Posts Tagged ‘Festival’

Celebrate Father’s Day with Brews & Views

Monday, June 10th, 2013
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Peter B’s Brewer, Kevin Clark and his son L.J.

Mark those calendars! Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 16th and there is no shortage of activities to fill a day with Dad on the Monterey Peninsula!

Get away from the ordinary and bring Dad to stay at the Portola to recharge his batteries.  Explore the rich historical setting of Old Monterey and spend some quality time with Dad. Rent a bike or head out on foot to the Coastal Recreation Trail, just right outside our door and experience many of Monterey’s world-famous attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Hungry? The culinary team at Jacks Restaurant & Lounge will be hard at work in the kitchen providing you and Dad with the finest local cuisine from Central Coast farmers, fisherman, ranchers and dairymen. Or, head to Peter B’s Brewpub for delicious locally brewed craft beer, 15 high-definition TV’s, a pool table and a unique pub-style menu that Dad will surely love.

For the ultimate pre-Father’s Day gift, attend the Monterey Beer Festival on Saturday, June 15th between 12:30pm and 5:00pm with entertainment and beer galore. Fill your day and your belly with tastings from over 80 Central Coast breweries and local food vendors serving up Thai noodles, Korean and Southern BBQ, Cajun specialties, old-fashioned Bratwurst and more. Live bands include the Chicano All Stars, Powerage and Jack Nielsen’s Triple Threat, just to name a few. General Tickets are $45 and other ticket packages including V.I.P. are available. For more information visit www.montereybeerfestival.com.

So if you’re in the mood to celebrate this Father’s Day and make it one to remember,  than we’ve got it all, right here at the Portola!

 

Summer Festivals in Monterey

Friday, May 10th, 2013
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As many know, the Monterey Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From the rugged coastline of Big Sur and the serene inlets of Moss Landing’s Elkhorn Slough to the winding trails of Carmel Valley and the Fort Ord National Monument, there is something for everyone. While those attractions are available throughout the year, some of the Peninsula’s most popular attractions only come around every 365 days.

Monterey and the surrounding area have long been synonymous with music and art of many kinds and nothing exemplifies that better than the summer festivals that make Monterey their home. The granddaddy is the Monterey Jazz Festival September 20-23, 2013. The longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, the MJF has continued to hold its September dates since 1958 and has features some of the biggest names in Jazz and popular music. Not to be outdone is the Carmel Bach Festival which is celebrating its 76th year with 15 days of performances, talks and educational events July 13-27, 2013.

 

Monterey stamped itself on the counterculture scene with the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, which was the blueprint for future musical spectacles like Woodstock and Lollapalooza and continues the tradition today, although with a slightly mellower vibe. The California Roots Music & Arts festival gets the summer started right, Memorial Day Weekend May 24-26, 2013. The good times continue August 9-11, 2013 with the Monterey Bay Reggaefest. In its 18th year, the festival is one of the largest in Northern California and features over 20 performers.

The ear has been satisfied, but how about the mouth? The food festival season kicks off with Cooking for Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The three day event, May 17-19, 2013, focuses on sustainability and environmental stewardship in the food and beverage industry.  Also that weekend is the 54th annual Castroville Artichoke Festival. Celebrate California’s newly crowned State Vegetable and soak in a bit of history as the Festival counts a young Marilyn Monroe as one of their first “Artichoke Queens.” Memorial Day weekend features the Great Monterey Clam Chowder & Calamari Festival as two of the peninsula’s favorite seafood dishes collide at Custom House Plaza behind the Portola Hotel & Spa. If you are a wine lover, the area also plays host to the Monterey Wine Festival, June 7-8, 2013 and the Winemaker’s Celebration on August 10, 2013.  Both showcase the best of Monterey County’s vast winemaking region which was recently named one of the “Top 10 Wine Travel Destinations” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Ear; check. Mouth; check, but what about your eyes? Monterey also hosts a number of summertime art festivals and while music and food are certainly considered art, these are the traditional forms are highlighted at events like the Carmel Art Festival May 16-19, 2013. With its origins as a bohemian artist colony, Carmel-By-The-Sea plays host as the 20th annual event that showcases visual arts, sculpture, a judged plein air painting competition and much more. Three weeks later, the Valley gets into the act with the Carmel Valley Art & Wine Festival June 8, 2013. Carmel Valley Village comes alive as over 60 artists and art galleries display their works. Sand City, Monterey County’s hotbed of alternative art and vision hosts the Sand City West End Celebration August 23-25, 2013. Known for its independent and irreverent artistic atmosphere, the West End Celebration features and open air artist’s fair throughout the streets and the public is invited into the many studios and creative spaces that call Sand City home.

So if the dog days of summer are getting you down or you need to break for the coast to beat the heat, cruise into Monterey County and enjoy the eclectically rich summer festival scene. There truly is something for everyone!

Stars on the Monterey Peninsula

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
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With the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am now over, the celebrity count on the Monterey Peninsula may have fallen…but that does not mean that celebrity has left the Peninsula entirely. In fact, the area has been a stomping ground for entertainment’s biggest stars. From movies and music, to the arts and professional sports, the biggest names often use the Peninsula for escape, inspiration and even invention.

Star wattage on the Central Coast starts and stops with John Steinbeck. One of America’s most famous and most respected writers, many of his novels were based in and around the area. From Salinas’ East of Eden, Of Mice and Men and Monterey’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, Steinbeck lived and breathed the Monterey Peninsula, as did other noted authors and poets including Robert Louis Stevenson, Robinson Jeffers and Henry Miller.

Movie stars have also made and continue to make their homes on the Peninsula. It’s no wonder with the area’s proximity to Los Angeles and slower pace of life, Monterey County and beyond, has played host to a number of notable movies, television shows and numerous commercials. If you want a closer look, check out Monterey Movie Tours Highlights include the locations from scenes in From Here to Eternity, Turner & Hooch and Play Misty For Me, just to name a few. Doris Day, Clint Eastwood and George Lopez call Pebble Beach home and let’s not forget that most of old Hollywood were at one time or another, residents or frequent visitors to the area.

How about our friends in the music industry? Well, since the 1950’s, the Monterey Jazz Festival has graced our area with the biggest names in jazz and at the time, popular music holding court at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. The popularity of that ongoing musical masterpiece let way to the seminal music experience that started it all, The Monterey Pop Festival.  Big names will often grace the more intimate venues of the area as they travel between the arenas in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The Sunset Center in Carmel, the Golden State Theatre in Monterey and the Rodeo Grounds in Salinas have all seen world famous acts and rocker Frank Zappa, the Eagles and jazz musician Kenny G have called the area home.

If sports are your “game”, the Peninsula has plenty of high powered athletic residents. NFL coaches and referees, Jim Tunney, Herm Edwards, John Madden and Ron Rivera along with Hall of Fame Member James Lofton live here, as do Olympic athletes, Nick Cunningham, Gary Figueroa and Blake Russell. Professional baseball and softball residents include: Reggie Jackson, Pete Incaviglia, Mike Aldrete and Monica Abbott. As always, golf plays a big part of the culture of the Peninsula with many notable PGA & LPGA players either growing up here or now making their home here including Bobby Clampett, Johnny Miller and Julie Inkster.

So, if it’s star power you want without the traffic and smog of Los Angeles or the chaos of New York City, the Monterey Peninsula may just be what you are looking for – beauty and just the right amount of glitz and glamour.

Big Sur Food & Wine

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
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 Photo © Big Sur Food & Wine

Big Sur has been the location of movies and commercials and an inspiration to beatniks and metaphysical practitioners. It is beautiful, rugged and has been called the “greatest meeting of land and sea” by poet, Robinson Jeffers. And, while several thousand people call it home, interestingly, there is no actual city or town of Big Sur. What better way to properly celebrate this wonderful mish-mash of quintessentially Californian attributes, than to have a food and wine festival in its honor!

The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival runs Thursday, November 1st through the 4th and features a bevy of out of the box food and wine centric events, just like the region itself. Friday’s offerings feature the beginning of the Hiking with Stemware series with allows participants to take in the beauty of Big Sur on foot along with the beautiful taste of some of the area’s best wines. The events feature meals al fresco from local chef’s and are often paired with an inside look at artisan producers from around the state.

Evenings embrace the wild mystery of the area with events like the Wine & Swine and a series of Winemaker’s Dinners. These limited seating events feature small batch wineries paired with the creations of local chefs. The nighttime activities conclude with the After Parties at the Henry Miller Library. This venue has played host to a Who’s Who of American creative genius from Jack Kerouac to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and this weekend features music, wine, food and fun.

There is a wonderful mix of events throughout the weekend so you can choose to try a taste or go whole hog. The event organizers have graciously provided shuttle transportation for some of the events so be sure to check the Big Sur Food & Wine website for more details. As food and wine festivals go, this one may give you a little more than you bargained for; and that’s a good thing!

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival

Friday, October 19th, 2012
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The Salinas Valley is widely known as the “Salad Bowl of the World”. From strawberries and lettuce to artichokes and broccoli, much of our nation’s produce comes from this fertile region. So it should come as no surprise that one of the fastest growing events in Monterey County is the Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival. The fun begins on Saturday October 20th at noon and runs until 5pm. Featuring world class wine and gourmet food, the event highlights the culture of the Salinas Valley and takes over six square blocks of Oldtown Salinas. The event is free to the public and those wishing to taste wine and beer can purchase a wristband.

In addition to the gourmet highlights of the day, a variety of art and activities are also available including musical acts performing throughout the day and a classic car show. The National Steinbeck Center also plays host to a VIP Pavilion starring an additional 150 vendors. In addition to food exhibitors the VIP Pavilion an additional 50 wineries and 30 breweries will be on site. The Portola Hotel & Spa’s very own Peter B’s Brewpub will be on site, pouring some of their famous craft beers. So come experience the bounty and the rich culture of the Salinas Valley at the Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival!