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New in Monterey County in 2023

PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from PR Newswire
Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
January 10, 2023 GMT
2023 marks the 90th anniversary of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve joining the California State Parks system.
2023 marks the 90th anniversary of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve joining the California State Parks system.

Brand-new experiences, fabulous dining additions and much more

MONTEREY, Calif., Jan. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- 2023 brings new experiences, momentous milestones and more to explore in Monterey County, California. In addition to the celebration of numerous milestones like the 10-year anniversary of Pinnacles National Park, visitors to the region will enjoy an array of fabulous new offerings, from innovative culinary experiences to immersive adventures throughout Monterey County.

“While some things in Monterey County never change, like our breathtaking views and warm hospitality, visitors will find plenty of new reasons to dive deeper and stay longer to explore all our destination has to offer,” said Rob O’Keefe, president and CEO of Monterey County CVB. “On top of the quintessential scenery and world-class activities, the region is welcoming diverse culinary options and unique immersive experiences, adding to the ever-growing reasons for travelers to visit.”

New and Upcoming Accommodations, Partnerships and Programs

From first-class accommodation options to eco-friendly and economical, new and renovated properties abound throughout the county.

  • Villa Mara Carmel (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened in May of 2022
    An intimate, 16-room boutique luxury hotel nestled in the bucolic Carmel Point neighborhood. Offering a residential-inspired, adults-only experience, the intimate hotel is located one mile from Carmel-by-the-Sea’s iconic downtown area.
    Kind Traveler (Big Sur, Carmel Valley, Marina) | Launched in December 2022
    The world’s first “give + get” hotel booking platform is now live in Monterey County, with three sustainably minded properties open for booking and more on the way. Promoting community prosperity, Kind Traveler gives back with every booking at iconic properties, including the Post Ranch Inn, Bernardus Lodge & Spa and Sanctuary Beach Resort.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites (Marina) | Projected to open in early 2023
    Perfect for the budget traveler, the 90-room hotel will offer a 1,200 sq. ft. meeting space, fitness room, guest laundry, a sundries shop, an indoor pool and an outdoor patio across 2 acres. Reservations will be accepted starting January 28, 2023.
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton (Marina) | Projected to open in late summer/early fall 2023
    A family and pet-friendly accommodation, the 93-room, all-suite hotel is perfect for extended stays and features in-suite kitchenettes.
  • Hotel and Activities Special Offers & Promotions
    Eliminating the tedious task of searching for entertainment and deals, visitors can view the very best the county has to offer by booking stays and packages directly through the hotel, like a Beer & Stay Package or whale watching discounts. New packages and offers are added year-round.

New and Diverse Culinary Offerings

Monterey County’s ever-evolving culinary scene is becoming more diverse with a range of new restaurants and bars, each with its own story to tell.

  • Aabha Indian Monterey (Monterey) | Opened December 2022
    The second location to open, located in the historic Duarte House, Aabha emphasizes classic Indian cuisine through a coastal California lens, and boasts over 100 hookah water pipes and 30 flavors.
  • Foray Restaurant (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened November 2022
    Chef Michael Chang draws inspiration from the world-class produce in the Salinas Valley and fresh seafood, combined with inland finds that he forages personally.
  • Nura Sushi & Island Grill (Pacific Grove) | Opened November 2022
    Inspired by the Pacific Islands, Nura Sushi & Island Grill spotlights two island favorites: sushi and traditional island-inspired dishes. Unique spins on sushi like the seared rolls are complemented by a variety of favorites like macadamia-crusted fish.
  • Alvarado on Main (Salinas) | Opened November 2022
    An instant hit within California’s thriving beer scene, Alvarado Street Brewery welcomed Alvarado on Main in Salinas, featuring 48 taps of house-brewed beers in an Art Deco-inspired atmosphere.
  • Phil’s Fish Market (Castroville) | Re-Opened in November 2022
    Celebrating its 40th anniversary with a sparkling new location in Castroville (formerly in Moss Landing), Phil’s Fish Market pays homage to its new city ‒ Artichoke Capital of the World ‒ featuring eight artichoke dishes alongside their famous cioppino and fresh seafood.
  • Chez Noir (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened October 2022
    Rooted in coastal California cuisine, Chez Noir is the passion project of husband-and-wife team Chef Jonny Black (Per Se, Atelier Crenn, Quince) and Monique Black. The modern, seafood-centric menu draws from French and Spanish inspirations and showcases pristine ingredients sourced throughout the Monterey Peninsula.
  • Albatross Ridge Winery & Kitchen (Monterey) | Opened September 2022
    Albatross Ridge’s third tasting room, located in downtown Monterey, offers wine tastings and glasses of their iconic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, in addition to cheese and light bites.
  • EL Charrito Express & Alejandro’s (Monterey) | Opened August & September 2022
    An offshoot of the original Salinas location, El Charrito Express brings its signature handmade flour tortillas to downtown Monterey during breakfast and lunch. In the evening, the space transforms into Alejandro’s, an elegantly designed restaurant and bar with inventive cocktails and scratch-made dishes.
  • The Grill on Ocean Avenue (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Opened September 2022
    The Grill on Ocean Avenue features an eclectic menu of global favorites inspired by fresh and local California ingredients.
  • Maligne (Seaside) | Opened June 2022
    Helmed by Chef and owner Klaus Georis, and sous chefs Greg Delgadillo and Austen Falls, the team has cut their teeth at distinguished restaurants around the world (Sierra Mar in Big Sur, Single Thread in Healdsburg, In de Wulf in Belgium), bringing centuries-old cooking traditions to its wood-fired seafood and raw preparations.

Restaurants Coming Soon

  • Nicolás Cocina de Herencia (Carmel-by-the-Sea) | Projected to open winter 2022
    By Chef/Owner Susana Alvarez of the beloved Villa Azteca in Salinas, Nicolás Cocina de Herencia will honor Alvarez’s heritage, serving specialty Michoacán dishes and incorporating three generations of family recipes.
  • Heirloom Pizza Co. (Salinas) | Projected to open March 2023
    Specializing in deep dish and thin crust pizzas, Heirloom Pizza Co. brings their coveted pies to the booming Main Street of Salinas, along with a live music venue in an Art Deco-designed building.
  • Ad Astra (Monterey) | Projected to open summer 2023 Ad Astra Bread Co., a micro-bakery focusing on natural leavened sourdough bread, will relocate to a 3,000-square-foot space with sidewalk tables for al fresco dining.

Noteworthy Events and Immersive Experiences

Renowned properties from Pebble Beach to Laguna Seca announce new and noteworthy events, while local purveyors offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the adventurous traveler.

  • Pebble Beach hosting U.S. Women’s Open for the first time | July 2023
    For the first time in Pebble Beach history, the iconic golf course will welcome the greatest players in the world to compete for the most coveted championship in women’s golf - the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open on July 5-9, 2023. The U.S. Open and Women’s Open will be played on Pebble Beach Golf Links for decades to come, with scheduling into 2048 for both tournaments.
  • Big Sur Salts
    The country’s only sel gris harvester introduces two immersive ocean-side experiences for the curious traveler.
  • Ocean to TableExperience: a reimagined farm-to-table, the Ocean to Table Experience allows travelers an up-close look into how the salt forms, starting with a drive down the scenic coast of Big Sur and ending with an exploration of the formation of the salt crystals at the Carmel Valley.
  • Aqueous Yoga: harmonizing the serenity of the ocean with mindfulness of yoga, Big Sur Salts offers a never-seen-before yoga experience that promotes well-being and skin rejuvenation. Set up oceanside or in the scenic valley, custom yoga pools are filled with purified Big Sur salt water.
  • Laguna Seca WeatherTech Raceway The legendary track gets a fresh new start (literally) with a new Start/Finish bridge and new track surface, bringing even more excitement to an action-packed 2023 racing season featuring the Porsche Rennsport Reunion 7 and an exciting lineup.

2023 Milestones

Monterey County celebrates notable milestones this year — the founding of the Artichoke Capital of the World, Pinnacles National Park, Big Sur Food & Wine Festival and Point Lobos — we recognize the destinations and events that make the region truly one-of-a-kind.

  • 160th anniversary of Castroville ’s founding
    The historic town of Castroville, also known as the Artichoke Capital of the World, celebrates its 160th anniversary in 2023. Castroville is home to the largest growers of fresh artichokes in the United States due to the fertile soil of the Salinas Valley and cool coastal fog.
  • 150th Anniversary of the Historic Southern Pacific Freight Depot in Salinas

Once a bustling hub, the Southern Pacific Railroad brought fresh Salinas Valley produce to all corners of the U.S. through this freight depot, dubbing the area the “salad bowl of the world.” The depot in downtown Salinas now houses the newly opened Regional Heritage Center plus a California Welcome Center providing visitors with useful information from the past and present.

  • 90th anniversary of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve & 50th anniversary of Point Lobos State Marine Reserve designated as an Ecological Reserve
  • 90th anniversary of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve joining California State Parks system in efforts to protect and preserve its over 300 plants and more than 250 different animal species.
  • 50th anniversary of Point Lobos’ Ecological Reserve designation, which protects the Marine Reserve’s intertidal and subtidal flora and fauna.
  • 15th anniversary of Big Sur Food & Wine Festival
    Celebrating its 15th year of showcasing culinary legends, Big Sur Food & Wine combines great food with charity with the festival raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for organizations in healthcare facilities, fire maintenance and more.
  • 10th anniversary of Pinnacles established as a National Park | January 10
    Outdoor aficionados can celebrate 10 years of rock climbing, stargazing and hiking through Pinnacles National Park. Offering 30 miles of trails with terrain that ranges from flat stretches of grasslands to uphill climbs through caves and onward to the park’s iconic rocky spires. Pinnacles National Park, part of the California Condor Recovery Program, is one of only three sites in the U.S. that offers a safe lookout zone to view the rare birds.

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The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Monterey County CVB) is a 501c6 non-profit organization that drives tourism for Monterey County. Tourism is the largest industry on the Monterey Peninsula and the second largest in the County. The MCCVB is a partnership of the hospitality community and local governments that aims to generate community prosperity for Monterey County through responsible promotion and growth of the tourism economy. Travel spending in Monterey County was $2.5 billion in 2021, supporting 21,600 jobs and generating $264 million in state and local tax revenue that directly benefited the community. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Emily Evans

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SOURCE Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau