Monterey Journals

The Enchantments of the Monterey Peninsula

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An October 2003 trip to Monterey by smmmarti guide

Fishermans Wharf Photo, Monterey, California More Photos
Quote: From historic missions to literary legacies, from chi-chi Carmel residences to the down-home, rural allure of Salinas, this California peninsula resists definition by mere cliques. To call her raging ocean, astonishing mountain vistas, deserts, redwood forests, and gorgeous vineyards "stunning, awesome, beautiful, fabulous" simply fails. Pulchritudinous comes to mind...

The Enchantments of the Monterey Peninsula

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Overview

Fisherman's Wharf Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
For years I listened to fables and myths about Pebble Beach, the golf mecca of rich and reluctant celebrities. For decades I'd heard people with high aspirations of human potential declare Big Sur the consummate soul searchers' destination. I'd even heard rugged Harley riders swear (literally) that the storied drive along Hwy. 1 was bleep-ing phantasmagoric - among other things. Yet, I remained unconvinced that Monterey Peninsula was the be-all end-all destination. That is, until a friend who is in the business of wines showered high praise on...Read More

Marriott Monterey

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Hotel | "Marriott at Monterey"

Marriott Monterey Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Some of the nation''s most romantic hotels are located on the Monterey Peninsula, tucked into lush valleys or perched on ocean cliffs. But since we wanted to stay downtown in order to stroll after dinner and enjoy some local nightlife, we bypassed the more charming, remote locations and cashed in a bundle of frequent-stay awards at the Marriott in downtown Monterey. The hotel has all the amenities of a first-rate conference center with extensive meeting rooms, high-speed, wireless Internet connections, exhibition halls, and a 24-hour business center tucked behind the ubiquitous portrait of J.W. and son, founders of the chain. However, in spite of being part of a triad of hotels that make up th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 28, 2003

Marriott Monterey
350 Calle Principal
Monterey 93940
(831) 649-4234

Montrio's

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Restaurant | "Montrio"

Montrio's Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Rolling vineyards, vast cattle ranches, copious produce farms, bounteous seafood - Monterey County is a veritable chef’s dreamland which translates into fabulous dining choices for visitors and residents. Take Montrio, for example. Located only steps from the Monterey Marriott, the restaurant has an interior design that could survive critics in Miami or San Francisco. The historic firehouse, complete with gigantic street-side garage doors, has been totally made over using an eclectic styling that plays off its origins yet infuses the place with a spu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 28, 2003

Montrio's
414 Calle Principal
Monterey, California 93940
(831) 648-8880

Talbott Tasting Room

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Attraction

Talbott Tasting Room Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
A recent article in San Francisco magazine claimed the slogan of Carmel Valley's wine region to be the "Wild West of Wine Making." Compared to the better known, heavily stomped Napa Valley, the area is more rugged and the atmosphere far more relaxed. As a matter of fact, we even overheard a few yee-haws that day. Our introduction to the region's offerings began at the Taste of Monterey, next to the Steinbeck Center in Salinas. After only a few sips, we were destined across Laureles Grade through the county's valley and benchlands down Carmel Valley Road to what could be called Vintner'...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 28, 2003

Talbott Tasting Room
53 East Carmel Valley Road
Monterey, California 93924
(831) 659-3500

National Steinbeck Center

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Attraction

National Steinbeck Center Photo, Salinas, California
Quote:
John Steinbeck, one of America''s most widely-read and acclaimed writers, obviously loved his home county of Monterey. He began his quest to become a writer while still in his early teens and after working in the farms and sardine canneries of the "Valley of the World," decided to write about the fascinating people he encountered during his experiences. It was a memorable and uncultivated period of history for the young county and the young man. Write What You Know Many of Steinbeck''s best-known books centered on the life and struggles his fellow citizens on the Monterey Peninsula. Steinbeck''s perspicacious depiction of local characters aroused outrage in earlier days. "Of Mice ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 28, 2003

National Steinbeck Center
1 Main Street
Salinas, California 93901
(831) 775-4721

Cannery Row District

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Attraction | "Cannery Row's Intriguing Character"

Cannery Row District Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Cannery Row's legacy was guaranteed after John Steinbeck wrote a novel by the same name. In spite of the literary fame bestowed upon the area, there is a chance that had Steinbeck never written the book, Cannery Row would nevertheless draw throngs of visitors based on its history, location, natural features, and attractions. In the 1850s, a group of Chinese pioneer families settled at the appropriately referenced "China Point," where for over 50 years they lived in relative isolation in a thriving community supported by the area's abundant marine resources. In 1896, Otosaburo Noda, a Japanese entrepreneur who had been working in local farms, contacted the Japanese government, reporting on the hu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 28, 2003

Cannery Row District
Cannery Row
Monterey, California

The Perfect

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Story/Tip

Carmel River Beach and Lagoon Photo, Monterey, California
Quote:
Is there a greater pleasure when traveling than hanging out and poking around a new territory? Searching out the unfamiliar, where nothing much and everything has the potential to surprise and offer unexpected connections and insights, is travel's supreme joy. This sort of carefree exploration is the essence of a visit to Carmel. It starts out being so beautiful you don't mind if it also turns out to be a mindless indulgence. But soon enough, you inevitably begin to question and examine the very elements that create the overall attraction. In other words, Carmel's beauty is far deeper than its gorgeous skin, but you'd accept her even if it weren't so. The legacy of Carmel began when t...Read More