HOME > Chowhound > California >


Day Trippin' to and from Pacific Grove and Surrounds -- Looking for "Other" Tasting Options

My husband, veggie friend and her husband, and new mom, dad, baby and I are heading to PG for the long weekend.

1) Husband and I will be departing Redwood City at 12, driving to Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz to do a tasting and have lunch. Will continue to PG on Hwy. 1 until we arrive. Are there any other non-winery places close to the beaten path where we might like to stop? (Cheese, coffee, beer, etc.)

2) The 3 couples and babe will be in PG for the remained of the weekend. Dinners are squared away, as is one afternoon of wine tasting in Carmel Valley, but I was hoping to get some other recommendations for other non-wine tasting room type places in the vicinity. We have cars and will drive up to 1 hour if worth it!

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you from a Santa Rosa hound.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Have you driven down the coast to Big Sur before? It's a beautiful drive with a lunch at Nepenthe, a perfect day! It's 1 hr. ea way...beautiful.

    Do the touristy thing; ie Cannery Row, Wharf, aquarium? Good seafood lunch at Massaro and Santos (Coast Guard pier) or Sandbar and Grill (Municipal pier)

    Weather permiting, Point Lobos for hike and picnic lunch. However, it might not be suitable for a baby...too cold.

    1. Check out the Corralitos Meat Market near Watsonville, Great sausage & bacon.
      569 Corralitos Rd
      Corralitos, CA 95076

      1. Hi Jeni,
        To bad dinners are out but if you have a chance and well worth it is The Monterey Fish House, you've got to have reservations. Also in Moss Landing is a great place is Phil's Fish Market. Rosie's in Monterey has the best cakes, you can buy a slice to go but don't forget the forks, they're huge. We also go to the restaurant in the Aquarium for a great meal and ask for Dia our favorite waiter and tell him he has lost weight and he'll love you and you'll get great service!! Check out Asilomar for non conference guests, we go every year with our kids and it's always an adventure,
        Have fun!

        3 Replies
        1. re: giustima

          Thank you, though I am not looking for restaurants. I am more looking for breweries (where they actually brew beer), farmer's markets, cheese tasting rooms, etc. For example, in Sonoma County we have olive oil tasting rooms.


          1. re: Jeni Bean

            I have seen some olive oil from Carmel Valley at Star Market in Salinas, so someone's producing around here if you want to check into it further. Sorry, I didn't pay attention to the name. Gastro-tourism is not as developed as in Sonoma County.

            The brewpub in Salinas makes a good burger and has a wide selection of beers brewed on site.

            Star Market
            1275 S Main St, Salinas, CA 93901

            Monterey Coast Brewing
            165 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901

            1. re: Jeni Bean

              The Cheese Shop in Carmel if you are looking for cheese is small but very nice with a good selection.

          2. The Cheese Shop in Carmel is fantastic. Only Berkeley's Cheeseboard can come close to beating it for quality. It surpasses the cheese stores in San Francisco.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Oh yeah Melanie, we LOVE that place. Ate a cheese so stinky it made one of our co-travelers sick there. Delicious! Thanks for the reminder.

            2. Another possibility - get food to go (maybe some subs from Compagno's?) and go down to Point Lobos and picnic there. My favorite place in the world. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. Nice walking trails.

              1. Gizdich Ranch is nestled at the foot of the SC Mtns just outside of Watsonville. An apple and fruit ranch, their pies are OOTW. Very family friendly place, though most farming activity is during the warmer months. But the hills and countryside will be violently Irish Green, and that area (as well as nearby Corralitos) is one of the prettiest pastoral views in coastal California. Some of the best raspberries grown are from this neighborhood. They grow them under hoop structures cloaked with row cover to hasten the season. You'll see them everywhere. Too early for harvest, though.

                There is an amazing 1 acre Mediterranean display garden at nearby Sierra Azul Nursery , you could grab some good Watsonville Mexican food and have a picnic there. Across the road from Santa Cruz Co Fairgrounds, it's only about 10 minutes from Corralitos.

                Earthbound Farms is located in the valley Pines area of Carmel Valley and has agreat farmstand and activites for young ones. My favorite Wagon Wheel cafe is nearby and serves great tradional b'fasts. Their pecan pancakes have won my heart.

                Red's Doughnuts is located downtown Monterey and open EARLY for good doughnuts.
                The Bagel Bakery serves very good bagels, and Carmel Coffee Roasting Co coffee is served at several spots around town. It's very good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: toodie jane

                  Thanks Toodie. Hubby and I hope to stop here after lunch and tastings at Bonny Doon. Sounds a lot like our Kozlowski Farms here in Sonoma County.

                  1. re: Jeni Bean

                    If you're headed south on saturday, I just wanted to be sure you're aware that the Mavericks surf contest is ON at Half Moon Bay and you'll want to avoid the area.

                2. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth and want some pretty good coffee I recommend Layers Cakes on Soledad Drive. Good coffee drinks and great customer service every time I go in!