Whether you are a loyal fan of Monterey County or a first-timer to the area it seems as though everyone always wants to know what is "new." We have rounded up ten of the most notable new and refreshed features in our awe-inspiring destination fit for the novice traveler and those that think they are "in-the-know."
10. Guided Segway Tours
Venture Monterey Peninsula's coastline while on your very own personal transporter! Segway Tours Monterey offers three iconic tours including "Historical Monterey," "Recreation Trail" and "Seventeen Mile Drive." Each visitor will get a crash course in "Segway safety" before hitting the trail to take in some of Monterey County's finest sights and historical tidbits.
9. Electric Bikes on the Rec Trail
Want to enjoy all of the sights and sounds of the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail without breaking a sweat? Blazing Saddles, located in front of the InterContinental the Clement Monterey, just introduced their electric bicycle which reaches speeds up to 20mph. Youcan cruise scenic trails and climb some of the toughest hills like champ!
8. Eat Like the Elite with Sierra Mar's Three-Course Lunch Menu
The exclusive Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur recently introduced a new three-course prix fixe menu at their cliff-side and award-winning restaurant Sierra Mar. Lunch at this foodie favorite is offered from 12:15pm-3:00pm for $40 and an additional $27 for wine pairings with each course. Dinner is also available as a four-course prix fixe or a-la-carte. This is quite the hot spot so be sure to make reservations in advance.
7. Obama Inducts New National Park
In January, President Barack Obama designated Pinnacles National Monument as a sacred National Park. Explore all that this 26,000 acre park has to offer including bird watching, camping and hiking.
6. Otters Back at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
After a six month hiatus the sea otters are back in town with new and improved living space at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Check out Ivy, Abby, Kit, Rosa and Gidget at their new digs in the two-story 55,000 gallon tank.
5. Hunker Down on a Fast Raft
Take to the open sea on the new Fast Raft! Their Marine Eco-Tours are the way to go when it comes to exploring the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in an exhilarating way. Captain Henry takes crews of six and maneuvers the speedy and comfortable pontoon boat through the Monterey Bay. Tours leave from Monterey at 9:00am and 1:30pm.
4. Vacation like a Celeb at Revamped Gardener Ranch
The former historic John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch which once hosted the likes of Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood and Lucille Ball has just been refurbished and renamed Gardener Ranch. The rustic property located along the Carmel River in Carmel Valley offers a variety of accommodations from a Main House with three bedrooms and a private swimming pool to a River Cottage with one-bedroom and a fireplace. The ranch hosts a variety of activities like bocce, horseshoes, croquette and lawn bowling.
3. Munch on Sustainable Seafood at Cindy's Waterfront
Chef Cindy Pawlcyn re-opens the highly anticipated and renovated restaurant and cafe at the Monterey Bay Aquarium April 27th. Cindy's Waterfront and Express Café feature farm-to-table menus with locally sourced items and sustainable seafood from the Seafood Watch program. At Cindy's Waterfront visitors can enjoy items like Monterey Bay calamari with Cindy's curry vinaigrette, grilled line-caught albacore sandwiches and apricot/sour cherry brioche bread pudding with caramel sauce.
2. 28 Million Reasons to Revisit Quail Lodge
The spacious 850-acre oasis in Carmel Valley known as Quail Lodge & Golf Club is back open for business! After three years and a $28 million renovation the sprawling golf resort introduces 93 revamped California Ranch-style bungalow rooms with plush amenities like a deep soaking tub and separate shower.
1. Cheers to New Wine Tasting Venues
Not one, not two but multiple wineries have opened their doors and popped bottles for the first time in Monterey County this year. Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel Valley in particular are swarming with new tasting rooms pouring labels for Cima Collina, Manzoni Cellars, Tudor Wines and Trio Carmel. Carmel-by-the-Sea has even launched a Carmel Wine Walk-By the-Sea passport which allows visitors to taste from nine different venues. Carmel Valley also touts a hefty amount of tasting rooms along the East End Wine Row. Cheers!