not down in the touristy part of Cannery row and has great reviews for hearty seafood meals.  If you want the best view the restaurants on Cannery row may be for you.  But we will be looking for good seafood at a reasonable price for lunch.  Although….we could change our minds so keep posted!

After lunch it’s off to the Aquarium.  Michael and I love aquariums and the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the best.  Their new Open Sea exhibit is open and there is the kelp forest, the giant octopus, a sea otter exhibit and a sea horse exhibit.  Check out the website, they have webcams were you can enjoy the aquarium from home!  Tickets at $30 per person for the day.

After the afternoon at the aquarium we will head out onto the Monterey peninsula  stopping by Lovers Point and heading on to the Monarch Grove Sanctuary.  In the autumn thousands of Monarch Butterflies decend on the Monterey pines and Eucalyptus trees in Pacific Grove.  They winter there from October to February.

Now it’s on to Asilomar State Beach and then onto the famous 17 mile drive.

12 Mile Drive

This drive is considered one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world.  Located in Pebble beach the drive has $10 per vehicle fee.  Along the way you will see The Lone Cypress, Fanshell Overlook, Spanish Bay, Point Joe and the Lodge at Pebble Beach.  We will enter on the Monterey side at the Pacific Grove gate and will drive around to exit at the Carmel Gate.

Now it’s off to the Normandy Inn.  After quite a bit of searching I came across this hotel in a Sunset Magazine article.  The hotel is meant to transport you to the French countryside.  It is within walking distance of all the shops and restaurants in Carmel-by-the-sea.  So we will check in and wonder out for dinner and perhaps a wine tasting!

Downtown Carmel sports multiple tasting rooms including: Cima Collina, Caraccioli Cellars, Galante & Wrath, so we will try to stop by one of those before dinner at either La Bicyclette or PortaBella.

With full tummies it will be time to curl up and have a good sleep before we are out for a big day of hiking.

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