Where To Go In Monterey
County ... During the Western Regional Specialty
The local folks here in Monterey County
have put their heads together and come up with this list of their
favorite places to visit, shop and eat. Its by no means a comprehensive
list, but we can certainly steer you away from the tourist-traps,
and point you in the way of a great meal or two. Most local fish
places have an Italian flavor, since the local fishermen come from
old Sicilian families. DO try the calamari, and an artichoke! No
matter where you are staying, no place is too far away from any
other place. Carmel and Monterey are just a couple of miles apart,
for example, and Pacific Grove (PG to the locals) runs into Monetery
and Pebble Beach, and Seaside runs into Monterey. And some places,
like Phils and Nepenthe, are so lengendary, its worth the trip!
For more local information, try:
Groceries and other necessities:
- Albertsons, Carmel Rancho Blvd,
just south of Carmel Valley Rd.
- Safeway, Rio Road at Highway One,
in the Crossroads Shopping Center
- Longs Drug Store, next to Safeway.
Large, very complete store.
- Brintons, across Carmel Rancho Blvd
from Albertsons, hardware and housewares.
- Costco. Off Highway 1 in Sand City,
northern side of Monterey before Ft. Ord. Also 101 at Laurel in
- Walmart, near Costco in Salinas
- Del Monte Shopping Center, Monterey,
Munras Ave. exit from Highway 1, northbound. Macys, Mervyns, Whole
Foods,, movie theaters, etc.
- Northridge Shopping Center, 101
at Boronda Rd, Salinas. Macys, Penneys, Sears, Mervyns, etc.
- All of Carmel! Look for the Coach
Factory Store and Dansk on Ocean Ave.
- American Tin Cannery. On the Pacific
Grove side of Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Factory
- The Decoy Gallery, 6th Ave., Carmel
(625-1881). Wonderful dog and wildlife art, prints, decoys, etc.
Very special things.
- The Total Dog, 26366 Carmel Rancho
Lane, near Albertsons, across from the Barnyard. 624-5553. Dog
supplies as well as lovely and unusual items.
- Petco, Crossroads Shopping Center,
on lane behind Longs.
- Collier Feed, 101 W. Laurel, Salinas
(Laurel exit off 101, east of 101), 443-6161. Many high-end dog
- PetSmart, near Costco in Sand City,
also in Salinas
- YellowDog Gallery, Dolores between
5th and 6th, Carmel, 624-3238. Debra Marlin, artist and author
of YellowDog and YellowPup, has moved to Carmel, and her gallery
is not to be missed!
Beaches, parks, hiking, things to
Carmel City beach. At the foot of Ocean Ave. Its a long sandy
hike down the hill to the water, or do what we do, and head south
on Scenic a few blocks, as far as 13th . You'll find stairways
down to the beach every block or so. VERY dog-friendly. No leashes
if your dog is in control, carry baggies for clean-up.
- Del Monte Beach in Monterey, just
east of Wharf #2 in Monterey. May require leashes.
- Pfeiffer State Park beach in Big
Sur. State beaches require leashes.
Monastary Beach, along Highway One just south of Carmel on the
way to Pt. Lobos, is VERY DANGEROUS. Horrible undertow. For people
and for dogs. The locals call it Mortuary Beach. People and dogs
DIE there every year.
- Garland Ranch Regional Park. About
8 miles east of Highway One on Carmel Valley Rd. Keep dpgs on
leash until you get away from parking area and into the park,
but dogs are okay if under voice control.
- Jacks Peak Park, incredible views.
Pebble Beach/Highway 68 exit from One, head east on Aguajito Rd.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium. Considered
the best in the country, if not the world. Fantastic. Be sure
to take at least 4+ hours. Fantastic. Also terrific restaurant
and cafeteria. (L/D) $$ to $$$
- The 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.
Allow yourself at least two hours, because you will want to stop
at every turn out. Bring camera and extra film. The Pebble Beach
restaurants are all good, all expensive. But worth it.
(from $--cheap, meals from under $10,
to $$$$$--expensive, $30+++ a person) (B/L/D/W -- breakfast, lunch,
dinner, weekend brunch)
- The Running Iron Restaurant and
Saloon. Hands down, everyones favorite place for cheap eats, and
you wont go away hungry. Everything from burgers and other sandwiches,
Mexican specialties, dinner specials, weekend brunch, great atmosphere.
(L/D/W) $ to $$
- Plaza Linda. Great Mexican food.
Historic, too---this where Joan Baez brought her English visitors
when she lived in Carmel Valley. You know, The Fab Four... (L/D)
- Cafe Rustica. (Across from Plaza
Linda). This place is getting rave reviews, more expensive. $$
- Just about every other place in
the Village will be wonderful. Its THE place to be. Ask any local
about any other place. Too many to mention.
CARMEL VALLEY RD, and THE MOUTH OF THE VALLEY
Covey Restaurant at Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley Rd, across
from Suzi Blufords house. This is where to go when you take BOB,
and be sure to treat all your friends. World-class, and expensive.
And worth it. (D) $$$$$
- Baja Cantina, Valley Hills Shopping
Center, next to Quail Lodge. Good Mexican food, fun atmosphere
with old racing car theme. Moderate. (L/D) $$
- The Rio Grill, Crossroads Shopping
Center. Terrific food, a real local favorite. Moderate to expensive,
ala carte menu. California cuisine (L/D) $$$ to $$$$
- Chevys. Crossroads Shopping Center.
Needs no introduction. (L/D) $$
- China Delight, Crossroads Shopping
Center. Our favorite for Chinese food. (L/D) $ to $$
- Allegro Pizza, Barnyard Shopping
Center, Carmel Rancho Blvd. Better than all those cheap pizzas!
Great, in fact! (L/D) $$
- The Wagon Wheel, Valley Hills Shopping
Center. (B/L). $ to $$
- Little Swiss Cafe, 6th Ave. and
Dolores, Carmel. (B/L) $ to $$
- Katys Place, Mission and 6th, Carmel.
Breakfasts. (B/L) $ to $$
- The Mission Ranch. Dolores St, behind
the Carmel Mission (Rio Rd). Clint Eastwoods restaurant and inn,
THE place to people-watch, terrific old Carmel tradition (my parents
were going here in 1943!) Great food, too. (D) $$$$
- The Hogs Breath Inn has just reopened,
but it is not owned by Clint Eastwood. No reviews available.
- Casanovas. Romantic, great food,
lovely way to spend an evening. (L/D)$$$$
Any of John Pistos restaurants, and
look for his cooking show on the local cable channel. Terrific!
Emphasis on seafood, with Italian accents.
- Abalonettis, Fishermans Wharf. Great
calamari, moderate to expensive. (L/D) $$$
- Domenicos On The Wharf. Oyster Bar,
expensive, and very very good. (L/D) $$$$
- The Whaling Station, 763 Wave St.,
above Cannery Row. Best steaks in the county. (D) $$$$
- Paradiso Trattoria, on Cannery Row.
YUM! (L/D) $$$-$$$$
- Tarpys Roadhouse, Highway 68 on
the way to Salinas, past the Monterey Airport. Similiar to The
Rio Grill in Carmel. (L/D) $$$ to $$$$. Beautiful outdoor seating.
- Del Monte Express, 2329 N. Fremont.
Home of the Adult Five Napkin Hamburger (B/L/D) $
- Papa Chanos, Alvarado St, downtown
and near Costco in Sand City. Fresh, cheap, and very good. (L/D)
- Peppers. Terrific fresh Mexican food.
- Toasties Cafe. Breakfast. Great!
- Fandangos. French bistro-style, wonderful
food. Like Casanovas in Carmel. (L/D) $$$$
- Chef Lees. North Main Street, across
from Northridge Mall. Chinese, a local tradiiton. Also in Monterey
on Fremont St. (L/D) $ to $$
- Spagos, Old Town Salinas downtown.
Pizza, Italian, best in Salinas. (L/D) $$ - $$$
- Ginos, South Main. On the way to
Highway 68 and Monterey. Italian, family-style. (L/D) $$ - $$$
Salinas is also where you'll find reliable places like Red Lobster
and Olive Garden, both on North Main.
- Saritas Mexican. Reservation Rd.,
behind McDonalds. A tiny old-fashioned place, good food. (L/D)
- Bamboo Pavilion, next to Saritas.
Very good Chinese. (L/D) $ to $$
PLACES NOT TO MISS, AND WORTH THE EFFORT
TO GET THERE
in Big Sur. Views forever, great food, the place of legends.
At least 30 to 45 minutes south of Rio Road, winding road, take
longer if you want to see the scenery! The scene of the party
in The Sandpiper with Liz Taylor, Richard Burton and Charles Bronson.
(B/L/D) $$ to $$$
Big Sur. Everyones idea of luxury in the middle of the wilderness.
The Sardine Factory, Wave
Street, above Cannery Row. Classy joint, a place to celebrate.
Clint Eastwood stopped by here for a drink in Play Misty For Me.
(D) $$$$ Or stop by to just have a drink.
Fish Market and Eatery, Moss Landing. (B/L/D) $ to $$. What
Fishermans Wharf used to be. When they tore down the old building,
Phil held a wake and moved two doors down. This is only about
a fast 25-30 minute trip up Highway One. Everyones favorite fish
place. Check out Phil's menu at www.philsfishmarket.com. Don't
miss this one.
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