Sparkling like a precious gem, Monterey is a waterfront community on the central coast of California.  Some of the enjoyable activities in and around Monterey include kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, whale watching and miles of beautiful beaches.  Golf, shopping, and driving the spectacular coastline to Big Sur are a few of the many land-based adventures.  From Cannery Row, you can walk or ride a rented surrey along the scenic Recreation Trail to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Along the way, you’ll see harbor seals, sea otters and pelicans in natural habitats on the dazzling waterfront of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  Monterey is also home to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, a must-see attraction that delights and educates millions of visitors every year.
Located just south of Cannery Row you will find the elegant accommodations of the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa.  Situated on the Del Monte Golf Course and nestled in 22 acres of towering Monterey Pines, the newly-renovated destination resort features complimentary shuttle from Monterey Airport, self check-in kiosks, Regency Club, gift shop, pet friendly accommodations, Les Clefs d’Or Concierge, full-service racquet club, Pebble Beach Company’s Championship Del Monte Golf Course, 24-hour gym, two outdoor heated pools, biking, jogging and walking trails, and Yoga Away.  The property also features 550 guestrooms including 32 suites, and the President’s house, TusCA Ristorante, Knuckles Historical Sports Bar, Fireplace Lounge, a 2,000 square foot fitness facility, tennis courts, gazebo, firepit, pools and whirlpools, and new 12,000 square foot full service luxury spa, Accista Spa.
I had the extraordinary opportunity to visit the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa.  I was immediately transported to Tuscany while dining at TusCA Ristorante as well as enjoy the extravagant amenities of Accista Spa.  The experience was truly exquisite and relaxing, living up to everything that I have heard about waterfront and beach communities.  For more information on the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa, please visit monterey.hyatt.com.
Just 10 short miles southwest you will find the lovely town of Carmel, California.  Known as Carmel by the Sea, the quaint town is filled with breath-taking views, inviting people and is home to world-famous actor-director Clint Eastwood.  Carmel also features the lovely accommodations of the Hyatt Carmel Highlands – Overlooking Big Sur Coast.  I had the opportunity to dine at the Pacific’s Edge Restaurant, located inside the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, for a Farm to Table Lunch, the second luncheon in the three part series.  The lunch was prepared by Executive Chef Matt Bolton with wine pairings chosen by Wine Director Paul Fried and welcomed local Abalone farmers Art Seavey and Trevor Fey of Monterey Abalone.  The gentlemen spoke about the history of Abalone on the Northern coast as well as how the sustainable food source will be maintained in the future.  We then dined on a delectable three-course meal including Abalone-Spot Prawn Ravioli paired with a 2010 Ventana Riesling Estate Grown, Arroyo Seco.  Each course was paired with a delicious wine provided by Ventana Vineyards.  Our second course was Abalone Paella – heirloom soffrito, carnaroli rice, manilla clams, mussels and chorizo – paired with Ventana 2009 Pinot Nior, Est.  Simply delicious and bursting with flavor, this was one meal not to miss!  Our meal ended with the perfect Cherry Almond Tart and crème fraiche ice cream.  The sweet treat was paired with Ventana 2010 Orange Muscat which was significantly less sweet once sampled after a bite of the Cherry Almond Tart.  The tart was the perfect finish to a scrumptious meal and lovely afternoon.  For more information on the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, please visit highlandsinn.hyatt.com.  For more information, please visit www.montereyabalone.com.  For more information, please visit www.ventanawines.com.

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