What's New in Monterey County, Summer 2005
Get the latest on opening attractions, hotel renovations and upcoming events in Monterey County, CA - including expanded wine tasting treks, a new Land Rover Experience Driving School, and the "Tee Time on a Dime" discount golf promotion.
MONTEREY, Calif. (PRWEB) July 23, 2005
What's New in Monterey County is a quarterly publication of the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. For more information, members of the media should contact the MCCVB Communications Department at 831-657-6405. All contents of What's New in Monterey County, and additional information, can be found on the "Media" section of www. montereyinfo. org, or can be sent via fax, regular mail or email text.
NEW NON-STOP FLIGHTS NOW LANDING IN MONTEREY
With new daily non-stop flights connecting Monterey to Denver, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, it's now easier than ever to plan a coastal California getaway. The Monterey Peninsula Airport is located just three miles east of historic downtown Monterey and mere minutes away from the area's major attractions, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Steinbeck Center, 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach and Cannery Row. Denver and Las Vegas service began in June; Salt Lake City flights take off on August 1. For more information and complete schedules, visit www. montereyinfo. org. Media contact: Julie Armstrong, 831-657-6405.
TEE TIME ON A DIME: MORE GOLF FOR LESS GREEN
Tight exacting fairways, elevated greens, stoic Monterey Pines and the crashing Pacific... The nation's top golf destination also sports a bevy of courses primed for the public, from the oldest course west of the Mississippi to the two-iron-if-you-can gems that dot Ford Ord. From June 15 through December 15, 2005, the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau's new Tee Time on a Dime promotion helps visitors streamline their swing at six participating courses with a 15 percent discount on regular green fees. Package is subject to availability, not valid for tournament or group use and cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions. Reserve tee times directly with course or visit www. montereyinfo. org for more information. Media contact: Koleen Hamblin, 800-487-9057, Julie Armstrong, 831-657-6405.
OFF-ROAD IN STYLE: NEW LAND ROVER SCHOOL AT QUAIL LODGE
Some 80 acres of hills, wooded trails, sand traps and rocks will challenge drivers when Quail Lodge (www. quaillodge. com) opens the only Land Rover Experience Driving School on the west coast beginning in August 2005. Guests, groups and the public can get behind the wheel of their choice of Land Rover and tackle off-road obstacles; one-on-one instruction by certified Land Rover driving instructors help drivers learn advanced techniques like winching and vehicle recovery. Lessons and team building activities range from one-hour outings to full-day adventures. Media contact: Susan Pasarow, 310-453-2539.
NEW OENOPHILE ADVENTURES IN MONTEREY'S WINE COUNTRY
With 40,000 acres of vineyards and the largest production of chardonnay grapes in the nation, Monterey County has long been a favorite of those planning grape escapes. Now, new wineries and tasting rooms along the areaÂs wine trails offer fresh opportunities to sip and sample. Chateau Sinnet opened a new wine and gourmet shop with tasting room in Seaside in early July; Cima Collina, the first winery in Marina, will debut its small vineyard wines in November 2005. San Saba, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2005, will open a new tasting room at its vineyard just off the Salinas Valley's scenic River Road in August. Other must-see stops along River Road include Paraiso Vineyards and Hahn Estates/Smith & Hook Winery, plus new neighbors Pessagno Winery, Marilyn Remark Wines and Richard Boyer Wines. For more information on Monterey County wines, visit www. montereywines. org. Media contact: Rhonda Motil, 831-375-9400.
YOUNG DETECTIVES MEET THEIR MATCH AT MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM
"Aquarium Detectives" is the newest addition to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's (www. montereybayaquarium. org) popular Aquarium Adventures offerings, available again this summer and fall. Designed for families with children ages 3-9, Aquarium Detectives lets young spies find clues, play games and learn how to keep aquarium animals healthy in their exhibit home. The program is available on select Saturdays through October 29. Started in 2003, Aquarium Adventures gives visitors hands-on access to some of the aquariumÂs most popular exhibits and programming; a complete schedule is available at www. montereybayaquarium. org. Print media contact: Ken Peterson, 831-648-4922, Broadcast media: Mimi Hahn 831-648-4918.
CENTRAL COAST CD-ROM FEATURES STUNNING SCENERY AND TRAVEL INFORMATION
With crashing waves and soaring cliffs, idyllic vineyards, fascinating wildlife and historic buildings, California's Central Coast is a place of spectacular scenic beauty. The Central California Coast Interactive CD-ROM (www. centralcalcoast. com) features more than 500 high-quality photos and a full-screen slideshow of images from Monterey County, Hearst Castle and Cambria. Both a souvenir and a travel reference, the CD includes some 100 pages of printable guides and maps, plus web links and information on local attractions, activities, nature and history. Media contact: Brad Damitz, 888-GOT-KELP.
NEW EVENT FEATURES CARMEL VALLEY WINES AND GALLERIES
New in summer 2005 is the Carmel Valley Wine and Art Walk, which features extended hours (open until 8:00 p. m. or later; varies by location) at local wine tasting rooms, art galleries and shops the first Friday of each month through September. Several tasting rooms, plus restaurants and shopping, are clustered in Carmel Valley Village; other establishments dot Carmel Valley Road. Combining cowboy cool and upscale style, the Carmel Valley is a sun-dappled area boasting top resort hotels, six golf courses (both public and private), and horseback riding, hiking and outdoor sports. For a full list of Carmel Valley events, visit www. carmelvalleychamber. com. Media contact: Randi Andrews, 831-659-9899.
NATIONAL STEINBECK CENTER SUMMER EXHIBITS AND STEINBECK FESTIVAL
The 25th Annual Steinbeck Festival (www. steinbeck. org) will feature four days of speakers, tours, theater, music and events on August 4-7, 2005. This year's festival theme is "Folk, Film and Fish" and will recognize the 60th anniversary of the publication of the novel Cannery Row. Also on exhibit this summer are "The Graceful Envelope," a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition featuring envelopes with unique calligraphy and stamps, and "From the Dust Bowl to the Salad Bowl," a display of quilts made between 1930-1942, as well as music and photographs reflective of the period. Media contact: Amanda Holder, 831-775-4725.
MONTEREY COUNTY AGAIN CONTENDING FOR "AMERICA'S BIRDIEST COUNTY" TITLE
For the second time in three years, Monterey County is in the running to be named "America's Birdiest County" by the American Birding Association, after an April bird-a-thon to document as many species as possible within 24-hours. Monterey County is nationally known as a birding hotspot, with hundreds of shore birds and migrating species living and feeding at Elkhorn Slough, Lake San Antonio, Pinnacles National Monument and Big Sur throughout the year. Volunteers for this year's event, April 29-30, spotted 250 species of birds in the county, including the roadrunner, bald eagle, albatross and tufted puffin. Proceeds from the local event benefited the ongoing research, education and bird-banding work at Ventana Wilderness Society's Big Sur Ornithology Lab; final results are expected in July. Media Contact: Jill Himonas, 831-373-1000.
MONTEREY'S GOLDEN STATE THEATRE RETURNS TO GRANDEUR
When the Golden State Theatre (www. goldenstatetheatre. com), at the center of Monterey's historic Alvarado Street, opened in 1926, it was the largest theater between San Francisco and Los Angeles and could hold 25% of MontereyÂs population. Designed to look like a Moorish castle, its Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ and internal/external telephone system were just some of the modern amenities in the theater and performance center. The original pipe organ was sold and the space divided for movies in the 1950s and beyond; it was not until 1992 that volunteers and investors began the quest to replace the organ and restore the Golden State to its original magnificence. In May 2005 the theatre re-opened, and is now operating as a live performance and film venue, complete with a "new" 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer. A schedule is available at www. goldenstatetheatre. com. Media contact: Warren Dewey or Mat Molloy, 831-372-3800.
SEGWAY BY THE SEA SCOOTS ONTO CANNERY ROW
Visitors have a new way to explore the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail, now that Segway by the Sea has opened on Cannery Row. The segway, a popular two-wheeled, self-balancing, electric-powered transportation device, is designed to respond to the standing rider's movements. Segway by the Sea offers the scooter-like machines for rental and purchase. Cannery Row (www. canneryrow. com) is home to more than 80 shops, restaurants and attractions. Media contact: Jennifer Ware, 831-644-9359.
MONTEREY BAY AVIATION MOVES TO NEW LOCATION
Monterey Bay Aviation (www. montereybayaviation. com; formerly Del Monte Aviation) has moved to the North Ramp at the Monterey Peninsula Airport, and services now include transient ramp and facilities, fuel service, hangar storage, concierge services, aviation supplies, and more. The business also offers flight instruction and special programming for pilots and those with an aviation interest, as well as scenic flight seeing tours of the Monterey Peninsula. Media contact: Donna Brady, 831-375-2359.
MONTEREY COUNTY HOTEL AND RESTAURANT NEWS
Sleep under the stars in an upscale yurt, with the waves of the Pacific crashing below, at Treebones Resort (www. treebonesresort. com) in Big Sur. Opened in November 2004, the resort is set on 10 tree-covered acres and features a waffle breakfast bar. Media contact: Corinne or John Handy, 877-4BIG SUR.
Marina Dunes Resort (www. marinadunes. com) now offers "Yoga on the Beach" classes for hotel guests and the public. The one-hour classes are held each Saturday and Sunday morning. Guests can also enjoy the Health and Wellness Package, with two nights of accommodations, beach yoga class, 60-minute massage and souvenir beach towel. Package rates start at $209 per night. Media contact: Lisa Dias, 831-883-9478.
Carmel Valley Ranch (www. wyndham. com/hotels/MRYCV/main. wnt (http://www. wyndham. com/hotels/MRYCV/main. wnt)) kicked off a multi-million dollar renovation of its 144 guest suites, resort lobby and public areas in April, using the resortÂs natural surroundings as inspiration. Completion is slated for late 2005. Media contact: Amy Campbell, 214-863-1628.
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa (www. montereyplazahotel. com) completed a $1.3 million renovation of all guest room corridors, complete with coffered ceilings, crown molding and new wall coverings, carpet, lighting, art and furnishings. Silver Mountain and Baywood Cellar have also opened on-site wine tasting rooms. Media contact: Doug Phillips, 831-646-1700.
Ventana Inn and Spa's (www. ventanainn. com) new Photography Package pairs guests with fine art photographer David Gubernick for a two-hour, photographic tour of scenic Big Sur with a digital camera supplied by the Inn. Upon completion, participants receive a print to take home. The package is for photographers at any skill level and also includes dinner for two at Cielo, two 50-minute spa treatments, daily complimentary Yoga sessions and more. Ventana Inn also celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2005; all guests staying in 2005 will receive a certificate good for 30% off a return stay valid Nov. 2005-April 2006, and past guests are invited to submit an account of their most romantic moment at the Inn for a chance to win a New YearÂs Eve getaway. Media contacts: Gabriela Knubis, 707-265-7783, Kristen Hunter, 831-375-1747.
Jacks Restaurant at Portola Plaza Hotel (www. portolaplazahotel. com), formerly California Grill, opened after nearly five months of construction. Named after early Monterey businessman David Jacks, the restaurant features American regional flavors, a private dining room and outdoor fireside seating overlooking Custom House Plaza and FishermanÂs Wharf. Media contact: Wade Bryant, 831-649-2682.
New this summer at Big Sur River Inn (www. bigsurriverinn. com), Second Saturday Wine Tastings feature top Monterey County blends and live jazz each month through October. Summer at the Inn also means live music each Sunday on the Riverside Deck Â a complete schedule is available at www. bigsurriverinn. com. Media contact: Janet Lesniak, 831-667-2700.
The Tradewinds at Carmel (www. tradewindsinn. com) won Best Hotel, Best Typical Room and Best Landscaping during the latest HOSPY awards from the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality. Architectural Digest also featured the hotel, which underwent $4 million in renovations in 2004, in its November 2004 issue. Media contact: Susan Stilwell, 831-624-2776.
Asilomar Conference Ground's (www. visitasilomar. com) new self-guided walking audio tours let guests explore Asilomar State Beach and the conference grounds while learning about architecture, regional history, wildlife and ocean ecology. Also new in 2005: The cottage where Julia Morgan lived while overseeing Asilomar's design and construction in the early 1900s is now available for rent. The refurbished, two-suite building sleeps up to six people. Media contact: Catherine Boire, 707-255-5997.
UPCOMING SUMMER AND AUTUMN EVENTS
Nearly 300 events, festivals and celebrations are scheduled annually in Monterey County. Below is a sampling of major events through October 2005. For a complete listing, along with brief descriptions and contact information, visit www. montereyinfo. org and click "Events."
July 16-Aug. 6 * Carmel Bach Festival * 831-624-2046 * www. bachfestival. org
21-24 * California Rodeo Salinas * 800-771-8807 * www. carodeo. com
31 * Moss Landing Antique Street Fair * 831-633-4501
4-7 * 25th Annual Steinbeck Festival * 831-796-3833 * www. steinbeck. org
13 * 13th Annual WinemakerÂs Celebration * 831-375-9400 * www. montereywines. org
21 * Pebble Beach Concours dÂElegance * 831-622-1700 * www. pebblebeachconcours. net
Aug.31-Sept. 4 * The First Tee Open * 831-649-1533 * www. thefirstteeopen. com
11 * Carmel TomatoFest * 888-989-8171 * www. tomatofest. com
16-18 * Monterey Jazz Festival * 925-275-9255 * www. montereyjazzfestival. org
16-18 * CherryÂs Jubilee * 831-759-1836 * www. svmh. com
1-2 * California International Airshow * 831-754-1983 * www. salinasairshow. com
14-16 * Monterey Sports Car Championships * 800-327-SECA * www. laguna-seca. com
22 * 25th Annual Big Sur River Run * 831-624-4112 * www. bigsurriverrun. org