Come for the race, stay for the party..
WELCOME TO MONTEREY!
This is the one time of the year that we riders from the Monterey Peninsula get to share what we have.. I thought since I live here, and ride here.. it might be cool to give some peeps a little advice as there seems to be a bit of hesitation.. It's what Francois would want..! (WWFD) I'm not a blogger, I don't even like tourists, but I am a life long rider that travels all the time to ride too, so I thought it might help SOMEONE. If that someone is not you.. great.. at least smile and wave when you pass. If you are a fast talker, getting in with some randoms is always an option, but maybe you're not. Maybe surfing couches is not in the plan either
If you are camping.. good luck. If you have not booked yet, and Laguna Seca is totally full/sold out this might help.. .
Here are the facts: The closest place that would POSSIBLY be available to camp is either 30 miles north in SC or 30 miles south in Big Sur. There is no camping on the peninsula EXCEPT for Laguna Seca and Marina Dunes off of Reservation rd in Marina, CA.. Fire rings.. Yes. Showers.. Yes. Tons of RV's and semi-permanent residents.. Yes! about 10 minutes by car to Laguna. otherwise check reserveamerica.com.. and get out your credit card.. If you stay in Salinas, you are on your own..
If you are Hoteling it and living small/medium.. The closest spot to the track is on Olmstead and Hwy 68 at the Monterey Airport Clarion, but has limited access to walk-to dining and it's.. Yep.. Next to the airport, 10pm to 6am, there is a no-takeoff and it's quiet, but 5:59:59am. wooooosh! Window Shakin for the rest of the day.. The bikes will probably make it through the night without getting ripped off if you get a little "forgetful" at the after party though, the location is kind of out of town...
Also within range of Laguna is Fremont ave in Monterey. No, not beachfront, but it serves it's purpose.. As you will see on any travel site there are a few places less than $100 . .. There are many hotels and restaraunts within 1 mile of Canyon Del Rey (CA 218) (the secondary access to Laguna from Hwy 1 as the front enterance will most likely be shut off to access) and Fremont might be the best bet. My advice is to stay southwest of Fremont and out of Seaside as this area is more residential and less visitor-ish. But, Fremont will allow you to park the car, stash the bikes and wear flip-flops to dinner.. Good Italian.. ok chinese but really.. Fremont is a virtual "Sushi Battleground" with numerous Japanese places all fighting for your business, a Safeway grocer, gas and easy access to Highway 1 north and south.. Not bad. For my money, the Travelodge is killer due to the #1 rated Sushi bar in Monterey being located right inside.
If you are living LARGE, Monterey is a huge tourist destination as it is, attracting golfers and jet setters, so the choices for high end, luxury hotels, far outweigh the lesser. There are hotels everywhere! The nicer hotels ascend from the Hyatt at about $150+ to Marriot in downtown for $175+.. Point is, downtown is full of nightlife, awesome food and great people! Really there are a lot of hotels, these are just a few downtown so look for the deals...
For those that want to experience the Monterey area, and are not too concerned with less than a 10 minute drive to Laguna and 15 minutes is cool, there are a few well priced and clean hotels in both downtown Monterey and what they call "New Monterey" aka Cannery Row.. Check out the possibilites of being right on the water and close to everything..
If you are here for the atmosphere and not really to race.. and after all the paddock deals are blown out and gone, or if you want ride the trails that are NOT on the Sea Otter course at Fort Ord.. There is riding all over the Peninsula and if you ask, you might meet someone willing to guide you to the hidden gems that are so close to Laguna you can ride before anyone knows you're gone.
The closest bike shop to the Sea Otter is the Sports Center on Del Monte and CA218 ave in Seaside/Sand City across from McDonalds. The next closest are Josselyn's on Franklin (the friendliest bike shop in town) and Aquarian on Abrego in Monterey.. Both of these are in downtown and very knowlegeable.. In the event you would need a shop with all the action at the SO..
Have fun in our little town and enjoy all it has to offer... and ride on my friends...
[QUOTE=twowheelmotion]WELCOME TO MONTEREY!
This is the one time of the year that we riders from the Monterey Peninsula get to share what we have.. I thought since I live here, and ride here.. it might be cool to give some peeps a little advice as there seems to be a bit of hesitation.. It's what Francois would want..! (WWFD) I'm not a blogger, I don't even like tourists, but I am a life long rider that travels all the time to ride too, so I thought it might help SOMEONE. If that someone is not you.. great.. at least smile and wave when you pass. If you are a fast talker, getting in with some randoms is always an option, but maybe you're not. Maybe surfing couches is not in the plan eithe...
Wow...thanks! What do you know about Hotel Abrego?
I'll be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn....the wife wants to know if we're in walking distance of any nightlife!
Hilton Garden Inn is well located to access the freeway, but is not within less than 20 minutes walk to nightlife. Though the walk around El Estero lake is quite senic, the closest place to your room, will be a split between downtown and Wharf #2 (municipal wharf). Downtown is very nice, with an array of places to drink and dine, but the Wharf is home to the London Bridge Pub which is a waterfront pub and grill with something like 10-12 beers on tap and just down from the LBP is the world famous Fishermans Wharf which is home to our very own John Pisto the famous chef and his array of seafood dining establishments. The scene is mellow and most of the locals are extremely welcoming to visitors, especially we mountain bikers. Try your luck with a cab, they are abundant and pretty inexpensive! Have fun.
Yeah! Abrego was recently remodeled and is located right in downtown but not so far that you are stuck doing one thing. In the immediate area (across the street) is El Palomar with really good Margarita's as well as mexican food. If you are feeling adventurous, walk down Alvarado and take your pick. If you are looking for a quick bite, there is everything from a Taco Bell to a Crepe Maker that will provide just about anything inside the paper thin wrapper you could ever want, plenty of bars of all caliber, Crown and Anchor is a local favorite for the patio, and the more than 20 beers on tap, Peter B's (behind the Portola Plaza Hotel) for the handmade craft brew and the excellent menu of bar food. For the upscale, try Montrio, renowned for the finest fare and best Martini's in the city, but really, all of Monterey's dining is really nice!
Originally Posted by twowheelmotion
Since I am on the subject.. Maybe I can narrow the choices down for everyone. I base my opinion off of pure quality, and also relevance.. There seems to be a million places to eat.. but these are the true locals favorite.
By Default, the London Bridge Pub. Waterfront Pub on municipal wharf #2. Just remodeled and expanded, the LBP is a local favorite. There is always a band on weekends, a great mix of people, great beer and plenty of seating for everyone. You won't get the "tourist price" either. Fish and Chips is a 8 out of 10 and pretty good.
#1 Crown and Anchor. Located on Franklin (look for her majesty's guard in front) and go downstairs.. Most beer on tap, outdoor seating, plenty of fun people, no music, but add the menu to the food and you have a perfect combination. If you ever wanted to try a beer, they have it!
#2 Lallapalooza. Located right in downtown on Alvarado.. I picked this because of the Chicken Quesadilla, and the drink "the Grateful Dead". Just know that this is one of the "nicer" bars, and on the weekend, it is PACKED at the door with the beautiful people. but there is always a table.. A little stuck up, but worth it.
#3 The Blue Fin on Cannery Row. Take the elevator to the 3rd floor. Right into the bar. a dozen pool tables, plenty of nice people, bands on the weekend.. Beer selection is ok, food is ok, but... It's right next to a dozen other bars and restaurants on Cannery Row.. Start here and work your way down the road.
#4 The Sardine Factory.. I saved this one for last.. Don't go for the food, go for the lounge and the Piano Bar! Best Piano player in the city!!
Also while on Cannery Row: look and listen for Jose's Cantina.. Live music with national bands and a small cover charge.. The Mexican food is really good too. Get an online coupon!
Also in downtown: The Mucky Duck, The Hippodrome and Doc Ricketts lab.. Not bad places, just not really great. Of them all, the Duck has great food, and two bars, but there has to be a fight every weekend of some kind.. Doc's and the Hippodrome are both dance clubs.. Not an after ride ideal.. But if you want it..
Best deal on Beer: Peter B's. Handcrafted brewery in the Portola Plaza Hotel. lot's of beer, really cheap!
Best Dinner with steak, chicken or fish on the Peninsula..
By Default.. Tarpy's Roadhouse. Located just off of CA68 and CA218, the menu is fantastic, the wine is awesome and is also really, really close to Laguna (about 3 miles from the front gate) Try the Rib Eye and the Bernardus Pinot Noir.. holy...
#1 Monterey Fish House. On Del Monte blvd. just about to Seaside in a small buliding converted from an old house, this place serves up the best fish in town, with a local flare and fair price. Try the pistachio crusted Chilean seabass with a Say no more..
#2 Montrio. Located one block over from Alvarado on Calle Principal,. Montrio serves the very best food cooked to order and the specials.... So good. Try the Carmel Road Cabernet..
#3 Peppers. Located on Forest Ave in Pacific Grove, this is the place where tourists stop you on the street and ask for directions! Not just Mexican food, it's Mexi-Cal. Have to try the Chicken Mole and a Blood Orange Margarita. Wow-
Default: Oh! Sushi. On Fremont in Monterey.. Tell the owner you like Sake! He does too!
I suggest the Pink Lady Roll-
#1 Sapporo (for the sunset view) Teppan steakhouse with a sushi bar located right above the London Bridge Pub in municipal wharf #2
#2 Crystal Fish. Had to throw this one in.. Locals agree, cleanest, most tasteful preperation that pleases even the most hard to please diner!
Toro Sashimi.. Wow..
#3 Benihana. It's on wharf #1. It's close to everything, and is a safe bet.. Easy to find too..
Again, I base my picks on what I feel makes a good quality plate for the money..
By Default.. Katies Place. Once owned by John Madden, Katies is located on Mission in Carmel. I know.. Carmel. But if you are awake before 8am, go for it. Hands down, the best breakfast anywhere.. Blue Crab or Lobster eggs Benedict.. Holy ****... Free coffee for the waiting crowd..
#1 The locals favorite.. LuLu's on the municiapal wharf. Right on the water, the food is fresh and very good. Pancakes of all kinds, great omletes..
#2 Rosine's. Right on Alvarado in downtown.. Seriously good breakfast with a low price, a large turnover and a kickass menu. French Toast!!!
#3 Holly's. On Lighthouse in Pacific Grove. You might not make it to PG while you are here, but if you do, eat at Holly's. As Holly, the owner puts it, "our food is legit".. Legit indeed. Hand roasted turkey and avocado eggs benedict. Whoa..
#4 The Breakfast Club,. Next to Carl's Jr. on Fremont in Seaside. I had to throw this place in. Hard to see, but once you eat there, you'll never forget.
So, I hope this helps!
Food = Fuel.. Beer = everyone's my friend!
Thanks a bunch! Lots of useful info here. Geez..I hope I make it to the actual race...lots of distractions up there
- No wonder yer a phat-azz! You've ate at EVERY restaurant in MoCo!
Pot, this is kettle....
Originally Posted by DMFT
Originally Posted by quicklaps
- It took you MEAT-HEADS long enough to find this thread....... Ha!