Spring Fever in Monterey County - Renew the Senses With a Bevy of Cultural & Culinary Events
Scenic Highway 1 Southbound to Big Sur Set to Reopen Soon
MONTEREY, Calif., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Spring spells renewal in Monterey County, with its potent mix of fresh ocean breezes, prime Pacific sunsets and crisp snap of Monterey pine to jump-start the senses. Verdant and visual, this region also boasts the top trekking for wild flower enthusiasts with 25 state and national parks, including the newest edition -- Fort Ord Dunes State Park. Add a wealth of cultural and culinary events slated for spring and summer and a visit to this classic California enclave is as easy as point and click www.SeeMonterey.com.
VISITOR TRAVEL UPDATE
Scenic Highway 1 is temporarily closed at Rocky Creek, 12 miles south of Carmel, for road repair. Big Sur businesses and attractions are are 100 percent open and accessible via northbound Highway 1 or Highways 101 and 46 near Cambria.
TOP 15 SEASONAL EVENTS
Pebble Beach Food & Wine (April 28 – May 1) – All stemware points to this fourth annual event delivering 60 celebrity chefs and 250 wineries. Cork dorks can tap into sessions on "Bold and Beautiful Bordeaux" or legendary wine personality Jim Clendenen's "A Parallel Universe: Au Bon Climat and Domaine Romanet" for the ultimate tastings. A golf tournament, opening gala and cooking demonstrations round out this four-day getaway set at iconic Pebble Beach. www.pebblebeachfoodandwine.com.
Robinson Jeffers Tor House Garden Party (May 1) - Play like a poet and shimmy up a cylindrical staircase to a 40-foot perch that inspired Robinson Jeffers' 400+ free-verse poems. Built by hand by Carmel's only laureate, this inspirational Dickens's-style abode speaks to Jeffers' passion for Ireland, England and Old World romanticism. 2:00- 5:00 p.m. www.torhouse.org.
Marina Festival of the Winds (May 7-8) – All things air and sea collide at this annual festival, staged at Marina State Beach. Celebrate kite-flying, hang-gliding and skim-boarding with a backdrop of music, demonstrations and Mother Nature at its naked best. www.marinafestival.com.
Carmel Art Festival (May 12-15) – With more than 100 galleries within one square mile, Carmel sets the gold standard for art hopping. Tap into this annual festival including a plein-air competition, events, lectures and receptions at 43 resident galleries. www.carmelartfestival.org.
Hipnic at Fernwood Resort (May 13-14) – An only in Big Sur two-day camping/music celebration among the redwoods. Tie-dyed wear optional. www.fernwoodbigsur.com.
The Quail Motorcycle Gathering (May 14) – Rev up for a good time in Carmel Valley with a spectacular display of classic sports and racing bikes, the 100th Year of the Isle of Man TT Races and sensational showcase of all things on wheels. www.quaillodgeevents.com.
Monster Truck Jam (May 15) – Dirt-slinging, non-stop action is on tap at this annual sell-out event staged at Salinas Sports Complex. Big, boisterous bouts of metal collide in a fun time for the entire family. www.salinassportscomplex.com.
AMGEN Tour of California (May 19) – The largest cycling event in America hits the pavement in Seaside and traverses through Big Sur on a challenge of the world's top talent. www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Cooking for Solutions (May 20-22) – Salute choices for a healthy ocean by attending this annual event sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Honoring celebrity chef Rick Moonen, this celebration of food, wine and culinary adventures kicks off with an opening gala at the aquarium followed by cooking demonstrations, a seafood challenge and eclectic choice of off-campus adventures. Alton Brown, John Ash and Bernardus Lodge's own Cal Stamanov lead the charge. www.montereybayaquarium.org.
Castroville Artichoke Festival (May 21-22) – It's all things green and spiky, backed with field tours, agro-art and an artichoke eating contest celebrating the artichoke capitol of the world. Enjoy this edible in a variety of formats from sauteed to grilled, pickled, baked, creamed or frozen. www.artichoke-festival.org.
Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration (June 11) – A haven for local wineries, artisan boutiques and sun-kissed shopping, Carmel Valley is the stop for this annual celebration packed with live music, fine art and wine tasting. www.carmelvalleychamber.com.
Cannery Row Block Party (June 5) – Salute Steinbeck's legacy at this annual family event set along the sea on Cannery Row. From stilt walkers to ice cream eating contests, live music and lovable animals, this party is an ideal escape for urbanites seeking some solid down-home fun. www.canneryrow.org.
Monterey Wine Festival (June 10-11) – Glass in hand, delve into the region's top AVA's at the state's longest-running wine festival. Kick off the 34th event with more than 1,000 wines offered for tasting. www.montereywine.com.
Monterey Beer Festival (June 11) – Belly up to more than 70 breweries offering their top suds backed with live music, food and the first-ever beer-themed short film festival. www.nightthatneverends.com.
Monterey Bay Blues Festival (June 24-26) – The 26th annual festival showcases jazz and blues from around the world. www.montereyblues.com.
Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor. The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 40,000 acres of premium vineyards, 25 golf courses and over 200 lodging properties. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), just three miles from historic downtown Monterey and minutes from the area's major attractions, is served by non-stop flights to and from Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO). www.SeeMonterey.com.
SOURCE Monterey County Convention and Visitor's Bureau