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Wednesday, 05 May 2021 11:30

Now is the Moment, Says Monterey

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Enjoying an Asilomar sunset Enjoying an Asilomar sunset

TASTE News Service, May 5, 2021 – As COVID-19 restrictions are lessening across the United States and in the state of California, Monterey County is inviting is inviting travelers to visit.

They promise those who travel to Monterey County in the coming months will find “unparalleled outdoor adventures, a growing food and wine scene, immersive cultural experiences, renowned scenic drives, and the opportunity to explore the fascinating marine life that call the Monterey Bay home.”

“With Highway 1's reopening, there is no better time for travelers to rekindle their sense of adventure in Monterey County,” said Rob O'Keefe, president and CEO at Monterey County CVB. “Our unrivaled hospitality community has worked hard over the past year to put the highest health and safety protocols in place, and we are elated that now is the time to welcome visitors back to our breathtaking destination.”

The Monterey County CVB has created a list of reasons 'Now is the Moment' to plan a trip to Monterey County:

New and Limited-Time Experiences

Book the new Bikes, Bites & Bevs Tour, offered by Carmel Food Tours and Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop, that includes an e-bike ride to picturesque Point Lobos State Park followed by a walking food tour in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Seize the moment from 15,000 feet over the Monterey Bay with Skydive Monterey Bay's new Silver Package. The package celebrates Skydive Monterey Bay's 25th anniversary and offers adventure seekers the chance to experience “California's Highest Tandem Jump.” After jump completion, receive a framed first jump certificate, a gear store gift and mini gear bag. The special package offers visitors more than 35 percent off normal rates. Book now for $229 per person with an advance reservation.

Stave Wine Cellar at Pebble Beach Resort's The Inn at Spanish Bay will offer an 'Exclusive Moments' tasting experience during the month of May, partnering with the best producers in California to create three unique wines exclusive to the resort.

The Sardine Factory, located within Monterey's historic Cannery Row, is offering a new 'Monterey Moment' cocktail May through June. Made with limoncello, lemon juice, orange juice, blue curacao and topped with champagne, the refreshing drink has hints of blue to convey the Monterey Bay and comes complete with a personalized jingle from the award-winning restaurant's resident entertainer, David Conley.

The new Art installations in Sand City have recently transformed the coastal town into one of the most accessible outdoor public art galleries on the peninsula. Take a self-guided walking tour around the West End to see the new public art, completed by local and national artists.

Recently Reopened or Set to Reopen

Big Sur's beloved Pine Ridge Trail recently reopened after being closed for five years. Located in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest, the 19.5-mile trail leads hikers from Big Sur Station to Sykes Camp with a cover of redwoods, pine and oak along the way.

The famed Monterey Bay Aquarium will reopen to the public on Saturday, May 15, ending a 13-month closure. Dedicated to marine research and conservation, the Aquarium features 35,000 creatures representing over 550 sea life and marine species.

The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas will reopen on Thursday, May 6. The center is dedicated to legendary author John Steinbeck who was born and raised in Monterey County's agricultural hub. Steinbeck drew on his experience growing up in the region for novels such as “Cannery Row” and its sequel “Sweet Thursday.”

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca announced its 2021 line-up of events kicking off with the GEICO Motorcycle MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey from July 9-11. Tickets are on sale now with anticipation that spectators will be able to attend all events at the world-famous race track.

Seasonal Secrets

Spring is one of the best times to visit Pinnacles National Park where adventurers can enjoy mild temperatures and a variety of wildflowers. Hoping to spot a magnificent California condor? Set out for a hike on the strenuous 8.4-mile High Peaks-Balconies Loop or opt for the Bench Trail's spotting scopes in the early morning or early evening.

Kayak Connection's Starlight Bioluminescence Tour in Moss Landing starts before sunset for easy viewing of resident marine life frolicking and feeding at dusk. Once the sun goes down, visitors enjoy the glow while paddling through the bioluminescent waters.

May is the prime month to spot Pacific Grove's majestic purple phenomenon, dubbed the “Purple Carpet.” View thousands of magenta ice plants take over the coastline along Ocean View Boulevard by foot, bike, car or boat.

A renowned whale-watching destination, Monterey County offers visitors the opportunity to see the great gray whale migration and the return of the humpback whales to the Monterey Bay this spring. The spring season also brings greater sightings of killer whales to the area as well. Book a whale watching tour from Monterey or Moss Landing.

There is no better place to kick off the start of Rosé season than sunny Carmel Valley. Located in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, Carmel Valley wineries offer an abundance of varieties with several specializing in Grenache Rosé. Must-tries include the sparkling Rosé at Folktale Winery and Vineyards

Editor’s Note:  More information about the above events, as well as offers on lodging in Monterey County can be accessed at SeeMonterey.com

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