2023 brings new experiences, momentous milestones and more to explore in Monterey County. In addition to the celebration of numerous milestones like the 10-year anniversary of Pinnacles National Park, visitors to the region will enjoy an array of fabulous new offerings, from innovative culinary experiences to immersive adventures throughout Monterey County.
While some things in Monterey County never change, like our breathtaking views and warm hospitality, visitors will find plenty of new reasons to dive deeper and stay longer to explore all our destination has to offer. On top of the quintessential scenery and world-class activities, the region is welcoming diverse culinary options and unique immersive experiences, adding to the ever-growing reasons for travelers to visit.
NEW AND UPCOMING ACCOMMODATIONS, PARTNERSHIPS & PROGRAMS
From first-class accommodation options to eco-friendly and economical, new and renovated properties abound through the County.
- VILLA MARA CARMEL (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened in May of 2022
An intimate, 16-room boutique luxury hotel nestled in the bucolic Carmel Point neighborhood. Offering a residential-inspired, adults-only experience, the intimate hotel is located one mile from Carmel-by-the-Sea’s iconic downtown area.
- KIND TRAVELER (Big Sur, Carmel Valley, Marina) | Launched in December 2022
The world’s first “give + get” hotel booking platform is now live in Monterey County, with three sustainably minded properties open for booking and more on the way. Promoting community prosperity, Kind Traveler gives back with every booking at iconic properties, including the Post Ranch Inn, Bernardus Lodge & Spa and Sanctuary Beach Resort.
- HAMPTON INN & SUITES (Marina) | Projected to open in early 2023
Perfect for the budget traveler, the 90-room hotel will offer a 1,200 sq. ft. meeting space, fitness room, guest laundry, a sundries shop, an indoor pool and an outdoor patio across 2 acres. Reservations will be accepted starting January 28, 2023.
- HOME 2 SUITES BY HILTON (Marina) | Projected to open in late summer/early fall 2023
A family and pet-friendly accommodation, the 93-room, all-suite hotel is perfect for extended stays, and features in-suite kitchenettes.
Eliminating the tedious task of searching for entertainment and deals, visitors can view the very best the county has to offer by booking stays and packages directly through the hotel, like a Beer & Stay Package or whale watching discounts. New packages and offers are added year-round.
NEW AND DIVERSE CULINARY OFFERINGS
Monterey County’s ever-evolving culinary scene is becoming more diverse with a range of new restaurants and bars, each with its own story to tell.
- AABHA INDIAN MONTEREY (Monterey) | Opened December 2022
The second location to open, located in historic Duarte House, Aabha puts emphasis on classic Indian cuisine through a coastal California lens and boasts over 100 hookah water pipes and 30 flavors.
- FORAY RESTAURANT (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened November 2022
Chef Michael Chang draws inspiration from the world-class produce in the Salinas Valley and fresh seafood, combined with inland finds that he forages personally.
- ALVARADO ON MAIN (Salinas) | Opened November 2022
An instant hit within California’s thriving beer scene, Alvarado Street Brewery welcomed Alvarado on Main in Salinas, featuring 48 taps of house brewed beers in an Art Deco-inspired atmosphere.
- PHIL'S FISH MARKET (Castroville) | Re-Opened in November 2022
Celebrating its 40th anniversary with a sparkling new location in Castroville (formerly in Moss Landing), Phil’s Fish Market pays homage to its new city ‒ Artichoke Capital of the World ‒ featuring eight artichoke dishes alongside their famous cioppino and fresh seafood.
- CHEZ NOIR (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened October 2022
Rooted in coastal California cuisine, Chez Noir is the passion project of husband-and-wife team Chef Jonny Black (Per Se, Atelier Crenn, Quince) and Monique Black. The modern, seafood-centric menu draws from French and Spanish inspirations and showcases pristine ingredients sourced throughout the Monterey Peninsula.
- ALBATROSS RIDGE WINERY & KITCHEN (Monterey) | Opened September 2022
Albatross Ridge’s third tasting room, located in downtown Monterey, offers wine tastings and glasses of their iconic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, in addition to cheese and light bites.
An offshoot of the original Salinas location, El Charrito Express brings its signature handmade flour tortillas to downtown Monterey during breakfast and lunch. In the evening, the space transforms into Alejandro’s, an elegantly designed restaurant and bar with inventive cocktails and scratch-made dishes.
- THE GRILL ON OCEAN AVENUE (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened September 2022
The Grill on Ocean Avenue features an eclectic menu of global favorites inspired by fresh and local California ingredients.
- MALIGNE (Seaside) | Opened June 2022
Helmed by Chef and owner Klaus Georis, and sous chefs Greg Delgadillo and Austen Falls, the team has cut their teeth at distinguished restaurants around the world (Sierra Mar in Big Sur, SingleThread in Healdsburg, In de Wulf in Belgium), bringing centuries-old cooking traditions to its wood-fired seafood and raw preparations.
RESTAURANTS COMING SOON
- NICOLAS COCINA DE HERENCIA (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Projected to open winter 2022
By Chef/Owner Susana Alvarez of the beloved Villa Azteca in Salinas, Nicolás Cocina de Herencia will honor Alvarez’s heritage, serving specialty Michoacán dishes and incorporating three generations of family recipes.
- HEIRLOOM PIZZA CO. (Salinas) | Projected to open March 2023
Specializing in deep dish and thin crust pizzas, Heirloom Pizza Co. brings their coveted pies to the booming Main Street of Salinas, along with a live music venue in an Art Deco designed building.
- AD ASTRA (Monterey) | Projected to open summer 2023
Ad Astra Bread Co., a micro-bakery focusing on natural leavened sourdough breads, will relocate to a 3,000 square foot space with sidewalk tables for al fresco dining.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS AND IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
Renowned properties from Pebble Beach to Laguna Seca announce new and noteworthy events, while local purveyors offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the adventurous traveler.
- PEBBLE BEACH HOSTING U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME | July 2023
For the first time in Pebble Beach history, the iconic golf course will welcome the greatest players in the world to compete for the most coveted championship in women’s golf - the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open on July 5-9, 2023. The U.S. Open and Women’s Open will be played on Pebble Beach Golf Links for decades to come, with scheduling into 2048 for both tournaments.
The country’s only sel gris harvester introduces two immersive ocean-side experiences for the curious traveler.
A reimagined farm-to-table, the Ocean to Table Experience allows travelers an up-close look into how the salt forms, starting with a drive down the scenic coast of Big Sur and ending with an exploration of the formation of the salt crystals at the Carmel Valley.
Harmonizing the serenity of the ocean with mindfulness of yoga, Big Sur Salts offers a never-seen-before yoga experience that promotes well being and skin rejuvenation. Set up oceanside or in the scenic valley, custom yoga pools are filled with purified Big Sur salt water.
The legendary track gets a fresh new start (literally) with a new Start/Finish bridge and new track surface, bringing even more excitement to an action packed 2023 racing season featuring the Porsche Rennsport Reunion 7 and an exciting lineup.
This year, Monterey County celebrates notable milestones — founding of the Artichoke Capital of the World, Pinnacles National Park, Big Sur Food & Wine Festival and Point Lobos — we recognize the destinations and events that make the region truly one-of-a-kind.
Outdoor aficionados can celebrate 10 years of rock climbing, stargazing and hiking through Pinnacles National Park. Offering 30 miles of trails with terrain that ranges from flat stretches of grasslands to uphill climbs through caves and onward to the park’s iconic rocky spires. Pinnacles National Park, part of the California Condor Recovery Program, is one of only three sites in the U.S. that offers a safe lookout zone to view the rare birds.
the historic town of Castroville, also known as the Artichoke Capital of the World, celebrates its 160th anniversary in 2023. Castroville is home to the largest growers of fresh artichokes in the United States due to the fertile soil of the Salinas Valley and cool coastal fog.
- 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF POINT LOBOS STATE NATURAL RESERVE & 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF POINT LOBOS STATE MARINE RESERVE DESIGNATED AS AN ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
90 years ago, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve joined the California State Parks system in efforts to protect and preserve its over 300 plant- and more than 250 different animal species. We also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Point Lobos' Ecological Reserve designation, which protects the Marine Reserve's intertidal and subtidal flora and fauna.
Celebrating its 15th year of showcasing culinary legends, Big Sur Food & Wine combines great food with charity with the festival raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for organizations in healthcare facilities, fire maintenance and more.