Out & About

Scenic Monterey & Big Sur

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Every few years Matt and I road trip up and down the California coast, stopping in to visit our favorite cities that welcome visitors with amazing views and great cafes. We’ve toured all over inland California from Lake Tahoe to Palm Springs but there’s something really special about taking a week to drive the highway that runs along the Pacific coast to stop and stay in some beautiful oceanfront towns.

Last week we spent time in Monterey and Big Sur with charming Carmel-by-the-Sea nestled in between. The three are worth a weekend visit to any traveler visiting California (see scenes from Carmel here). Spanish inspired architecture covered with bougainvillea, fuchsia, and coastal botanicals thrive in the sunshine and sea air and there is always plenty to see, eat, and do.

iron grill

flowering fuschia

 

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The Alexander Valley

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Just north of Healdsburg off of the 101 Highway is a unique wine growing region in Sonoma County known as the Alexander Valley. The Russian River runs through the heart of it where oak trees and vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, and thrive in the sunshine.

The heart of the Alexander Valley is 45 minutes from our front door and we hadn’t visited in a few years, so we invited some of our good friends along, Dino and Heidi who love to go tasting and exploring (we attended the famous Kendall Jackson Tomato Festival with them last year) and off we went to visit some old favorites and new wineries we’ve never been to before. 

alexander valley winery signs

 

The region is really beautiful time of year, the sun is warm but still mild, and the tasting rooms are less crowded before late summer and the harvest in the fall when the large crowds arrive. In June you can sit, sip, and stroll among the vineyards, watching the grapes forming on the vine.

grapes on vine alexander valley

 

We started our afternoon at Hawkes Winery, next door to the famous Jimtown Store where you’ll catch a scenic view of the adjacent vineyards and can grab a bite for lunch.

red chairs looking over vineyard

 

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