10 Hours in Seaside, CA

By: Allyson Ryan
Blog Monterey

Seaside, CA is not to be overlooked by its larger neighbor. Just to the north of Monterey, this area boasts some of the county’s most sought after gems including the former Fort Ord military base which is now home to Fort Ord National Monument, CSU Monterey Bay and the scenic Bayonet & Black Horse golf courses. On your next visit to the area be sure to carve out some time to explore this cultural adventure destination.


Kick off your day with a healthy breakfast at one of Monterey County’s newest, not to mention hippest, juice and coffee joints. The modish Press Café offer all sorts of light bites like breakfast sandwiches, pastries and perfectly pressed juices. The perfectly pressed juice bar offers a variety of organic cold-pressed drinks that are healthy and above all else, tasty! The “Allure” concoction is a personal favorite with watercress, grapefruit, coconut, turmeric and apple. Known as the “beauty juice” this packs a punch full of rehydrating and anti-oxidant rich properties.

Press Club Juice Bar & Cafe

Press Club Juice Bar & Cafe


Now that your fully revved up its time to hit the trails. Fort Ord National Monument is accessible at Watkins Gate in Seaside and with 83 miles of trails there’s a variety of terrain ranging, from grassy hills to coastal shrubland. The secluded area is also a mecca amongst mountain bikers and plays host to several races during the Sea Otter Classic biking festival.

Fort Ord view to Salinas



Time for lunch! Googie Grill, just down from Embassy Suites is a staple when it comes to comfort food. The diner is a true flashback in time with typical Googie architecture, retro décor and killer menu items like crispy fried chicken, mushroom gravy meatloaf and black bean chipotle burger. Be sure to start off with their addicting fried zucchini sticks!

Googie Grill Kitchen


Now you have a decision to make, to golf or to relax. For those looking to hit the links, book a tee time at Bayonet & Black Horse. The two golf courses sit on the former Fort Ord military base and offer epic views of the Monterey Bay as well as great game.

Bayonet & Blackhorse Golf Courses

If relaxation in more on your mid, head to the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Take a leisurely stroll before finding the perfect spot to post up along the beach. There’s no better place to unwind with the cool coastal breeze, crashing waves and bobbing boats in the distance. You might even spot a whale or two in the distance!



Take a little trip to northern Italy without leaving Seaside! Head to Gusto this evening for a truly authentic Italian meal complete with handcrafted pastas, wood fired pizzas and a full bar. Make it a four-course meal starting off with one of their many antipasto dishes. The mozzarella tasting is a must with three varieties of mozzarella and burrata samplings. Next, choose a pizza from their extensive menu, the margherita is always a classic crowd-pleaser. No Italian meal is compete without pasta and their mushroom ravioli slathered in gorgonzola cream sauce is to die for. Be sure to save room save room for cannoli and espresso before calling it a night!

GustoCrispi Cannoli at Gusto



Check in for a good night sleep at one of the many hotels in the area. Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn all offer cozy beds, complimentary breakfast and easy access to the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

Embassy Suites in Seaside, CA

#ShareSLO Photo of the Week: Barrels of Fun!

The 4-day Roll Out the Barrels event kicked off at the San Luis Obispo mission last Thursday with wine, food and the music of long-time local favorite the Damon Castillo Band.

Thanks to @Calicoastwine for sharing this photo from the event. If you attend a fun event like this, please remember to post photos with the ShareSLO hashtag.



Celebrate the 4th of July 2016 in Santa Cruz County!

Blog by Rachel Endsley, Visit Santa Cruz County


Happy 4th of July from Santa Cruz County! From fireworks and family fun to parades and pool parties, there are tons of events happening all around the county to celebrate Independence Day. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the top to-dos happening on the 4th:

Scotts Valley 4th of July and Fireworks
Come celebrate July 4th in Scotts Valley! Parade, flyover, fireworks, outrageous BBQ, two live bands, games, petting zoo & much more! The Fireworks show in Scotts Valley is the only sanctioned fireworks show in Santa Cruz County. Advance tickets $6, at the door $8 (4 and under free). Activities and food are not included in price of admission. ATM available onsite.

Parade on Scotts Valley Drive and Activities & Fireworks at Skypark
Scotts Valley, CA
TIME: 3pm Parade | 4pm Food, Music & Games | 9:15pm Fireworks!
For parade application and details, click here.

Boulder Creek 4th of July Parade
This classic Fourth of July parade, set in downtown Boulder Creek, attracts upwards of 10,000 attendees each year. If you are a mountain dweller this is one you won’t want to miss.

Downtown Boulder Creek
Hwy 9 – between Scarborough Lumber and Railroad Avenue
Boulder Creek, CA
TIME: 10am

Aptos 4th of July Celebration
“World’s Shortest Parade.” Pancake breakfast 7:30am, parade at 10am, party in the park with live music, games, arts & crafts 11am-4pm at Aptos Village Park, 100 Aptos Creek Road.

Soquel Dr. & State Park Dr.
Aptos Village, CA
TIME: 7:30am – 4pm

4th of July Family Fun Events
Bring out the entire family and friends for a fun-filled day of games, live music and an all-American barbecue.

Roaring Camp Railroads
5401 Graham Hill Road
Felton, CA

Old-Fashioned Independence Day
Visit Wilder Ranch’s historic cultural preserve and take a step in time 100 years ago as you participate in an early 1900s-style Independence Day celebration including a noon family parade, games, children’s crafts area, live big-band music, living history demonstrations, historic speeches and flag-raising. Food and drink available for sale, or bring a picnic lunch. Day-use parking fee is $10.

Wilder Ranch State Park, Two miles north on Hwy. 1
Santa Cruz, CA
TIME: 11am – 4pm

Spirit of Watsonville 4th of July Parade
The 2016 Spirit of Watsonville hometown parade hits Main Street at 2pm. Expect floats, classic and muscle cars, antique tractors and equipment and equestrians

Downtown Watsonville
Watsonville, CA
TIME: 2pm

Fourth of July Weekend Celebration at Big Basin
Participate in a Talent Show and join the Big Basin 4th of July Parade!

Talent Show Campfire (July 2 at 7pm) – celebrate Independence Day with a campfire, sing-a-long and talent show! If you have a skit, poem, song or a talent you’d like to share, sign up at headquarters in advance. All presentations should be appropriate for all ages. Acts should be only 3-5 minutes in length. Participants need to arrive promptly at 7 p.m. at the historic campfire center. Fire lighting and marshmallows (we provide the sticks and marshmallows!) at 7 pm; program begins at 7:30 pm. Wheelchair, stroller accessible. Good dogs welcome!

Fourth of July Parade (July 4 at 10am) – join the Big Basin 4th of July Parade, led by Uncle Sam, through the Redwoods to the Campfire Center where we will sing songs from the All American Song Book, ending with a salute to the flag and our national anthem. We hope that many campers and visitors will join us for this less than one hour salute to our nation’s birthday. Meet at the Campfire Center.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 at 21600 Big Basin Way.
(831) 338-8883

Gone Fishing: Where to Cast a Line in Santa Cruz County

Written by: Rachel Endsley

Deep sea and miles offshore or relaxed reservoir casts in the mountains, Santa Cruz County has a slew of gorgeous places to toss a line. Check out these tops spots to go fishing and let the fish stories begin!


Drop your line a half a mile out over the Monterey Bay while enjoying the gorgeous views. Between the shops, food and entertaining wildlife, fish or no fish, it’s sure to be a great day over the water. And if the fish aren’t biting and you were banking on some fish tacos, stop by Stagnaro Bros. where you’ll find a huge selection of the freshest, finest fish around.

Photo by @ntrujillo66 at the Capitola Wharf
Photo by @ntrujillo66 at the Capitola Wharf

Looking to get out in the Bay? Rent a motorized boat and get geared up with Capitola Boat & Bait located on the Capitola Wharf. Single and double kayaks and paddle boards are also available for rent. (Fishing License Required, Unless Fishing from the Wharf)

Photo by @kumiko0409
Photo by @kumiko0409

Where fish stories are born! Hop aboard with some professionals and book a fishing trip with Stagnaro’s for sand dab, salmon, cod and albacore. Fishing reports and more information about their fishing tours can be found on their website. (Fishing License Required)

Photo by @ntrujillo66
Photo by @ntrujillo66

Another great place for some relaxing fishing over the Monterey Bay. And just like the Santa Cruz Wharf, no fishing license is required. And majorly convenient, Capitola Boat & Bait has all the gear you need and is located right on the Wharf.

Photo by @natalia_lunova at Loch Lomond Recreation Area
Photo by @natalia_lunova at Loch Lomond Recreation Area

Just look at that view! A sharp contrast to the Monterey Bay fishing scenery, but equally beautiful and totally relaxing. Bring the kids and the dog and spend the day at this mountaintop oasis. Boat rentals, bait, tackle, fishing licenses and souvenirs can be found onsite. (Fishing License Required)

Photo by @timbartholomew2442
Photo by @timbartholomew2442

A gem in south county, Pinto Lake Park is a great spot to do some fishing – I mean, just look at that bass! Boat rentals, including pedal, row boats and electric rowboats, are available on site along with fishing pole rentals and all the tackle gear you’ll need for a day on the water. (Fishing License Required for Ages 16 and Older)

Photo by @alexjharris
Photo by @alexjharris

Go classic and cast from the shore. This might sound easier said than done though. Surf breaks and tides can be an added challenge so know your stuff. Manresa, Rio Del Mar, Seacliff, Seabright and Palm State Beaches are just a few of the popular fishing spots. Cliffs and the Santa Cruz Harbor jetty are also common spots for coastal fishing. Check in at the Harbor for more information on fishing tours and charters. (Fishing License Required)

Speeding Down Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Allen Berg Racing School

By: Allyson Ryan
Blog Monterey

Is racing down the iconic corkscrew on your bucket list? Adrenaline junkies and racing enthusiasts can now take their need for speed down the track at legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca thanks to Allen Berg Racing School.

Founder Allen Berg knows a thing or two about racecar driving. This former Formula One World Championship Driver has recently taken over Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to share his mad skills behind the wheel with those looking to really test out the track.

Allen Berg Racing School

The Allen Berg Racing School provides multiple programs ranging from one day to three day sessions complete with the fundamentals and skills needed to control a very quick formula racecar. Not only will you receive intensive training and feedback but there is plenty of time for thrilling on-track action!

Allen Berg Racing School

This particular racing school is a standout from others. At Allen Berg Racing School lucky students are learning directly from a pro, racecars are state-of-the-art and crafted in Italy, there is more track time than any other racing school, and you’re in Monterey; of course. Don’t just take our word for it, check out their stellar reviews!

At the end of the program not only are you able to cross off racecar driving from the bucket list, but you’re awarded with GoPro footage from the entire journey, talk about bragging rights!

Allen Berg Racing School