As travelers set their sights on 2022 for trip ideas, Monterey County, California is set to draw both new and returning visitors with an abundance of new tourism developments throughout the county. From innovative culinary experiences and must-see attractions to new and renovated lodging properties, now is the moment to make a plan to explore the iconic destination along California’s central coast.
“Now more than ever, we are all looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends and seizing the moments we have missed out on over nearly two years,” said Rob O’Keefe, president and CEO at Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There is no better place to surround yourself in natural beauty and awe-inspiring landscapes than in Monterey County, which continues to add new reasons for travelers to visit.”
Some of the new experiences visitors will find in Monterey County in 2022 include:
Expanded dining and drinking spots
- Stokes Adobe (Monterey, Calif.)
Located in a famously haunted historic adobe, Stokes Adobe opened its doors in late 2021. Updated with a new interior and outdoor seating complete with fire pits, the menu boasts modern California cuisine with a focus on craft cocktails.
- Emma’s Bakery & Café (Salinas, Calif.)
Having opened in late 2021, this Latino family-owned and operated bakery is quickly becoming a local favorite. Patrons can order berry and banana cream pies, twice-baked almond croissants and savory dishes like the Cali Cubano, a slow roasted pork sandwich with Cuban flavors.
- Savvy (Monterey, Calif.)
Tucked into a storefront underneath the Golden State Theatre, Monterey County’s most authentic speakeasy is now open in the heart of Monterey. Owner, Todd Howland, curated a drink menu featuring barrel-aged and crafted-to-order libations that are Prohibition era-inspired.
- Mangia, Eat on Main (Salinas, Calif.)
Newly opened in Oldtown Salinas, Mangia, Eat on Main is owned and operated by Chef Nuccio Altomare and his family, who previously brought their culinary delights to the popular city eatery, Gino’s. The Italian restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and offers seasonal dishes with a Californian flair.
- Alvarado on Main (Salinas, Calif.)
Alvarado Street Brewery is expanding its offering with a new restaurant in downtown Salinas, set to open in spring 2022. The new brewery restaurant will add to the recent revitalization of downtown Salinas and the surrounding area.
- Joyce Wine Company (Salinas Valley, Calif.)
Winemaker and Monterey County local, Russell Joyce, is expanding Joyce Wine Company with a second tasting room slated to open in spring 2022. The new tasting room will be located on-site at the Salinas Valley vineyard with vineyard tours also on the horizon in the coming year. Joyce currently has a tasting room in Carmel Valley.
- Nicolás Cocina de Herencia (Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.)
The newest creation from the owners of the beloved Villa Azteca in Salinas, the eatery honoring the Alvarez family patriarch will open in Carmel Plaza in spring 2022. The 5,000-square-foot spot will have indoor dining, bar seating and a small outdoor space, serving specialty Michoacán dishes as well as other Mexican favorites, incorporating three generations of family recipes.
- Saucy Otter Brewing Company (Pacific Grove, Calif.)
Set to open in spring 2022, this informal spot with a locals’ vibe will serve small-batch craft beer in California’s last “dry” town, which legalized alcohol in 1969, 30 years after the federal repeal of Prohibition.
- California Seltzer Co. (Pacific Grove, Calif.)
The state’s first “seltzery” will open in Lovers Point Park, steps from the ocean, in 2022. In addition to small-batch seltzers in flavors like hibiscus lime and blood orange, the spot will serve wood-fired pizza and craft beer from its sister company, Lodi-based Five Window Beer Company.
- Carmel Burger Bar (Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.)
Opening in Carmel Plaza in 2022, this eatery will be serving up creative and renovated hand-packed, grass fed, artisan beef burgers and more. With recipes comprised of both seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, Carmel Burger Bar will be another must-visit spot in the town that has 50 plus restaurants within one square mile.
New and updated hotels
- The Inn at Moss Landing Point (Moss Landing, Calif.)
A 30-room boutique hotel near the Moss Landing harbor, The Inn at Moss Landing Point provides the perfect home base when exploring the quaint fishing town and nearby Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Less than a half mile from the ocean, the hotel is surrounded by an abundance of sea life and natural beauty.
- The Lodge at Pebble Beach (Pebble Beach, Calif.)
The latest addition to The Lodge at Pebble Beach, the Sloat Building, overlooks Stillwater Cove and the famed 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The building features 26 guest rooms including the expansive Sloat Suites. The suites offer more than 1,300 square feet of living space complete with spectacular panoramic ocean views.
- Hampton Inn & Suites (Marina, Calif.)
Opening in spring 2022, the Marina Hampton Inn & Suites will feature 90 guest rooms. Conveniently located off of Highway 1, the hotel is set to welcome both leisure and corporate travelers with amenities including a pool, gym, meeting rooms, business center and expansive breakfast area.
- Spindrift Inn (Monterey, Calif.)
Cannery Row’s Spindrift Inn will debut its reimagined guest rooms in spring 2022. The new design concept, brought to life by Signature Design Group of Salinas, will reflect the property’s beachside location. The soothing color palette of rich coral, azure blue and sage green pays homage to the Inn’s original design while elevating it to reflect the vibrant ocean and beach colors viewed from the Inn’s large picture windows. Each guest room has a canopy bed and gas fireplace.
- Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa (Monterey, Calif.)
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa welcome guests with a classic coastal California experience. From the chef-driven oceanfront restaurant, Schooners, to the award-winning rooftop luxury spa, guests will experience luxury details from check-in to check-out. The hotel will complete a guest room renovation in 2022, as well as launching a new high-end restaurant concept, Coastal Kitchen, which will offer a pre-fixe dinner menu with wine pairings.
- Sanctuary Beach Resort(Marina, Calif.)
Sanctuary Beach Resort is nestled along the coast in Marina near the tides of the Marina Dunes. This haven of serenity provides full-service resort offerings, like nightly wine and cheese tastings and private beach access. The resort will reopen its spa offerings in 2022, as well as complete renovations of its luxury bungalows along the beach. Each of the 60 guest rooms come complete with views of the ocean and cascading sand dunes.
More ways to experience the destination
- Big Sur Foragers Festival (Big Sur, Calif.)
Several events that have been postponed or reinvented since the pandemic are returning to Monterey County in 2022 including the popular Big Sur Foragers Festival, which will offer a series of in person events January 20-23. Participants can go on a foraging hike, attend a mushroom-inspired brunch at Big Sur River Inn and more. All events benefit the Big Sur Health Center.
- WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, Calif.)
This world-renowned race venue will celebrate its 65th anniversary in 2022, kicking off its season with popular events including Trans Am Speedfest (April 22-24), followed by the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship featuring the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship (April 29-May 1). Other marquee events for the year are the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (August 17-20) and the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES finale (September 9-11).
- Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean(Monterey, Calif.)
The world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium will unveil one of its most ambitious exhibits in spring 2022, delving into the ocean’s dark abyss, with some species that have never been on public display. Home to everything from football-sized giant isopods to bone-eating worms, the years-in-the-making exhibit will explore these relatively unknown species that live hundreds of meters under the Monterey Bay.
- Carmel Valley VIP Wine Tour (Carmel Valley, Calif.)
Ag Venture Tours and Consulting is teaming up with notable Carmel Valley wineries, including Folktale Winery, to provide visitors a guided tasting experience in one of Monterey County’s best known wine regions. The tour will include a gourmet cheese board and locally-made chocolate truffles.
- Del Monte Golf Course (Pebble Beach, Calif.)
As the oldest golf course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi and one of the top courses in Monterey County, Pebble Beach’s Del Monte Golf Course is primed to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2022. Here a round of golf comes complete with a tour through California golf history. The course played an instrumental role in popularizing golf out West and today plays host to the annual Monterey City Amateur Championship.
- Pacific Repertory (Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.)
Celebrating its 40th birthday in 2022, Pacific Repertory (PacRep) – the only professional theatre company in all of Monterey County – will reopen its historic Golden Bough Playhouse in summer 2022. PacRep traditionally performs a dozen productions annually at Golden Bough, home to two historic stages, and the Outdoor Forest Theater.
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 Monterey County and to plan a 2022 trip, visit www.SeeMonterey.com.
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