Tag Archives: California

A Basil & Salt Travel Quick-Bite: Inns Of Monterey Announce New Adventure Package

Play by the Bay this Autumn

Inns of Monterey make exploring the Monterey Bay a breeze with the new Adventure Package. Available at Spindrift Inn, Monterey Bay Inn, and Wave Street Inn, the package includes overnight accommodations for two and two tickets for either paddle board rental, traditional bicycle rental or kayak rental from Adventures by the Sea.

Inns of Monterey and Adventures by the Sea are committed stewards of the environment and create experiences without negatively impacting nature.  Whether guests paddle, peddle or kayak, they have a rare opportunity to get a closer look at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, see playful marine life up close, experience Monterey’s living history and view the area’s iconic sights.

Adventures by the Sea, Monterey’s premier recreational company, is located on Cannery Row within walking distance of each hotel.  Their experts provide professional assistance to ensure riders, paddler boarders and kayakers are properly outfitted for their excursion and are taught safety protocol to make a day on the bay or on the bike trail successful.

Spindrift Inn boasts a beachfront setting over Monterey Bay with a traditional, Mediterranean coastal décor. Located at 652 Cannery Row, this romantic hotel has 45 guestrooms and suites with plenty of natural light and serene ambiance. Complimentary continental breakfast is served each day, complimentary wine served each evening and paid valet parking is available.  Spindrift’s Adventure package for two starts at $389.00 per night, based on space available.
For reservations, call (800) 841-1879. Book online at www.spindriftinn.com.

Monterey Bay Inn is located at 242 Cannery Row, adjacent to San Carlos Beach and is near the Coast Guard Pier, Cannery Row Shopping and Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The contemporary-styled 49 guest rooms are eco-friendly with sweeping views of Monterey Bay, abundant natural light, and balconies.  A rooftop hot tub overlooks the bay and there is easy access to the beach. Complimentary continental breakfast served daily and paid parking on-site available. Monterey Bay Inn’s Adventure Package starts at $354.00, based on space available. For reservations, call (800) 424-6242.  Book online at www.montereybayinn.com.

Wave Street Inn‘s beachy décor is inspired by the area’s natural beauty and Cannery Row’s fishing heritage. Contemporary art, pops of ocean-blue and starfish orange accents create a sunny, laid-back vibe.   Amenities include complimentary welcome snack, paid parking on site and outdoor fire pits. Wave Street Inn’s Adventure Package starts at $249.00.  Just steps from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wave Street Inn is located at 571 Wave Street.  For reservations, call (800) 764-2595. Book online at www.wavestreetinn.com

The Trifecta is Back! Disneyland Resort Welcomes Guests Back to this Happy Place, Reopening Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Take Note: Until further clarification from the state, only California residents are allowed to visit the Disneyland Resort theme parks, in groups no larger than three households. There are additional restrictions, please read all updates before heading to the park.

Are you ready? Long considered a beacon of happiness around the world, Walt’s Disney’s original Disneyland Park reopened to the public, along with Disney California Adventure Park, on Friday, April 30, 2021. Guests entered the theme parks filled with joy and excitement as they discovered the magic is here once again, as enchanting and timeless as ever. On this historic day, cast members welcomed guests back to the parks to explore favorite attractions, wave hello to beloved Disney characters, don a pair of Mickey Mouse ears and savor iconic Disney treats.

– Bob Chapek, The Walt Disney Company CEO, marks the historic day with a pre-opening address to cast members

– Magic is here at Disneyland Resort as guests enjoy character sightings, beloved and thrilling attractions, dining, shopping and hotel stays

– New theme park admission system requires confirmed reservations in advance, plus valid tickets for the same park on the same date

Enhanced health and safety measures are in place, including limited capacity

The Wotter family of Lake Elsinore, California, captures a special moment in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle as Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, reopens on Friday, April 30, 2021. Disneyland Resort welcomes guests back to this Happiest Place on Earth, reopening Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

Just prior to the gates of Disneyland opening for the first time in more than a year, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company Bob Chapek participated in the daily ceremony to raise the American flag and shared brief remarks of inspiration for the cast members who were preparing for the momentous day.

Guests returned Friday for the magic of Disney storytelling and the immersive theme park experiences only Disney can deliver. Once again, guests are stepping back into the realm of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, embarking on a swashbuckling voyage on Pirates of the Caribbean and launching into an “Incredible” adventure on the Incredicoaster.  They’re setting sail with children from around the globe on “it’s a small world,” taking photos alongside Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater, and zipping along Route 66 on Radiator Springs Racers.

Guests will experience new magic on some classic attractions, as well. The newly reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish opens to guests for the very first time; the Haunted Mansion has been enhanced with some eerie surprises, and King Arthur’s Carrousel has been fancifully refurbished.

The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort are welcoming guests back to the magic with a phased reopening. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa reopened on April 29, 2021, with limited capacity. Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa plan to reopen May 2. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date.

Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with state requirements and promote physical distancing, the Disneyland Resort is managing attendance through a new theme park reservation system that requires all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required for guests ages 3 and older. A Disney account is required to make theme park reservations. Theme park reservations are limited and subject to availability. Until further clarification from the state, only California residents are allowed to visit the Disneyland Resort theme parks, in groups no larger than three households.

The health and well-being of guests and cast members is a top priority. With enhanced health and safety measures, operational changes are in place at the theme parks and hotel based on guidance from health authorities and learnings from Disney parks around the world to promote physical distancing, enhanced cleanliness and reduced contact.  These measures  include appropriate face coverings required for all guests ages 2 and older, temperature screenings prior to park entry, capacity measures and cashless transactions. Cast members throughout the Resort are dedicated to assist with questions, and guests may check Disneyland.com/update for the current health and safety measures.

Classic attractions and fun-filled favorites

Classic and favorite attractions will begin to open at both parks – from epic experiences like the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to family-friendly experiences like Peter Pan’s Flight and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind.

At Disneyland, the fun awaits on colorful, spinning cups at Mad Tea Party and on thrilling escapades at Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. At Disney California Adventure, guests will be immersed in the stories and adventures of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT!, Toy Story Midway Mania!, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and more.

In Fantasyland, a timeless tale comes alive in news ways on Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. Dazzling new scenes include a dancing figure of Snow White joining the dwarfs in their cottage as the scent of a baking pie wafts through the air. Vibrant new shadow projections show the dwarfs as they march off to the mine happily singing “Heigh Ho,” and the new lighting, glittering jewels and shimmering effects make the mine sparkle. Guests then travel through the Queen’s den to see a new library of spell books, glowing potions and bubbling flasks, toward the famous magic mirror. In the end, Snow White and her Prince ride joyfully into a golden sunset to live happily ever after.

On the “must-do” list for many guests will be a journey to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the largest and most technologically advanced single-themed land expansion ever in a Disney park. Guests are transported to a galaxy far, far away at the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, where they can take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The newest attraction in the land, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opened in January 2020. It takes guests aboard a full-size transport shuttle before they are captured by a Star Destroyer, finding themselves in the middle of a climactic battle between the dark side of the First Order and the light side of the Resistance.

Avengers Campus, a completely new land where guests can live their Super Hero dreams, will open June 4, 2021, at Disney California Adventure.

Characters are part of the magic

Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Company CEO, addresses Cast Members at a ceremony celebrating the reopening of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, on Friday, April 30, 2021. Mr. Chapek stands in the same location in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. as Walt Disney himself when Disneyland was dedicated on July 17, 1955. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

From surprise appearances along Main Street, U.S.A., and Pixar Pier to playful interactions, characters from dozens of favorite Disney stories entertain and delight guests across both parks. Beloved characters will pop up in new ways and sometimes in unexpected places as they remain mindful of physical distancing.

At Disneyland, guests may see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse waving from the train station, or Disney Princesses such as Mulan appear at the Royal Theatre to wave and pose at a distance for guests taking selfies. At Disney California Adventure, Pixar pals may wave from the bandshell at Pixar Pier, and guests can share a laugh while taking photos with Mater and Lightning McQueen along Route 66 in Cars Land.

Certain experiences that draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date.

Themed dining and world-famous food and drinks

Tasty, tantalizing and ready for social media, Disneyland Resort snacks and dishes are a food-lover’s fairytale wishes come true. Park favorites such as the DOLE Whip®, corn dogs and churros are fun treats offered alongside memorable dining experiences that include lobster nachos and novel drinks at Lamplight Lounge, brisket mac & cheese at River Belle Terrace and Mediterranean-California fare at Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining. The parks offer a multitude of food and drink options, from uniquely themed candy apples and specials like Walt’s Chili to the always popular Plaza Inn fried chicken.

At several locations around the resort, mobile ordering* on the official Disneyland app now is the primary way to order food and drinks. Dining reservations are recommended for table-service restaurants. Other convenient features also include the ability to view menus with QR codes, join a mobile check-in walk up list for dining or mobile check-in for dining reservations, all through the Disneyland app.

Check in to the magic at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

After playing in the theme parks, guests may relax with an overnight stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, where they are surrounded by stunning Craftsman-style architecture reminiscent of the turn of the 20th century. Guests are treated to genuine hospitality and quality service, just steps from the Downtown Disney District and Disneyland Resort theme parks. The enchanting Disney magic includes well-appointed accommodations, sparkling pools and a chance to request a wake-up call with greetings from some favorite Disney characters.

Guests with valid theme park admission who are planning a stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel will need to also book theme park reservations in advance, as a hotel stay does not guarantee a park reservation. Hotel capacity will be limited. Guests may book hotel stays for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, or a nearby Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor Hotel, by visiting Disneyland.com or contacting a travel professional.

Digital technology helps guests make the most of their visits

To make the most of a visit to the Disneyland Resort, guests will have digital tools right at their fingertips with the Disneyland mobile app. Guests are strongly encouraged to download the latest version of the Disneyland app before they arrive, and plan ahead with mobile ordering* for food and beverage purchases from select locations. For Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the virtual queue is only accessible via the Disneyland mobile app, and you can only experience the attraction by joining the virtual queue, which is limited and subject to availability. Guests also can use the app to check park hours, make dining reservations, and view maps and other important resort updates. Mobile wait list (subject to availability) and mobile check-in options are available for table-service dining at select locations. Disneyland Resort also recommends cashless transactions such as electronic payment to reduce contact.

Check Disneyland.com for the latest updates

For everything they need to know about their visits, guests are encouraged to check Disneyland.com regularly for updated information, including ticket and reservation information, and which experiences are currently available or will be offered.** Guests also are also encouraged to follow the Disney Parks Blog for the latest details.

Along with must-do experiences throughout the theme parks, guests will find unique shopping and dining experiences throughout the Downtown Disney District. The World of Disney store offers the latest Disney merchandise.

The reopening of Disneyland Resort is a phased approach and subject to change, to align with guidance released from time to time by health authorities and appropriate government agencies. This guidance is fluid and applicable at any given time as community situations change. With that guidance, many factors will determine the timing of when offerings may be available, and the status of indoor and outdoor experiences.

* Message, data and roaming rates may apply. Availability subject to handset limitations and features may vary by handset or service provider. Coverage and app stores not available everywhere. If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first.

** Upon reopening, certain parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, will have limited capacity and will be subject to limited availability or even closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed.

DOLE WHIP is a trademark of Dole Food Company, Inc. Used with permission.

SOURCE Disneyland Resort
Photo 1 | Photo 2

Now is the Moment to Take an Inspired Trip to Monterey County, California

Monterey County CVB invites travelers to experience not-to-miss moments this spring and summer as restrictions lessen and Highway 1 reopens

MONTEREY, Calif., April 26, 2021 — As COVID-19 restrictions lessen across the United States and in the state of California, Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) invites travelers to step away from their everyday to reconnect and recharge in Monterey County, California. Those who travel to Monterey County in the coming months will find unparalleled outdoor adventures for every skillset, 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.

“There is no better time for travelers to rekindle their sense of adventure in Monterey County”

-Rob O’Keefe

“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 destination’s ‘Now is the Moment’ campaign delivers exclusive offers, new itineraries made up of must-experience moments and fresh ways to take advantage of the boundless wide-open spaces and iconic experiences along California’s central coast. The Monterey County CVB has curated a list of reasons ‘Now is the Moment’ to plan a soul-satisfying trip to Monterey County:

NEW/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 we. 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/SET TO REOPEN

Now is the moment to take an inspired trip to Monterey County, California.
  • 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. Be one of the first to revisit the Aquarium by reserving a general admission ticket. Advance tickets are now required, and reservations will become available online at 9 a.m. PT on May 5.
  • 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 Rose. Must-tries include the sparkling Rosé at Folktale Winery and Vineyards.

LATEST LODGING OFFERS

  • Monterey Tides is offering guests up to 30 percent off stays now through May 27, 2021 with its Spring Savings by The Sea promotion. The beach becomes guests’ backyard during a stay at the centrally located boutique property. Head to nearby Monterey State Beach, Del Monte Beach or Sand City Beach to grab a moment in the sun.
  • Book a stay at Carmel-by-the-Sea’s Horizon Inn & Ocean View Lodge and enjoy the properties Mindful by the Beach program hosted in partnership with Monterey Bay Meditation Studio. Free to guests every Monday in April, the program includes a guided 45-minute Mindfulness Session at Carmel Beach followed by light refreshments and wine around a bonfire.
  • Now through June 30, 2021, the Hofsas House Hotel is offering a “sweet” deal to guests. Stay for at least two nights and receive a box of locally made Lula’s Chocolates and a Hofsas House tote bag. Indicate “Sweet Internet Special” when reserving online or calling to make a reservation.
  • Nestled between Monterey Bay and the Marina Dunes Preserve, the ultra-romantic Sanctuary Beach Resort in Marina is offering a Love, Stay & Namaste package including overnight accommodations, a private beach yoga session, chilled sparkling wine and breakfast delivered to the property’s private beachfront cottages.
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton in Seaside is offering a Stay & Play package complete with 36 holes of golf at Bayonet and Black Horse. Overlooking the Monterey Bay, the course was built in the 1950s by General Bob McClure and has since been the host site of two PGA Professional Championships.

Visitors are encouraged to travel responsibly in Monterey County by following all current health and safety guidelines and respecting the area’s iconic landscapes by staying on trails and leaving no trace behind. For more information on eventshotel special offers, promotions, and to learn more ways to grab your moment now, visit SeeMonterey.com/NOW.

SOURCE Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

2010 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay by Matthew Rinkerman

2010 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay

2010 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay

Winemaker’s Notes: 

Pale golden color in the glass, with the faintest hint of green belying its youth, this Chardonnay opens with rich and intense aromas of lemon, lime leaf, citrus flowers, and a touch of honey before moving into spicy pie crust and a hint of mascarpone creaminess – all topped with a nice flinty finish. The citrus trend continues on the palate with a firm acidity and tropical star fruit. This wine has excellent mouthfeel with big full texture and a mouthcoating creaminess that nicely complements the white stone fruit (nectarine and peach) and slight green apple fruit flavors. On the finish, look for a pleasantly subtle marzipan nuttiness.

92 Points The Wine Advocate

“The 2010 Chardonnay is quite a bit fresher and more linear than the 2009, partly because of the length of the growing season, partly because it is a year younger. Slate, minerals, crushed rocks and grapefruit linger on the precise, crystalline finish. This is a very Chablis-like Napa Valley Chardonnay. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.”

91 Points International Wine Cellar

“Pale bright yellow. Complex, brisk aromas of musky pineapple, medicinal herbs, white pepper and licorice; hardly your typical California Chardonnay! At once dense and penetrating, with a strong spine of acidity and some unabsorbed SO2 currently hardening the middle palate. This rather uncompromising no-malolactic Chardonnay displays a serious structure for aging, and will probably need five to seven years to soften up and come into harmony. Assistant winemaker Matthew Crafton noted that in the cool growing season of 2010 it was a challenge to ripen Chardonnay in cooler sites in Napa Valley.

Contributed by Matthew Rinkerman