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Monterey Winery Adventure: Wine mural scavenger hunt

Posted On: Mar , 17, 2015

A recent trip to Monterey County reminded me of the “I Spy” car games we played as children. I was on a mission to locate all eight Monterey wine country murals along Highway 101. There’s no official map with exact locations. The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association’s Google map roughly plots locations, but there…

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The 10 Best Restaurants in Salinas, CA: Top Local Eats

Posted On: Feb , 25, 2015

Nicknamed the Salad Bowl of the World and located in the central region of California, Salinas is known for its agricultural industry, particularly in the floral, grape vineyard and vegetable sectors. Its prosperity in agriculture is due to its marine climate that is ideal for such fields. As a result, it presents some of the…

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Elkhorn Slough: An outdoor weekend getaway just down the coast

Posted On: Jan , 23, 2015

Quick: Can you name the second-largest tidal saltwater marsh system outside of San Francisco Bay? Neither could I, until I pulled off of Highway 1 on a whim one lazy afternoon on my way home from Monterey. If it were anywhere else but in Northern California, with its abundance of natural wonders, Elkhorn Slough would…

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Of Steinbeck, soil and Salinas

Posted On: Jan , 2, 2015

Toronto Star May 8, 2014, Salinas, California–We all know where lettuce comes from; the produce aisle for most of the year and for those of us lucky enough to have a little patch of dirt in the back, the garden for at least for a few months. But as you drive into Salinas, California, two…

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Food Dude: Learning to love artichokes

Posted On: Nov , 4, 2014

The Food Dude got an up-close and personal look at artichokes. Artichokes are revered around the globe, but Oklahomans view the edible flower blossom with collective suspicion. Data is scarce, but the phrase “Okie-dokie, artichokie” might have something to do with it. People from Oklahoma can call each other Okies, but others aren’t allowed —…

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John Steinbeck and His Legacy on California’s Central Coast

Posted On: Sep , 10, 2014

The California author John Steinbeck won both the Pulitzer and Nobel Peace Prize during his illustrious career. Born in Salinas, California, he will always be associated with Salinas, Monterey, Carmel, the Central Coast, his celebration of the common man, and interest in social justice. This week L.A. Letters visits the National Steinbeck Center, examines his…

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Exploring Steinbeck Country by Claudia Carbone

Posted On: Aug , 9, 2014

“The Salinas Valley is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.” — John Steinbeck from East of Eden A sense of awe overcomes me as I linger over dinner in the home of the famous…

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Coast With The Most

Posted On: Jul , 18, 2014

Nature’s Wonders Dot Landscape In Central California California’s central coast, a two-hour drive south of San Francisco, has long been known for its gloriously-stunning Monterey Peninsula where a gasp-a-minute 17-mile stretch of road ribbons past cypress-clad ocean vistas and craggy headlands. Along the way, picturesque and tiny towns such as Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea and the…

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5 Reasons to Spend Your Next Wine Vacation in the Salinas Valley

Posted On: Jul , 8, 2014

I love Napa and Sonoma and would rather swallow a crumpled-up wine box than dis either one of them. But if money talks, a much better California county for wine lovers is on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The side where John Steinbeck was born, the side that, for decades, has grown…

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Posted On: May , 10, 2014

Centered in the curve of Monterey Bay, midway between Santa Cruz and Monterey, on California’s famous Highway 1, Moss Landing is hard to miss, yet most drivers whiz by headed for more famous neighbors. This is a mistake. A big mistake, as the tiny fishing village is a hidden treasure yielding rich rewards for nature-loving…

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