June 3, 2021

Three Monterey County Road Trips, Chapter Two

Views & Vines

It is always a great day to start an adventure in Carmel Valley. This slice of heaven enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Carmel Valley is known for its rolling hills, grapevines and tranquil experiences. You might indulge at Refuge, the Valley's first co-ed, outdoor spa. This cell phone-free site promotes silence while offering guests access to plunge pools, thermal waterfalls, Swedish and deep-tissue massages, and of course, breathtaking, panoramic views of the Santa Lucia Range.

You migh continue to Folktale Winery & Vineyards, well known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery also offers a crisp, warm-weather favorite: Folktale Sparking Rosé. You may dine outdoors in the Wine Garden (reservations required), with menu specialties including fresh ceviche, wood-fired pizzas, artisanal cheeses and so much more.

Travelers who prefer multiple wine tasting options in a walkable area should venture to Carmel Valley Village. The Village offers dozens of wineries within a three-block radius. From Bernardus and Boekenoogen to Twisted Roots and Windy Oaks, our wineries have the alphabet covered

Should the urge to feel the open road, head south toward Big Sur along the most epic stretch of California's Highway 1. You might stop in Carmel Highlands for lunch at the California Market at Pacific's Edge. The restaurant offers dishes made with locally grown ingredients and unmatched views of natures majesty at Point Lobos State Reserve.

Work off those lunch calories with a hike at the stunning Andrew Molera State Park. There, you may enjoy panoramic views of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Or, journey on to Henry Miller Library. The library pays homage to the acclaimed author, who found such great inspiration in Big Sur. You will want to end the day at Nepenthe, internationally known for unparalleled views of the coast. And oh, yes. The famous Ambrosia Burger..